"The sound pianocircus produce is...out of this world,
utterly compelling and technically mind-blowing. In fact, the depth
of concentration and understanding involved in performing these highly
complex works is nothing short of inspiring."?
The Press and Journal, October 2009
Piano Circus formed in 1989 to play Steve Reich's Six Pianos, and has since created a repertoire of over one hundred works; the majority are written specially for the ensemble and include pieces by Kevin Volans, Graham Fitkin, Brian Eno, Louis Andriessen, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Terry Riley, Nikki Yeoh and Heiner Goebbels. Piano Circus has released seven CDs with Decca and now has three CDs available on its own label; the latest release is 2009's Skin & Wire featuring drummer Bill Bruford.
The six pianists have a broad range of experience, from traditional western classical music to jazz, pop and rock, improvisation and composition. Between them the members of pianocircus work in collaboration with film and video makers, theatre and circus performers, dancers and choreographers, and in a variety of educational settings. Recent projects have included presenting the BBC Proms Family Music Intro for Multiple Piano Day broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Keyboard Collective Project (sound festival, Scotland) and their new role as Associate Ensemble for Young Composer of Dyfed.
The group performs throughout the UK and internationally, with appearances including the South Bank Centre, London; Lincoln Center, New York; Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Bath International Festival, the Big Chill Enchanted Garden Festival, the Hong Kong and Singapore Festivals, the Istanbul Festival, NYYD festival (Estonia), Musica Ficta Festival (Lithuania), the CREA and 38eme Rugissants Festivals (France), Settembre Musica ( Italy) and in Canada (Banff), the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
The ensemble recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, curating the 20in09 Festival, supported by Arts Council England and PRS Foundation for New Music, with a series of events across London including Hoxton Hall, Oxford House, Mossbourne Community Academy, Brunel University, Trinity College of Music and Ether Festival at Southbank.
Piano Circus is fundamentally committed to music education for students and musicians of all ages
and abilities. Over the last 24 years, Piano Circus has presented numerous workshops in schools,
universities and concert venues in the UK and overseas to critical acclaim.
The education programme has included projects at UK summer schools Dartington International Summer School, Dartington Plus, Vale of Glamorgan Festival, workshops in Indonesia, France, Budapest, composition and technology sessions with coMA and workshops for London music Universities and Colleges.
Most recent projects include a project in partnership with Newcastle and Durham Universities, as part of I3, the composition strand of the Centre for Excellence in Music and Inclusivity. 2009-10 workshops have included the Exhibition Rd Festival for young composers and performers, presenting the BBC Proms Family Music Intro for Multiple Piano Day, Keyboard Collective Project (sound, Scotland) and their new role as Associate Ensemble for Young Composer of Dyfed.
Piano Circus has made numerous radio and TV appearances
including the BBC's National Lottery Show, The Score, What's That Noise?,
The Late Show, Radio 3 In Tune, Resonance fm, Late Junction, Mixing It, Radio
4 Kaleidoscope, World Service International Recital and Meridian, as well as
appearances on Classic FM and numerous stations worldwide.
UK features on Piano Circus have appeared in The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, Time Out, BBC Music Magazine, The Wire, Scotland on Sunday, Yamaha Education Supplement, Classical Music Magazine and The Piano.