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About Read Gainsford, piano
Known for his insightful introductions from the stage, reaching beyond the footlights to be what a magazine profile described as “Pianist of the People” he pursues connections wherever he can find them. From collaborating with noted oceanographers in presenting “Voice of the Whale” by George Crumb, to consulting with art historians and living artists to create a series of images to accompany performances of Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus; from historical reenactments of the famous piano duel between Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg of 1837, to playing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for live performance by a noted dance troupe, he is committed to reaching audiences in ways beyond the traditional.
Born in New Zealand, he studied at the University of Auckland with New Zealand’s leading teachers, Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer, before moving to London to work at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a pupil of the renowned pedagogue Joan Havill. He moved to the USA to earn a doctorate from Indiana University, under professor Karen Shaw. He has performed widely in the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, making successful solo debuts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as playing in the Kennedy Center, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and others. Recent highlights include performing concertos with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olomouc, Czech Republic, the Frenz ensemble in Paris, and Orchestra da Camera in Champaign-Urbana, and tours across the USA including a fourth concert in Carnegie Hall.
He is a founding member of Trio Solis whose debut recording, “Diamonds in a Haystack” was selected as Critic’s Choice in American Record Guide. He was associated for many years with the unique chamber music center Garth Newel, and has played with many leading musicians including the Audubon and Serafin Quartets, Aaron Berofsky, Yuri Mazurkevich, Richard Stoltzman, Jacques Zoon, Luis Rossi, and many others.
Dedicated to the works of living composers, Gainsford was a member of Ensemble X, a contemporary music group in Ithaca, NY. He has premiered many works including the 3rd Piano Concerto by Ladislav Kubik, which he also recorded with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Brno, and Marc Satterwhite’s Five Rivers of Hades; he has recorded Ellen Taafe Zwilich’s Images for two pianos and orchestra for Naxos. He has worked with many other composers including Steven Stucky, Chen Yi, John Psathas, Christopher Theofanidis, Susan Botti, James Matheson, Steven Burke, Robert Paterson, Mark Wingate, Karim Al-Zand, Diego Vega.
Dr. Gainsford is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard at Florida State University, and is highly in demand as a master-class clinician and teacher having appeared last summer at music festivals at the Chautauqua Institution, Indiana University, University of Illinois, Bennington Chamber Music Conference etc.
About the Guest Artist Series
The 2017-2018 Petrie School of Music season includes the fifth annual Guest Artist Series, a series of free-admission concerts and educational events open to the public. Designed to enhance the other offerings of the Petrie School—the Carlos Moseley Chamber Music Series, ensemble concerts, faculty recitals, student recitals, and the Lawson Series—GAS features an eclectic mix of soloists, ensembles and clinicians.
We gratefully acknowledge the following for support of the Guest Artist Series: The Elizabeth Woodward Cornelson, Class of 1927 and George H. Cornelson III Endowment, the Charles A Dana Foundation Guest Artist Series Endowment, and the Elizabeth Jennings Caughman Music Performance Endowment, and the Department of Theatre and Dance.