About Keyboard at Guildhall
Offering a wide array of solo, ensemble and accompaniment training, the Keyboard Department is headed by the internationally acclaimed pianist Ronan O’Hora.
Visiting artists include Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Imogen Cooper, Richard Goode, Paul Lewis, Murray Perahia and András Schiff.
Watch the video
Find out more about Keyboard training at Guildhall from our students and staff in the video below.
Keyboard contact details
Brendan Macdonald & James Long, Keyboard Department Managers
Tel: 020 7382 6159
One-to-one lessons with our piano faculty are at the heart of the Keyboard Department’s work. You will receive 45 hours in each of the first two years of study, increasing to 60 in the next two years. In addition to studying with your own professor, you will have the opportunity to work with most of the keyboard staff in a variety of performance classes, as well as with a large number of distinguished visitors.
All practical assessments take place through performances, as mid-year and end-of-year recitals or as concerts of ensemble work with instrumentalists and singers. You will play a concerto with piano in your third year, and have the opportunity to work on chamber music, vocal accompaniment, contemporary repertoire, improvisation and fortepiano with leading performers in these fields.
Read more about the broader BMus programme structure.
Read about our our Guildhall Artist Masters (MMus/MPerf) in Performance, or choose from the specialisms listed below.
This specialism is for pianists intending to focus intensely on performance who demonstrate career potential as soloists or chamber players. You will receive 60 hours of private one-to-one Principal Study tuition over the year, and opportunities to play in masterclasses with a range of distinguished visiting pianists.
There are performance opportunities both within and outside the School, including competitions such as the Gold Medal and the annual Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize for a debut Wigmore Hall recital, and participation in international partnerships with other conservatoires and performance centres.
This specialism is for students who want to develop a career in collaborative pianism. It combines individual technical work, class work on specific skills such as orchestral reductions, languages and repetiteur skills, and duo and ensemble work in a variety of situations.
Graham Johnson, Senior Professor of Accompaniment, leads annual Song Guild recitals, and in keeping with the School’s commitment to experiment and innovation, Iain Burnside (Collaborative Piano Teacher) has initiated several ground-breaking performance projects combining music and drama. Gordon Back (Collaborative Piano Teacher) regularly directs instrumental concerts. Pianists are encouraged to take part in chamber music coaching and performances alongside their weekly piano lessons and classes.
There is a wide range of performance opportunities on the programme, particularly at the weekly performance platforms. You may also be offered professional accompaniment work to help you through your first year in the profession.
Highlights, Successes & Alumni
- Masterclasses with Lang Lang, Richard Goode, Imogen Cooper, Jeremy Denk, Emanuel Ax, Paul Lewis, Leon Fleischer, Aleksandar Madžar, Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake, Ralf Gothoni and Martin Katz
- Projects for accompanists with Graham Johnson, including The Song Guild, a small group of singers and pianists working in song repertoire, and innovative performance projects with Iain Burnside combining music and drama
- Faculty Artist Series recitals by Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe, Noriko Ogawa, Charles Owen, Caroline Palmer and Graham Johnson
- Student pianists performing as soloists with chamber and symphony orchestras, on the Barbican stage
Students in the Department have won prizes in the following competitions:
- Leeds International Piano Competition
- Chopin International Piano Competition
- Città di Cantù International Competition
- Honens International Piano Competition
- Scottish International Piano Competition
- Dublin International Piano Competition
- British Contemporary Piano Competition
- Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition
- Das Lied International Song Competition
- Kathleen Ferrier Awards
- Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT)
- Alex Dariescu (Piano 2010)
- Clare Hammond (Piano 2008)
- Sasha Grynyuk (Piano 2007)
- Sholto Kynoch (Piano 2005)
- Tom Poster (Piano 2004)
- Sa Chen (Piano 2001)
- Paul Lewis (Piano 1994)
- Lucy Parham (Piano 1989)