“The perfect balance of power and beauty that a Bechstein instrument delivers uncovers a whole new world of colour for a performer - This allows the pianist unbridled freedom to express every musical sentiment.”
Martin James Bartlett
Martin James Bartlett’s early public success was as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. This led to engagements with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals across the country.
He made his BBC Proms debut in 2015 performing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed the piece with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms “Last Night” celebrations which was broadcast live from Belfast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Ulster. In the following year, he performed at Her Majesty The Queen's 90th Birthday thanksgiving service, which was broadcast live on BBC One from St. Paul's Cathedral. During this period he received support from the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).
In 2017, whilst still an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music, where he has studied with Professor Vanessa Latarche, Bartlett was a quarter finalist in The Van Cliburn Competition, held in Fort Worth, Texas, attracting a considerable following both live in the hall and online on Medici TV. He is now in the final year of his master’s degree at The Royal College.
During the 2018/19 season, Bartlett made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philharmonia and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in ‘Classic FM Live’ at The Royal Albert Hall playing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2. At the beginning of the season, he competed in the Bad Kissingen Klavier Olympiad, winning both second prize and the audience prize. He was subsequently invited to step in to play the prize-winners concert in the Kissinger Sommer, performing Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 and the Concerto for 2 pianos with Cyprien Katsaris. He also played recitals at the Klavier Festival Ruhr and The Riga Jurmala Fesitval, The Biarritz Festival, and returned to play at the BBC Proms. Earlier in the season, at the invitation of Sir Andras Schiff, he participated in Schiff’s public masterclass at the Salzburg Mozartwoche.
In the opening weeks of the 2019/20 season, Martin James Bartlett has appeared at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival and at the Piano Aux Jacobins in Toulouse. He has also made his recital debut in Paris for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. In 2019 Bartlett has made a return visit to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Wigglesworth, and played again with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Debuts include the BBC Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to the Rising Star series by the Basel Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, and to the Verbier Festival for a solo recital and a duo recital with Timothy Choi.
Photo: © Kaupo Kikkas