Owen is the 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, Sir Mark Elder and Jiri Belohlavek; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle; Philharmonia Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins; and Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Adam Fischer.
He has appeared at many of the world’s leading festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, Salzburg Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, St Magnus 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 Bandoneon, Guitar & String Orchestra. He has also performed 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 Nørgård’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.