Roy Howat is internationally renowned as a pianist and scholar whose concerts, broadcasts, lectures and masterclasses regularly take him worldwide
Born in Ayrshire, Roy studied at the RSAMD in Glasgow before taking double First Class Honours at King’s College, Cambridge. While making a special study of French repertoire in Paris with the legendary Vlado Perlemuter, he undertook doctoral research that culminated in a revelatory book, Debussy in proportion (1983). Since then Roy has combined an international performing career (sometimes on violin and viola as well as piano) with scholarship. Keyboard Research Fellow at the Academy since 2003, he is also professorial Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Visiting Professor at University of Adelaide.
Among Roy’s publications are over 30 chapters in books ranging from Schubert, Chopin, Fauré, Debussy, Caplet, Ravel and Bartók to issues of performance practice, and over 50 articles for scholarly or performing journals. A second book, The Art of French piano music: Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Chabrier (2009), was named ‘2009 Book of the Year’ by International Piano and ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Classical Music. He was also responsible for the English edition of Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger’s classic Chopin, Pianist and Teacher. Roy’s critical editions include Chabrier’s piano music, numerous volumes of piano and chamber music for the Œuvres Complètes de Claude Debussy (of which Roy is one of the founding editors) and Chopin’s Etudes for the new Peters Edition Complete Chopin. For Peters Edition he has produced numerous editions of Fauré piano and chamber music and co-edited, with Academy Associate Professor Emily Kilpatrick, the first critical edition of the Complete Songs and Vocalises of Gabriel Fauré. This AHRC-funded project was based at the Academy and involved workshops, performances and public launch concerts with vocal and piano students and professors across the organisation. Volume 1 of the series received a ‘Best Edition 2015’ award at the 2015 Frankfurt International Music Fair.
In the 1980s Roy toured Australasia performing Bartók’s Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion with Erzsébet Tusa, the former duo partner of Ditta Pasztóry-Bartók. His performances with the Panocha Quartet of Prague, featuring his dramatically revised 2006 Hamelle-Leduc edition of Fauré’s First Piano Quintet, have brought the house down in venues worldwide including the Wigmore Hall.
Roy's publications are listed on his website.