Text in englischer Sprache verfügbarPianist William Howard has appeared in more than 40 countries, both as a soloist and as a longtime member of London's Schubert Ensemble. He has varied specialties in 19th century music, Czech music of several eras, and contemporary works. Howard's mother played records during her pregnancy in the hope that he would become a musician. He grew up hearing a French aunt playing the family's Bechstein piano, and he began piano lessons at seven. A local teacher, Rosemary Hammond, spotted his talent and gave him lessons while he was enrolled at a boarding school that had few music classes. Later, Howard studied with Vlado Perlemuter and Peter Feuchtwanger. He co-founded the Schubert Ensemble in 1983 and remained with the group until it disbanded in 2018. Relatively early, his work gained recognition beyond Britain; his performances of Janáček's music earned him an award from the Czech Ministry of Culture in 1986. Howard has appeared at major British venues, including frequent performances at London's Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre. His summer appearances include those at the Brighton, Bath, and Cheltenham festivals, and he has often served on the faculty of the Dartington International Summer School. Howard has commissioned numerous new works, and his 2011 recording of Pavel Zemek Novak's 24 Preludes and Fugues earned a double five-star review from BBC Music Magazine. Following this, Howard embarked on a project to commission "love songs" for piano from a variety of contemporary composers, including Nico Muhly, Howard Skempton, and Joby Talbot; a pair of recordings of a group of these works gained recognition both from contemporary music aficionados and from the crossover-oriented Classic FM radio network, which named the first album, William Howard plays Sixteen Love Songs for Piano, its "Drive Discovery" of the week. As a soloist and chamber player, Howard has recorded some 40 albums for the Orchid Classics, Champs Hill, and Chandos labels, among others. He has issued several noted recordings of Czech music, including one of Zdeněk Fibich's often graphically sexual Moods, Impressions, & Souvenirs in 1995. Howard was heard on a recording of music by composer Howard Skempton on Orchid Classics in 2020.
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