Duncan Appleby’s career as a collaborative pianist encompasses recital and audition accompaniment, playing for ABRSM and Trinity exams, and chamber and orchestral performance. In recent years he has worked with prize-winning tenor Joel Williams and Samling Artist Catriona Hewitson. The lutenist Sam Brown is one of his frequent collaborators, with the two performing Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in St. James’s Piccadilly, and again in the RCM’s Museum of Instruments. Duncan also enjoys working with several ensembles, especially his horn and violin trio Heitschi Bumbeitschi in Notting Hill’s Piano Trio Festival.
Duncan enjoys solo performances as well as collaborative ones. Before starting his study at the Royal College of Music in 2014, he organised and performed a recital of Liszt’s monumental piano cycle Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses in St. John’s Church in Edinburgh’s West End. In 2015 he performed Finzi’s piano concerto Eclogue with the Edinburgh University String Orchestra in their autumn concert. One of Duncan’s particular interests is bringing undiscovered music to light, which he had the opportunity to do while at the RCM, performing Stanley Bate’s Piano Suite No. 2 in a recital that also included the UK premiere of Lennox Berkeley’s first Violin Sonata.
Artist in residence
Duncan attended a three-week residency entitled ‘Concert in the 21st Century’ at the Banff Centre in Canada In early 2018. With award-winning soprano Ruth Hopkins, he developed a dramatic presentation of a recital programme on mental illness and asylums. They explored using projected footage and lighting to enhance the performance, and look forward to bringing the full show to a location in the UK soon.
Currently Head of Keyboard and piano teacher at an independent school in Surrey, Duncan still finds time for recitals and recordings.