Bryce Morrison is considered among the world’s leading authorities on piano repertoire and performance. A music scholar of The Kings School, Canterbury, he read English at Oxford, later teaching in Canada and America before settling in London where he has taught and written as a music critic for many years.




He has been a professor of keyboard literature and performance at the Royal Academy of Music, later giving written evaluations in public classes at the Academy of students preparing for exams and competitions. He was a visiting professor at The Birmingham Conservatoire of Music, Chetham’s School of Music, The Royal Northern School of Music and has taught at The Royal College of Music, The Guildhall School of Music, The Trinity College of Music (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music), He has also taught at The University of Miami and, for many years at The Texas Conservatoire for Young Artists(Dallas). He has given master-classes world-wide, in America, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. He has lectured at The Juilliard School in New York and in 1988 was Corina Frada Pick Professor of keyboard studies at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. In 1986 at the invitation of the Marquess of Londonderry he lectured at a Liszt Festival held at Lord Londonderry’s estate at Wynard Park. The festival was filmed for BBC television.  In 1999 he gave a marathon fifty-two lectures and masterclasses at the Mannes School of Music in New York before continuing as a guest professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2015 after lecturing at a symposium in Rome regarding Arturo Michelangeli he continued with classes at The Tropea Music Festival in Calabria.

 In successive years his student Hugh Tinney won first prize at the International Ettore Pozzoli Competition in Italy and the Santander Piano Competition in Spain before becoming a finalist at The Leeds International Competition. His students have received high praise in the Guardian and The Times and have given no less than fourteen London recitals performing with great success on both radio and television (including Jorge Bolet’s television master-class on Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto)




He has published extensively in the British Press (The Times, Telegraph, Observer, Times Literary Supplement), the Gramophone Magazine(including critical  assessments of the playing of Stephen Kovacevich, Andre Watts, Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, Dinu Lipatti, Maurizio Pollini etc) as well as in Italy(a tribute to Radu Lupu). At the present time he writes for The International Piano Quarterly including an ongoing series on pianists who have invited controversy (Sergei Rachmaninov, Simon Barere, Moritz Rosenthal, Ignaz Friedman, Jose Iturbi, Gyorgy Cziffra, Glenn Gould. Nyiregyhazi, Lazar Berman, Vladimir Horowitz, Van Cliburn, Myra Hess, Alexis Weissenberg and Samson Francois. He takes pride in having promoted through BBC broadcasts the story of Eileen Joyce (his many years of friendship with a superb, but ill-fated artist) Terence Judd(whose tragic death at the age of twenty-two is recalled in his essay, ‘  In Memory of Terence Judd’ and in a series of broadcasts, Noel Mewton-Wood in an essay and a television film, Germaine Thyssen-Valentin, whose playing he discusses on the sleeves of her recording of Faure’s piano music. He has also appeared in television films about John Ogdon and Lang Lang. He has broadcast extensively for the BBC including over thirty contributions to ‘Building a Library’ a discussion of all the current recordings of a particular work. In 1986 he published a study of Liszt with a forward by Jorge Bolet.

He featured in the novel, ‘The Black Piano’ by Dawn Lowe-Watson, contributed three chapters to The Phaidon Book of the Piano’ and had two BBC lectures published by The Oxford University Press. He has made over fifty contributions to Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, holds five degrees in music and literature, is an honorary ARAM, is an honorary member of The Chopin Society and a member of The Critics Circle. He has also had his marriage to Lyndon Scarffe celebrated in a chapter of the book, ‘Emerging Ritual’ by Isabel Russo.




He has been a jury member of over fifty International Piano Competitions where his colleagues have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jorge Bolet and Lazar Berman. He has chaired the jury of The Naumburg International Competition in New York—whose first prize winners have included Jorge Bolet, Abbey Simon, Stephen Hough and Stephen Osborne—The Scottish International Piano Competition and The Terence Judd Award in London. The Naumburg holds a special place in his affections; small in scale but large in achievement.



He has published interviews with Horowitz, Rubinstein, Arrau, Curzon, Andras Schiff, Ashkenazy, Bolet, Pollini, Sokolov, Weissenberg, Pogorelich, Kissin, Earl Wild and Garrick Ohlsson and, most recently, Alexandre Kantarow.




This includes a study of Faure’s piano music and an autobiography, a reflection of the golden thread that has run and continues to run throughout his life. For him, music in its infinite variety, is at the very heart of human experience and is, in Mendelssohn’s immortal aphorism, ‘too precise rather than too vague for language,’ an ultimate mirror of all that we think and feel, all that we are.




Above all I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to all those who have contributed to and formed my career. To Eileen Joyce who I heard as a child and who unwittingly became an initial spur and inspiration making the direction of my life clear. To my teachers, Ronald Smith, Iso Elinson and most of all Alexander Uninsky, whose triumph in the 1932 Chopin Competition in Warsaw was later enriched by teaching that proved an indelible fund of wit and wisdom.

Bryce Morrison