FRANCES WILSON

Providing a perspective on music from the eyes and ears of a real musician

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichordist


Frances Wilson is a pianist, piano teacher, music PR, and writer on music and pianism as The Cross-Eyed Pianist.

An active and experienced musician, she has an insider’s feel for the material with which she is working

At the core of all her activities is a passionate love of music and the piano. Through her writing, publicity work, teaching and performing, Frances seeks to support musicians and encourage people of all ages to enjoy and engage with classical music.

A pianist who actually writes and talks openly about being a pianist

Frances Wilson has established a strong presence in the UK classical music world through her blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist (founded in 2010) and her many contacts with musicians through the respected Meet the Artist interview series. Highly active on social media, she enjoys a large following online (c10,000 followers), and is regarded as “an important voice in the piano world” and in the wider sphere of classical music. As a musician and keen concert-goer herself, she is sympathetic to the processes involved in concert preparation and planning, and audience engagement and retention.

Frances has a unique combination of attributes and abilities, combining pragmatic administrative skills and an eye for detail with creativity and an ability to think outside the box with a proactive attitude

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PUBLICITY

Frances Wilson handles publicity for the following artists and arts organisation

Tom Hammond – conductor

After his selection by Sir Charles Mackerras as the first Junior Fellow in Conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (2006-08), Tom Hammond has developed a rich and musically diverse career that encompasses working with top-flight professionals, youth orchestras and non-professional musicians, leading education projects, producing recordings, and directing a major new festival.

Winning awards and critical acclaim en route, Tom has built a reputation for developing ensembles musically whilst engaging in thoughtful programming, championing living composers, developing relationships with outstanding soloist, and establishing outreach programmes.

In January 2020 Tom is involved in “an absolute dream of a project” when he conducts the Orchestra of the Swan in an all-Sibelius programme, featuring violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen.

Visit Tom Hammond’s website


Helen Anahita Wilson – pianist and composer

Critically acclaimed pianist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and musical explorer, Helen Anahita Wilson released her debut solo album BHOOMA in 2018. Her compositions are inspired by jazz and Asian musics, and fuse Indian textures, Persian rhythms and Japanese minimalism. Her performances are intimate, sensuous occasions.

May 2019 saw the release of her second album DIWAN in collaboration with master Indian tabla player Shahbaz Hussain. Download a press release

an inspired pairing” (The Wire)

hypnotic…….a spiritual connection with sound” (Qwest TV)

Visit Helen’s website


James Lisney – concert pianist

James Lisney enjoys a rich musical life, moving seamlessly from concerto and recital soloist to chamber musician, song accompanist and pianist director, and his career has taken him to many prestigious venues and gained invitations to appear with major orchestras. Highlights include residencies at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. His recordings (on Naxos, Bis, Somm, Olympia and Carlton) have gained the highest recommendations. Recent seasons have seen him perform Schubert cycles in the Oxford International Piano Series, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the first Schubert piano sonata cycles on the Indian subcontinent, and his recital debut at the Prague Rudolfinum

The main focus of James Lisney’s’ 2019/20 season is ‘Endgame’, a series of concerts exploring the notion of Late Style through the music of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin – four composers who are particularly close to his heart, and whose late piano music is some of the most fascinating, intriguing and endlessly satisfying in the pianist’s repertoire. Download a press release

As a member of the Lisney Trio, he will also be performing with his daughters Joy and Emma in programmes featuring some of Beethoven’s best-loved ensemble works and Messiaen’s monumental Quartet for the End of Time (with Michael Whight, clarinet).

Visit James Lisney’s website


Joy Lisney – cellist, conductor, composer

Praised for her stylish playing, musical maturity, formidable technical finesse and keen advocacy for new music, Joy Lisney is one of the most exciting young musicians to emerge in recent years in a busy career combining the cello with composing and conducting.

She has been performing internationally since her teens, at leading venues including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, St. George’s Bristol and the Southbank Centre, in concerts featuring some of the best known works for cello as well as specially-commissioned new music and her own compositions. She premiered own composition ‘ScordaturA’ for solo cello in 2017 at St John’s Smith Square as part of the Park Lane Group concert series, and in June 2019 she performed her own transcription of Bach’s iconic Chaconne from the D minor violin Partita to a sold out Purcell Room at London’s Southbank Centre.

The current season includes performances of the Elgar Cello Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto (with Emma Lisney, violin), the premiere of several new compositions for chamber ensemble, and concerts at Temple Music Foundation, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, St George’s Bristol, the Purcell Room, and St John’s Smith Square. In November, Joy conducts Seraphin Chamber Orchestra, which she co-founded with her sister Emma, in Busoni’s Piano Concerto and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances at St John’s Smith Square. Download a press release

Joy also performs with her sister and father in the Lisney Trio.

Visit Joy Lisney’s website


7 Star Arts

7 Star Arts presents a diverse range of unique and original productions, often combining words and music, and words, music and art, designed for festivals, arts centres and small-scale venues.

7 Star Arts works with a number of internationally-renowned classical artists, including pianists Viv McLean, Anthony Hewitt and Clara Rodriguez, violinist David Le Page, and cutting-edge jazz musicians of the younger generation.

From the life stories of the great composers to the history of cabaret, experience something different with 7 Star Arts……

Visit the 7 Star Arts website


PIANO TEACHING

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img_22812From 2008 to 2014 I studied privately with Penelope Roskell, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Trinity-Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, achieving Distinctions in Licentiate and Associate level performance diplomas. I now study with acclaimed teacher, pianist and writer Graham Fitch. In addition, I have had coaching and mentoring with Canadian pianist and teacher Alan Fraser and concert pianist James Lisney, and have participated in masterclasses with Murray McLachlan, Stephen Savage and Charlotte Tomlinson. I attend courses and seminars for advanced pianists and regularly engage in continuing professional development to enhance both my teaching and performing skills.

In addition to my regular teaching, I also run workshops for adult students on preparing for performance diplomas, performing with confidence and understanding performance anxiety, and am co-founder of the London Piano Meetup Group. I have acted as a syllabus consultant for the London College of Music and contributed teaching notes to the new ABRSM piano syllabus (published June 2018).

WRITING

Frances Wilson is the author of The Cross-Eyed Pianist, a blog on music and pianism with regular posts on repertoire, technique and composers, concert reviews, guest articles and the popular weekly interview series ‘Meet the Artist’ in which musicians, composers and conductors discuss aspects such as influences and inspirations, performing, recording, significant teachers and more. Featured artists include pianists Ivo Pogorelich, Tamara Stefanovich, Joanna Macgregor, Peter Donohoe, Nicholas McCarthy, Stephen Hough, Leon McCawley, Janina Fialkowska, and Pascal Rogé, composer/conductor James MacMillan, violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Michael Barenboim and Rachel Podger, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, and many more, both well-established and young and emerging artists.

“an important voice in the piano world” – Peter Donohoe, concert pianist

Frances reviews concerts for her blog and has also reviewed for international concert and opera listings site Bachtrack.com (read her articles and reviews here). In addition to reviewing, Frances has been a regular contributor to ‘Pianist’ magazine’s online content, and is a guest writer for Hong Kong based classical music website InterludeHK. She also compiles playlists with accompanying articles for Berlin-based music streaming service IDAGIO. In 2017 she acted as a syllabus consultant for the London College of Music and has written teaching notes for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music graded piano exam syllabus (2019-21).

“a must-read for the keyboard-inclined” – Jessica Duchen, author and music journalist

Frances has also appeared on BBC Radio Three’s Music Matters programme, hosted by Tom Service, to discuss music criticism and the impact of the internet on writing about classical music today.

“….her level of music writing is eons beyond most professional critique…” – Mahan Esfahani, harpsichordist

 

CONTACT

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