Described as a ‘story-teller’ (Gramophone) and ‘the ideal romantic’ (Limelight), Australian‑British pianist Jayson Gillham is internationally admired for his compelling performances and warm communicative style.
“I am a musician because I believe in the power of music – to heal, to connect us to our emotions, indeed to foster kindness and compassion. Music is my greatest teacher and its greatest lesson is empathy. – Jayson Gillham
Gillham’s recent concerto highlights include performances with the London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, the Hallé, English Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Nashville Symphony, Wuhan Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, and all of the Australian and New Zealand orchestras.
Conductors include the late Sir Jeffrey Tate, Sir Mark Elder, Asher Fisch, Johannes Fritzsch, Ludovic Morlot, Eivind Aadland, Michał Dworzynski, Arvo Volmer, Dmitri Matvienko, Christian Kluxen, Alexander Shelley, Nicholas Carter, Jessica Cottis, Dane Lam, Benjamin Northey, Joshua Weilerstein, Giordano Bellincampi and Giancarlo Guerrero.
In recital, Gillham has appeared at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Saffron Hall, Royal Nottingham Concert Hall and the Barbican in the UK, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Montreal’s Pollack Hall, the Steinway Hall in New York, and the major Australian recital venues including Sydney’s City Recital Hall and Melbourne Recital Centre.
Gillham’s live recording of the complete Beethoven piano concertos, an all-Australian cast with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conductor Nicholas Carter and released on the ABC Classic label, met with critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2020 ARIA award for Best Classical Album.
‘…a young artist meeting a major task with a full flush of fresh inspiration…There is not a single moment when these live recordings lose their spell on this terrific three-disc set’, writes Graham Strahle in The Weekend Australian.
Gillham’s growing affinity with the music of Beethoven stretches back to his 2014 win at the Montreal International Music Competition where he performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, resulting in an immediate invitation from Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to perform and record the concerto at the Sydney Opera House.
Recording for ABC Classic since 2015, Gillham’s discography includes Medtner’s neglected first piano concerto paired with Rachmaninoff’s second, which was selected as Editor’s Choice by Presto Classical.
His 2019 solo album ‘Romantic Bach’ is a selection of original works and virtuoso piano transcriptions. Gramophone Magazine’s Jeremy Nicholas concludes: ‘There is not a single bar in the 19 tracks that doesn’t sound lovely. He is a storyteller… Many of these performances must bear comparison with famous recordings of the past by the likes of Rachmaninoff, Myra Hess and Dinu Lipatti. Gillham comes up trumps every time.’
Chamber music forms an integral part of Gillham’s career. He has collaborated in performance with the Jerusalem, Goldner, Carducci, Brentano, Ruysdael, Orava and Flinders String Quartets, and on tour with Manchester Collective.
Recital partners have included Joris van Rijn, Timothy Ridout, Andrea Obiso, Juliana Koch, Nicole Car, Étienne Dupuis, Deborah Humble, and Sarah-Jane Brandon.
Recent festival appearances include the Edinburgh Fringe, Verbier Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Musica Viva Huntington Estate Music Festival, Brighton, Two Moors, Deia International (Majorca), and the Linari Classic (Tuscany)
Gillham’s detailed understanding of piano technique and engaging communication style with both students and audience has seen him in increasing demand as an educator. He regularly presents masterclasses in prestigious schools and music colleges across the UK and Australia.
He has served on the jury of the Birmingham International Piano Competition, BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, and is a member of the Music Board of the Tait Memorial Trust.