"This zany combination of six pianists is pure musical theatre. The effects mesmerize"
Recognised as one of the world's leading contemporary music ensembles for more than a quarter of a century, Piano Circus comprises six pianists performing specially commissioned works by a wide variety of composers.
A Piano Circus performance is one of the music world’s unique experiences. In their trademark circular setup, combining classical virtuosity and precision with an incisive, contemporary approach, the intensity of their onstage rapport has a compelling effect on the audience; in the words of Gramophone Magazine, “Piano Circus invite the listener into the music itself”. Their unique position on the contemporary music scene and legacy of well over 100 new commissions has created a model emulated by other ensembles inspired by Piano Circus’ eclectic repertoire, unique playing style and deep commitment to new music.
In its 30 year history the ensemble has commissioned works from composers including Graham Fitkin, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Kevin Volans, Dave Maric, Adrian Sutton, Shiva Feshareki, amongst many others, as well creating as their own re-imaginings of works by Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Terry Riley, Heiner Goebbels, Brian Eno, and "impossible" music by Marc-Andre Hamelin and Conlon Nancarrow.
With a following among both classical and contemporary music lovers from around the world, Piano Circus has performed throughout the UK and internationally, at venues including Lincoln Center, the BBC Proms, South Bank Centre (including the “Lang Lang Inspires” weekend) and festivals in Bath, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Huddersfield, Singapore, Banff. They have toured extensively in the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Piano Circus’ discography includes highly acclaimed premiere recordings on Decca, a collaborative project with drummer Bill Bruford and a recording of Stravinsky's Les Noces with the Berlin Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Based in London, where they serve as artists-in-association at Brunel University, the six members of Piano Circus are in their own right soloists, composers, curators, academics, and educators.
“Extraordinary to behold”
"Piano Circus is spectacular. If contemporary music has any equivalent to the Red Arrows, then this ensemble must surely be it." BBC Music Magazine