Ian Carmalt MA, Pianist
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|Piano tuition and coaching for singers in Canterbury and East Kent||
Training in musicianship
|Background piano music||
Ian has been playing the piano for the Faversham Choral Society's rehearsals, and piano or harpsichord for many of its Christmas and summer concerts, since November 1996. From spring 2002 until the choir ceased meeting at the end of 2005, he added duties as accompanist for Chatham Choral Society (a.k.a. Medway Cantabile) to his weekly work.
He was born and brought up in Birmingham, where he showed early interests in piano playing and composition, and studied music up to A level at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys. After leaving school, Ian worked for the NHS Supplies organisation, keeping up his musical and general artistic enthusiasm by singing in choirs, helping to run musical organisations, and attending a large number of concerts, festivals and summer schools.
Having left the NHS in 1993, Ian studied at Anglia Polytechnic (now Ruskin) University, Cambridge, whence he graduated with a BA (1st Class Hons) in Music. During this period, he began to take a serious interest in accompanying and playing chamber music, which led him to move to Canterbury to study at Christ Church College (now University) with Kathryn Page and Derek Hyde for his Masters degree in this subject.
Ian is now a freelance ensemble pianist, who works as accompanist to the Faversham Choral Society, and as pianist for ballet classes and exams at the Margaret Giles (Wye) and Page-Mason (Broadstairs) Schools of Dancing, and at the Ashford branch of Dance Warehouse. He is active as a piano teacher, accompanist and coach for singers and instrumentalists in the Canterbury and East Kent area. Until their singing and instrumental competitions ceased in 2011, he was for over ten years an official accompanist to the Kent Competitive Festival, but by that time he had begun to appear variously as pianist, composer and speaker in Under the Spotlight, a theatrical offshoot of Faversham Choral Society. He is also the regular organist at Sturry parish church, near Canterbury.
Outside school term time, Ian was a house pianist for Music at Rendcomb for three years. Similar courses for which he has worked include Summer Music Summer School and The Complete Singer. A highlight came in 2005, when he was the pianist for Georgina Colwell's English Song Weekend , in which Ivor Gurney and Margaret Wegener were featured composers. He later became the regular pianist for these weekends, and was booked for a music theatre course (cancelled because of insufficient bookings) in August 2008.
In the 2002 Canterbury Festival, Ian organised and performed in a concert featuring Brahms' Liebesliederwalzer, Joubert's Divertimento for piano duet, and solo songs.
His interest in unusual and unjustly neglected repertoire (especially British) has led Ian to introduce Alwyn's Rhapsody for piano and string trio to numerous chamber music enthusiasts at summer schools, and to perform the piece at such schools in Aberystwyth (1999) and Winchester (2003).
The best of Ian's compositions are available from www.scoreexchange.com . For an autobiographical essay about his compositions, click here . Here is a video of an extract from his performance of Pretty Ring Time, from his Seasons in Ragtime.
The highlight of his career as a vocalist was performing a tenor part in Berio's Sinfonia for Anglia at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (May 1996). Ian keeps up his interest in singing by turning out for the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir and The Canterbury Singers , whose librarian he is and whose catalogue, along with those of many other choirs, is available from www.gerontius.net
Stage appearances include small operatic roles such as Dr Crabbe (Peter Grimes), the tenor soldier worker in Milhaud's The Abduction of Europa, and the sage in Hindemith's Hin und Zurück, all at Anglia Polytechnic University. Ian has also acted in plays: at Anglia in plays written by fellow students, and as a pianist in Joshua Sobol's Ghetto; and more recently as Brother Plasterer in Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! at the Arden Theatre, Faversham. He appeared at the Arden again in May 2006, as Lady Macbeth in the Farndale Avenue production of the Scottish play.
Ian welcomes enquiries from anyone who is looking for an accompanist for concert performances, exams, auditions or rehearsals, or is seeking coaching or piano tuition, or background piano music for functions.
Other links and interests
Friends of the Earth
Scottish Country Dancing