The South African pianist, Tessa Uys, made her concert debut, aged 13, with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Gordon Green, she was the recipient there of the MacFarren Medal. Two periods of intensive study followed: the first under Maria Curcio and the second at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. Returning to England, she won the Royal Overseas League Competition and subsequently took up permanent residence in London, where she still lives.
During the past decades, Tessa Uys has established for herself an impressive reputation, both as a concert performer and as a broadcasting artiste, performing at many of the major concert venues in the world. She has built up an extensive repertoire, including concertos ranging from J.S. Bach to Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin to de Falla and Sergei Rachmaninov to Samuel Barber. Her solo piano recital repertoire is formidable, embracing the music and styles of all periods. Tessa Uys has become particularly noted for her interpretations of Robert Schumann and J.S. Bach. Among her recordings for BBC Radio 3, she made the first broadcast recording of the 'seldom heard' Leopold Godowsky transcriptions of Twelve Schubert songs. More recently, to mark the 250th anniversary of J.S. Bach's death in the year 2000, she recorded the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) released as a double CD by GSE Claremont Records, and subsequently toured this virtuoso work both in Britain and abroad, to great acclaim.
Tessa Uys has played under such distinguished conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Walter Susskind, Janos Furst, Louis Frémaux and Nicholas Kraemer. She has also had the unusual privilege of working with the film producer, John Schlesinger in his film, Madame Sousatzka. In 1994, she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.