Biography

Melanie Spanswick MMus (RCM) GRSM (Hons) DipRCM ARCM

Melanie Spanswick is a pianist, composer, teacher, author, writer, adjudicator, and presenter.

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 eminent prizes including the Ziff prize for the most outstanding postgraduate pianist, Arthur Bliss Prize, Marguerite Long Chamber Music Prize, a Leverhulme Trust Award, and she graduated with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies.

Melanie has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist at most of the major UK concert halls, and for numerous music societies, university concert series’, and music festivals, including Windsor, Cheltenham, Brighton, Southwark, Prussia Cove.

International performances include appearances throughout Europe and in Canada, USA, Bermuda, and Russia (including a performance at Tchaikovsky’s house in Klin). 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.

In recent years, Melanie has established herself as a respected teacher and educational piano writer: her popular book So You Want To Play The Piano? (Alfred: 2015) has been revised and republished, and The Faber Music Piano Anthology (Faber: 2016), compiled by Melanie, consists of a collection of 78 favourite works.

Play it Again: PIANO (Schott) is a three-book piano course (Book 1 & 2 (2017) and Book 3  (2019)) containing an anthology of 60 graded pieces taking students from elementary to advanced level. Each piece features detailed practice notes, and the course is intended for those returning to the piano after a break. Play it again: PIANO has already received much critical acclaim and international success. Book 4 will be published in 2020.

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. She has co-written the ABRSM Piano Notes series, and has also co-written the performance notes for the London College of Music piano examination syllabus 2018 – 2020.

A committed teacher, mentor and coach, she frequently tutors workshops in Germany, running a bilingual piano project near Düsseldorf, and has given master classes for EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association), is a faculty member at the Overseas Masters Winter Piano Academy held at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and is a tutor at Jackdaws Music Education Trust in Somerset. Melanie is also a faculty member of PIANO WEEK, a touring International Piano Festival and Summer School, and she directs several intermediate level piano retreats every year at Finchcocks Music in Kent (U.K.).

From 2019, Melanie will be an Honorary Master Teacher at the Tom Lee Academy in Hong Kong.

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 adjudicated and gave master classes at the 2016 Chicago Amateur Piano Competition, at the 65th and 70th Hong Kong Schools Association Music Festival, and at the 2017 Performing Arts Festival in Singapore. Melanie recently gave a series of workshops, presentations, and master classes throughout Singapore and Malaysia, also presenting at the UCSI University Piano Pedagogy Conference in Kuala Lumpur. During 2018, she directed workshops and gave master classes in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

As a composer, her compositions have been featured in various publications including Pianist magazine and the International Piano Magazine, and they have been included on British and International Federation of Festivals syllabuses. She made her debut as a composer for Schott Music during 2018, with a group of twelve intermediate piano pieces entitled No Words Necessary.

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.’

(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)

‘Sensitive with excellent technique ……. the three Liszt works were fantastic, charming, brilliant and faustic in quality’

(Europa Sur)

 

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Photos by Fabrice Rizzato, Sally Olson & Erica Worth

 

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