Owen Murray

Head of Accordion

GRAM, Dip RAM (Copenhagen), Hon RAM

Accordion - Head of Classical Accordion
Junior Academy - Classical Accordion

Has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras

World premieres of major works by illustrious composers

Dedicated teacher and untiring champion of the accordion

Founder of the Academy’s pioneering classical accordion department

Owen has become synonymous with the emergence of the classical accordion as a recognised and respected instrument on the UK concert platform. He has raised the accordion’s status by commissioning a considerable body of new works and inspiring a new generation of young performers.

Owen has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis, Mark Elder and Jiri Belohlavek, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) under Sir Simon Rattle, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Adam Fischer.

Owen has appeared at many of the world’s leading festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, the BBC Proms, Salzburg International Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music, Aldeburgh, St Magnus Festivals and Salzburg International Festival and Beijing International Accordion Festival.

Among his premieres have been concertos by John Webb, Edward McGuire and John McLeod; the award winning Serenade on the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean for classical accordion and string quartet by Poul Ruders, and numerous solo works. He gave the UK premieres of Astor Piazzolla’s Tres Tangos and Concerto for Guitar and Bandoneon. He has also performed in the UK premiere of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s opera The Last Supper at Glyndebourne and the world premieres of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Figures of Time and Per Nørgaard’s Terrains Vagues.

In December 2010 Owen became the only Briton to be awarded the Silver Disk at the closing ceremony of the 5th International Competition of Bayanists and Accordionists in Moscow.

Personal philosophy of teaching

I encourage my students to seek inspiration from all forms of art, and nature. And at the Academy, they have the opportunity to attend concerts and masterclasses by renowned musicians. I consider all of my students to be unique, and it is that very uniqueness that I strive to develop. To be inspired by other musicians is good, but not to copy. A copy, no matter how good, is worthless; the original is priceless.

Life as a performing musician is a demanding career and it is necessary to have the mental strength to be able to play to one’s optimal level at all times, and to be able to sustain a career over a lifetime. Mental Training for Musicians sessions have helped a great many of my students, many of whom have gone on to enjoy international careers at the highest level.

While I do have an active performing career – 87 first performances to date – my teaching and students are the most important aspect of my musical career.



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