British-Indian pianist Keval Shah is at the forefront of a new generation of collaborative artists.
Recognised for the artistic and intellectual originality of his playing and approach to programming, Keval has performed at many of Europe’s leading concert halls and festivals, including Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Aldeburgh Festival and the Oxford International Song Festival. Keval is Lecturer of Lied at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, an appointment which made him the institution’s youngest professor, and which is testament to the strength of his artistic vision and his gifts as a communicator.
Highlights of recent seasons include a recital at Wigmore Hall with Karita Mattila, Schubert’s Winterreise with Roderick Williams, Saariaho songs with Anu Komsi, in the presence of the composer, and a debut recital with Theodore Platt at the Mozarteum Stiftung.
Keval's competition successes include First Prize at the Hugo Wolf Academy International Art Song Competition 2022 and Second Prize at the Copenhagen Lied Duo Competition 2019, both with Theodore Platt, and winning the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform in 2017 with Michael Mofidian. Keval’s performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Danish National Radio (DRP2), and he has recorded for Decca Classics. Since 2019, Keval has been the official pianist of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
Keval read Music at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and then studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction, and from the Academy with the prestigious DipRAM in 2017. In 2022 Keval was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), in recognition of outstanding contribution to the music profession.
'My time at the Academy was absolutely critical in helping me to discover and hone my artistic identity. After a brilliant, but mainly academic, undergraduate experience, my two years on the MA programme at the Academy gave me the space and time to focus on my playing, building and refining my technique at the same time as learning much of the core song repertoire. Being surrounded by fellow pianists and a cohort of talented singers, I found myself in the ideal environment to forge musical partnerships and friendships which I now carry with me through my career. The enormous amount of performance opportunities, both in the building and at external venues like Wigmore Hall, gave me the stage experience I desperately needed, and through that I learnt so much about what it means to perform, and what it takes to do it successfully. I was able to make the most of all the opportunities and possibilities of Academy life because I had the constant support and supervision of my professors. Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau helped me to establish the strongest possible technical and musical foundation, and then taught me how to move beyond that foundation, allowing me to discover a physical and expressive freedom which has continued to expand the possibilities of my playing. The most special thing about the Academy for me has always been the atmosphere of creativity and love for this art form. Being exposed every day to such an energetic environment has constantly renewed my passion for and dedication to what I do – stepping through the doors of the Academy is the best possible way of reminding oneself of the great privilege and joy of making music, and I am forever grateful for everything the Academy has been for me.'Keval Shah