Biography

LIONEL SAINSBURY’s music has recently garnered rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. In July 2014 he was Jim Svejda’s guest in a three-hour feature about his work on The Evening Program on KUSC, Los Angeles, and May 2015 saw the release of a second CD of his piano music, ‘Andalusian Fantasy’ on Navona Records, NH.

Lionel was born in Wiltshire in 1958. He began to play the piano at an early age and soon started to compose his own music. He later studied - composition with Patric Standford and piano with Edith Vogel - at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

At the age of 21 he was awarded a Mendelssohn Scholarship, which brought him into contact with composers as diverse as Edmund Rubbra and John McCabe, and in Paris with Henri Dutilleux.

 
Lionel’s music has since been performed worldwide, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Radio France, NHK TV/Radio in Japan, and many channels in the US.

Recordings of his work are available on Naxos, Dutton Epoch, EM Records, Navona Records, and EMI Classics for Pleasure.

Lionel Sainsbury’s catalogue to date includes concertos for violin and for cello, a symphonic poem Time of the Comet, and several works for strings. He has written a substantial body of piano music, and works for violin, solo guitar, solo flute, clarinet and piano, and for two pianos.


Amongst artists who have performed his music are the pianists Jack Gibbons, Mark Bebbington, Clara Rodriguez and Matthew Rickard, violinists Tasmin Little, Vit Mužik and Rupert Marshall-Luck, clarinetist Anna Hashimoto, and guitarist Craig Ogden.

In 2002 Lionel’s Violin Concerto was premiered at the Worcester Three Choirs Festival, with Lorraine McAslan and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Adrian Lucas. Lorraine McAslan subsequently recorded the work with the BBC Concert Orchestra under Barry Wordsworth (Dutton CDLX 7245).

The premiere recording of Lionel’s Cello Concerto followed in 2012 (Dutton CDLX 7284), performed by Raphael Wallfisch, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates.

Also active as a performer, Lionel’s concerts have included the music of Bach, Scarlatti, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninov and Schumann, alongside his own compositions.

He premiered his Five Tangos at Music in the Vale in Oxfordshire in 2012, and in 2014 gave solo recitals in Argentina and at the Dean & Chadlington Summer Music Festival. The latter also launched his piano CD Sunlight & Storms

In May 2015 he gave a recital of his own work at the English Music Festival .

 
Programme for Dean@Chadlington Music Festival
Lionel Sainsbury talking to the audience
at the launch of his piano CD Sunlight and Storms,
Dean & Chadlington Summer Music Festival, June 2014

Photo: Louise Manners