Pianist Eleanor Hodgkinson grew up in Surrey and studied in Manchester and London. She divides her time between performing, teaching, examining and writing. A versatile chamber musician, she has been part of numerous collaborations and given many premieres of British music. Regular partnerships include projects with the Villiers Quartet, Nick Stringfellow, Lisa Nelsen and members of the Harborough Collective. Her piano ensemble Duo Volante, with the pianist Jakob Fichert, is known for its schools workshops, as well as exploring lesser-known composers: in July 2016 they were invited to give the world première of Peter Gellhorn’s Sonata for 2 Pianos at the Royal College of Music as part of the Singing a Song in a Foreign Land project. From 1999 to 2004 she was a member of the Elgin Piano Trio, performing to acclaim throughout the UK. During this time, with the Artaria Piano Trio, she also curated a number of historical concerts for the Cobbe Collection in Surrey, with particular focus on the trios of Beethoven, Czerny and Haydn.
Solo recital work has taken her to North America, Denmark, Holland, Germany and France as well as extensive travel aboard Cunard cruise liners. As a lecturer she has presented recitals for the Royal Holloway University Year of the Piano Festival, for the WEA, and on period pi stately homes. Orchestral piano work has led to frequent engagements with Mid-Wales Opera, Southern Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Swan including commissions, broadcasts, recordings and education projects. With Orchestra of the Swan, she recorded the chamber version of Mahler’s Das Lied von Der Erde for Somm Records in 2010 and in 2015 was part of a music and poetry presentation of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with actress Harriet Walters in the Stratford Literary Festival. Eleanor’s education and outreach work experience is wide, having worked extensively on projects with Mid-Wales Opera, Nevill Holt Opera and Orchestra of the Swan. Eleanor has also written and directed several education projects of her own, including The Moon Ants Law which was supported by The RC Sheriff Trust & Surrey County Council. 2014 saw the launch of BabyGigs in Leicestershire; the company presents concerts for babies and preschoolers alongside workshops in primary schools.
Eleanor began piano at an early age, learning with Judith Burton. She then studied piano at the Royal Northern College of Music with Renna Kellaway before specialising in piano accompaniment as a postgraduate student with Carole Presland supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Subsequently, she was awarded a scholarship to study piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music with Malcolm Martinueau, completing her studies in 1998. Additional scholarships enabled her to attend the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove and the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, where she undertook a residency with her piano trio in 2001. A passion for exploring how musicians' minds work led Eleanor to return to education in 2011: she gained a place on the Masters course at the University of Sheffield, obtaining an MA in Music Psychology in 2013. Her dissertation, Can Improvisation Alleviate Performance Anxiety? An Exploration Amongst Musicians of Different Genres, was awarded a Distinction and formed the basis of a chapter in New Thoughts on Piano Performance: Research at the Interface between Science and the Art of Piano Performance published by the London International Piano Symposium.
Based in Leicestershire, Eleanor is a Senior Lecturer in Piano at Leeds College of Music, Visiting Tutor in Piano at Royal Holloway, University of London and teaches piano and chamber music at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. She also teaches advanced piano students at Uppingham School. Eleanor is a trainer, examiner and piano syllabus consultant for the ABRSM.
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