David Owen Norris, the first winner of the Gilmore Artist Award, has played concertos all over North America and Australia, along with several appearances in the BBC Proms. Solo recitals, all over the world, have particularly featured the music of Brahms, Schubert, Poulenc, Bax & Elgar.
David Owen Norris also plays early pianos. His discovery that the World’s First Piano Concertos were written around 1770 in London for the tiny square piano led to a complete reconsideration of that instrument, with an epoch-making recording, and concerto tours of Britain, Europe and America.
Norris is a familiar face on music television. His Chord of the Week, returning for its fourth series this summer, has helped make BBC2’s PromsExtra one of the most watched classical music programmes in the world. His popular Radio 4 Playlist series is often repeated, and on Radio 3 his contributions to Building a Library are keenly relished.
David Owen Norris’s rise as a composer is more recent. Two large-scale works appeared in the autumn of 2015: Turning Points, a celebration of democracy supported financially by the Agincourt600 Committee, and HengeMusic, a multi-media piece for organ and saxophone quartet with film and poetry, supported by Arts Council England. His Piano Concerto has just been released commercially, and there are plans to record his Symphony.
Norris’s unusually varied career has seen him as a repetiteur at the Royal Opera House, harpist at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Artistic Director of the Petworth Festival & the Cardiff International Festival, Gresham Professor of Music, and Chairman of the Steans Institute for Singers at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. The Beethoven 9 app for which Norris wrote the book and the analyses won the Best Music App Award in April 2014. His regular monthly columns in the BBC Music Magazine give rise to a steady flow of thoughtful correspondence.