Yorkshire pianist and composer Neil Crossland began playing the piano at the age of six and studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won major prizes in both piano and composition. Since then he has performed extensively at home and abroad, and written pieces in all genres.
Neil has played at many major London venues including the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St Martin in the Fields, and has made frequent appearances at Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room as well as performing all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in a concert series at St James’s Piccadilly. He has also performed throughout the UK as well as in France, Greece, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Tunisia and Singapore – giving concerts of the unfinished Schubert sonatas and providing workshops and masterclasses there in 2014.
Neil’s concerto performances include Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the British Chamber Orchestra at the Southwark Festival. He has also been active as a chamber musician, founding the piano trio Trilogy as well as performing his own works for piano trio – Trio Requiem and Damage.
He has made over 20 recordings on the Deltatel label, including the complete cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas, as well as works by Haydn, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Poulenc. One of his many other projects has been to revive and record the piano compositions of the late astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore.
As a composer, Neil is known for his original, but accessible style. One of his pieces, Requiem, Op 43, is for soloists, chorus and orchestra – other noteworthy works include the Yorkshire Suite for piano, Op 41, the Variations for piano duet on Paganini’s 24th Caprice and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and the Piano trio No 2, Damage. His latest compositions include songs set to poems by the three Brontë sisters for piano and soprano Op 52 (performed at St James’s Church, Piccadilly) as well as Ave Maria Op 53 for soprano, chorus and piano (first performed in Hammersmith at St Augustine’s Church). He is also recognised for his ability to write successful transcriptions and convincing works in older styles.
A return to the Royal College of Music in 2014 performing Schubert’s Unfinished Sonata in F# Minor (D.571) (completed by Neil in 2005) was greatly received alongside his popular masterclasses.
Earlier in 2014, Neil gave his first performance at the Ruislip & Harrow Music Festival performing the entire Beethoven sonatas, plus works by Haydn, Brahms, Schubert and Rachmaninoff. The festival continued in 2015 with Neil performing Schubert’s late Sonata in G Major (D.894), alongside two of his own compositions – Yorkshire Suite and Funk the Fugue. That same year, Neil completed his Op 54 set of songs for soprano and piano.
Having completed Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony in B Minor in 2005, the orchestration of the symphony quickly followed, and a recent solo piano version was transcribed for performance. Neil also worked on transcribing his choral work Ave Verum Corpus for SATB and organ. In April 2016, he began recording Mozart’s piano sonatas – the first two CDs of this project are now available.
Neil’s newly completed song cycle, Songs of Travel and Rest, Op 57, as well as Atmospheres Op 56 for solo violin, were recently given their premieres, as well as his piano duo work, Variations and Finale on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Op 28.
In 2019, he played in several festivals performing works arranged by himself – including Rachmaninoff’s How Fair This Spot and Strauss’s Radetzky March.
Neil returned to Doncaster Museum in 2019 where he performed his own third Piano Sonata and wonderful Freddie Mercury transcriptions.
His final concert of the Beethoven Piano sonata cycle at Merton Abbey Mills in 2020 was greatly received. Neil was also invited to play in Sterling, Scotland, performing Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata alongside the Spring and Kreutzer sonatas with violinist Mark Wilson.
In 2021, he joined forces with cellist Kirsten Jenson from Icon Strings and performed the Shostakovich and Chopin Cello Sonatas in Aylesbury at St Mary’s Church.
In 2023, Neil is giving performances of his newly completed arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain. He has embellished the already staggering work not just into a wonderful tour de force of technical wizardry, but has infused it with a fantastic Lisztian bravura.
As of February 2023, he has upcoming bookings in Birmingham, London and Brighton.
Neil has frequently appeared on radio and television, including performing live on BBC Radio 3 and 4.