Gary Branch | fortepiano
Gary Branch studied piano at Trinity College of Music, London with Anthony Peebles and Christine Croshaw graduating with a GTCL Honours degree and Postgraduate Performance Certificate. He won numerous prizes including The Elsa and Leonard Cross Memorial Trust Scholarship for a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22. This award enabled him to continue his studies in Amsterdam with Jan Wijn, Head of Keyboard at the Sweelinck Conservatoire.
In Amsterdam, Gary became very interested in early pianos and their link to the great Classical and Romantic composers. Returning to England he discovered Finchcocks Musical Museum of early keyboard instruments. Since 2004 Gary has become closely involved with Finchcocks – demonstrating, performing and workshop teaching. In 2010 Gary was appointed Educational Co-ordinator until the museum closed in 2015. He is presently connected to the Richard Burnett Heritage Collection and the Finchcocks Charity for early keyboard restoration, performance and education.
Gary has performed widely, both the UK and abroad including with many distinguished artists including Neil Jenkins (tenor), Steven Devine (early keyboard specialist), Mark Milhofer (tenor), Kate Semmens (soprano) and Kathleen Kemler (American flutist). He is also Musical Director of the John Kerr Award for English Song, a charity founded in 2005 to promote performance of the English Song repertoire. It also provides bursary prizes for young singers and accompanists who take an interest in the genre.
Broadcasts include BBC local radio and BBC Television’s Great Railway Journeys series at Finchcocks House, broadcast in January 2016 and focusing on Broadwood and Sons square pianos and their link to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.