ANDREW WRIGHT – Concert pianist and composer
Andrew Wright was born in Dundee, Scotland, and showed an early interest in music, having his first piano lessons at the age of seven, and giving his first public performance at the age of eleven. Further lessons followed with Dr William Stevenson and latterly with Kenneth van Barthold and Nicholas Pope. In addition to his performing career, Andrew has an active interest in composition and improvisation, and has featured some of his own works in his recital programmes.
During his studies, Andrew acquired a conviction that much of the conventional repertoire is over-exposed, and that there are many hidden gems to be found in the works of lesser-known composers. This belief resulted in him making a detailed study of the minor figures of 19th-century and early 20th-century pianistic history.
This study culminated in 2013 with the release, to critical acclaim, of “A Night at the Opera”, an album of transcriptions and paraphrases taken from opera. Following these initial positive reactions, the album was re-released as “The Operatic Pianist” by the US-based record company Divine Art. The album included not only established arrangements by Liszt, but also lesser-known pieces by Thalberg, the world premiere of Martucci’s Concert Fantasy on Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, and a selection of three self-penned paraphrases. Of these paraphrases, MusicWeb International commented: “.. hyphenated Wright takes its place alongside hyphenated Liszt and Thalberg, and that represents something of a Himalayan challenge to Wright’s credentials. It’s a measure of his aplomb that his own transcriptions fail to wilt even in the glare of such declamatory historic precedent.”
A sequel album, “The Operatic Pianist II”, containing not only further arrangements by Liszt, Thalberg and Andrew Wright, but also world premiere recordings of works by Alfred Jaëll, Kullak and Saint-Saëns was recorded in 2016 and is now available for purchase.
Andrew has given a multitude of recitals featuring a wide variety of such operatic transcriptions and paraphrases. He also includes lesser-known etudes and compositions within his performance repertoire, and has given recitals at numerous venues throughout the United Kingdom.