Daniel Tong

Pianist

At a glance

Daniel Tong

Pianist

An extraordinarily sympathetic Schubertian with his crystalline sonority and wonderful tiny rubatos that release avenues of expression even in the simpler moments
Gramophone

http://www.danieltong.com/

Biography —

Daniel Tong was born in Cornwall and studied in London. His musical life is spent performing as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as directing three chamber music festivals and teaching. Praised by The Guardian for his “masterly pianism”, he has appeared at many of the foremost British venues and festivals, including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, St George’s Bristol, and Birmingham Town Hall as well as the Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals. He is frequently heard on BBC Radio and has been broadcast throughout Europe and beyond.

Daniel is Head of Piano Chamber Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire and chamber music coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He has coached and adjudicated for The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall, Gothenburg Conservatoire and Oxford University. In November 2018 he curated the inaugural Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Competition at the Birmingham Conservatoire; a four-day festival including a competition, evening recitals by distinguished jury members, masterclasses and showcases by gifted Conservatoire students.

2015 saw the launch of ‘Beethoven Plus’ with Krysia Osostowicz; the ten Beethoven violin sonatas alongside ten newly commissioned partner pieces. Daniel and Krysia have since given the full cycle at Kings Place, The Sound Festival in Aberdeen, St George’s Bristol, Sheffield University, SJE, Oxford and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. Further cycles and individual concerts are set to continue over the coming seasons and their five-concert series at new Cedars Hall in Wells has been recorded for release on SOMM Records, the first disc of which was released in May 2018. The disc received a rave review from Gramophone Magazine which described it as “…patient, affectionate, warmly conversational, sensitive to harmonic detail… a delight”. Other recent releases have included the Brahms cello sonatas (on period instruments) with Robin Michael for Resonus Classics, and works by David Matthews and Fauré with violinist Sara Trickey for Deux-Elles.

Outside the UK, Tong has recently performed in France, Belgium and Portugal. In 2012 he recorded his first solo CD of works by Schubert for the Quartz label, with Gramophone magazine describing him as “an extraordinarily sympathetic Schubertian.” He also recorded short solo works by Frank Bridge for Dutton and broadcast Janacek’s piano sonata live on BBC Radio 3. His project, ‘Music Discovery Live’ in collaboration with writer and presenter Richard Wigmore, has seen a series of lecture-recital weekends on Beethoven and Schubert piano sonatas as well as many diverse chamber works. It continues throughout 2018 and 2019. In autumn 2012 Daniel was invited to curate an Elgar festival at Kings Place in London and he curated a Dvorak programme there in 2014. In 2014 he presented lecture-recitals on Beethoven piano sonatas at St George’s Bristol.

Daniel’s piano trio the London Bridge Trio has established itself as an acclaimed presence on the UK music scene, often collaborating with further strings and voice to form challenging and inspiring programmes. The trio has recorded two CDs of works by Frank Bridge for Dutton (the most recent of which was shortlisted for the Gramophone Chamber Music Award) as well as Schumann and Faure for Sonimage. A further recording was released to a double five star review in BBC Music Magazine, featuring the two piano quartets by Dvorak. The trio have given performances at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in London, broadcast a live concert from Champs Hill in Sussex on BBC Radio 3 and appeared at Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. In 2016 they presented a four-concert residency at St John’s Smith Square in London, ‘Brahms and His World.’

Daniel has collaborated with the Elias, Navarra, Sacconi, Heath, Callino, Barbirolli, Dante and Allegri quartets as well as singers Raphaela Papadakis, Mary Bevan, Stephan Loges and Paul Agnew. He has a regular duo with baritone Ivan Ludlow. Each year Daniel plays with an array of wonderful individual artists, often at his own chamber festivals in Winchester and also in the Wye Valley.  Founded in 1999, the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival attracts many established chamber musicians to spend ten days making music in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Festival has become a treasured event in the region’s cultural life, also gaining national attention for its creative spirit and artistic vibrancy.

Daniel studied piano with Hilary Coates at school and with Irina Zaritskaya and Paul Roberts in London. He then went on to work with Gyorgy Sebok, Andras Keller and Ferenc Rados at IMS Prussia Cove.

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Reviews —

Patient, affectionate, warmly conversational, sensitive to harmonic detail… these are thoroughly engaging performances... Osostowicz and Tong hold urgency and charm in careful balance.

Gramophone Magazine on Beethoven Plus Vol. 1

An extraordinarily sympathetic Schubertian with his crystalline sonority and wonderful tiny rubatos that release avenues of expression even in the simpler moments. No surprise that [Daniel Tong’s] all-Schubert disc on the Quartz label contains equally notable playing.

Gramophone Magazine

The players succeed unerringly… This is first rate reflective chamber music

BBC Music Magazine

Consistently sound musical judgement. The slow movement is a model of touchingly sincere expression… An excellent CD.

Gramophone

The London Bridge Trio and viola player Gary Pomeroy capture perfectly the diverse qualities of these wonderful pieces, revelling in their Czech folk music influences in bravura displays of passion and commitment.

The Guardian

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  • Ellie Shouls

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