Siwan Rhys (piano)
With roots in Creigiau in south Wales and Llansannan and Llandderfel in the north, pianist Siwan Rhys currently lives in London and specialises in the performance of contemporary music and collaboration with composers.
She has performed at prestigious British venues including the Barbican Hall, St David’s Hall, Purcell Room, Venue Cymru, St John’s Smith Square, and Brangwyn Hall, and as part of the Aldeburgh Festival, the Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise, Brighton Festival, North Wales International Music Festival, Occupy the Pianos, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, and the City of London Festival. She has also performed in more alternative venues such as the Oval Space, Testbed1, and David Roberts Art Foundation with initiatives such as Nonclassical, New Dots, Bodycorps, and Multi-Story.
Recent engagements include a series of performances of Charles Ives' Concord Sonata in France as part of the Oeuvres Monstres series, at St John's Smith Square's Occupy the Pianos festival, and as part of a lecture recital with world-renowned Charles Ives scholar Professor J Peter Burkholder. Other highlights include Feldman's four-hour work For Philip Guston at the Principal Sound Festival, touring Rolf Hind's new opera Lost in Thought where she plays principally inside the piano, and several performances of Stockhausen's Kontakte with percussionist George Barton including at St John's Smith Square and as the headline act for Nonclassical's Pioneers of Electronic Music festival.
A large part of Siwan’s work is related to the performance and commissioning of new works. In 2013 she commissioned and premièred six new pieces for two pianos and percussion, and in 2014 her piano and percussion duo premièred four new pieces commissioned for them by New Dots. She has recently worked with composers Richard Baker, Rolf Hind, Steve Potter, Mark David Boden, Benjamin Tassie, and Mark Darvill-Evans on solo and chamber music, recordings, and new operas.
Also a regular ensemble and orchestral pianist, Siwan has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Mahogany Opera Group, Rambert Dance, and Multi-Story Orchestra, working with conductors François-Xavier Roth, George Benjamin, Jesús López Cobos, Diego Masson, Richard Baker, and Elgar Howarth amongst others. She has been broadcast on BBC1, S4C, BBC Radio 3, and BBC Radio Cymru.
She studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Conservatoire National de Rennes, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with teachers Richard Ormrod, Alexandre Léger, and Rolf Hind. She also studied with Florent Boffard at the Académie Internationale de Courchevel in 2010. At the Royal Welsh College she won all the prizes for piano, and in France she became an Entente Cordiale Scholar. In 2011 she was awarded the National Eisteddfod's Blue Riband, and subsequently vested into the Gorsedd of Bards in 2012. Her studies were kindly funded by the Arts Council of Wales, the Guildhall School Trust, The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust, The Phyllis Simons Award, The Worshipful Company of Innholders, and the James Pantyfedwen Foundation. She was selected for Yehudi Menuhin's Live Music Now scheme in 2012, and was a Guildhall Artist Fellow specialising in contemporary piano music in 2013-14.
Siwan teaches at the London Contemporary School of Piano.