Ian Pace is a pianist whose uncompromising committment to musical modernism and unique combination of intellectual conceptualism and spontaneity in performance have won much admiration. He was born in Hartlepool, England in 1968, studied at Chetham's School of Music, The Queen's College, Oxford and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Juilliard School in New York. His main teacher, and a major influence upon his work, was the Hungarian pianist György Sándor, a student of Bartók.
Based in London since 1993, he has pursued an active international career, performing throughout Britain, Europe and the US. His absolutely vast repertoire of all periods focuses particularly upon music of the 20th and 21st Century, in particular the works of contemporary British, French, German and Italian composers as well as the 'classics' of modern music by composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Barraque, Xenakis, Ligeti, Nono, Kagel and Cage. He has given world premieres of over 100 pieces for solo piano, including works by Richard Barrett, Luc Brewaeys, James Clarke, James Dillon, Pascal Dusapin, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy (whose complete piano works he performed in a landmark 6-concert series in 1996), Christopher Fox, Volker Heyn, Howard Skempton, Gerhard Stäbler, Jay Allan Yim and Walter Zimmermann. He is renowned for ambitious and ingenious programming, and for his ability to surmount the most transcendental of pianistic challenges, often previously considered impossible. He has presented cycles of works including Stockhausen's Klavierstücke I-X, and the complete works of Kagel, Lachenmann and Ferneyhough. His many performances of the standard piano literature combine elements of historical performance with a modernist perspective to produce often startingly original interpretations. In addition to his activities as a soloist, Ian is the Artistic Director of the ensemble Topologies and regularly plays with other soloists and groups, most notably the Arditti Quartet.
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Acclaimed pianist Ian Pace is heard on this disc in an unapologetically avant-garde programme featuring Brian Ferneyhough's gnomic Lemma-Icon-Epigram and Richard Barrett's dense and complex Tract, as well as Chris Dench's complex Topologies, James Erber's You done torn your playhouse down and Christopher Fox's driving lliK-relliK (a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis).
The Wire 2001 Records of the Year
The Wire 2002
Recording date: 1-2 September 1997
Recording venue: Chapel Studio, Tilburg, Netherlands
Engineer: Bert Kraaijpel
Producer: Richard Barrett
Editing & mastering: David Lefeber
Cover image: Francois Hall
(P) 2001 NMC Recordings Ltd