David Gray (piano)
He studied with Anne Crawford until 2003 when he moved to Edinburgh to attend St Mary’ Specialist Music School. He studied piano there for five years with Richard Beauchamp. David attended the Royal Academy of Music on full scholarships, and worked with Professor Hamish Milne. In this time he completed his Bmus and MA degrees, and in both cases he achieved the highest marks in his year for final exams. In 2014 David was joint winner of the Academy’s Patrons’ Award, leading to a performance of C.V. Alkan’s Concerto for Solo Piano in Wigmore Hall. He has received financial awards from the Caird Trust, Help Musicians and received the 2015 Harriet Cohen Memorial Award.
Despite the theatre organ having been originally invented to accompany silent films, ironically, David has more experience doing this on the piano. His association with silent film accompaniment began when he met Neil Brand – one of the leading silent film piano and orchestral accompanists – in a course introduced by Joanna MacGregor at the Academy. He immediately found an affinity for this, and has since made appearances at the Pordenone Film Festival and Dartington Festival. He regularly assists Neil with the film course at Dartington.
In 2016 David was a Fellow of the piano department of the Academy, and since then has occasionally held classes to coach the pianists in the department. His focus later in the year will be the monumental project of making the first modern recording on the largest musical ever built; the 33,000 pipe organ in Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, USA. The programme will include an eclectic mix of organ literature, new transcriptions, improvisations and arrangements of light music. Once this project is complete in early 2020, David plans to move away entirely from playing organs publicly and turn his musical attention elsewhere. After all, he doesn’t really consider himself an organist; merely a pianist who can’t conduct.
In 2019 David was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
David Is going to play music from Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and his own arrangement of Jupiter from Holst’s Planets Suite (it’s spectacular!).
David Gray’s musical career has a number of sides, all of which contribute to each other. He was brought up in Glasgow and from the age of five developed a deep interest in piano, organ and improvisation
Walt Strony, one of the world’s most highly sought-after theatre organists, commented on David performance: “As I write this, David Gray just finished playing an amazing piano solo. Today we are witnessing the birth of a new concert artist – one with talent, technique and a quiet unassuming personality that will win man
Tickets available from Salisbury Playhouse in late May – £15.
This concert is generously sponsored by Trethowans: