Biography

An overview of Virginia's life in music

Virginia started playing the piano aged 7. She was lucky enough to be given her first grand piano at age 12 – a Bechstein – which she still has and plays with pleasure. Aged 17, she played Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham Town Hall.

Having won numerous piano competitions, she then won the F E Beckett piano scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

At the Royal Academy she studied piano under Gordon Green and harpsichord under Geraint Jones. Virginia studied piano for 4 years as principal study, winning both the Lillian Davies Beethoven Prize and the Dove Prize; she also gained the inter-college Raymond Russell prize for harpsichord performance and was awarded DipRAM for her final recital.

Virginia made her debut as a solo recitalist, aged 20, at the Wigmore Hall, London and has given numerous performances on the South Bank in the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.

She has played at many international festivals, including the Göttingen and Carmel Bach festivals, and the Herne and York early music festivals. She has pursued a worldwide concert schedule including the Paris Festival D'Été, the Prague Spring Festival and a series of recitals in the United States.

Virginia has continued to nurture many talented musicians at the Royal Academy as professor of harpsichord, chair of postgraduate diploma studies and senior postgraduate tutor. She has also given numerous external master classes and performance classes including Oxford University, Eton College and the Ivy League Universities.

In addition to live performances, she has made many recordings for both radio and television around the world and in England has been featured as 'Artist of the Week' on BBC Radio 3. Her library of CD recordings has been recognised through Editor's Choice in The Gramophone and Critic's Choice in Classic CD.

Virginia is rediscovering her roots as a pianist, with recent recitals in England and Europe of baroque and classical masterworks. In September 2012, at the David Josefowitz Recital Hall, London, she gave the World Premiere performance of 'The calm, the storm' a piano piece specially written for her by Oliver Davis.

In December 2013 she released a double CD of the six Bach Partitas (BWV 825–830) played on the piano and is currently recording a series of Scarlatti Sonatas.

Copyright © 2014 Virginia Black

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