Lucy Parham

Key details:

Lucy Parham


Acknowledged as one of Britain's finest pianists, Lucy Parham applies her sensitivity and imagination not only to concertos and recitals, but also to portraits in words and music of such composers as Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Debussy.

Her life-long passion for the music of Schumann inspired the original concept of the words and music evening, Beloved Clara. It was premiered at the Wigmore Hall Master Series. Three further Composer Portraits, Liszt - An Odyssey of Love and Nocturne - The Romantic Life of Frédéric Chopin and Rêverie – the Life and Loves of Claude Debussy were all premiered at the Wigmore Hall London Piano Series. This was followed by Elégie– Rachmaninoff, A Heart in Exile. The CDs of Beloved Clara (Martin Jarvis/Joanna David), Nocturne (Samuel West/Harriet Walter) Odyssey of Love (Henry Goodman/Juliet Stevenson), Rêverie (Alex Jennings) and Elégie (Henry Goodman) have all been released to critical acclaim.

Her latest Composer Portrait - I, Clara was created for the Clara Schumann bicentenary in 2019. The CD (with Dame Harriet Walter) was recently released on the Deux-Elles label. It was chosen as Album of the Week on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review.

Celebrated actors who appear in these Composer Portraits include Harriet Walter, Henry Goodman, Simon Russell Beale, Patricia Hodge, Juliet Stevenson, Robert Glenister, Tim McInnerny, Lesley Sharp, Sheila Hancock, Martin Jarvis, Simon Callow, Joanna David, Alex Jennings, Dominic West, Alistair McGowan, Rosamund Pike, Roger Allam, Samuel West, Niamh Cusack, Edward Fox and Charles Dance.

Lucy Parham has made numerous CD recordings including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (RPO/EMI Gold), concertos by Ravel, Fauré and Franck (RPO records) and a solo Schumann CD (ASV). Her CD of Clara and Robert Schumann Concertos (BBC CO/Sanctuary) won the BBC Music Magazine "Critics' Choice of the Year” Lucy Parham first came to public attention as the Piano Winner of the 1984 BBC Young Musician of the Year. Since her Royal Festival Hall concerto debut at the age of 16, she has played throughout the UK as concerto soloist with most of the major British orchestras and has been a frequent recitalist at the Wigmore Hall. She has also toured the USA with the BBC Concert Orchestra on their 50th anniversary, as well as Mexico and Turkey with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she has now given over 60 performances. Abroad, she has toured with the Russian State Symphony, Sofia Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Polish National Radio SO and L'Orchestre National de Lille.

She also appears frequently as a broadcast presenter and guest on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and BBC TV. She was invited to be the Director of the 2006 Schumann Anniversary Festival at Cadogan Hall and the Director of Schumann 200 Festival at King’s Place in 2010. She presented four series of Kings Place Coffee Concerts (Word/Play) and in 2017/18 her second Sheaffer Matinée series (all of her Composer Portraits) took place at St Johns Smith Square.

Lucy Parham is a Professor of Piano at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

In an age that has seen the piano become increasingly objectified, Parham takes her listeners back to a golden age when music was a metaphor for life itself. Hers is playing that is not so much about the actual notes but exploring the elusive regions of expressive reverie that lie tantalisingly hidden between and behind them” BBC Music Magazine