Iain Burnside is a pianist who has appeared in recital with many of the world’s leading singers (“pretty much ideal” BBC Music Magazine). His recordings straddle an exuberantly eclectic repertoire from Beethoven and Schubert to the cutting edge Gramophone Award-winning NMC Songbook. Recent recordings include sets of Rachmaninoff and Medtner songs for Delphian (“the results are electrifying” Daily Telegraph).
He recently performed the three Schubert song cycles with Roderick Williams at Wigmore Hall, and returns to the hall in the 2018/19 season with his major series of Russian Song. Upcoming projects feature Rosa Feola, Ailish Tynan, Joyce DiDonato, Andrew Watts, Lawrence Brownlee, Benjamin Appl, Brett Polegato and Roderick Williams.
Away from the piano Burnside is active as a writer and broadcaster. As presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Voices he won a Sony Radio Award. His play A Soldier and a Maker, created at the Guildhall School, was performed at the Barbican Centre and Cheltenham Festival and broadcast by Radio 3 on Armistice Day (“searing” Daily Telegraph). Iain Burnside is Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend and Artistic Consultant to Grange Park Opera.
Worldwide Management: Askonas Holt
Video & Audio
From The Green Room
19 Feb 16 'Duet' CD With Lucy Crowe and William Berger Delphian
But to call this CD ‘Duet’ is in one small way misleading: there are three vital artists here, not two. The third is, of course, the pianist Iain Burnside. His lightness of keyboard touch, his expertise in balancing and supporting the voices, and his sheer, audible love for this exquisite repertoire are simply matchless.
Jessica Duchen, primephonic, 12 May 2016
31 Dec 15 'Musica e Poesia' CD With Rosa Feola Opus Arte
“Pianist Iain Burnside is supportive and vivid throughout, especially when suggesting the flitting woodland spirits in Respighi’s Deità silvane.”
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 7 January 2016
“Iain Burnside ripples with cool precision through accompaniments that might have been drawn from Debussy’s Préludes and Feola matches him in the gentle, flickering lights in her voice.”
Richard Fairman, Gramophone, February 2016
14 Dec 15 'Nacht und Träume' CD With Ailish Tynan Delphian Records
“If this opening instalment of pianist Iain Burnside’s latest project with Edinburgh’s Delphian label is indicative, we are in for a treat as he accompanies a selection of his favoured singers through the Schubert song catalogue. … Both musicians are on top form and the communication between them as eloquent as you’d wish, with every note crystal clear. A superb disc.”
Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland, 6 December 2015
“In this fresh new disc, soprano Aylish Tynan and pianist Iain Burnside delve deep into these “womanly” songs. … Burnside’s pianism is ever-sympathetic, ever-empathetic. Together they are a joy to listen to.”
Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 21 November
15 Apr 15 Recital With Ekaterina Siurina and Charles Castronovo La Monnaie, Brussels
“…l’accompagnement superlatif de Iain Burnside, formidable créateur d’atmosphères…”
Bernard Schreuders, Forum Opera, 21 April 2015
28 Feb 14 'Rachmaninov Songs' CD Delphian
“Burnside accompanies with his usual tact and intelligence. As a whole, the set is a very distinguished piece of work.”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 24 April 2014
“The star of the show is undoubtedly Burnside, playing throughout with unfailing intensity and sensitivity: voice and piano are truly equal partners here, and the results are electrifying.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 27 February 2014
12 Aug 13 'Poème d'un jour' CD With Ailyn Perez Opus Arte
“Iain Burnside, a fine accompanist throughout, comes into his own here, playing Turina’s long opening Dedicatoria with tremendous nobility and fire.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 8 August 2013
30 Apr 12 A Soldier and a Maker Barbican Pit
“…a compelling blend of music-theatre and drama-documentary.”
Peter Reed, Opera magazine, July 2012
“Iain Burnside is best known as a pianist, but in A Soldier and a Maker he shows himself to be a playwright of surprising technical skill […]. With its varied pace, confident line of action and recourse to comic interludes, Burnside’s vivid narrative has a freedom that transcends the normal confines of verbatim theatre. It is extraordinarily moving.
[…] a production that sweeps the audience towards the terrible desolation of its conclusion, a sadness rendered all the more poignant by the two-hour musical celebration that precedes it.”
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 22 April 2012
“Burnside interweaves [Ivor Gurney’s] bleak biography with some of Gurney’s huge output of music and poetry, though most of it is still unpublished. There is some pragmatic telescoping of events […] but otherwise the play sticks closely to the documented facts of Gurney’s life. The pacing is a little uneven, but his remorseless mental disintegration is poignantly caught. His meeting with Helen Thomas, widow of the poet Edward Thomas […] is beautifully done.
Andrew Clements, guardian.co.uk, 22 April 2012
“Iain Burnside’s A Soldier and a Maker (the ‘Maker’ was Gurney‘s choice of word for his role as a poet and composer) – an ingenious combination of play, music-theatre and staged drama-documentary – deals fully with the tragedy of Gurney’s life. … If anything, the skill with which Burnside has introduced this levelling reality makes Gurney’s story even more moving, and parallel to the sequence of his life’s events is the process by which Gurney’s art has survived him, narrated with extraordinary effectiveness by his sister Winifred.
[The] way in which Burnside lightly evoked any number of elements in Gurney’s life – the type of artist he was, his peers, the uneasy, post-Victorian straining at the emotional seams – is powerfully effective. And, in a very English, ‘blue-remembered’ context of lost this and that, you had a permanent lump in the throat that teetered on the brink of full-scale emotional incontinence. The way the text and Gurney’s songs flowed unselfconsciously in and out of each other was bad enough, the folding in of the songs ‘I’m homesick for my hills’ and ‘This is a sacred city’ loosened the floodgates even more, but there is one specific event, near the end, that was quietly tender and seriously tear-jerking. Judge for yourself.
The simple, haunting designs and seamless direction of a large, multi-tasking cast set the seal on this moving portrait of a very English artist. If you love life, you’ll love this. Highly recommended.”
Peter Reed, classicalsource.com, 20 April 2012