Brian Ellsbury

Brian Ellsbury

Brian studied with Beate Popperwell and Patrick Piggott, both students of the legendary pianist Julius Isserlis. Brian first became acquainted with the music of Morfydd Owen as a student at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the 1980’s although it wasn't until he attended a lecture by Dr Rhian Davies several years later whilst working as an accompanist on a University of Wales lieder and opera course that Brian became aware of Morfydd's story and he has remained fascinated ever since. Brian is the first pianist to record Morfydd Owen's solo piano music; the 1st volume was released on iTunes in July 2014 and is also available on Spotify and Amazon digital; these recordings were also used on the recent S4C television documentary about Morfydd Owen as part of the Mamwlad series presented by Ffion Hague.

He is musical director, pianist and key collaborator of I loved you and I loved you, Sweetshop Revolution's dance music drama production about the life and work of Morfydd Owen which has just completed an extensive UK tour of nearly 40 performances to rave reviews by all the national press  “Something special” ★★★★★ The Times, A miniature gem” ★★★★ The Observer /The Guardian, “I loved it”  ★★★★ Exeunt, “A work of beauty and quiet brilliance” LondonDance. He has just edited the first edition of the Morfydd Owen Sonata for piano in E minor published by Ty Cerdd and has also released a new album in November 2016 "Brian Ellsbury joins forces with Elin Manahan Thomas on this sensitively recorded disc from Ty Cerdd to offer a poignant collection of songs and piano pieces spanning Owen's tantalisingly promising career..........Wild contrasts are honed to quixotic perfection"  ★★★★★ BBC Music Magazine.

Other performances include engagements for the BBC as piano concerto soloist playing Mozart and Shostakovich concertos "Mozart piano concerto no.21 was beautifully performed....." The Independent. He has also performed on several occasions with the London Swing Orchestra and appeared with Julian Clary and Immodesty Blaize in their burlesque revue The Immodest Tease Show. He worked previously on another Sweetshop Revolution production “Dulce et Decorum” as Musical Director and pianist where he created the score and performed on stage throughout the  show. “This piece is clever, funny, serious and filled with a cornucopia of bright ideas” The TimesThe seven man team has it all; originality, anarchy, wit and heartbreak realised by talented performers who know how to put it across” Sunday Express. TV work includes numerous commercials, including one for Sony PlayStation where he arranged the music which won a silver award at the Cannes advertising film festival and another where he was pianist and musical director for a TV campaign featuring Stephen Hawking to raise awareness of motor neurone disease. He also worked on the ITV1 comedy drama Mike Basset-England Manager as pianist and musical director. His work has also been broadcast by BBC Radio including interviews and live performances on Radio 3 and some of his solo piano recordings have been broadcast globally on the World Service. More recently Brian has been working with mezzo-soprano Sioned Terry, they performed the headline concert at Malfest 2016 and are scheduled to record an album together in 2017. Teaching posts include several London schools and also the University of Reading where he was appointed professor of piano in 2003.

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