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Eric Parkin (Piano)

Born: 1924 - Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England

The English pianist, Eric Parkin, studied at Trinity College of Music in London, firstly as an Opera Scholar, and was then awarded a Degree Scholarship. His teachers were the distinguished Anglo-French pianist Frank Laffitte and Professor George Oldroyd. Two other distinguished teachers were also to cross his path at this period. Charles Kennedy Scott, the conductor of the legendary Oriana Madrigal Society, and Henry Ceehl with whom he studied composition for a year.

Eric Parkin made his debut in London in 1948. A turning point was the start of a long career in radio followed shortly afterwards by his meeting with composer John Ireland. A Prom debut with Malcolm Sargent and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in J. Ireland's Piano Concerto brought him before a wider audience. Over the years he has appeared with many of the leading British orchestras, building a repertoire of over 70 works.

Eric Parkin’s musical sympathies are wide, ranging from J.S. Bach through the Classical and Romantic repertoire to much 20th century repertoire. He has a great affection for French and American music and is increasingly recording this. A number of English composers have either written for him or asked for first performances, including Geoffrey Bush, Peter Dickinson, David Gow, Kenneth Leighton and Richard Stoker.

Eric Parkin taught piano at the Bulmershe College (now part of the the University of Reading, Berkshire). Margaret Willis, who was his pupil there for 3 years (1971-1974), said: “I recall him as being my Personal Tutor at College in Reading. He was kind and sensitive to others needs greatly appreciated by us all.”

Eric Parkin has recorded many albums for Chandos, including 4 volumes of Arnold Bax’s piano music, the complete piano works of Samuel Barber, 3 volumes of piano music of Billy Mayerl, 3 volumes of John Ireland’s piano music as well as his Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Bryden Thomson, a double album of solo piano works by J. Ireland, his friends and pupils, 3 volumes of piano music of Francis Poulenc, piano music of Albert Roussel, and many more.

Source: Liner notes to the album “Samuel Barber: Complete Works for Solo Piano” (Chandos, 2002); Bits & pieces from various sources; Margaret Willis (October 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2011, October 2011); Maaga

Eric Parkin: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

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