Martin Jones

The British pianist Martin Jones had been among the most versatile and prolific players on the current scene. He has specialized in, but not restricted himself to, British, Spanish, and Eastern European music. Jones was born on February 4, 1940, in Witney in England's Oxfordshire region. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where his teachers were Guido Agosti, Guy Jonson, and Gordon Green. Early recognition came in the form of the Dame Myra Hess Award in 1968. That year, he made prestigious debuts at London's Southbank Centre and Carnegie Hall in New York. Those appearances led to concerto performances, both in Britain and abroad, as far afield as Australia, where he played the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. His concerto performances have included such difficult virtuoso works as the Piano Concerto of Ferruccio Busoni. He also made appearances on BBC Radio 3, Brussels Radio, RTE in Dublin, and ABC in Australia. Jones spent much of the first part of his career as pianist-in-residence at Britain's Cardiff University, beginning in 1971 and remaining until 1988. It was shortly before his departure that he made the first recording in what would become a long-lasting association with Britain's Nimbus label, an album of Mendelssohn Piano Sonatas. Jones' Nimbus catalog has grown to encompass well over 50 recordings, including complete cycles of the keyboard music of Debussy, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Brahms, Percy Grainger, Erich Korngold, and the elusive Federico Mompou. His recorded output has centered almost exclusively on solo piano music, as opposed to concertos, but for many listeners he may be most familiar, if not most recognized, for his performances on the soundtrack of the film Howard's End. Jones has revived the music of Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino (1914-2000), and he has especially championed modern music of the British Isles such as that of Scottish composer/pianist Alan Richardson, to whom he devoted a pair of albums in 2018 and 2019. These, unlike most of his other releases, appeared on the Lyrita label.

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