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Brenda McDermott

Brenda McDermott started her career at an early age playing for BBC radio and appearing on television while still at school. She developed her skills at the Royal Academy of Music, studying under Harold Craxton and Max Pirani.

While still a student she met and married the established pianist Denis Matthews. Together they became known for their partnership in four hand duets and two piano duets and concertos. They worked with many of the finest orchestras, enjoying the opportunities of meeting and working with performers from different disciplines including a memorable performance of Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals with Johnny Morris.

Her first Wigmore Hall recital, with a programme ranging from early Beethoven to Stravinsky, confirmed her place as one of the country's most versatile and articulate pianists. Brenda's ability to cope with the most technically demanding and emotionally complex pieces drew the attention of Tyne Tees Television for whom she recorded three highly-regarded series of recitals.

Brenda shows an obvious affinity with the Viennese classics and the romantic virtuoso composers, especially notable in her performances of Liszt's B minor sonata and the Brahms' concertos. While touring Latin America she won particular praise for her performances of Chopin. A review in the Scotsman said her approach to Chopin was "more poetic than many of her Warsaw trained contemporaries".

Brenda McDermott
© West Mendip Orchestra, 2009-2018