William Howard Piano
WILLIAM HOWARD is well known to Scottish audiences through regular touring as both soloist and founder member of the Schubert Ensemble. Established as one of Britain’s most engaging and innovative pianists, he has enjoyed a career that has taken him to over 40 different countries. Following the retirement of the Schubert Ensemble in June 2018, he will concentrate on solo performing, teaching and freelance chamber music.
His solo career has taken him to many of Britain’s most important festivals, including Bath, Brighton and Cheltenham, and he has been artist in residence at several others. He has performed many times in the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank in London and has broadcast regularly for BBC Radio 3. For many years he has been invited to perform and teach at the Dartington International Summer School. He can be heard on over forty CDs, released by Chandos, Hyperion, ASV, NMC, Collins Classics and Black Box. His recording of Dvorák Piano Works was selected in the Gramophone Critics’ Choice, and his recording of Fibich’s ‘Moods, Impressions and Souvenirs’ won a Diapason D’Or award in France. His 2011 recording of Pavel Zemek Novák's extraordinary 75-minute cycle of 24 Preludes and Fugues was given a double five-star review in the BBC Music Magazine, which described the performance as "superb" and the music "a real discovery".
Recent solo engagements have included a performance at the 2015 Bermuda Festival, the Spitalfields, Cheltenham, Deal, Leamington and Petworth Festivals, at Kings Place in London, in Brno (Czech Republic), Italy and Oregon, USA. His most recent album, Sixteen Love Songs, released in June 2016 on Orchid Classics was selected as 'Drive Discovery of the Week' on Classic FM.
A lover of romantic piano repertoire, he has also collaborated with over a hundred composers and has commissioned new works throughout his professional career. Many leading composers of the present day have written works for him, including Sally Beamish, David Matthews, Howard Skempton, Piers Hellawell and Judith Weir, who has described him as ‘one of my most stimulating musical colleagues’. In 2016 he launched a project to commission sixteen love songs for solo piano from leading composers in the UK and abroad, including Elena Kats-Chernin, Nico Muhly, Joby Talbot, Richard Reed Parry and Judith Weir. He also set up an international composing competition for writing piano love songs that attracted over 500 entries from 54 countries. An album of these pieces, Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs, will be released on Orchid Classics in June 2018.