I was born in Goole, Yorkshire, starting piano lessons at the age of six. I wanted to start at the age of three but the one teacher in the town didn’t take pupils under six, & I went to him with several of my compositions for piano which my mother had helped me to write out. These were published in a BBC annual for children after I won competitions on TV week after week for young composers hosted by Steve Race. I won my first competition aged six playing the ‘Soldier’s March’ by Schumann. I had just started the piece when all the lights in the hall went out, & I carried on in the dark until the end, when the lights came on again, & the judge, David Wilcox, rushed up to the stage & scooped me up in his arms & carried me down the steps saying “Well done little girl”. I continued to win prizes in competitions in Hull & Leeds, playing Mozart’s concerto K. 271 aged ten, & Beethoven 1 in the Wigmore Hall aged twelve. We moved to Leicestershire when I was twelve & I became soloist with the Leicestershire Schools orchestra, playing Beethoven’s 1st. concerto & the Grieg in the UK & on tour in Germany & Norway. We broadcast the Grieg live from Stavanger when I was thirteen, & two of our guest conductors with whom I played were Malcolm Arnold & Michael Tipett. I was a pupil of Dorothy Hesse in London for two years from the age of fifteen.
I won a piano scholarship to Edinburgh University where I gave a recital each term & played concertos of Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saéns & Ireland with the Reid orchestra & was involved in chamber music. I studied with Colin Kingsley & after graduating B. Music. I went to Rome for two years on another scholarship from the university studying with Guido Agosti. I gave recitals in Rome, Sienna, & Naples, but came home a physical wreck having developed terrible tension after having been pushed into too much repertoire with little or no technical help. I was rescued over the next few years by Maria Curcio, winning an Arts Council competition in London which provided me with money & some prestigious engagements. I began my professional career, & have to date made twenty-five CDs of solo repertoire & concertos. I travel the world & have played in many major venues, festivals, & with major orchestras. I give masterclasses & lectures on piano technique & repertoire, & help students who like me many years ago are suffering from injury or tension in their playing. I have always improvised since I first touched the piano, & still love to, sometimes improvising as an encore after a recital. I have played jazz professionally & occasionally give half classical half jazz-orientated recitals.
In the summer of 2012 Ms Brownridge kindly contributed an article to this web site entitled ‘Performing in public’, click to view:
Youtube video of Angela Brownridge in recital & in conversation with writer and broadcaster Andrew Green.