OBE, MA, FRAM
Head of Piano
Joanna MacGregor is thought of as one of the world’s most innovative and creative pianists. Artistic Director of Bath International Music Festival since 2006, she was also the curator of the 2010 multi-arts Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in September 2011 became Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music.
Joanna read music at Cambridge University and continued her postgraduate studies with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music, receiving the Hodgson Piano Fellowship.
Appearing as a concert pianist in over 70 countries, she has worked with many eminent conductors — Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them — and orchestras – London and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony and Salzburg Camerata, amongst many others - and 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 through out the world, including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank and the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebow in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
In summer 2012 she performed at two BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and made her debut at Lincoln Center‘s ‘Mostly Mozart‘ Festival. 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, which was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3 and received rave reviews.
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, and enjoys a close artistic partnership with Britten Sinfonia, in programmes ranging from classical music to collaborations with jazz and world musicians.
Joanna was the subject of a South Bank Show on ITV1, and her performances are regularly broadcast on both television and radio, including the Last Night of the Proms (playing Shostakovich’s first piano concerto). She filmed Bach’s Preludes and Fugues for the BBC, and has appeared on television and radio throughout Europe, North and South America and Australia.
Joanna MacGregor has made over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and contemporary music. Her own record label SoundCircus — now in partnership with Warner Classical and Jazz — was founded in 1998 and has released many highly successful recordings of solo and concerto repertoire, including the Mercury Prize-nominated Play, Live in Buenos Aires, Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), concertos by Britten, Gershwin, Schnittke and Bach, and a four-CD Messiaen set.
Joanna MacGregor 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 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 was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours in 2012. In September 2013 she was appointed as a Professor of the University of London at the Royal Academy of Music.