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Prof. John Thwaites

Professor John Thwaites is best known for his collaborative work with strings and as a founder member of the Primrose Piano Quartet. The Primrose have commissioned and recorded important new work by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Anthony Payne, Sally Beamish, Steve Goss and John Casken, and have recorded the earlier twentieth century repertoire for Meridian, including a Five Star Choice for Classic FM Magazine of Bridge and Howells. They have an annual Festival at West Meon. 

He has worked over decades with cellists Alexander Baillie and Johannes Goritzki, and appeared with Pierre Doumenge, Louise Hopkins, Natalie Clein, Alexander Ivashkin, David Cohen, Oleg Kogan, Li Wei, Christoph Richter, Gemma Rosefield and others. A string of recordings with Alexander Baillie for the SOMM label include a Five Star Chamber Music Choice of the Month for BBC Music Magazine. The Complete Works for Cello and Piano by Sir Arnold Bax is about to be released. He has played quintets with the Martinu, Maggini, Dante (their recording of the Lyapunov Piano Sextet in B flat minor for the Dutton label was also a BBC Chamber Music Choice of the Month), Schidlof, Emperor and Aurea String Quartets. Theatrical collaborations have included work with Simon Callow, Tony Britton and Tim Piggott-Smith, and he has also performed with Michael Collins, Thomas Riebl, Tim Ridout, Toby Spence, James Gilchrist, Helen Charlston and Louise Winter.

His research focus is on Brahms (symbolism and allusion in the chamber music, and Historically Informed Performance Practice). An article describing the recording of Brahms's Piano Quartets on Period Pianos in Vienna is listed on the Research Catalogue. Op. 120 with Dorothea Vogel has recently been released.

He has appeared in the major British and many International Festivals, the major London concert halls, and on British and other radio and television channels, including BBC Radio Three Lunchtime broadcasts and appearances for "In Tune".

John’s teaching career includes posts at Christ's Hospital, the Royal  Conservatoire of Scotland, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Purcell School. He is Course Director of Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, and Head of the Department of Keyboard Studies at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where he has directed major Festivals of Ireland, Delius, Bax, Skryabin and Brahms as well as directing a celebrity-studded All Night Gala at Birmingham Town Hall.

Prof. John Thwaites

'Brahms Re-Imagined" or "How to play Brahms in the twenty-first century".

Professor Thwaites will discuss recordings made by pianists in the Brahms/Schumann circle (Ilona Eibenschütz, Adelina de Lara, Carl Friedberg) and then offer a Tool Box (including asynchronicity, arpeggiation, inégale, tempo flexibility and agogically shaped hairpins) for everyone to experiment with.

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