Artist Biography

Image Gallery

Valses nobles et sentimentales No.1, Ravel

Movement No.15 (Le Baiser), Olivier Messiaen

Piano Concerto Movement No.1, Benjamin Britten

French Suite No. 5 (Gigue) in G Major BWV 816 VII, J. S. Bach

Libertango, Astor Piazzolla

Joanna MacGregor

Piano

Print

Artist Manager: Matthew Todd matthew.todd@harlequin-agency.co.uk

Personal Website: http://www.joannamacgregor.london


Joanna MacGregor is one of the world's most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator and collaborator.  Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna MacGregor is also the Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over seventy countries and appeared with many eminent conductors and orchestras. Known for her interpretations of Bach, she was invited by Sir John Eliot Gardner to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013, broadcast live. The current season includes performances in Europe, Japan, China and the USA. In early 2017 Joanna MacGregor will be making her debut in the International Piano Series in Prague, and recording and performing the complete Chopin Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall. As a recording artist Joanna is a veteran of over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and John Cage. In 2012, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours.

Joanna MacGregor is one of the world's most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator and collaborator.  Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna MacGregor is also the Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over seventy countries and appeared with many eminent conductors - Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them - and orchestras, including London Symphony and Sydney Symphony orchestras, Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, the Berlin Symphony and Salzburg Camerata. She has premiered many landmark compositions, ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Joanna is a regular solo artist at the BBC Proms and made her début at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Lincoln Center, New York in 2012. Known for her interpretations of Bach, she was invited by Sir John Eliot Gardner to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013, broadcast live. The current season includes performances in Europe, Japan, China and the USA. In early 2017 Joanna MacGregor will be making her debut in the International Piano Series in Prague, and recording and performing the complete Chopin Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall.

Joanna made her conducting début in 2002 and has solo-directed concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Hallé, and has enjoyed a close artistic partnership with Britten Sinfonia for more than fifteen years. Multimedia is of great interest to Joanna, and in 2003 she toured China with Crossborder; created with Jin Xing's Contemporary Dance Theatre of Shanghai, it combined Chinese traditional music with computer technology and film. Amongst the many and varied artists with whom she has collaborated are the operatic soprano Carolyn Sampson, the cellist Adrian Brendel, Brian Eno, folk artist Kathryn Tickell, and jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard. She is currently creating a new ballet with the celebrated choreographer Kim Brandstrup and cultural historian Marina Warner.

Joanna directed the multi-arts festival Deloitte Ignite 2010 at the Royal Opera House which included many new art commissions, including a year-long installation by the remarkable artist Alice Anderson. She was Artistic Director of the Bath International Music Festival 2006-2012, as well as Aventures, an orchestral series for Luxembourg Philharmonie, 2012-13.  For Bath Festival in 2007 she curated the installation On The Edge of Life, a collaboration between paediatricians, artists and musicians, examining premature birth; this became an annual event.

As a recording artist Joanna is a veteran of over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and John Cage. Her own record label SoundCircus was founded in 1998 and in collaboration with Warners has released many highly successful recordings, including the Mercury Prize-nominated Play and Neural Circuits, featuring Schnittke’s piano concerto. Other acclaimed releases include Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), Live in Buenos Aires with the Britten Sinfonia, and a four-CD Messiaen set. Jazz recordings include Sidewalk Dances – music by the New York street musician Moondog - and Deep River, music inspired by the Deep South, with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

From 2015-2016 Joanna MacGregor was Visiting Musician at Oriel College Oxford, and in June 2016 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cambridge. She has received Honorary Doctorates from Bath University, Bath Spa University and the Open University, as well as Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music and Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. From 1997-2000 she was Professor of Music at Gresham College, London where she gave a series of public lectures. She makes regular appearances on television and radio, and was the subject of a South Bank show in 2002. Her ongoing series of music books, PianoWorld, has been hailed as ‘a new series for the Millenium’.

Joanna MacGregor was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours in 2012. 


Artist biographies are updated frequently, so please contact us for the latest version. This biography should not to be reproduced or altered without permission.

DateDetails
22/03/2017

Masterclass and Recital at the City of London Girl’s School

26/03/2017

Recital at Cedar Hall, Wells

12/05/2017

Chopin: The Complete Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall, London

Arvo Pärt Für Anna Maria
Arvo Pärt Für Alina
Bach Goldberg Variations
Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
Bach Six French Suites
Barber Excursions
Beethoven 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80
Beethoven Sonata in C minor Op.111
Beethoven Sonata in F minor Op.57 Appassionata
Chopin The Complete Mazurkas
Ligeti Musica Ricercata
Ligeti Musica Ricercata
Liszt Nuages Gris; La Lugubre Gondola I
Liszt/Wagner Tristan und IsoldeIsolde’s Liebstod
Piazzolla Six Tangos
SChubert Sonata in B flat major D.960
Satie Gnossiennes 1,3 & 5
Satie Sports et Diverstissments
Schubert Four Impromptus D.899
Stravinksy Tango
Stravinsky Sonata (1924)
Arvo Pärt
Für Anna Maria
Arvo Pärt
Für Alina
Bach
Goldberg Variations
Bach
The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1
Bach
Six French Suites
Barber
Excursions
Beethoven
32 Variations in C minor WoO 80
Beethoven
Sonata in C minor Op.111
Beethoven
Sonata in F minor Op.57 Appassionata
Chopin
The Complete Mazurkas
Ligeti
Musica Ricercata
Ligeti
Musica Ricercata
Liszt
Nuages Gris; La Lugubre Gondola I
Liszt/Wagner
Tristan und Isolde
Isolde’s Liebstod
Piazzolla
Six Tangos
SChubert
Sonata in B flat major D.960
Satie
Gnossiennes 1,3 & 5
Satie
Sports et Diverstissments
Schubert
Four Impromptus D.899
Stravinksy
Tango
Stravinsky
Sonata (1924)

Concerts / Recitals

The Observer
She is one of the most exciting and enterprising pianists of the moment.
The Guardian
Then came one of the day’s highlights: pianist Joanna MacGregor’s exceptional interpretation of the Goldberg Variations. With her tone as poised as it was subtly refined, she explored the many planes on which Bach’s structure operates, highlighting its protean variety of texture in a performance that touched the sublime.
Chicago Tribune
Joanna MacGregor, making her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, was just the sort of soloist this music needs – firm of rhythm, incisive of attack, as coolly commanding at the keyboard as Boulez was on the podium. A terrific performance all around.
Vancouver Festival
She performed some of the most profound and inventive music in the piano repertory. From the beginning of her sixty-minute recital with the delicate Baroque extravagance of William Byrd’s Hughe Ashton’s Ground to ending with Astor Piazzolla’s most famous tangos, her performance was laden with bravura technique tastefully put to individual interpretation… Joanna MacGregor is to be applauded for bringing a challenging and diverse programme to a new audience who may not be regular classical concert-goers.
BBC Classical Review
Joanna MacGregor’s career is practically built on a reinvention of the star virtuoso tradition, applied to the often cerebral and style-oblivious world of contemporary music. But MacGregor’s verve, energy and astounding technique are always at the service of the music and never vice versa. Her ability to inhabit so many sound worlds with the same intensity and commitment is profoundly impressive – so why not flaunt it?
The Australian
It was the effusive spirit of British pianist Joanna MacGregor that stole the limelight. Her gregarious, jazzy style and rhythmic vitality speak volumes, bringing great passion and adventurous spirit to her music making.
Adelaide Advertiser
MacGregor has played a huge role in British music over the past years, helping to sweep away the rather dusty old concert pianist image, wheeling and dealing with the best in jazz as well as being one heck of a classical and contemporary music player, not to mention conducting and composing.
The Daily Telegraph
Joanna MacGregor filled the Goldberg Variations with dancing energy and occasional moments of outright eccentricity, and in a brilliant stroke made the final aria emerge magically from the echoes of the previous piece.
The Guardian
The Hugh Wood piano concerto still suits MacGregor perfectly…her performance had drive, wit and glittering precision.
The Observer
Joanna MacGregor was then the dream soloist in Adam’s piano concerto, Century Rolls; from the piano-roll virtuosity of the first movement, via flirtatious echoes of Satie and Fats Waller to the jazz, boogie-woogie and blues lines of the third, the scintillating MacGregor proved the perfect foil to Adam’s witty pulsating orchestral writing.
Leicester Mercury
Joanna MacGregor is a mould-breaking artist – innovative, imaginative and challenging. She brings a breath of fresh air to the concert hall with her beguiling personality and individualistic approach to programme planning show to great effect in this memorable recital which ended with a huge ovation for a thought-provoking, powerful and compelling account of Bach’s Goldberg Variations characterised by vital, spontaneous and superbly controlled playing.
Sydney Morning Herald
With her combination of maverick mind, flamboyant style and conspicuous talent, MacGregor is unlikely to shake off constant media attention any time soon.
About Adelaide
Joanna MacGregor has transformed the image of the classical pianist, bringing great passion and adventurous spirit to her music making.
The Guardian
In the slow and highly lyrical variations MacGregor was at her most eloquent, pushing the limits of tonal colouring in the intense and poignant lines, but then diffusing the drama by mischievously jazzing Bach’s quirky rhythms.
BBC Music Magazine
MacGregor’s sense of the arresting scene, and how to place it within the carnival canvas, is hard to define, yet it nonetheless shows true taste.
The Guardian
A classical virtuoso, MacGregor has a remarkable facility for combining jazz devices with improvisational motifs of her own.
Gramophone Magazine
Joanna MacGregor performs with her customary effortless brilliance and blistering commitment to the cause.
Evening Standard
Speaking of slow music, Joanna MacGregor’s poetic playing of the andante in Mozart’s 12th piano concerto was absolutely wonderful. The piano fairly sang and the whole thing was sheer delight from beginning to end, a masterly performance of featherlight dexterity, loving shaping and phrasing which never cloyed.
The Sunday Times
MacGregor seems incapable of giving performances that are not at once extremely intelligent and entertaining…. She brilliantly multi-tracked herself in Conlon Nancarrow studies intended for player-piano, but bare musicality prevailed in her closing piece, a deeply touching account of the Allemande from Bach’s Fourth Partita.

This Artist Biography was last updated on 25 January 2017. It is our policy to update biographies every six months. If this information is to be used after 25 July 2017 please contact us and we shall be delighted to supply you with the latest version by return.