Biography

Please note that both the short and full biographies are available to download as pure text files at the bottom of this page.

 

Short Biography:

Richard Saxel has established a reputation as one of the most versatile concert pianists of his generation, and has partnerships with some of the most exciting chamber musicians in the country. He has won several major awards with a variety of colleagues, and has given recitals at most of the leading venues in this country. Richard was one of the six pianists in Piano Circus, with whom he performed and broadcast contemporary music at major festivals around the world. He studied the piano with the late Clifford Benson whilst at the University of York, and then with Michael Dussek as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music. His first solo CD of Janacek, Schumann and MacDowell was described by Bryce Morrison in Gramophone as ‘...a haunting claim for intimacy...to anyone who warms to introspection presented with an enviable taste and clarity, this recital is outstanding’. Richard is currently Head of Performance at Cranleigh School in Surrey. For more information, please visit www.richardsaxel.co.uk

 

Full Biography:

Richard Saxel is a concert pianist who has established a reputation as one of the finest chamber music pianists of his generation. He studied the piano with the late Clifford Benson whilst reading a music degree at the University of York, and then with Michael Dussek as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music. Richard's musical interests owe much to the influence of these two outstanding teachers; whilst happy to explore the piano solo repertoire, his real interest lies in the art of chamber music and piano accompaniment. He has in the past won the National Federation of Music Societies Making Music Award with his piano duet partner Faith Leadbetter, has several duos with a variety of singers and instrumentalists, and is the pianist in the Meryon Trio alongside internationally acclaimed cellist Jitka Vlašánková and his long-standing clarinettist duo partner Angus Meryon.

One of Richard's great attributes as a performer is his versatility. For four years he was one of the six pianists in Piano Circus, who perform and broadcast contemporary music at major festivals around the world, and he has worked with a fascinating variety of artists, from Indonesian puppeteers to ballet dancers, tango musicians, trapeze artists, music theatre performers, opera and jazz singers and also with the Endymion Ensemble under Gyorgy Kurtag. Richard has performed worldwide at many major festivals, including the Istanbul International Festival, Lucerne Festival, La Roque D'Antheron, The Big Chill, the Victoria Arts Festival in Gozo, the Cheltenham Festival and the Dartington International Summer School as well as at several of London's leading venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. John's Smith Square, and at St. David's Hall in Cardiff. In 2012, Richard gave two concerts in Rome with Madeleine Mitchell, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at the invitation of Her Majesty's British Ambassador to Italy, and was subsequently invited back to perform as a soloist.

Richard released his first solo CD on the Quartz Music label in 2010. He recorded Janacek's 'On an Overgrown Path', Schumann's 'Waldscenen' Op.82 and Edward MacDowell's 'Woodland Sketches' Op.51, and received outstanding reviews; '...a haunting claim for intimacy...to anyone who warms to introspection presented with an enviable taste and clarity, this recital is outstanding' (Gramophone), '...a spellbindingly eerie account...Saxel demonstrates a sensitive understanding of the composers' idiosyncratic means of expression' (BBC Music), and 'Saxel's playing is outstandingly, unfailingly musical...the recording quality of the piano on this CD is quite exceptional' (International Record Review). Richard also recorded a CD of works for oboe, horn and piano with Jeremy Polmear and Stephen Stirling on the Oboe Classics label in 2010, which received excellent reviews in the press both in the UK and in the USA. He is strongly committed to music education, and is currently Head of Performance at Cranleigh School in Surrey, where he has taught for twelve years. 

For more information, please visit www.richardsaxel.co.uk

Attachments:
Download this file (Richard-Saxel-short-biography.txt)Richard-Saxel-short-biography.txt[Short biography]0.9 kB
Download this file (Richard-Saxel-long-biography.txt)Richard-Saxel-long-biography.txt[Full biography]3 kB