Graham Fitch

Graham Fitch, based in London, maintains an international career not only as a pianist, but also as a teacher, adjudicator, examiner, lecturer, writer and commentator on piano playing and musical subjects. His workshops and classes, which he gives all over the world, have received high praise for their creative and illuminating approach to the subject. First Prizewinner in the Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition, he graduated with honours from the Royal College of Music in London as Hopkinson Gold Medallist. A Fulbright Scholarship then took him to the United States, where he completed his studies with Ann Schein and Nina Svetlanova, as well as participating in regular classes with Leon Fleisher.

During much of the 1990s, Graham Fitch’s career straddled the Atlantic with solo and chamber performances in England (where he taught piano at the Purcell School, St. Paul’s Girls’ School, the Centre for Young Musicians) and in Europe and North America. The New York Times spoke of his playing as “unalloyed pleasure”. In the UK he was recitalist at the Bournemouth Festival, and appeared in repeated engagements with the London Chamber Soloists on London’s South Bank. US activities included concerts with his trio, the Trio dell’Arte, various solo appearances (including a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Merkin Hall during the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death) and a performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with Jonathan Haas.

From 1997 to 2008, Graham Fitch was Associate Professor, Head of Keyboard and Head of Section of Practical Studies at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, from where he travelled extensively to perform and teach. An international tour of Bach’s Goldberg Variations elicited rapturous reviews on four continents, and invitations to return to Australia, New Zealand and the USA. More recently he has given a recital, a masterclass and a keynote address at the 7th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, been in residence at London’s Royal Academy of Music, coached chamber music at the Franschhoek Chamber Music Workshop, and participated in the Stellenbosch International Piano Symposium.

A published author, Graham has written several articles on aspects of piano playing and musical style. He has also produced a generation of teachers through his influence as a teacher, and through his pedagogy programmes.

Author links and publications

Articles

How and When to Use Slow Practice

I have noticed some folk think they are beyond slow practice – that’s something only beginners do. Far from it! One of the twentieth century’s great pianists, Sergei Rachmaninov practised so slowly that even his colleagues didn’t recognise the piece. This was not music he was learning from scratch, but... Read >>

Tags: practising, practice tools, bach, mendelssohn, sweelinck

Jail-breaking Hanon (1)

The three books that make up The Virtuoso Pianist by Charles-Louis Hanon have been a mainstay with piano students since they were first published in 1872. It is interesting to note that Hanon had up until then been active as an organist and through his own publishing house... Read >>

Tags: technique, exercises

Nocturne (1)

Grieg wrote his famous Nocturne (Night Piece) in the summer of 1891 during his annual country retreat to the Norwegian mountains and fjords. Along with five other pieces, he included the Nocturne in Book V of his Lyric Pieces, Op. 54. In 1894, Anton Seidl, the conductor of the New... Read >>

Tags: learning pieces, grieg

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