The English recorder players, Piers Adams, attended Reading Blue Coat School Adams; then trained as an astrophysicist, but turned professionally to the recorder at age 21. Adams has received numerous prizes and awards for his recorder playing, including first prize in the inaugural Moeck International Recorder Competition (1985) which led to debuts in the premier London venues such as the Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and launched his busy international solo career.
Known as the "modern day pied piper", Piers Adams is regarded by many to be the greatest recorder player of our time. Stylistically unique and unbounded by historical preconceptions this modern-day Pied Piper coaxes truly extraordinary sounds from his simple recorders. He has thrilled, charmed and transported many thousands of listeners, attracting the highest acclaim from the music press His performing career has taken him all over the world. He has given recitals in most of the major UK festivals and concert halls (including eight to date in the Wigmore Hall) and in most European countries, as well as visits to USA, Canada, South America, Russia, the Far East and Australia. He has been invited to perform concertos with, amongst others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra BBC Concert Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Guildhall Strings, English Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, London Musici, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Lapland Chamber Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
In recital, Piers Adams performs with pianist and harpsichordist Howard Beach in programmes of astonishing breadth. With his unique collection of recorders he leads his audience from Arcadian gardens to wild gypsy carnivals, from the salons of Vienna to the cloistered walkways of English academia, from Zen theatre to sleazy Manhattan bars. His repertoire of concertos is equally expansive, ranging from the major works of the Baroque era to David Bedford's ear-boggling Recorder Concerto, which he has recorded and performed many times to rapturous acclaim.
Amongst Piers Adams' most successful ventures are the world-famoius Baroque supergroup Red Priest, which has brought a radical new approach to the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and his Recorder Roadshow which has appeared on BBC news and in the Guinness Book of Records. He was also closely involved in a major multimedia venture entitled "Dances with Gods", which combined his recorder playing with modern electroacoustics, ancient mythology and Indian dance.
Although he currently has little time for teaching, Piers Adams has been actively involved in education over the years and has held professorships at a number of UK music colleges, and master-classes at the Dartington International Summer School. Alongside fellow Red Priest member Howard Beach on harpsichord, Adams regularly gives "Recorder Roadshows" which include master-classes and workshops for children combined with a concert performance of specially written works. He has also been active in musicological fields, researching, arranging and publishing new recorder repertoire.
Piers Afams has made many CD recordings, reflecting his wide musical tastes. His albums range from his award-winning debut of “Vivaldi Concertos” (Cala) to David Bedford’s heroic “Recorder Concerto” (NMC) - one of many major works written for him. CDs available include “Recorder Bravura| (romantic showpieces), “Shine and Shade” (20th century sonatas) and five Red Priest CD’s: “Priest on the Run”, “Nightmare in Venice”, “The Four Seasons”, “Pirates of the Baroque and Johann”, “I'm Only Dancing”. He can frequently be heard on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, both through his recordings and live concert broadcasts, and has appeared on television in many countries - including BBC's Pebble Mill, Blue Peter and Newsround, and in a major documentary, ITV's South Bank Show.