© Sussie Ahlburg
Peter Donohoe was born in Manchester in 1953. He studied at Chetham's School of Music for seven years, graduated in music at Leeds University, and went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Derek Wyndham and then in Paris with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. Since his unprecedented success as joint winner of the 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has developed a distinguished career in Europe, the USA, the Far East, New Zealand and Australia. He is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility and commanding technique.
Donohoe has performed with all the major London orchestras, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Swedish Radio, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vienna Symphony and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also played with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Sir Simon Rattle's opening concerts as Music Director. He made his twenty-second appearance at the BBC Proms in 2012 and has appeared at many other festivals including six consecutive visits to the Edinburgh Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron in France, and at the Ruhr and Schleswig Holstein Festivals in Germany. In the United States, his appearances have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Peter Donohoe also performs numerous recitals internationally and continues working with his long standing duo partner Martin Roscoe, as well as more recent collaborations with artists such as Raphael Wallfisch, Elizabeth Watts and Noriko Ogawa.
Donohoe has worked with many of the worlds' greatest conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Andrew Davis and Yevgeny Svetlanov. More recently he has appeared as soloist with the next generation of excellent conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Robin Ticciati and Daniel Harding.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include appearances with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and CBSO (under Sir Simon Rattle), the BBC Concert Orchestra, and a UK tour with the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as concerts in South America, Europe, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, and the USA. Other engagements include performances of all three MacMillian piano concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a series of concerts for the Ravel and Rachmaninov Festival at Bridgewater Hall alongside Noriko Ogawa, and performances with The Orchestra of the Swan (with whom he is an Associate Artist). Donohoe is also in high demand as an adjudicator at piano competitions around the world, with upcoming engagements including the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Moscow, The George Enescu Piano Competition, Romania, and the Hong Kong International Piano Competition.
As well as performing, Donohoe has an impressive catalogue of recordings. Most recently he has recorded a second disc of Prokofiev piano sonatas for SOMM Records, the first of which was released in May 2013. Gramophone described the first disc as "devastatingly effective", declaring Donohoe to be "in his element" and a review in Classical Notes identified Donohoe's "remarkably sensitive approach to even the most virtuosic of repertoire". In 2015 he will release two discs; one of Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues for Signum Records, and a disc of solo piano works by Scriabin.
Peter Donohoe is an honorary doctor of music at seven UK universities, and was awarded a CBE for services to classical music in the 2010 New Year's Honours List.