Gordon Back FGS

Key details:

Collaborative Piano


Gordon Back's distinguished career as a pianist has taken him to many continents of the world. His international reputation was established in 1978 when he played with Dong-Suk Kang in Alice Tully Hall, New York, to great critical acclaim. Since then he has travelled extensively throughout Europe, Russia, U.S.A., Japan, Korea and of course, Great Britain, performing and recording with artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Itzak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Aaron Rosand, Josef Suk, Yo Yo Ma, Ko Iwasaki and the Cleveland Quartet.

Gordon Back was born in Wales and studied piano and viola at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He was awarded the Lady Grace James Scholarship, which enabled him to take up his post-graduate studies in Italy, studying with Guido Agosti and Sergio Lorenzi. On returning to England he was one of the youngest ever appointed professors to join the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1974. He received the honour of being made a Fellow of the Guildhall School in 1984.

Gordon Back has participated in many international festivals, including the Schleswig Holstein, Harrogate, Bath, Stresa, Aix-en-Provence and Blossom Festivals. He is artistic director of the Celebrity Series at the Brangwyn Hall of his native Swansea. He also has been an official accompanist to most of the major international violin competitions including Tchaikowsky (Moscow), Queen Elizabeth (Brussels), Carl Flesch (London) and Indianapolis (USA).

His recent recordings include the Bach-Schumann Sonatas and Partitas for violin and piano with Jean-Jacques Kantorow (which received a French Grand Prix du Disque), the Schubert Arpeggione and Rachmaninov Cello Sonatas with cellist Daniel Lee (for Decca) and a series of CDs with clarinetist Emma Johnson (for ASV).

His first tour of Japan was with the violinist Takashi Shimizu in 1979. In 1994 he toured with Augustin Dumay, replacing pianist Maria Joao Pires at short notice, and gave a live performance in Tokyo Bunkakaikan for NHK television. In 1996 he gave concerts with Emma Johnson and in September 1999 toured with Joji Hattori.

Gordon Back has performed several times in China, Singapore and Malaysia.

He gives regular master classes as guest professor in music colleges such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute and the Royal Northern College of Music. In the summer he teaches in Courchevel . He is a jury member at many international competitions and is also artistic co-ordinator of the Hattori Foundation. Gordon Back was appointed director of the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in London 2004.