Born in the UK, Melanie Spanswick’s reputation as a classical pianist, teacher, and writer has proffered a diverse career.
A graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, Melanie studied the piano with Patricia Carroll, Tatiana Sarkissova and John Lill. Whilst at the RCM, she won many prizes including the Ziff prize for the most outstanding postgraduate pianist, Arthur Bliss Prize, Marguerite Long Chamber Music Prize, a Leverhulme Trust Award, and graduated with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies.
Melanie has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist at most of the major UK concert halls, and for numerous music societies, university concert series’, and festivals (Windsor, Cheltenham, Brighton, Southwark, Prussia Cove).
International performances include appearances in Canada, USA, Bermuda, Germany, Spain, Gibraltar, Russia (including a performance at Tchaikovsky’s house in Klin), Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. She gave a recital series at The Great Romantics Festival in Hamilton, and has performed at the Guelph Festival, also in Canada. Performing for the Queen Mother and Queen of Denmark are particular highlights.
Recordings comprise a solo CD for Opera Omnia (recorded at Wigmore Hall) as well as broadcasts on Classic FM (Platform live broadcasts), BBC Radio 2, CBC Radio, Swedish and Spanish Television.
She enjoys writing about practising and learning to play the piano; her book So You Want To Play The Piano? (Alfred) has recently been revised and republished, and has received much critical acclaim. A new Faber Piano Anthology (Faber) was published in October 2016; compiled by Melanie, it consists of a collection of 78 favourite works.
The most recent publication, Play it Again: PIANO (by Schott Music in April 2017 (Book 1) and June (Book 2)), is a two-book piano course, featuring a collection of graded pieces from elementary to advanced, intended for all those returning to the piano after a break; each piece is accompanied by copious practice tips and suggestions, including exercises and technical help.
Melanie regularly writes for major international music publications including The Stage, Piano Professional, Piano Journal, Music Teacher Magazine, International Piano Magazine, Clavier Companion, Rhinegold Publications, Pianofforte (published by Faber) and she has also written for the Daily Telegraph. Melanie is a contributor to Pianist magazine, writing a ‘how-to-play’ article in every issue.
A committed teacher, she often tutors workshops in Germany, running a bilingual piano project near Düsseldorf, and has given master classes for EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association), the Overseas Masters Winter Piano Academy held at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and is a tutor at Jackdaws Music Education Trust in Somerset.
Melanie has examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, she adjudicates nationally and internationally for the British and International Federation of Festivals, and is an external moderator at Royal Holloway University (London).
She recently adjudicated and gave master classes at the 2016 Chicago Amateur Piano Competition, and at the 66th Hong Kong Schools Association Music Festival. During 2017, she will be presenting a piano diploma course for teachers, as well as master classes and workshops in Singapore and Malaysia.
In addition, her educational piano compositions are published by EVC Music Publications, and have been featured in various publications (including Pianist magazine and the International Piano Magazine), and they will be included on British and International Federation of Festivals syllabuses from 2017.
Melanie has curated and presented an interview series entitled Classical Conversations, speaking on camera to some of the world’s finest pianists.
‘The heroic drama of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, in a forthright, bold performance by the young English pianist Melanie Spanswick, formed the stirring centrepiece of an impressive orchestral concert given by the Sinfonia of Birmingham.’
(Dr Malcolm Miller; Musical Opinion)
‘A pianist of style and substance, Melanie Spanswick draws from the keyboard an unfailingly rich supply of colours.’
(Dr Alan Walker; Author of the definitive three-volume biography of Franz Liszt)
‘An impressive and enjoyable Dante Sonata’
(The Liszt Society Newsletter)
‘Sensitive with excellent technique ……. the three Liszt works were fantastic, charming, brilliant and faustic in quality’
(Europa Sur; Spain)
Photos by Fabrice Rizzato & Sally Olson