Martin James Bartlett, at 23 years an exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics, possesses a fearless technique and plays with a maturity and elegance far beyond his years. His first disc for Warner was released in May 2019 and explores the theme of love and death in works by Bach, Liszt, Schumann, Granados, Wagner and Prokofiev.
“Bartlett's ability to think long-term, rather than give in to immediate excitement, is probably his most impressive trait. No.2 on his score card may be his unaffected delicacy of touch, colour and tone, brilliantly shown in the three Petrarch sonnet settings from Liszt's Années de pèlerinage... Everything works to illuminate the music." The Times, 5 Stars, June 2019
Martin James Bartlett’s early public success was as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. This led to engagements with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals across the country.
He made his BBC Proms debut in 2015 performing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed the piece with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms “Last Night” celebrations which was broadcast live from Belfast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Ulster. In the following year, he performed at Her Majesty The Queen's 90th Birthday thanksgiving service, which was broadcast live on BBC One from St. Paul's Cathedral. During this period he received support from the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).
In 2017, whilst still an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music, where he has studied with Professor Vanessa Latarche, Bartlett was a quarter finalist in The Van Cliburn Competition, held in Fort Worth, Texas, attracting a considerable following both live in the hall and online on Medici TV. He is now in the final year of his master’s degree at The Royal College.
During the past season, Bartlett made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philharmonia and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in ‘Classic FM Live’ at The Royal Albert Hall playing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2. At the beginning of the season, he competed in the Bad Kissingen Klavier Olympiad, winning both second prize and the audience prize. He was subsequently invited to step in to play the prize-winners concert in the Kissinger Sommer, performing Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 and the Concerto for 2 pianos with Cyprien Katsaris. He also played recitals at the Klavier Festival Ruhr and The Riga Jurmala Fesitval, The Biarritz Festival, and returned to play at the BBC Proms. Earlier in the season, at the invitation of Sir Andras Schiff, he participated in Schiff’s public masterclass at the Salzburg Mozartwoche.
In the opening weeks of the 2019/20 season, Martin James Bartlett will appear at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival and at the Piano Aux Jacobins in Toulouse. He will also make his recital debut in Paris for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Later in the year, Bartlett will make a return visit to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Wigglesworth, and will play again with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Debuts include the BBC Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to the Rising Star series by the Basel Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, and to the Verbier Festival for a solo recital and a duo recital with Timothy Choi.
Keyboard Concerto No.1 in D minor, BWV.1052
Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19
Young Apollo, Op.16
Rhapsody in Blue
Piano Concerto No.7 in F, K.242
Piano Concerto No.9 in E-flat major, K.271 'Jeunehomme'
Piano Concerto No.12 in A major, K.414
Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor K.466
Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488
Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor K.491
Piano Concerto No.3, Op.26
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43
Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18
Piano Concerto in G major, M.83
Piano Concerto No.2
Piano Concerto No.1, Op.23
Martin James Bartlett is not only a prodigy of the piano but an accomplished artist who counts among the greats of his generation.
Martin James Bartlett brought maximum feeling to the music and played with astonishing delicacy and punch.
The wit and colour in pianist Martin James Bartlett’s playing was thrilling.