Composer Information: Mark Tanner
MARK TANNER PhD Hon. BC MA FTCL FRSA
Mark Tanner was born in Bristol in 1963. His first tentative solo appearance at Bristol’s Colston Hall, aptly described as “intrepid” by the Bristol Evening Post, came at the tender age of 13, and shortly after he appeared on BBC TV, playing Liszt. Studying piano with Philip Martin, Richard McMahon and Geoffrey Buckley, Mark gained his PhD from the Birmingham Conservatoire; he was subsequently awarded their honorary degree in 2009. He has appeared in many of Britain’s most celebrated recital halls, including five consecutive appearances at Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and St John’s Smith Square in London, as well as a number of prominent educational establishments including the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, RWCMD, Birmingham Conservatoire and Chethams International Summer School for Pianists. With duo partner Allan Schiller, Mark appeared at St George’s Bristol as part of the Mozart 250 celebrations; he has appeared there on many other occasions besides, both as soloist and in ensemble. He is a popular recitalist onboard cruise liners around the globe, including the entire Cunard, P&O and SAGA fleets, having now given several hundred recitals at sea, many of which have been with flautist partner Gillian Poznansky; the duo’s recording of music by Graham Lynch was chosen as an ‘Outstanding’ disc of the month in International Record Review and is broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3. Together they have premiered several important new works at Wigmore Hall and elsewhere, with a recent appearance at the Jerez de Fontera Festival in Spain. Mark has broadcast several premières live on BBC Radio 3, and his many recordings have attracted consistently high critical acclaim:
“Tanner’s performances are magnificent. Most pianists would give an arm and a leg, or at least a finger, to achieve his sumptuous sonority and seamless legato…such enviable breadth and poetic commitment.”
“Playing of flair and spontaneity”
THE SCOTSMAN ****
“That extraordinary, neo-renaissance figure, Mark Tanner”
Mark has contributed hundreds of reviews and articles for International Record Review, Classical Music, Musical Opinion, International Piano and Piano Professional. He has also published scholarly articles in the USA and UK, including 19th Century Music and the Liszt Society Journal, and edited several contemporary scores for Peters Edition and Europa Edition. For Spartan Press he has built a strong presence, having published thirty albums of original music and a piano-friendly edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book in a much lauded new graded series. As a member of the Trainer Panel and international examiner of grades and diplomas for ABRSM, Mark has undertaken tours to five continents; he adjudicates festivals for the British and International Federation of Festivals and on three occasions judged the EPTA Piano Competition; he has given numerous lectures on a diverse range of subjects, as well as masterclasses in the UK, Europe and mainland China.
For sixteen years Mark was Assistant Director of Music at Taunton School in Somerset; he has now been active in music education for some 30 years and is currently a visiting lecturer of piano and composition at University College, Falmouth. He also enjoys preparing students for diplomas, college entry and recitals from his bases in Cornwall and Somerset. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of Mensa, and his first novel, Life on Mars? A Catinel’s Chance was published by Llama Press; with it he undertook a successful book-signing tour of Waterstone’s stores. In 2013 (his fiftieth year) Mark will be examining in Thailand and Scandinavia, performing on the Queen Elizabeth and at the Bornhölm Festival with Gillian Poznansky, as well as making various recordings for Nimbus. He will also be presenting his highly popular summer school for pianists at Jackdaws Music Education Trust in Somerset and teaching improvisation at the Chethams International Summer School for Pianists.
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