Kemp English

Kemp English is one of New Zealand’s leading concert performers. Much in demand as a solo organist, collaborative pianist, and specialist fortepiano exponent, he relishes the opportunity to work in a diverse array of styles and periods.

His solo CDs ‘Kemp English at the Fortepiano’, ‘Stormin’ Norma’, ‘Stormin Norma 2’ and ‘Stormin’ Norma 3’ (at the Dunedin Town Hall organ) have all met with wide-spread critical acclaim both at home and abroad and have been nominated for ‘Best Classical Album’ in the New Zealand Music Awards. He features regularly on Radio New Zealand, ABC Classics, BBC Radio, Classic FM UK and USA radio networks. His disc 'Melodie' with violinist Robin Wilson was released by Universal Music on their flagship Decca label in 2005 and they have subsequently released two further discs: 'Soirée Musicale' and Schubert’s complete sonatas for violin and piano (gaining a ‘Best Classical Album’ nomination in the 2009 New Zealand Music Awards). Kemp’s most recent solo album 'Schwammerl' (the debut recording of a magnificent 1826 Graf replica fortepiano built by NZ craftsman Paul Downie) is already enjoying excellent reviews. It once again features the music of Schubert, including his sublime last sonata.

Kemp enjoyed a distinguished studentship at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano with Guy Jonson, organ with Christopher Bowers-Broadbent and collaborative piano with Geoffrey Pratley. He later worked with the harpsichordist Virginia Black and fortepianist Peter Seymour. In addition to graduating with honours and gaining all the Academy’s important performance diplomas, he was awarded a number of prestigious prizes and scholarships and subsequently joined the Academy’s teaching staff. Further scholarships led to a Master of Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of York. Kemp made his debut in the internationally renowned York Early Music Festival in 1989 and has since given numerous recitals worldwide. In 2001 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music - an honour recognizing his distinguished performing and teaching career.

In 2005, after 11 years as Executant Lecturer in organ, fortepiano and harpsichord performance at the University of Otago in New Zealand, combined with posts at St Joseph’s Cathedral and his role as the inaugural Fleming Galway Organ Fellow at Knox College, Kemp made the decision to free-lance and concentrate on his increasingly hectic performing and recording career. He continues to tour Australasia and Europe as both a solo and collaborative performer.

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Robin Wilson & Kemp English

Robin Wilson violin & Kemp English piano

Since forming their duo partnership in 2003, Robin Wilson and Kemp English have made a significant mark on the Australasian music scene. Their first recording together ‘Melodie’, was released in New Zealand in 2004 and instantly scored a hit with audiences and critics alike, appearing in the New Zealand classical charts for many successive weeks. Subsequently, the Australian arm of Universal Music re-released 'Melodie' on their prestigious Decca label. Highly successful promotional tours followed both in Australia and New Zealand.

In November 2007 the duo released a follow-up disc entitled ‘Soirée Musicale’ containing an equally appealing selection of salon works. Further tours in 2008 introduced audiences to their latest undertaking, Schubert’s complete sonatas for violin and piano. The duos recording of this set was released through the Ode label in November 2009 and it quickly gained a NZ Music Awards nomination. The Duo continues to fulfil an increasingly hectic diary of engagements.

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“A large audience was alternately wowed, entertained, amazed, and amused by the infectious enthusiasm of concert organist Kemp English.”

“…the hands of a master practitioner”