Roderick Chadwick

Roderick Chadwick

AcademicResearch Programmes


Postgraduate Tutor

Roderick Chadwick was born in Manchester and educated at Chetham’s School of Music, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Hamish Milne. He was awarded the Mosco Carner Fellowship in 1997-8 and joined the academic staff of the Academy in 1999. Since then he has combined his teaching and research interests with an active career as a soloist and chamber musician, particularly in the field of contemporary music. He has performed at many of Britain’s most prominent venues including the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where he made his Southbank debut in 1996 playing the Tippett Piano Concerto. As an undergraduate in Cambridge he performed the complete piano works of Olivier Messiaen, an experience which sparked his continuing research interest in Messiaen’s music and that of his students.

Roderick’s long-standing duo partnerships with violinists Chloë Hanslip and Narimichi Kawabata have seen him perform widely in Europe, the United States and Asia, including recitals at Seoul Arts Centre, Auditorium du Louvre, Schloss Elmau and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. He is a founder-member of the avant-garde Ensemble Plus-Minus, with whom he has appeared at the Huddersfield, Ultima (Oslo) and TRANSIT (Leuven) festivals, and is also a regular guest pianist with the chamber ensemble CHROMA. Many of his performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, as well as on national radio in France, Japan and South Korea, and he has recently featured on CD recordings on the Innova, Guild, and Victor (Japan) labels.

Research Profile

My research activity focuses upon the music of Messiaen and his students, and the performance of new and recent repertoire for piano. Messiaen’s eclecticism provides the opportunity to combine analysis with broad historical enquiry as well as performance issues — this was in evidence in two papers given to the Messiaen Centenary Conference in Birmingham in 2008 and Centenary Festival in London: ‘La Fauvette des jardins and the spectral attitude’ and ‘La Fauvette des Jardins: the executant takes flight’. The former has been revised and expanded for inclusion in a forthcoming Messiaen volume published by Ashgate.

As a pianist my recital programmes often employ a similar historical perspective and aim to shed light on other notions such as location-specificity in music (by placing Richard Barrett’s Lost and Murail’s Territoires de l’Oubli alongside Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux and Debussy’s Estampes, for example). This approach has in turn led to investigations of spectral awareness in music pre-1970, now forming part of a larger project with composer Alex Hills that began with the RAM research event ‘Spectralism before its time’ in May 2010 and culminated in the premiere of a work for piano and ensemble with Ensemble Plus-Minus in 2012. Other composers I have recently worked with include Newton Armstrong (premiere of Study in tiled light for two pianos and electronics, paired with Stockhausen’s Mantra at King’s Place in September 2010), Gloria Coates, Michael Finnissy, Nicola Campogrande, Matthew Shlomowitz, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Bryn Harrison, Trond Reinholdtsen and Michel van der Aa. I gave the Italian premiere of Julian Anderson’s Etudes at the inaugural ‘Cambi di Stagioni’ festival in Monforte d’Alba, and I premiered a work by Philip Cashian for the Quatour pour la fin du Temps combination at Kings Place.

My most immediate Messiaen-related project centres around Max Ernst and ways of reading the Catalogue d’oiseaux, as explored in lecture-recitals during 2011. I aim to integrate research, teaching and performing to the fullest extent and in addition my roles at the Academy I participate in composition workshops at institutions round the country, including GSMD, Bath Spa, Huddersfield and RHUL.

Recordings, links and publications:

Gloria Coates — Lyric Suite for piano trio ‘Split the lark - and you’ll find the Music’, with Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Neil Heyde, Naxos 8.559666
David Gorton — Melting Forms for piano trio with Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Neil Heyde, Metièr msvcd92104 (wp recording)
Nicola Campogrande — solo piano music, forthcoming release on Itunes (wp recordings)
Peter Ablinger — Voices and Piano

Matthew Shlomowitz Fast Medium Swing (world premiere)
‘La Fauvette des Jardins and the ’spectral attitude’ – projected inclusion in Olivier Messiaen: Technique and Influence, eds. Christopher Dingle and Robert Fallon (Ashgate), forthcoming

In September 2013 he was given the title of Reader at the Royal Academy of Music.