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Philip Fowke (Piano)

Born: June 28, 1950 - Gerrands Cross, Buckinghamshire, England

The English pianist, Philip Francis Fowke, studied at the Downside School in Somerset (1964-1967), the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) (1967-1974) with Marjorie Withers and Gordon Green (the latter a pupil of Egon Petri), and finished his studies with LPAM (Piano Performance) and ARCM (Piano Performance, Recital Diploma). In 1974 he made his London debut with a recital at the Wigmore Hall (L.v. Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt). That year he won joint 2nd place at the BBC Piano Competition (first place was not awarded). This led to broadcasts on BBC radio in a performance of Sergei Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. In 1977, he was 5th placed finalist in the inaugural Sydney International Piano Competition. He entered the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow but was not a finalist.

Philip Fowke made his Proms debut in 1979 with a performance of John Irelandís Piano Concerto in E flat, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle. His other appearances at the Proms include Constant Lambert's Piano Concerto and Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto. In 1979 also, he performed two-piano works with Eileen Joyce. He played Sir Arthur Bliss's Piano Concerto at his USA debut in San Diego in 1982. His other USA appearances include performing at the Hamptons at a festival to the memory of Benno Moiseiwitsch. In 1983, he stood in at short notice for the indisposed Claudio Arrau at a Prom concert, where he played the Burleske in D minor by Richard Strauss, and the Konzertstück by Weber. In 1987 he played at Eileen Joyce's supposed 75th birthday party (she was actually 79).

Philip Fowke is one of Britain's most outstanding pianists and distinguished musicians. His appearances with leading orchestras together with his many broadcasts and recordings have earned him international respect, admiration and the affection of audiences. Amongst the more famous conductors he has appeared with are Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Atherton, Rudolf Barshai, , Norman Del Mar, Sir Alexander Gibson, Sir Charles Groves, Vernon Handley, Neeme Järvi, Tadaaki Otaka, Sir Simon Rattle, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Klaus Tennstedt, Yuri Temirkanov, and Barry Wordsworth. He has toured He has toured in many countries, including the USA, Canada, Scandinavia, South America, Germany, Italy and New Zealand and during the last two seasons he has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2003 his 12th appearance at The BBC Proms was also televised live.

Philip Fowke is recognised as a champion of British music, performing the concertos and piano music of Richard Arnell, Benjamin Britten, Arthur Bliss, Delius, Finzi, John Ireland, King, Kenneth Leighton, Alan Rawsthorne, Michael Tippett and William Walton beside those by Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov and Robert Schumann. He continues to challenge audiences, performing orchestral works by Béla Bartók, L.v. Beethoven, Alfredo Casella, Dohnányi, Gershwin, Khatchaturian, Constant Lambert, Franz Liszt, Francis Poulenc, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky and Weber. He also brings his keen musicianship to bear in bringing the best out of popular film music, including Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, and more recent classics from this genre. He exhibits a similarly well-informed range of knowledge and ability in his recital and chamber music as well as in his many broadcasts as both performer and contributor to discussion programmes for BBC Radio 3 plus live radio commentary during a recent Leeds International Piano Competition.

Philip Fowke is an acclaimed teacher. He has has taught at the Royal Academyt of Music (RAM) in London and now holds the post of Senior Fellow of Keyboard at Trinity College of Music in London, gives regular master classes worldwide and appears as an adjudicator on panels for international competitions. Since 2000 he is a member of the London Piano Quartet together with Nona Liddell, violin, Elizabeth Turnbull, viola, and David Kenedy, 'cello (all professors at Trinity College of Music). Their first CD of music by Cyril Scott was issued in 2002 and a more recent recording of chamber music by Alan Bush received an excellent review in The Gramophone. Fowke was a colleague and friend of Shura Cherkassky and has given lectures about Shura Cherkasskyís technique and approach to the piano. His recitals of traditional repertoire often end with lighter pieces such as Adolf Schulz-Evlerís Arabesques on themes from "An der schönen blauen Donau". His premiere performances include the Haydn Variations by John McCabe, a work dedicated to him (1983); and Richard Bissillís Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Philip Fowke has made the premiere recordings of Sir Arthur Bliss's Piano Sonata and some of A. Bliss's smaller pieces (Miniature Scherzo, Study, Suite for piano, Triptych) on Chandos. His impressive discography includes concertos and other works by: Arthur Bliss: Piano Sonata; A. Bliss: Piano Concerto (on Unicorn in celebration of the composer's centenary); Benjamin Britten: Scottish Ballade; Alan Bush: Cello Sonata; Frédéric Chopin: Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3; Waltzes (for EMI on CFP's "Silver Doubles" label); Franz Danzi: Horn Sonata, with Michael Thompson; Frederick Delius: Piano Concerto; Gerald Finzi: Fantasy and Toccata; Alun Hoddinott: First Piano Concerto (on Lyrita); Sergei Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 2; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Maurice Ravel: Concerto in G; Piano Concerto for the Left Hand; Valses nobles et sentimentales; Camille Saint-Saëns: The Carnival of the Animals with Peter Katin; Cyril Scott: Piano Quartet; Piano Quintet; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concertos Nos. 1 and 3; "Virtuoso Piano Transcriptions": pieces by Ferruccio Busoni, Mikhail Glinka (transcribed by Mily Balakirev), S. Rachmaninov, Carl Tausig (on CRD), and Adolf Schulz-Evler (Arabesques on themes from "An der schönen blauen Donau", described by one reviewer as "one of the best modern recordings of this piece"); "Piano Concertos from the Movies": pieces by Richard Addinsell, Hubert Bath, Jack Beaver, Richard Rodney Bennett, Bernard Herrmann, Leonard Pennario, Nino Rota, Miklós Rózsa and Charles Williams (on Naxos)..

"....... that co-existence of a high musical intellect with elegance, wit and unashamedly joyful showmanship, marks out Philip Fowke among his own generation of pianists ...." The Times

Source: Wikipedia Website (March 2011); Patrick Garvey Management Website (January 2009); International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2011)

Philip Fowke: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Philip Fowke - Piano (Patrick Garvey Management)
Philip Fowke - Biography (Naxos)

Philip Fowke (Wikipedia)

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