Joanna MacGregor’s Blues, Bach and Tangoes

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Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator and collaborator.  Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna MacGregor is also the Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over seventy countries and appeared with many eminent conductors – Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them – and orchestras, including London Symphony and Sidney Symphony orchestras, Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, the Berlin Symphony and Salzburg Camerata. She has premiered many landmark compositions, ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Joanna MacGregor is a regular solo artists at the BBC Proms and made her debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Lincoln Center, New York in 2012. Known for her interpretations of Bach, 2013 she was invited by Sir John Eliot Gardner to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast live. The current season includes performances in Europe, Japan, China and the USA. In early 2017 Joanna MacGregor will be making her debut in the International Piano Series in Prague, and performing the complete Chopin Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall.

Joanna MacGregor made her conducting debut in 2002 and has solo-directed concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Hallé, and has enjoyed a close artistic partnership with Britten Sinfonia for more than fifteen years. Amongst the many and varied artists with whom she has collaborated are the operatic soprano Carolyn Sampson, the cellist Adrian Brendel, Brian Eno, folk artist Kathryn Tickell, and jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard. She is currently creating a new ballet with the celebrated choreographer Kim Brandstrup and cultural historian Marina Warner.

 Multimedia is of great interest to Joanna MacGregor, and in 2003 she toured China with Crossborder; created with Jin Xing’s Contemporary Dance Theatre of Shanghai, it combined Chinese traditional music with computer technology and film.
 Joanna MacGregor directed the multi-arts festival Deloitte Ignite 2010 at the Royal Opera House which included many new art commissions, including a year-long installation by the remarkable artist Alice Anderson. She was Artistic Director of the Bath International Music Festival 2006-2012, and curated the multi-arts Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House in 2010, as well as Aventures, an orchestral series for Luxembourg Philharmonie, 2012-13.  For Bath Festival in 2007 she curated the installation On The Edge of Life, a multimedia collaboration between paediatricians, artists and musicians, examining premature birth. This became an annual event, and in 2008 the series examined the impact of homelessness and in 2009 child human rights through the prism of fairytales with Marina Warner.
As a recording artist Joanna MacGregor is a veteran of over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and John Cage. Her own record label SoundCircus was founded in 1998 and in collaboration with Warners  has released many highly successful recordings, including the Mercury Prize-nominated Play and Neural Circuits, featuring Schnittke’s piano concerto. Other acclaimed releases include Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), Live in Buenos Aires with the Britten Sinfonia, and a four-CD Messiaen set. Jazz recordings include Sidewalk Dances – music by the New York street musician Moondog – and Deep River, music inspired by the Deep South, with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

From 2015-2016 Joanna MacGregor is Visiting Musician at Oriel College Oxford. She has received Honorary Doctorates from Bath University, Bath Spa University and the Open University, as well as Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music and Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. From 1997-2000 she was Professor of Music at Gresham College, London where she gave a series of public lectures. She makes regular appearances on television and radio, and was the subject of a South Bank show in 2002. Her ongoing series of music books, PianoWorld, has been hailed as ‘a new series for the Millenium’.

 Joanna MacGregor was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours in 2012.