Adjudicator Andrew Ball
Described by the Independent as, “above all, a thinker-pianist”, Andrew Ball is regarded as one of the foremost British pianists and teachers of his generation.
He took a First in music at Queen’s College, Oxford and studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Kendall Taylor, Maurice Cole and David Wilde. He made his London debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1974 and soon established a busy, worldwide career. He has a reputation for innovative and imaginative programming, and contemporary music and chamber works have always played a significant part in his repertoire. He has given countless premieres, including the British premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Piano Sonata at the Bath Festival. Many performances at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts have included Messiaen’s ‘Couleurs de la Cite Celeste’. He studied the sonatas of Michael Tippett with the composer and performed the complete cycle many times: he also recorded a notable CD of the complete Tippett song-cycles with the tenor, Martyn Hill.
He was a member of the Villiers Piano Quartet and has also played with the London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble and Gemini. He has performed Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Gergyev and Rattle, and also with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. Many acclaimed recordings include the piano and orchestral works of Billy Mayerl and two-piano music by Roberto Gerhard with Julian Jacobson, as well as more traditional repertoire. He made many BBC recordings including a much admired performance of Busoni’s Fantasia Contrappuntistica. Another notable recent concert was of two-piano music at the Aldeburgh Festival with the pianist, Rolf Hind.
Andrew is a very committed and successful teacher: initially on the staff of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he was subsequently Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music for six years. He is still highly sought after as a teacher on the College’s staff and was made a Fellow of the College in 2006. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012, the focus of his work has concentrated on teaching and giving masterclasses all round the world, most recently in Germany, China, Japan and USA.