John Thwaites

Head of Keyboard

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
c/o +44 (0)121 331 6903

Professor John Thwaites is best known for his collaborative work with strings and as a founder member of the Primrose Piano Quartet. The Primrose have commissioned and recorded important new work by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Anthony Payne, Sally Beamish, Steve Goss and John Casken, and have recorded the earlier twentieth century repertoire for Meridian, including a Five Star Choice for Classic FM Magazine of Bridge and Howells. They have an annual Festival at West Meon. 

He has worked over decades with cellists Alexander Baillie and Johannes Goritzki, and appeared with Pierre Doumenge, Louise Hopkins, Natalie Clein, Alexander Ivashkin, David Cohen, Oleg Kogan, Li Wei and others. A string of recordings with Alexander Baillie for the SOMM label include a Five Star Chamber Music Choice of the Month for BBC Music Magazine. He has played quintets with the Martinu, Maggini, Dante (their recording of the Lyapunov Piano Sextet in B flat minor for the Dutton label was also a BBC Chamber Music Choice of the Month), Schidlof, Emperor and Aurea String Quartets. Theatrical collaborations have included work with Simon Callow, Tony Britton and Tim Piggott-Smith, and he has also performed with Michael Collins, Thomas Riebl, Ian Bostridge, Toby Spence and Louise Winter.

His research focus is on Brahms (symbolism and allusion in the chamber music, and historically informed performance practice) and British Chamber Music.

He has appeared in the major British and many International Festivals, the major London concert halls, and on British and other radio and television channels, including BBC Radio Three Lunchtime broadcasts and appearances for "In Tune".

John’s teaching career includes posts at Christ's Hospital, the Royal  Conservatoire of Scotland, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Purcell School. He is Course Director of the Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, and Head of Keyboard Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he has directed major Festivals of Ireland, Delius, Bax, Skryabin and Brahms as well as directing a celebrity-studded All Night Gala at Birmingham Town Hall.

John ThwaitesCoaching Chamber Music in Budapest

Areas of Expertise