John McCabe - Piano

Recordings Contemporary British Piano Music Volume 2

Photo: John McCabe

John McCabe - a biography by Michael Kennedy
If one wished to cite what one meant by an all-round musician, the name of John McCabe would be the first of contemporary examples to present itself. Composer of works in many forms (except the large-scale opera), virtuoso pianist, writer, administrator (seven years as director of the London College of Music), organiser of fellow-composers, these add up to McCabe, born in Huyton, Liverpool, in 1939 and trained as a musician at Manchester University and the "old" Royal Manchester College of Music which he entered in 1960 as a piano pupil of the late and great Gordon Green and a composition student with Thomas B. Pitfield. He was in the next college generation after Birtwistle, Goehr, Ogdon and Maxwell Davies and he followed Ogdon's tradition by performing his own works at examination concerts as well as, for example, Elliot Carter's Piano Sonata and Copland's Variations. Under the auspices of the Principal, Frederic Cox, he acted as répétiteur for some of RMCM's famous opera productions and even, at Cox's request, arranged some of Beethoven's music such as the Piano Sonata Op.31,No.1, as sung recitative in place of spoken dialogue in Fidelio! It was a thorough all-round training for an all-round musician
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Recordings Contemporary British Piano Music Volume 2

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This page was last updated on 6 July, 2005