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A Million Streams!

30 November 2019

Solitary Highland Song, the opening track of William Howard's album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs has now been heard over a million times on streaming platforms, a great landmark for a recently composed piece. You can hear Howard Skempton's beautiful piece here and purchase the whole album here

Howard Skempton recording for Orchid Classics

19 July 2019

In August William Howard will record three works by Howard Skempton, including his recently premiered 24 Preludes and Fugues. The album, William’s third for Orchid Classics, will be released in February and launched at a concert at Kings Place on Wed 12 February, which will feature the London premiere of the 24 Preludes and Fugues. He will also perform a selection of Skempton’s Images, one of the other works on the album, at Leighton House, London on Thursday 7 November. See Diary for further details.

Howard Skempton Premiere at Hay Festival

30 April 2019

William Howard will give the world premiere of 24 Preludes and Fugues by Howard Skempton at the Hay Festival on 27th May, the culmination of a project conceived over a decade ago. The exquisitely crafted miniatures by one of the UK's most individual composers work their way through all the major and minor keys in just over twenty minutes. The recital will open with a selection of William Howard's recently commissioned Love Songs and also include works by Liszt, Mendelssohn and Chopin. Further details 

Return to Tetbury Goods Shed

4 April 2019

Following his successful piano weekend there in April last year, William Howard returns to Tetbury's beautiful new Arts Centre for a recital on Saturday 13th April on their recently acquired Steinway. A programme of romantic piano works includes Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso, Schubert's second set of Four Impromptus, Chopin's First Ballade, Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse and four pieces by Fauré.  Tickets and further details

 

Recital at Hellens Sunday 10th Feb

19 January 2019

William Howard will give a recital at Hellens Manor, near Ledbury, Herefordshire at 4pm on Sunday 10th February for Hellens Music, including works by Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy, Judith Weir, Janáček and Chopin. Tickets and further details. It will be the final event of a project that has included workshops with pupils at John Masefield School, Ledbury, who will perform in a concert with William Howard at Hellens at 7pm on Friday 8th (admission free). William will also give a piano workshop on Saturday 9th February open to pianists at all levels. 

 

Concerts in Bologna

6 November 2018

William Howard has just returned from Bologna, where he gave two performances of Respighi's Piano Quintet with the Australian String Quartet in the Accademia Filarmonica's Sala Mozart. He also gave two musically illustrated talks at the Museo Internazionale di Musica featuring piano music by composers associated with Bologna, including some rarely heard repertoire from the 19th century (Maria Giorgi Brizzi, Stefano Golinelli, Giuseppe Martucci and others). The Festival 'Music in Bologna' was promoted by Martin Randall Travel. 

More news for Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs

20 October 2018

A recent review in The Arts Desk says of the album“It makes for dizzying listening, its stylistic range as broad as the types of love celebrated in each piece...William Howard’s chameleon-like ability to get under the skin of each work is impressive, and he's given fulsome recorded sound. Documentation is exemplary.” Several tracks from the album have been featured in playlists on streaming platforms. Solitary Highland Song by Howard Skempton (pictured) has now been streamed over 700,000 times on Apple Music

Four-star review in BBC Music Magazine

2 October 2018

"Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs is a gorgeous collection, and it's beautifully played here....Last year I heard Howard play ten of these pieces, equally sensitively, interspersed with pieces from the original [romantic] album. They work as well in concert as on disc." This four-star review by Rebecca Franks appeared in the September issue of the BBC Music Magazine. 

You can read more about William Howard's new album in the Cross-Eyed Pianist blog: "William Howard brings clarity, warmth, sensitivity and gracefulness to each piece and demonstrates his acute ability to shift between changing moods and styles to highlight the individual character of each piece. Recommended."  Buy album

New album released

15 June 2018

William Howard's new album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs was released on the Orchid Classics label on 1st June. It features premiere recordings of sixteen new pieces, fourteen that William has commissioned and two winning pieces from his Love Song Composing Competition Details of the composers and pieces in this "scintillating sequence" (Sunday Times) can be found here

Buy album

Album Launch at Leighton House

28 April 2018

William Howard will give a recital on Tuesday May 8th to launch his new album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs, which will be released by Orchid Classics on 1st June. The programme will include a selection of pieces from the new album, including four London premieres, together with works by Schumann and Chopin. Further details and tickets

Competition Winners' pieces now on YouTube

2 April 2018

The winning pieces of William Howard's 2016 Love Song Composing Competition have now been recorded and can be heard on YouTube ahead of their release on his forthcoming album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs in June. Over-25 winner Chia-Ying Lin's Chanson Perpétuelle can be heard here. Under-25 winner Frederick Viner's Herz an Herz can be heard here. Details of forthcoming performances of love songs, new and old, can be found on the Diary page of this website. 

Looking back...and forwards

2 April 2018

Read a recent contribution by William Howard to the Gramophone Magazine online blog here

Schubert Ensemble 35th Anniversary and final months

4 January 2018

Founded by William Howard in January 1983, the Schubert Ensemble is now entering its final months, having made the decision to finish in June this year. The Ensemble's farewell London concert will take place at Wigmore Hall on Wednesday 21 March. It's last ever concert will take place privately on 30 June. For full details of the Ensemble's remaining thirty or so performances and of William Howard's forthcoming solo performances, click here 

Cheltenham Festival

15 July 2017

A recital at the Cheltenham Festival on 9 July featured the final four premieres of William Howard's collection of piano love songs. In a programme devoted almost entirely to newly written pieces, William gave the first performances of Falling Pairs by Nico Muhly, Roses in a Box by Elena Kats-Chernin, For Fiametta by Michael Zev Gordon and Love on the Escalator  by Piers Hellawell (the last two are in the photo, either side of David Matthews, whose piece A Love Song, was also performed). A review in The Times (11th July) described the love songs as 'a worthwhile collection, gorgeously played'. 

More Love Song Premieres

5 May 2017

William Howard's Love Song Project continues with three premieres of piano love songs  at Leighton House Museum, London W14 8LZ on Tuesday 23 May, including 'fragile' by Master of the Queen's Music Judith Weir, 'Solitary Highland Song' by Howard Skempton and 'O du Liebe meiner Liebe' by Bernard Hughes. He will also play the two winning pieces of his love song composing competition by Frederick Viner (UK) and Chia-Ying Lin (Taiwan). Tickets and further details. A report on his hugely successful concert at Hoxton Hall on 26 April can be read on the Cross-Eyed Pianist blog

Eleven Premieres at Hoxton Hall Wed 26 April 7.30pm

14 April 2017

William Howard's Love Song project continues with a concert of newly written pieces for solo piano at Hoxton Hall, a beautiful Victorian music hall in London N1. He will give the first performances of the six winning pieces of his Love Song Composing Competition, together with premieres of a further five pieces that he has commissioned from Joby Talbot, Robert Saxton, David Knotts, Pavel Zemek Novák and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry. The evening will offer a fascinating sample of different contemporary musical languages, with introductions by Judith Weir, Piers Hellawell and Bernard Hughes, all of whom formed part of the judging panel for the competition.

Further information and tickets

Love Song Competition results announced!

14 February 2017

Valentine's Day brings the results of William Howard's Love Song composing competition. Congratulations to the winners Chia-Ying Lin (over-25) from Taiwan for her piece Chanson Perpétuelle, and to Frederick Viner (under-25) from Britain for his piece Herz an Herz. Full details of the runners up, William Howard's blog and events information go to www.inlovewiththepiano.com

New Love Song Website

13 February 2017

A new website with details of William Howard's Love Song Project has just been launched at www.inlovewiththepiano.com. Check it out for details for his composing competition, commissions, forthcoming events and blog. William Howard is also now on Twitter

Schubert Ensemble series at Kings Place continues with four great 20th century quintets

15 January 2017

The Schubert Ensemble's piano quintet series at Kings Place, Quintessentials, continues with concerts on Thursday 9 February (Dohnányi Piano Quintet No.2, Elgar Piano Quintet) and Thursday 16 March (Shostakovich and Korngold Piano Quintets). While the Elgar and Shostakovich Quintets are well established in the repertoire, the Dohnányi and Korngold are less often heard...and not to be missed! Both works share a rich and colourful late romantic language and are firm favourites of the Ensemble. Following the pattern of the series, each concert will begin with one of the Ensemble's highly acclaimed Behind the Notes sessions, in which members of the Ensemble explore and illustrate the works about to be performed. 

Book tickets for 9 Feb   Book tickets for 16 March  Full series details

Sunday 8 January Piano Master Class at Hawkwood College

6 December 2016

William will give an informal master class in the beautiful surroundings of Hawkwood College, near Stroud, Glos GL6 7QW on Sunday 8 January 9.30am-5.00pm. Places for pianists of intermediate and advanced standard are still available. Listeners are also welcome. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Further details and booking information can be found here

Love Song Composing Competition

4 November 2016

The Love Song composing competition, launched by William Howard at the beginning of June, closed on 31 October and has received 526 entries from 52 different countries, exceeding all expectations. More information can be found on his Facebook page.

Schubert Ensemble Piano Quintet Series at Kings Place

9 October 2016

The Schubert Ensemble launched a six-concert series of piano quintets at Kings Place, London on 6 October. This series fulfils a long-standing ambition of the Ensemble to present some of the best know works in the repertoire alongside less familiar works, which are all favourites of the players. All the concerts open with one of the Ensemble's acclaimed Behind the Notes sessions, in which distinctive features of the works are discussed and illustrated from the stage. The opening concert featured Bruch's rarely performed Piano Quintet alongside Brahms's great masterpiece. The next concert, with Fauré's First Quintet and Franck's erotically charged Piano Quintet, will take place on Thursday 10 November.   Book tickets      Full series details

William Howard on BBC Radio 3 In Tune

15 June 2016

William's live performance of Suk's Love Song, Cheryl Frances-Hoad's Love Song for Dusty and Schubert's Ständchen (arr. Liszt) and interview with Sean Rafferty can be heard again here. An interview with William has also just been publshed on the Presto Classical website. 

Sixteen Love Songs album now released!

3 June 2016

William's new album Sixteen Love Songs is now available in shops and online. Unusually for a classical recording it is a featured album on iTunes Store music page. It has been selected as “Drive Discovery” on Classic FM for the week beginning 6 June (see review). Tune in to Drive with John Brunning each day between 6-7pm to hear a selected track from the album. William will perform two pieces from the album, together with Cheryl Frances-Hoad's Love Song for Dusty, live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune after 6.00pm on Tuesday 7 June. 

William Howard launches composing competition

31 May 2016

To coincide with the release of his album Sixteen Love Songs on 2 June, William has launched a competition for composers to write a love song for solo piano of no more than four minutes' duration. Winning composers will receive cash prizes and winning pieces will be performed and recorded. Patron of the competition is Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir CBE. Further details 

Recent press articles about Love Songs Project

28 May 2016

William has recently written blogs for The Gramophone,New Dots,and The BBC Music Magazine, describing different aspects of his Love Songs Project. There is also an article by Phil Sommerich in the most recent edition of Classical Music Magazine (you can order a copy here) and a piece in City A.M.  

Two Cheryl Frances-Hoad premieres

27 May 2016

William Howard will premiere a new love song for solo piano by the highly acclaimed composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad at the Forge, Camden Town on Monday 6 June. This is the second piece to be written for William's commssion project Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs. Tickets and further details. Exactly a week later he will join the Schubert Ensemble in the premiere of her quintet for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano,The Whole Earth Dances, at the Spitalfields Summer Music Festival. Tickets and further details.

Trailer for new album just released

27 April 2016

A trailer has just been released for William Howard's new album Sixteen Love Songs, due to be released in early June. Filmed at Hellens Manor, Herefordshire. View here

First of new Love Song commissions completed

19 March 2016

William Howard has just received the score of A Love Song by David Matthews, the first of sixteen commissions planned as companion pieces to those on his new album of sixteen romantic love songs. It will receive its first performance at Leighton House, London on May 3rd.  Read more about the Love Songs Project

16 Love Songs album to be released on Orchid Classics

1 February 2016

William Howard's new recording of Sixteen Love Songs for solo piano will be released on the Orchid Classics label in June 2016. The album features some of the most beautiful and memorable pieces in the romantic piano repertoire, many of which have become well known through film scores, arrangements and popular songs. Read more

William Howard at the Bermuda Festival

1 March 2015

In February 2015 William Howard was amongst a distinguished line up of performers featured in the Bermuda Festival's 40th Anniversary programme. A review of his recital, in which he played works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin and David Matthews, can be read here 

New recording released by Nimbus

31 January 2015

A very personal selection of romantic repertoire, plus two new works by David Matthews, featured in the Sunday Times '100 Best Recordings of 2014' Read more

A Five-Minute Ring Cycle!

1 July 2013

David Matthews' brilliant five-minute arrangement of Wagner's Ring Cycle, was recently given its first public performance by William Howard at the Spitalfields Summer Festival. Read more

60th Birthday Concert at Spitalfields Festival

1 July 2013

William Howard celebrated his 60th birthday at the Spitalfields Summer Music Festival with the world premiere of a new work, Four Portraits, by David Matthews, commissioned to celebrate the composer's 70th birthday in 2013. Read more

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