About Lunchtime Organ Concert with Thomas Trotter and special guest Roger Owens

Birmingham City Organist since 1983, Thomas Trotter is one of the world’s top-ranking virtuoso organists and was awarded the 2020 Queen’s Medal for Music. His fortnightly lunchtime concerts last around an hour and showcase the organ’s sublime delicacy and awesome power – as well as his own technical wizardry – in some of the most inventive programmes you’re ever likely hear

with Roger Owens piano

D Bédard Duet Suite

C Franck Prélude, Fugue et Variation

F Chopin Ballade No 1

G Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Roger Owens has a lovely sound, open and rounded, and shows excellent touch and control at the softest dynamics’ (Tim Parry, International Record Review); ‘Roger Owens is one of the UK’s finest pianists’ (Francis Pott, International Piano, February 2020)

Roger Owens has established himself as one of the most versatile of pianists. His repertoire is unusually wide and encompasses early keyboard music through to contemporary compositions, including several premieres of works by Alun Hoddinott and Christian Jost. His career has taken him to many parts of the world, from Pembrokeshire to Japan, along with regular appearances at the major musical centres of the United Kingdom where his playing has been acclaimed for combining effortless virtuoso technique with a warm tonal palette and vivid sensitivity.

Career highlights have included performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Barbican Centre, Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Bach Choir and the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall, London. His playing at the Freden International Music Festival in Germany was described as ‘music making of overwhelming intensity... an outstanding combination of passion, musical depth and technical expertise’ (Andreas Bode, Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung). He performed both Piano Concertos by Liszt in a single concert as part of the composer’s 200th Anniversary celebrations, took part in concerts at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London to commemorate the Britten centenary, and gave two solo recitals at the Southern Cathedrals Festival in Winchester on consecutive evenings. He also performed three piano/organ recitals at Symphony Hall, Birmingham with internationally renowned organist Thomas Trotter, as well as a recital with counter-tenor David Hurley at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester. His recording of solo piano music by Liszt, entitled Wandering Spirit, (for Claudio Records) was received with widespread critical acclaim.

Roger studied privately with Peter Gould, former Head of Music Programmes at BBC Radio 3, and then at the Royal College of Music with John Barstow MBE, where he was presented with both the Chappell and Tagore Gold Medals as well as being the inaugural recipient of the Queen Elizabeth President Emerita Scholarship. Further awards from the Hattori Foundation and the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, along with a Harriet Cohen Memorial Scholarship, helped to launch his performing career and led to solo recital debuts at St.John’s Smith Square, London and St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. He also won the Royal Over-Seas League Piano Competition and the Bryden Thomson Recital Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition.

He is a skilled communicator whose engaging personality makes him a popular visitor to music societies throughout the British Isles. Roger has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, most recently at Festivals in Spain and Germany as a member of the Eluard Piano Trio with violinist Adrian Adlam and cellist Lionel Handy, and has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and 4, Classic FM, and German radio. Future appearances include a solo recital at the Great Comp Music Festival, where he has returned by popular demand on over twenty occasions, several piano duo concerts with the pianist Catherine Milledge, and a further appearance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham later this year.

Roger joined the Music Department at Repton School in September 2018, where he is currently Head of Instrumental Music, having served as Head of Keyboard at Peter Symonds College, Winchester for almost twenty years. During this time, he forged numerous outreach schemes with local festivals and concerts series’ to create countless student performance opportunities, whilst also running the Chamber Music Programme and Professional Concert Series as part of the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. He remains a Professor of Piano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, where he leads Performance Masterclasses, and his students have won awards for diploma, recital and concerto performances. He is also an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and is in demand as an adjudicator, most recently at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Roger currently lives in Repton with his wife, two children and his two dogs, Benno and Danny, named after the legendary pianists, Benno Moiseiwitsch and Daniel Barenboim!

I really admire Roger Owens’ piano playing. It is not only technically masterful, but also beautifully phrased and poetic’. (Sir Roger Norrington, conductor).

Booking Info

£7.50. Under 30s £5

Free (limited) ticket for Disabled Visitor’s Carers, as per Access Scheme

Wheelchair Users and Disabled Patrons

If you require a wheelchair position (subject to availability) please call the Box Office on 0121 289 6343.

A range of tickets and services are available under our Access Scheme. To find out more, or to join the Access Scheme, email boxoffice@bmusic.co.uk or call us on 0121 289 6343.

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Getting here

  • Symphony Hall
    Broad Street
    Birmingham
    B1 2EA
  • More info