Winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA.
Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, London Concert Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K. 467 with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, a tour of the USA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Gershwin, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin, Bernstein, de Falla and Ravel with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead and other venues in the North of England, and Beethoven’s 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.
Viv has performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Adderbury Ensemble, Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, Callino String Quartet, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble, the Bristol Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio and has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Matthew Sharp, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Alena Lugovkina, Sarah Gabriel, Richard Dubugnon, David Le Page, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Philip Hesketh, Christopher George, David Charles Abell, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch.
Viv McLean has performed at festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival, Buxton Festival and Harrogate Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Festival International de Musique Classique d’Aigues-Mortes, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden. Since 2013 he has been pianist-in-residence at the Glossop Music Festival.
Viv studied from an early age with Ruth Nye and after attending Chetham’s School of Music he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne. At the Academy he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies’ Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain.
Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 since making his recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records and ICSM Records.
The pianist Viv McLean seemed exceptional to me; he astonished us with his musical maturity and extraordinary sonority. Le Monde (Paris)
At the Festival de Melle, Viv McLean revealed extraordinary originality, superb simplicity, and fingers of steel hidden behind muscles of velvet. He is an otherworldly young man – he plays with the genius one finds in those who know how to forget themselves, naturally placing themselves at the right point to meet the music, this mystery of the moment. Le Monde (Paris)
The pianist Viv McLean never faltered, spewing molten lava. The Times (London)
The fluent technique and brilliance of the interpreter were impressive, he played with insight and the greatest sensitivity. General Anzeiger (Bonn)
The listener was struck by the sustained level of technical mastery. Viv McLean performed with his mind as well as his hands. Malta Sunday Times