“There are many accompanists who are very good pianists, but there are not many pianists who are good accompanists!”
– Irwin Gage
A good accompanist can make or break a performance – he or she supports the soloist without overshadowing the performance and holds things together if the soloist stumbles.
I have considerable experience in accompanying all types of instrumental and vocal ensembles, large and small, at all levels. In schools I have worked with children taking exams, entering festivals and performing in concerts. As an organist, I have also accompanied church choirs, which demands a great deal of musical sensitivity. Recently, I have worked with Nina Shoroplova, a soprano soloist in Vancouver, Canada on a varied programme of music for concerts in the Vancouver area.
From my perspective as a soloist, I believe that accompanists come in many different flavours and colours. Jill Knight is one of those rare pianists whose talent shines brightly, all the time. She can work with a singer to perfect a piece because she has a good ear and excellent technique and training, she’s patient, and she’s willing to devote the practice time until the piece is “right.” Being a singer herself, she phrases her playing accordingly, allowing a singer to feel supported and comfortable, and able to flow with the music.
– Nina Shoroplova ARCT, soprano soloist and holistic healer (Nina Shoroplova)
I am available to act as an accompanist for concerts, exams, festivals or regular rehearsals for an individual performer, a small ensemble or larger group. For an exam or festival, especially with children, I usually suggest two rehearsals before the event, particularly if the performer is unused to working with an accompanist. This can be at my home in Welwyn Garden or I can travel to you. There should then be another warm-up/run-through at the venue just before the performance on the day. Please contact me for accompanying rates, which will include a small fee towards the cost of travel to and from the performance venue.
I also enjoy performing a wide variety of music in many different styles and genres. For a time before moving to Canada, I was keyboard player with a covers band in Welwyn Garden City (check out their website at Resonance) and particularly enjoy playing jazz and swing music.
You can hear me playing one of Chopin’s Nocturnes (Op. 72, No. 1) in St. Paul’s Church, Vancouver (April 2012) by following this link; Chopin Nocturne on Sound Cloud