Specialist song accompanist and chamber musician
Regular collaborator with vocal rising stars
Director of Leeds Lieder
Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this field. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, he has also been labeled as ‘the cream of the new generation’ by The Times. He performs and records with many of the world’s finest singers in major music centres across Europe and North America.
Joseph enjoys recitals with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Kate Royal, Matthew Rose, Carolyn Sampson, Toby Spence, Ailish Tynan and Roderick Williams. He regularly collaborates with rising stars from the younger generation and in 2012 he formed the Myrthen Ensemble to further explore the song repertoire with regular duo partners Mary Bevan, Clara Mouriz, Allan Clayton and Marcus Farnsworth. Their debut CD as an ensemble will appear on the Signum Records label.
Joseph appears at major music centres including, in Europe: London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cologne Philharmonie, Zürick Tonhalle, Luxembourg Philharmonie and Dublin National Concert Hall. He made his New York debut at the Alice Tully Hall accompanying Sarah Connolly in a recital described in the New York Times as ‘superlative…everything a song recital should be’. Elsewhere in the Americas he has appeared at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Centre, San Francisco’s Nourse Theatre and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. He is a regular guest at Festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Brighton, Cheltenham, City of London, Edinburgh, Munich, Oxford Lieder, Saintes, Stuttgart, Three Choirs and West Cork. Joseph has a special relationship with the BBC through his work with their New Generation Artists Scheme and as such has made numerous live broadcasts of solo, chamber and song repertoire for BBC Radio 3, including twice being invited to curate his own weeklong series of lunchtime concerts. His critically acclaimed discography includes ‘Fleurs’ with Carolyn Sampson (BIS Records, selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine), and numerous recordings for Champs Hill Records, including ‘Elgar in Sussex’ with Dame Felicity Lott, ‘Tell me the Truth about Love’ with Amanda Roocroft, the lieder of Ludwig Thuille with Sophie Bevan and Jennifer Johnston and the complete Purcell songs as realised by Britten with Ruby Hughes, Allan Clayton and Matthew Rose.
Born in Gloucestershire, Joseph graduated with an MPhil from the University of Birmingham before studying piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Upon graduation he held Junior Fellowships at the Royal College of Music as well as at the Academy, had the title of Associate conferred upon him by the Academy, and took up the post of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge, where he now curates an imaginative song recital series as well as directing the University’s Lieder Scheme.
Joseph’s competitive successes include the Accompaniment Prizes of the Wigmore Hall International Song, Kathleen Ferrier, Richard Tauber, Royal Over-Seas League and Geoffrey Parsons Awards. In Germany he was awarded the ‘Best Lied-Pianist Prize’ at the International Schubert Competition LiedDuo. In 2014, Joseph was appointed Director of Leeds Lieder, ‘one of the most exuberant and far-reaching festivals of art-song in the UK’ (The Times).