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Terence Allbright

Terence Allbright

Terence Allbright was born in Northampton where he taught himself to play the piano and began composing. He became a teenage organist and choirmaster, then studied piano and composition in London and at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar. While there he worked with oriental music authority Laurence Picken and with Professor of Animal Behaviour W H Thorpe.

Among his early compositions are more than 40 scores which he composed and played or directed for BBC Radio Drama. In 1984 he was commissioned to write a Magnificat for mezzo-soprano, 3 choirs, 2 brass ensembles and organ for the 750th anniversary of Chesterfield Parish Church, and in spite of a fine performance the occasion left a deep feeling of dissatisfaction with his own work and was followed by a prolonged bout of composer's block. This led him to discard everything up to that time, and to begin again. Since 1996 he has been composing continuously and recent works include …isms for piano, two Trios for violin, cello & piano, Manga for bass clarinet & piano, and Snapshots for ensemble. He is currently working on Wondrous Machine – a set of toccatas for organ, and Narratives & Rituals for piano trio with percussion.

As a pianist he has performed at Cadogan hall, Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, in Mexico and Paris, all over South-East Asia, in various parts of the UK, and memorably in The Long Room at Lord's, with mezzo-soprano Ann Murray DBE, with baritone Stephen Roberts, with Chinese soprano Violet Chang, and as soloist. Terence's song recital partners include sopranos Dame Felicity Lott, Jane Manning OBE and Jacquelyn Fugelle; mezzo Susan Legg, tenors Andrew Wicks and Neil Jenkins, and baritone Giles White. Ivan Hewitt, reviewing a recital in Cadogan Hall's Schumann Festival directed by Lucy Parham, wrote "..it was the beautiful way accompanist Terence Allbright played the tiny, pregnant postlude to each song which made the experience truly profound."

He has given many programmes of words and music – especially with actor-readers Gabriel Woolf, Susan Jameson, James Bolam and Simon Brett; and a favourite partner for many years was the late Jill Balcon. Terence has twice performed all 53 pieces in Raynaldo Hahn's Le Rossignol Eperdu – a feat which the Reynaldo Hahn Association director called 'a marathon and a world first'; and a review of his recording, with Stephen Roberts, of Somervell’s Maud cycle declared “Allbright’s pianism is superb throughout”. He given many concerts of chamber music, especially with strings, most recently working with violinist Sebastian Mueller, and with trumpeter Fraser Tannock. Terence was Piano Adviser to the Inner London Education Authority and joint Head of Piano at the ILEA's Centre for Young Musicians; he taught at Coventry Music School, at Seaford College and at Chichester College, and was Artistic Director of the Petworth Festival for eight years. He teaches at Chichester University

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Terence Allbright
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