Graham Fitch

Pianist, Teacher, Tutor, Adjudicator, Presenter and Writer

Based in SW London, Graham maintains an International career not only as a pianist, but also as a teacher, adjudicator and writer. His workshops and classes, which he gives all over the world, have received high praise for their creative and illuminating approach to the subject.

First Prizewinner in the Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition, he graduated with honours from the Royal College of Music in London as Hopkinson Gold Medallist. His teachers at the RCM included Stephen Savage, Peter Wallfisch & Roger Vignoles.

A Fulbright Scholarship then took him to the United States, where he completed his studies with Ann Schein and Nina Svetlanova, as well as participating in weekly classes with Leon Fleisher.

During much of the 1990s, Graham Fitch’s career straddled the Atlantic with solo and chamber performances in England (where he taught piano at the Purcell School, St. Paul’s Girls’ School, and the Centre for Young Musicians) and in Europe and North America. The New York Times spoke of his playing as “unalloyed pleasure”. In the UK he was recitalist at the Bournemouth Festival, and appeared in repeated engagements with the London Chamber Soloists on London’s South Bank. US activities included concerts with his trio, the Trio dell’Arte, various solo appearances (including a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Merkin Hall during the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death) and a performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with Jonathan Haas.

From 1997 to 2008, Graham Fitch was Head of Keyboard at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, from where he travelled to Australia, New Zealand and the USA to perform and teach. Graham gave recitals, masterclasses and keynote addresses at four successive Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conferences across Australia from 1999 to 2005. He was in residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2006, giving a public masterclass, directing a performance class and teaching the Head of Piano’s studio.

Graham is a principal tutor for the Piano Teachers’ Course UK, Britain’s flagship training programme for piano teachers. He is also a tutor at the Summer School for Pianists in Walsall, and gives regular workshops for pianists and teachers in London, at Jackdaws and Finchcocks. This summer, he will be running a piano holiday in St Laurent, France, which he hopes will become a regular annual event. Graham is a regular contributor to Pianist Magazine, with articles on technique, style, practising and performance as well as producing an ongoing series of video demonstrations on YouTube. Graham was commissioned by Trinity College London to write the teaching notes for a series of graded piano pieces, Raise the Bar (recently published) as well as for the advanced grades for the new syllabus.

Graham teaches privately in South West London, and counts among his students professional pianists, piano teachers, adult amateurs as well as youngsters. Schedule permitting, Graham’s philosophy is to be available to anyone who wishes to study with him who is serious about developing their piano playing.

Music Studies
Manhattan School of Music, New York, USA
Mus (Piano Performance)
Mannes College of Music, New York, USA
Special Studies in piano; teaching assistantship in piano
Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, USA
Special Studies in piano and harpsichord
Royal College of Music, London

(Hons), class 2:1; ARCM (Piano Teaching); Certificate of Advanced Musical Studies (Piano Performance)

Piano Studies with – Peter Feuchtwanger, Nina Svetlanova, Ann Schein, Peter Wallfisch, Stephen Savage & Roger Vignoles

Masterclasses with – András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Támás Vásáry & The Beaux Arts Trio

Special Studies in Harpsichord with – Ruth Dyson, Shirley Mathews & Kenneth Gilbert


Workshops at Finchcocks

Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 1HH

Graham is running several courses at Finchcocks in Kent during the year. The surroundings are beautiful, and the food and accommodation both top notch. You will have all your creature comforts here!

The January and March courses are already full, but you can put yourself on the waiting list. It is not uncommon for someone to drop out at the last minute.

For details please click here

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Three Day Advanced Course alongside Lucinda Mackworth-Young and Dave Hall. Places are still available

Tuesday 19th – Thursday 21st February.

For details and to register, click here

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Upper Intermediate Course

May 10th  @ 7:00 pm – May 12th @ 4:00 pm

This course has just come online and there are places available.

For details and to book, please click here

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Five Day Summer Course for Advanced Pianists with Graham and Penelope Roskell.

July 29th – August 2nd

For details, click here


Academic Awards, Scholarships and Prizes
New Jersey State Excellence in the Arts (1989)
British Schools and Universities Foundation (1984)
Fulbright Scholarship (1982-4)
Countess of Munster Scholarship (1982)
Martin Musical Scholarship (1982)
BUNAC Award (1982)
Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition (first prize) (1982)
Hopkinson Gold Medal and Sydney and Peggy Shimmin Prize (RCM) (1981)
Belgian Government Scholarship (harpsichord classes with Kenneth Gilbert) (1980)

Pianist
Graham maintains an international profile as a pianist, and has performed on concert series in venues throughout the UK, as well as across Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Singapore. His solo repertoire embraces all style periods, including contemporary music (he has had works written for him) but perhaps with a special interest in the Baroque and Classical periods. He has also had a varied career as a vocal accompanist and chamber music player, at one stage with his own regular trio. This year he will be giving several performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations – in London, Walsall and Saint Laurent, France.

Teacher
Graham has taught at the Purcell School in London, Centre for Young Musicians, St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and was the Head of Keyboard at the University of Cape Town for over a decade.

Nowadays Graham runs a very busy private studio in South West London. He works with professional pianists and piano teachers, adult amateurs as well as young people and children. He regularly prepares his students for performances, examinations and diplomas – one of his protégés has recently won a scholarship to study the piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London. 

During his long career as a teacher of piano, Graham has produced a number of prizewinning pianists now active in the profession – as performers and teachers. Among those with busy performing careers include Daniel Grimwood, James Baillieu, Kathy Tagg, Gemma Webster and Bradley Burgess.

Tutor and Workshop Presenter
Graham gives regular piano courses and workshops in the UK. Recently he taught at the Ulverston International Music Festival and is looking forward to presenting two new courses at Finchcocks later this year. Graham is a regular tutor at The Summer School for Pianists, Walsall and gives an annual weekend course at Jackdaws Music Education Trust. This summer Graham is embarking on a new venture, a piano holiday in Saint Laurent, France (piano is the daily focus but we will be enjoying all the local area has to offer, including walking, food, and of course wine). He runs regular courses for pianists and piano teachers on pedagogical subjects in London (Wimbledon, and at the Craxton Studios).

Adjudicator
As a registered adjudicator with the British and International Federation of Festivals, Graham is in constant demand to adjudicate piano sections of major festivals in the UK and beyond (including a visit to the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival). Recent festivals include the Cheltenham Festival, Abingdon Festival and the Croydon Festival.

Writer
Graham has been a regular writer for Pianist Magazine, contributing feature articles since 2009. The YouTube video demonstrations that accompany his articles are hugely popular. He is the author of the successful blog, www.practisingthepiano.com, which has led to the publication of the Ebook series, Practising the Piano, and his online subscription site, the Online Piano Academy, which he founded in 2016. He is a regular author, contributing numerous articles and video demonstrations to the site.

Graham wrote the teaching notes for Trinity College London’s Raise the Bar series, the success of which led to an invitation to write the notes for the new syllabus advanced grades (6-8). Graham has recorded video walk-throughs on the entire syllabus, soon available on Trinity’s website.


Publications

Ebook Series, Practising the Piano (www.practisingthepiano.com), 2010

Pianist Magazine Regular contributor since 2009

Slow Practising: Techniques, Processes and Strategies

  • Pianist magazine, issue number 47, April-May 2009;
  • South African Music Teacher, July 2002;
  • The Studio: quarterly magazine of The Music Teachers’ Association of New South Wales Limited, August 2002;
  • Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, Brisbane, July 2001; Musikus 30(1): UNISA, July 2001; 

Publications with Presentations

Aspects of Style in the Four Main Periods

  • Four keynote addresses: Victorian Music Teachers’ Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia, January 2007

The Keyboard Music of Jean-Philippe Rameau: is this Viable on the Piano?

  • Keynote address, 7th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, Adelaide, Australia, July 2005

South African Piano Music: an Overview

  • Keynote address, and in the Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Convention, Melbourne, July 2003 (publ, 2004)

Practical Pedalling

  • Keynote address, and in the Proceedings of the Inaugural Western Australian Piano Pedagogy Convention, Perth, July 2002

The Three Rs of Practising

  • Keynote address, and in the Proceedings of the Inaugural Western Australian Piano Pedagogy Convention, Perth, July 2002

Scales: a Practical Philosophy for Piano Teachers

  • Musikus, 1999

Bach on the Piano

  • Keynote address, and in the Proceedings of the 4th Australian Piano Pedagogy Conference, Perth, Australia, July 1999

Scales and Arpeggios: a Whole-Arm Approach

  • ISME Conference, Pretoria, July 1998
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