Duncan was born in Edinburgh, and grew up making music with increasing intensity in each of the schools he attended: from St. Mary’s Music School with its demanding schedule of intensive training, to high school in the US where a theatrical production of My Fair Lady involved 100 students, and back again to the Edinburgh Academy, where he sang in the Chamber Choir, played piano in the dance band, and cello in the orchestra and a cello quartet.

After a spending a term during his gap year in the cathedral choir in Christchurch, New Zealand, Duncan moved to Birmingham to start his studies with Philip Martin at the Conservatoire. Here he regularly accompanied students and classes and, despite his course lacking the specialism, the path of accompanist seemed inevitable. He also sang in a variety of choirs, from cathedral to contemporary, and at one point was active in four at once.

Duncan and Judy | Biography

Judy Brown and Duncan performing in St. Mary’s Cathedral in August 2015

At home once more in Edinburgh in August 2013, Duncan found a job as Director of Music and Organist in St. Ninian’s Episcopal Church, where he delighted in getting to grips with an instrument that had enchanted him since his time as a treble; he also gained useful experience in an organisational role. He organised, and performed from memory, a recital of Liszt’s piano cycle Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, and during the year played cello in the Edinburgh University String Orchestra and a string quartet.

From 2014 until 2016, Duncan studied accompaniment with Kathron Sturrock and Roger Vignoles at the Royal College of Music. There he performed in contemporary orchestral works; accompanied a guitarist on a fortepiano in the Museum of Instruments; played in a celebration of Persian New Year in the Victoria and Albert Museum; and tackled one of the most challenging works in the chamber music repertoire: the Brahms Horn Trio.

In his spare time, Duncan enjoys learning languages, baking, and sketching.

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