After a recent concert given by Kelvin Grout, the critic was observed rushing out of the hall in tears, refusing to speak with anyone and later writing ‘..an incredible experience, you simply don’t hear anyone play the piano like this anymore!’ The press have also described him as ‘the keyboard wizard‘ and another critic gave him the title, ‘Dr Touché‘.
The English pianist Kelvin Grout is best known for his work as a vocal accompanist, working with many of the world’s foremost singers. Celebrating fifty-seven years behind the keyboard, Kelvin, in addition to his accompanying work, is now enjoying life as a soloist, lecturer, teacher and film producer. He is the Director of The Lieder Academy, an international institute, based in the Netherlands, which is fast gaining a reputation of being the leading venue for the study and performance of Art Song.
Kelvin is to start filming in 2016, a documentary under the title ‘My Notes on Notes’ in which he and various colleagues offer an insight to a less stressful, less physical approach to performing classical music. ‘Over the years I have made, many, many notes and observations about performing music and the piano. In this film and book we hope to bring it all together, to suggest that maybe there is another path which could be considered when performing classical music. Combining the ancient Chinese practice of Wu-Wei, the art of ‘not-trying’, with the latest research from Quantum Mechanics, this approach is unique, exciting and can lead to remarkable results.’
A new Hugo Wolf Society is currently under construction to promote Kelvin Grout and his expertise in the music of Hugo Wolf. The great soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf once declared, ‘if there is Hugo Wolf on the programme, then you need Kelvin Grout as the accompanist.’ This new organisation will endeavour to record the entire collection of Wolf’s songs on DVD. The first recording will take place in May/June 2017 when 10 to 15 singers will perform the Morike Lieder on two DVDs.
“I recently met Kelvin Grout in Germany and discovered that to sing with him is like a gift from heaven. As a singer all you need to do is to listen, lean back, open your mouth and dare. Kelvin guides you into the right atmosphere of the song, will tell you the whole story just by playing the piano. Through this he opens up a new world and leads you to the limits of the possible – emotionally, musically and technically. His pianissimis are breathtaking. Caressed by the sound of the piano the singer floats on the music. Voice and piano become one, while the audience is invited to witness, to participate.” Mariella Baier – soprano