Ashley Wass (15 January)
Lincolnshire-born Ashley Wass began learning the piano at the age of 5. ‘My (non-musical) parents ran a seafront guest house and had an electronic organ (unused) standing in the corner of the lounge. I’m an only child, and got nominated fairly early to be the one who’d put it to use’. He went on to study at Manchester’s Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and Christopher Elton. A period of study with Murray Perahia followed. He is the only British winner of the London International Piano Competition and is a former BBC New Generation Artist.
As much at home on the concert platform (conductors with whom he has worked include Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Osmo Vanska, Ilan Volkov and Vassily Sinaisky) as on the recital stage, his career as a chamber musician includes the piano trio, Trio Apache, with Matthew Trusler (sharing the stage with him this evening) and the cellist Thomas Carroll. His discography for Naxos is notable for its recordings of British music, including Bax, Bridge, Elgar and Alwyn. Musical tastes which complement those in his own field include Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Oscar Peterson
He describes himself as a ‘frustrated hobbyist’. ‘I love mountaineering, but live in the south where there are no mountains; I love gardening but I’m about to move into a house in central London without a garden; I love golf, but live miles from the nearest decent golf course’. He does, however, share a penchant for Domino’s pizza with his friend and colleague Matthew Trusler.