Hailed by reviewers as "a colossal musical mind" with a "transcendent technique",
Jonathan Plowright is "one of the finest living pianists"
according to Gramophone Magazine.
Gold Medallist at the Royal Academy of Music and a Fulbright Scholar, prizewinner in many competitions, Jonathan also won the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition as well as first prize at the European Piano Competition. Critics, colleagues and audiences alike have since had unanimous praise for his many national and international performances and he has been in demand all over the world as recitalist, appeared with leading orchestras and ensembles and given numerous radio broadcasts. He has a hugely successful string of recordings on the Hyperion, BIS
and Warner labels all of which have been enthusiastically received with outstanding reviews in the worldwide media.
With fifteen critically acclaimed CDs, Jonathan is now well
established on Hyperion Records distinguished roster of pianists.
His latest solo recording, a collection of pieces by Josef Suk, was
Editor's Choice in both Gramophone and Pianist
Magazines, and received 5* from
Pizzicato and Classical Source. In February 2016 his 4th CD for the Romantic Piano Concerto Series
was released, featuring Concertos by Ludomir Rozycki. As well as
receiving, 5* from BBC Music and Pianist
Magazines, it received an ICMA nomination
and went straight to
Number 6 in the Classical Charts.
His 2010 commemorative 'Hommage a
Chopin' recording also reached the Top Twenty Classical Chart and
attracted many accolades, including the prestigious Preis
der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Gramophone
Editor’s Choice, Diapason D'Or and CD of the Week
on both ClassicFM and ABC ClassicFM. Likewise, his follow-up 'Homage to Paderewski' disc was
Daily Telegraph Classical CD of the Week.
His recording of the Constant Lambert Piano Concerto (which he world premiered in 1988) with David Lloyd Jones and the English Northern Philharmonia
was Gramophone Editor’s Choice and CD of
the Week in both The Sunday Times and
chamber music disc for the label was released in December 2012
featuring the Szymanowski Quartet in works by Polish Romantic
composers, Zarebski and Zelenski, and was BBC Music Magazine
Chamber Choice. In October 2015 Jonathan and the Quartet
recorded a follow up CD of Polish Piano Quintets by
Friedman and Rozycki which was released in September 2016.
In 2017 Jonathan realised a long held
ambition to record the Paderewski Piano Concerto - one of his all
time favourites - when he was invited to join Lukasz Borowicz and
the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus in Warsaw for Warner Classics - the
resulting CD was a
Gramophone Editor’s Choice in November of
that year, as well as BBC Music Magazine Concerto Choice.
Jonathan also recently recorded the complete
Brahms solo piano works for the Swedish label, BIS Records. All five volumes were released to tremendous critical
acclaim, receiving many 5* Reviews
in numerous publications, an 'Outstanding' Award from International Record Review,
Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine
and ABC Limelight Magazines.
The third volume was shortlisted for the
2016 Gramophone Awards.
By the time of
fifth volume, released in late 2017, reviewers were unanimously
urging their readers to
own this benchmark "cycle to treasure". His interpretations are being compared to the likes of Lupu, Katchen, Arrau and Pires, and have been described as "a
As a result of this
success, Jonathan was offered his own 'Brahms Plus' Artistic Series
at the Wigmore Hall spanning two seasons 2018-20.
Click here for more information on all Jonathan's recordings.
Jonathan has enjoyed performing in some of the finest concert halls around the world, from Sydney Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall, in the luxurious surroundings of stately homes, castles and cruise ships, as well as in some rather more unusual venues - including the barrel room of a winery in California and a wild elephant game reserve in South Africa!
Also highly respected as a chamber musician, Jonathan regularly collaborates with other musicians,
appearing at chamber festivals around the world. Amongst those he has performed with are fellow pianists Piers Lane, Artur Pizarro, Frederick Chiu, Leslie Howard and Kathy Stott, instrumentalists such as Raphael Wallfisch, Leonid Gorokov,
the Scottish Ensemble, the Brodsky, Coull, Szymanowski and Silesian
(Śląski) Quartets, amongst
He has appeared as concerto soloist with many
international orchestras, including in the UK: the London
Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, the Hallé, the Royal
Philharmonic, BBC Concert, English Chamber, Ukraine: Odessa Philharmonic,
Poland: Warsaw, Szczecin, Poznan, Lodz and Baltic Philharmonic
Orchestras, the Polish Radio and Polish National, although most memorable was a performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the combined forces of the United States Air Force and Red Army Bands! He has worked with notable conductors such as Martyn Brabbins, Paul Daniel, Sir Neville Marriner, Gérard Korsten, Christoph Koenig, Barry Wordsworth, Lukasz Borowicz and Michal Dworzynski.
The Polish Romantics
Jonathan has become a well known and highly respected advocate of neglected Polish Romantic
piano repertoire ever since his first recording of a rare collection
of pieces by Paderewski earned him an invitation to give the closing recital of the Polish Parliament’s 2001 ‘Year of Paderewski’ celebrations in Warsaw.
Jonathan's recordings featuring the music of the largely forgotten Polish/US emigré Sigismund Stojowski led to a revival of interest in his music after several generations of neglect and attracted considerable attention in the international music press. The discs were both named
'Record of the Month' in the Polish national music monthly Muzyka 21 and Jonathan has since been invited to perform with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,
the Polish National Symphony Orchestra and other leading Polish
In 2006 he gave a sell-out Weill Hall recital promoted by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. Whilst in the USA he was also invited to perform at a special event at the Polish Music Centre at the University of Southern California, in the presence of Stojowski's surviving family, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his death and in celebration of their donation of the Stojowski manuscripts and personal papers to the University.
His hugely successful Hyperion recording of the notoriously difficult Paderewski Sonata in 2007 was admired by many, including the BBC
who declared: "The playing is world-class; understated virtuosity at its best."
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Paderewski in November 2010, Jonathan was invited back by the Polish Music Centre in Los Angeles for a series of recitals in the USA, including the Paderewski Festival, which Jonathan was instrumental in re-launching as an annual event in Paso Robles, a spa town with an historic association with the famous composer, pianist and statesman.
To celebrate the 200th
anniversary of the birth of Chopin in 2010, as well as recitals
throughout Poland, Jonathan was also invited to appear with the
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra during their special Year of Chopin
In 2018, as well as giving the opening recital
of the Warsaw Opera House Season, Jonathan was invited to
participate in one of the official '100 for 100' concerts in Poland
to commemorate 100 years of Polish Independence. He performed the
Padereweski Concerto in Poznan, where Paderewski himself gave his
famous speech that led to the uprising against the occupation.
In 2020 Jonathan recorded a newly discovered Piano Concerto by
Polish pianist/composer Michal Bergson written in 1862. The
original manuscript was found in a second hand bookshop in London
and subsequently acquired and printed in Poznan, by the Filharmonia
In 2021 Hyperion released the first
commercial recording of the Piano Concerto by Jerzy Galbenz as the
83rd volume, and Jonathan's 5th, of their Romantic Piano Concerto
on the Keyboard Faculty of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from
2007- 2020, and is often invited to give masterclasses, consultation lessons and prize adjudications at competitions and international conservatoires.
In 2013 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.