Emerging Artist: William Bracken


Pianist William Bracken was born into a musical family and began playing the piano at the age of four. By the age of twelve he had been accepted onto the Pianoman scholarship scheme studying in London with Richard Meyrick. Two years later, in 2013, William received a scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of music to study with Jonathan Middleton at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2016 William was a prize winner in both the junior and senior categories at the Welsh International Piano Competition and was the only successful UK applicant to the prestigious Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in Germany. A year later he was awarded a scholarship to study with at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he is currently studying at postgraduate level with profs. Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe and Paul Roberts.


William has performed concertos by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saens. In July 2017, to great acclaim, he performed Rachmaninoff’s mighty third concerto at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall. He also has an impressive number of recital performances to his name including a St James’ Piccadilly debut, a two week residency aboard a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean and recital tours of the North East of England for the ‘Master Musicians International’ concert series. In summer 2019 William was also a prize winner at the Musikfest Schloss Gesmold International Piano Competition in Germany and in December he made his solo radio debut playing in a concert of works by German composer Detlev Glanert at GSMD. He has also had the opportunity to perform to pianists such as Simon Trpceski, Paul Lewis, Jonathan Biss and Stephen Hough. William was the 2020 winner of the GSMD’s Glass Seller’s Beethoven Prize and in 2021 made his debut at St John’s Smith Square with the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and James Blair with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd concerto. Most recently William reached the final of the GSMD’s Gold Medal competition, which will result in a performance of Beethoven’s 4th concerto at the Barbican in May. William is supported in his postgraduate studies by the Munster Trust Derek Butler Award and by the Craxton Memorial Trust.

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