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Margaret Fingerhut

Margaret Fingerhut was born in London of Ukrainian and Polish ancestry. Described by Gramophone as a pianist of “consummate skill and thrilling conviction”, her distinguished career has taken her to many countries. She is particularly known for her innovative recital programmes in which she explores the highways and byways of the piano repertoire.  As a concerto soloist she has appeared with all the major orchestras in the UK, collaborating with eminent conductors such as Rudolf Barshai, Paul Daniel, Sir Edward Downes, Sir Charles Groves, Vernon Handley and Leonard Slatkin in major venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican. She is often heard on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and many radio stations worldwide, and her film and television work has included an appearance in Testimony, Tony Palmer’s film about Shostakovich.

Her recordings for Chandos reflect her long-standing fascination with exploring lesser-known repertoire, including works by Bax, Berkeley, Bloch, Dukas, Falla, Howells, Leighton, Moeran, Novák, Stanford and Suk as well as several pioneering collections of 19th century Russian and early 20th century French piano music. Her première recordings of British repertoire include Edgar Bainton's Concerto Fantasia, Bax's Octet and works by Howells, Leighton, Lennox Berkeley and Michael Berkeley.  “Margaret Fingerhut deserves our most heartfelt admiration for her championship of the byways of the British repertoire twentieth century piano repertory.” (MusicWeb International). Margaret also made the first recording of a rediscovered student piece by Rachmaninoff, as well as two solo piano pieces by Sergey Taneyev. Two of her Bax recordings - the Octet with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble and the Concertante for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra with Vernon Handley and the BBC Philharmonic - were short-listed for Gramophone awards. Her disc of solo piano music by the Polish/French composer Alexandre Tansman was awarded the accolade of “Diapason d’Or” in France and received high praise: “A triumph of piano playing” (Pianist). Her CD of encores "Endless Song" was Featured Album of the Week on Classic FM and was selected as “Editor's Choice” in Pianist.

Margaret maintains a keen interest in working with contemporary composers and she has given first performances of works by Tony Bridgewater, James Francis Brown, Peter Copley, Clive Jenkins, Roxanna Panufnik, Farhad Poupel and Paul Spicer in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, Three Choirs Festival and Ryedale Festival. 

Recently she has become increasingly involved in raising money for charitable causes. In 2019 she undertook a major recital tour, performing a programme called “Far from the Home I Love” at 32 venues across the UK to raise money for refugees and asylum seekers. Her specially created programme of words and music gave a cultural context to what it means to be a migrant. She was presented with a ‘Champion of Sanctuary’ award by City of Sanctuary UK in recognition of her work. In 2022 Margaret collaborated with a young Ukrainian filmmaker to make a powerful video in support of Ukraine. Set to her performance of Les Rochers d’Outche-Coche’ by the Ukrainian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz, the video raised money for emergency vehicles in Ukraine.  Margaret was awarded an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours in recognition of her services to music and charitable fundraising.

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