Joanna MacGregor, one of the world’s most innovative and creative pianists, is currently Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and Festival. In 2015-2106 she is Visiting Musician at Oriel College, Oxford. She was, until 2012, Artistic Director of Bath International Music Festival, curator of the 2010 multi-arts Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and of Aventures, the 2012-2013 orchestral series at Luxembourg Philharmonie.
As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over seventy countries and worked with many eminent conductors — Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them — and orchestras, including London and Sydney Symphony orchestras, Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, the Berlin Symphony and Salzburg Camerata. She has premiered many landmark compositions, ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
She made three appearances at the 2012 BBC Proms, two of them televised (including Hugh Wood’s Piano Concerto and Messiaen’s Turangalîla), and made her debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Lincoln Center, New York in 2012. She is currently performing the complete Mozart concertos, and performed the complete Chopin Mazurkas to widespread acclaim in 2010. Known for her Bach interpretations, she was invited by Sir John Eliot Gardiner to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2013, broadcast live. This season’s schedule includes performances in Europe, Japan, China and USA.
Joanna MacGregor made her conducting debut in 2002 and has solo-directed concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Hallé Orchestra, and enjoys a close artistic partnership with Britten Sinfonia. Her many collaborations include tabla player Talvin Singh, Brian Eno, folk artist Kathryn Tickell, jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Arabic singer and oud virtuoso Dhafer Youssef, the choreographer Kim Brandstrup, and the cultural historian Marina Warner. Joanna was the subject of a South Bank Show on ITV, and her performances are regularly broadcast on both television and radio, including the Last Night of the Proms.
Joanna MacGregor has made over thirty solo recordings, ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to Cage and Piazzolla. She has received Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music and Murray Edwards, Cambridge, as well as Honorary Doctorates from Bath University, Bath Spa University, the University of Cambridge, and the Open University. From 1997 to 2000 she was Professor of Music at Gresham College, London, where she gave a series of public lectures. She is currently “Visiting Musician” at Oriel College, Oxford.
She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2012 Jubilee Honours, and in September 2013 was appointed a Professor of the University of London at the Royal Academy of Music.
” …then came one of the day's highlights: pianist Joanna MacGregor's exceptional interpretation of the Goldberg Variations. With her tone as poised as it was subtly refined, she explored the many planes on which Bach's structure operates, highlighting its protean variety of texture in a performance that touched the sublime.”
Bach Marathon, Royal Albert Hall, April 2013 George Hall, The Guardian, 03 April 2013
“Joanna MacGregor filled the Goldberg Variations with dancing energy and occasional moments of outright eccentricity, and in a brilliant stroke made the final aria emerge magically from the echoes of the previous piece.”
Bach Marathon, Royal Albert Hall, April 2013 Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraoh, 03 April 2013
“The [Hugh Wood] piano concerto…still suits MacGregor perfectly…her performance had drive, wit and glittering precision…”
BBC Proms 2012 Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 July 2012
“…played by wildchild of the piano world, Joanna MacGregor, for whom the [Wood] piano concerto is written…it really showed off MacGregor's manifold strengths as a musician…
BBC Proms 2012 Julia Savage, Bachtrack, 03 August 2012