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Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow.  As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. Highlights of the 14/15 season include the season opening concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony and performances with the Orchestre National de France, Israel Symphony (performing Penderecki’s concerto under the composer’s baton), Staatskapelle Halle, and the Ulster and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras.  He has previously given concerts with the London Symphony, Russian National, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, among others.  Barry regularly plays in recitals throughout the world, with upcoming performances in the UK (including London’s Wigmore Hall), in Mexico, Malta, the US, Russia, Japan and Italy. Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist and is currently recording the complete works for solo piano of Brahms, the first two albums of which have received much critical praise.  The third one is due to be released in October 2014 and the

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Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow.  As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.

Highlights of the 14/15 season include the season opening concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony and performances with the Orchestre National de France, Israel Symphony (performing Penderecki’s concerto under the composer’s baton), Staatskapelle Halle, and the Ulster and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras.  He has previously given concerts with the London Symphony, Russian National, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, among others.  Barry regularly plays in recitals throughout the world, with upcoming performances in the UK (including London’s Wigmore Hall), in Mexico, Malta, the US, Russia, Japan and Italy.

Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist and is currently recording the complete works for solo piano of Brahms, the first two albums of which have received much critical praise.  The third one is due to be released in October 2014 and the further on in May 2015.  International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority... this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.”  The interesting programming of each disc, which has already garnered much critical praise, presents each album as a stand-alone recital, providing a varied and engaging listening experience.  September 2014 will also see the release of Celtic Reflections – an exploration of Irish folk music through eighteen of Barry’s own arrangements – from ancient melodies to pieces by contemporary songwriters.

In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland.  In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes.  Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world and has plans to visit China with the orchestra in the 2014-2015 season.  Highlights of the past season were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.

Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.

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Reviews

"Douglas is a born Brahmsian."

Belfast Telegraph, Terry Blain

"Douglas's ability to put his own artistry totally at the service of the composer was perfectly illustrated..."

Belfast Telegraph, Terry Blain

"Douglas's interpretation of the piece was totally commanding, mingling moments of dreamy contemplation with the surges of muscular self-assertion... Douglas caught their commingling of beauty and sorrow with the sure touch of a Brahmsian master. "

Belfast Telegraph, Terry Blain

"Amid the compulsive hyping that affects classical music, Barry Douglas remains defiantly and admirably grounded… Douglas's powerful playing always compels and rewards attention"

The Guardian, Martin Kettle

"...Douglas’s dynamism and steely finger-energy propelling the music onward to a thrilling, triumphant conclusion."

Culture Northenireland.com, Terry Blain

"Douglas... appeared completely relaxed at the keyboard and was well on top of the pyrotechnics - rapid octaves and glittering passagework were dispatched with ease. I was struck by the lightness of Douglas' playing which was crystalline and delicate but without being precious. He characterised Strauss' gambolling capers and high jinks brilliantly - the playing was at turns roughish, witty, coy and coquettish while the difficult runs seemed to scamper along."

Seen and Heard, Robert Beattie

"Douglas superbly draws out the contrasts within each piece, bringing out their individual character... his tone is a deep velvet cushion, the legatos full of affection and the rhythms galvanised with great energy."

BBC Music Magazine, Jessica Duchen

"Douglas delivered a storming performance of Brahms's F minor Sonata Op 5, the highlight of the evening. This bold early masterpiece plays to Douglas's pianistic strengths: his big keyboard sound, the weight of his tone and his general press-on approach. The first movement was tremendously effective and the Scherzo rippled with authentic Brahmsian muscularity, embodying Claudio Arrau's advice that Brahms must be played from the shoulders, not the fingers. But the contrasts were sharply drawn, and Douglas's scrupulous use of the pedal never allowed the sonata's dreamier pages to disappear into sonic mists."

The Guardian, Martin Kettle

"...Douglas’s dynamism and steely finger-energy propelling the music onward to a thrilling, triumphant conclusion."

Culture Northenireland.com, Terry Blain

"[Penderecki's Piano Concerto is] a feast of contrasting moods, and huge orchestral moments underpinned by a persistent rhythmic invention that sustains dramatic interest over its 37-minute length. It’s the kind of work that would make a huge impact in a live concert performance. Pianist Barry Douglas gives an electrifying performance and the reliable Antoni Wit draws an energetic performance from the Warsaw Philharmonic."

Audiophile Audition, Robert Moon

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Discography