Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as soloist and chamber musician. Highlights of the 2019/20 season include performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, a residency at Sage Gateshead, recitals on fortepiano of Beethoven violin sonatas with Viktoria Mullova, and appearances in festivals including the Bath Mozartfest, Edinburgh International, Esbjerg, kamara.hu, and West Cork.
Alasdair is renowned as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer. Alongside a particular affinity with the classical repertoire and the music of Schumann and Fauré, he often explores the more exotic: Catoire, Pierné, Thuille; Debussy’s Jeux (in the composer’s arrangement for solo piano); Ligeti Horn Trio, Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks; and Thomas Adès Piano Quintet. His concerto repertoire includes works of Bach, Bartok, Fauré, Hans Abrahamsen, Hindemith, Mozart, Sally Beamish, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. In recent years he has appeared with Britten Sinfonia, Moscow Virtuosi, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Recent recordings include the 2019 release of the complete works for cello and piano of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, recorded on an Erard fortepiano of 1837 with cellist Johannes Moser, and a recording with Alec Frank-Gemmill of 19th century music for horn and piano, recorded on four exquisite historical pianos (and four fantastical historical horns) spanning 1815-1895. These releases join an acclaimed discography of three solo and numerous chamber recordings, on BIS, Claves, Champs Hill, Evil Penguin, Pentatone and SOMM labels.
A regular participant at the open chamber music at IMS Prussia Cove, Alasdair took part in their tours of 2007 and 2011, and collected the 2008 RPS Award for Chamber Music on their behalf. He has enjoyed working closely with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, and Heinz Holliger. Future plans include the first performances of a new piano concerto, written for him by Helena Winkelman.
Alasdair was a student of John Blakely at the Royal College of Music, London, and Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. He teaches solo piano at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and regularly mentors for the London-based Chamber Studio. From 2012 to 2018 Alasdair was founder and artistic director of Musique à Marsac, and since 2019 is co-artistic director of the Swiss chamber music festival at Ernen.
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