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Michael Houstoun

Born in Timaru, New Zealand, Michael Houstoun's career as a concert pianist has taken him worldwide. Houstoun's repertoire encompasses some forty concertos, and the complete sonatas of Beethoven, as well as works by many New Zealand composers, for whom Houstoun is a strong advocate.

Recordings featuring Michael Houstoun

Beethoven: Favourite Piano Sonatas
The great sonatas 'Moonlight', 'Pastoral' and 'Appassionata'

MMT2015, Released 1996
 
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas
Discs 9-10 of the complete Beethoven cycle performed by Houstoun

MMT2017-18, Released 2001
 
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas from the Middle Period
Discs 1-3 of the complete Beethoven cycle performed by Houstoun

MMT2001-03, Released 1995
 
Beethoven: The Early Sonatas
Discs 6-8 of the complete Beethoven cycle performed by Houstoun

MMT2011-13, Released 2001
 
Beethoven: The Last Five Piano Sonatas
Discs 4-5 of the complete Beethoven cycle performed by Houstoun

MMT2004-05, Released 1996
 
Beethoven: The Last Three Piano Sonatas (DVD)
Houstoun Performs Beethoven's Last Three Piano Sonatas

MMT4001, Released 2009
 
Elusive Dreams: New Zealand Piano Music
New music for solo piano

MMT2010, Released 2000
 
Farr: Chamber Music
New instrumental works

MMT2020, Released 2000
 
In Recital: Songs for Tenor and Piano
Classical and Romantic songs

MMT2006, Released 1996
 
Liszt: Piano Works
Favourite works for solo piano

MMT2008, Released 1996
 
Piano Recital 99: Russian Piano Music
Romantic piano music programme

MMT2028, Released 2000
 
Prokofiev & Beethoven: Piano Concertos
Live recording of two major works

MMT2035, Released 2001
 

Biography

Michael Houstoun was born in Timaru, New Zealand in 1952. He became interested in the piano when he was a small child and began lessons at the age of five, under the tutelage, first of Sister Mary Eulalie in Timaru, and then of the great Maurice Till in Christchurch and Dunedin. Michael moved through the examination grades and by the age of eighteen had won every major competition in New Zealand.

In 1973 he entered the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition where he placed third. Other international competition successes came in 1975 at the Leeds Competition (fourth prize) and in 1982 at the Tchaikowsky Competition (sixth prize).

Houstoun lived away from New Zealand from 1974 until 1981 and in this time studied with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (1974-5) and with Brigitte (‘Gigi’) Wild in London (1978-9). He performed in the USA, UK, Germany and Holland.

In 1981 Houstoun followed his heart back to New Zealand where he has continued to live and perform ever since, appearing also in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. He plays from a large repertoire which stretches from J.S. Bach to the present day, including forty concertos and chamber music. A strong advocate of New Zealand music, works from Douglas Lilburn to John Psathas are regularly featured in Houstoun's programmes. During the 1990s he concentrated on the music of Beethoven, playing the complete sonatas in five cycles around New Zealand – Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Napier. He played the concerto cycle in NZ and Australia.

Houstoun won the Turnovsky Prize in 1982, and in 1999 received an honorary doctorate in literature from Massey University. He was the subject of the documentary Piano Man in 2005, and was made a Laureate of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand two years later.

Michael frequently adjudicates music competitions in New Zealand, and was a juror at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. He is Patron of the Nelson School of Music, the Regent on Broadway theatre in Palmerston North, the Piano Tuners and Technicians Guild of New Zealand, the New Zealand Music Examinations Board and the Kerikeri National Piano Competition.



Related News

  Michael Houstoun to Perform Complete Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle
   


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