Libby Burgess is a pianist dedicated to the fields of song and chamber music, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. In addition, her passion for working with singers encompasses vocal coaching, chorusmastering and conducting.
She enjoys a diverse song recital schedule, ranging from the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square to the Aldeburgh, Buxton and Oxford Lieder Festivals; from music societies around the country to broadcasts on Radio 3. A committed chamber musician, Libby relishes partnerships with a range of string and woodwind players, collaborates regularly with The Berkeley Ensemble, and recently performed in The Sacconi Quartet's festival. She is artistic director of the Music at St Peter's recital series in Sussex, and of Konstellation, which she has established in 2013 to chamption the combined programming possibilities of song and chamber music in a range of composer portrait and themed programmes. Libby is committed to the encouragement and performance of contemporary music: she regularly premières new works in recital – chamber music, instrumental works and song – and always enjoys the opportunity to work on new music hand-in-hand with the composer.
Born in Sussex, Libby read music at Oxford, where she was the first female organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral. She continued her studies in 2007 with a postgraduate scholarship in piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded numerous accompanist prizes and graduated with the DipRAM for an outstandingly high final recital mark. She was part of the first-prize duo of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition 2009, and is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Scheme and of Graham Johnson's Young Songmakers’ Almanac, as well as being a Samling Scholar.
Libby is an experienced répétiteur and continuo player (in the opera pit - where her fortepiano continuo playing in RAO’s Così fan tutte was reviewed as ‘almost a seventh character’ in what it brought to the production - or on stage with such ensembles as The King’s Consort and Britten Sinfonia). In her two years at Royal Academy Opera (as Shinn Fellow and the inaugural Lucille Graham Opera Fellow), she worked on all the department’s major productions and scenes and regularly acted as assistant conductor. She has a particular love of chorus work, chorusmastering for the world première of Peter Maxwell Davies' Kommilitonen! in 2011, where the chorus is the single biggest 'role', as well as since for operas ranging from Mozart to Britten. In 2010 Elizabeth was Musical Director for Ryedale Festival Opera's productions of The Prodigal Son (Britten) and The Homecoming (Mendelssohn), and she has worked additionally on Grange Park and Aldeburgh opera productions.
As a private vocal coach Libby works with singers preparing roles for the UK's major houses and companies, as well as for students and young professionals at a range of levels; the fascination lies not in the prestige of the work but at any level in exploring the text and motivations of a character or piece, and how best to inhabit and convey these with technical, musical and linguistic success! She leads choral workshops, has been guest conductor for concerts with choirs ranging from the Renaissance Singers to the Oxford Bach Choir, and has conducted a range of major choral works and come-and-sing events under the banner of Music at St Peter’s in Sussex.
Libby has been on the keyboard staff at Eton College for six years, where each year her students range from beginner students to those taking advanced diplomas. Having benefitted from a string of excellent teachers right the way through her own musical education, she is absolutely dedicated to passing on what she can to others!
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