Martyn Parkes – Pianist
Since becoming a professional piano accompanist in 1997, Yorkshire-born Martyn Parkes has been fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s top instrumentalists and singers, giving recitals at many of the most prestigious venues in the UK, including The Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields and St James’s Piccadilly, London. He has performed and recorded as orchestral pianist for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. He has also worked on BBC television and radio projects, including Classical Star, The Kiri Prize and BBC Young Musicians 2012 and 2014. In January 2006, Martyn was appointed as a full time Accompanist at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, UK. He combines this with freelance accompaniment work, which ranges from performing and recording to coaching singers and teaching piano.
Catherine Hall-Smith – Pianist
Catherine has a busy and varied career as pianist, accompanist and teacher. She studied piano and organ at Birmingham Conservatoire and later went on to specialize in accompaniment with David Lloyd at the Royal Northern College of Music. Whilst there she was awarded the John Ireland Prize for accompanists, the Dora Gilson Scholarship and, most memorably, a time of study at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Since settling in Glossop with her family some twenty years ago, she began her freelance career as a pianist to the Education Unit of Northern Ballet Theatre. She now teaches both privately and at Bolton School, and is regularly in demand as a Festival accompanist throughout the North West.