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Raymond Clarke

CD details:

25016    Aaron Copland: piano music
    Shostakovich and Panufnik Piano Music
25022    Piano Music for Children
24111    Mathias and Pickard Sonatas
23012    Havergal Brian: complete piano works
23018    Shostakovich piano music
23019    Szymanowski piano music



Raymond Clarke was born in Bournemouth, England, in 1963. He was awarded an academic scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge University, where he obtained his MA. From 1985-87 he studied piano with Ryszard Bakst at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, appearing four times as concerto soloist with the college orchestras, receiving in 1986 the Peter Donohoe Prize, and in 1987 a prize from Ursula Vaughan Williams for lieder accompaniment.

In March 1988 Raymond made his London South Bank Centre début, a recital described by Music and Musicians as “truly a historic performance” and which according to the critic of The Times “simply left one in dazed admiration”. After an all-Shostakovich recital in London at St. John's Smith Square in February 1990, John Amis wrote in Music and Musicians of “a pianistic force to be reckoned with, possessing an appetite for big projects and carrying them through with great musicality, fluid technique and an attention to detail and delicacy not always associated with artists who think big”. His other London projects around that time included a five-concert Beethoven series at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in June 1990 (concentrating on the late works and concluding with the Hammerklavier Sonata) and a two-concert centenary survey of the nine Prokofiev sonatas at St. John's Smith Square in 1990-91.

Since then Raymond has been an active recitalist, performing cycles of the complete sonatas of Mozart & Schubert, and appearing as piano soloist in over forty different works with orchestra, ranging from Mozart's concerti to those by Rachmaninov (No. 3), Bartok (No. 2) & Prokofiev (Nos. 1, 2, 3 & 5) plus major concertante works such as Scriabin's Prometheus and Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie . His radio broadcasts have often featured repertoire by 20th-century English composers, including the Sonata No. 4 by Michael Tippett and Robert Simpson's Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Two of his commercial CDs have been chosen by Gramophone magazine's annual “Critics' Choice” retrospective as being among the best releases on any label.

Raymond is also editor of The New Shostakovich , a full-length study of the composer published by Pimlico in 2006 with a foreword by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and he teaches piano at the music departments of three universities. For the 2013-14 concert season his recital programme is as follows:

Bach: French Overture in B minor, BWV 831
Elliott Carter: Night Fantasies
Balakirev: Islamey
Rachmaninov: Sonata no. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 (original 1913 version)

Full Discography:

PIANO MUSIC FOR CHILDREN: works by Shostakovich, Copland, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Webern
Divine Art 25022
BRIAN: Complete Piano Music
Athene 23012 (previously ATHCD12)
COPLAND: Piano Sonata; Variations; Piano Fantasy; Passacaglia
Divine Art 25016
MATHIAS: Piano Sonatas 1 & 2; PICKARD: Piano Sonata
Diversions 24111
SHOSTAKOVICH: Five Preludes, from op.2; Three Fantastic Dances, op.5; Ten Aphorisms, op.13;
PANUFNIK: Pentasonata; Reflections; Twelve Miniature Studies
Divine Art 25018
SHOSTAKOVICH: 24 Preludes, op.34; Sonata no. 1, op.12; Sonata no. 2 in B minor, op.61;
Prelude & Fugue in D minor, op.87, no.24
Athene 23018 (previously ATHCD18)
SIMPSON: Complete solo Piano Music
Hyperion CDA 66827
STEVENSON: Passacaglia on DSCH
Marco Polo 8.223545
SZYMANOWSKI: 3 Piano Sonatas; Prelude & Fugue in C sharp minor
Athene 23019 (previously ATHCD19)
r clarke