Mark Latimer is an English pianist. His repertoire consists of over 75 performed piano concertos, including the mammoth Concerto for Piano and Chorus by Ferruccio Busoni and the Charles-Valentin Alkan Concerto for solo piano, of which he made the first live recording. He is also a composer and has had numerous works performed and recorded.
Mark Latimer performed the Sergei Rachmaninovís 3rd Piano Concerto at the age of 12. He performed the S. Rachmaninovís 3rd Piano Concerto and Prokofievís 2nd Piano Concerto at the age of 16, shortly followed by a performance of both piano concertos by Johannes Brahms (No. 1, No. 2). He became a professor of music at the London College of Music at age 18.
Mark Latimer is also known for his performances of pieces by lesser known composers such as Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Max Reger, Arthur Honegger, Constant Lambert and others. As well as piano he has also recorded a number of organ works including an hour long organ and prepared piano CD Zeitgeist which is completely improvised. An ongoing series of "Take" jazz CDs have been recorded, alongside his own suite "Exhibitionist at the pictures".
"Critics" opinions of the phenomenal, unclassifiable Mark Latimer may sound like hyperbole until you encounter the artist at work at which time they sound like understatements instead. This resolutely independent performer - an artistic powerhouse - is creating his own special niche in contemporary music" - John Fordham, The Guardian. Historically there is immeasurably less than a handful of musicians who are equally and genuinely adept in both the improvised jazz and classical music spheres. "A great many talk, a very few dabble but Latimer actually DOES"; consequently and unequivocally he is one of the most unparalleled, influential and remarkable. Equally at home in Stockhausen as the Stereophonic, Cage as Coldplay, the Hammerklavier Sonata as the Hammersmith Palais and dubbed "the Renaissance man of music" by his record company, Warner Classics and Jazz, Mark Latimer leads a multi-layered existence as a "piano-auteur-animateur" operating on multi-faced levels, on the one hand composing, performing his own skeletally notated cutting-edge free improvised jazz, on the other a colossal repertoire of concertos, major classical cycles, and in particular non-mainstream and contemporary works, all of which is demonstrated by his new signing to Warner.
Mark Latimerís immense, all embracing "classical" repertoire, ranging from the earliest keyboard works eg. the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book to various premieres of works by A. Honegger, C. Lambert, Schumann, K.S. Sorabji etc., as well as in excess of 100 first performances of numerous living composers including the recent premieres of leading contemporary Italian composer Adam Gentile's demanding complete solo works in China and the National Gallery London. Concerto engagements have included rarities by Alan Bush, F. Busoni (Op. 39), Corigliano, Piet Ketting, Rawsthorne, M. Reger, Scheinkman and so on, have played alongside his free improvised, cutting-edge organic compositions, including his recent suite Exhibitionist at the Pictures performed as part of a recent tour uniquely alongside the C.V. Alkan Concerto for Solo Piano (astonishingly, his first South Bank performance in the early 1980's was only the second time this formidable work was played complete in London). Jazz and Classical appearances have taken him to international festivals in the UK, Europe and USA, including international jazz festivals in Birmingham, Brecon, Cheltenham (first artist-in-residence 1997), the first Euroart Festival - London, Modal Contemporary Music Festival, Montreux, Newport R.I., OctoberFest BAC, London, Soho, Trondheim Norway; Holland, France, RSA, Russia, USA, throughout Britain, Classical Festivals including Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Chichester, Hangzhou, Manchester, Newbury, Norwich, Nuovi Spazi Musicali Italy Rome, Salisbury, Shanghai, Sydmonton, Three Choirs, West Lake International Festival China, Windsor International Festivals, and most major platforms such as St. John's Smith Square London, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Royal Opera House, 100 club, Blue Note Japan, Pizza Express, Ronnie Scott's et al..
Major composition commissions have been obtained from the BBC (new jazz works during 2000/2001) and The Arts Council (most recently a major choral and string work given its Festival premiere in June 2001) and his sixth string quartet for The Aurora Quartet.
Innumerable collaborations, again uniquely covering an encyclopaedic range, have included working with astonishingly diverse artists from Joe Daniels, the Sandy Brown band and The Christie Brothers to Larry Adler, Renato d'Aiello, Guy Barker, Dale Barlow, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, Paul Clarvis, George Coleman, Gary Crosby, John Dankworth, John Etheridge, Catrin Finch, Slim Gaillard, Tim Garland, Stan Getz, Danny Moss, Warren Vache, Don Weller ; Ahronovitch, Atzmon, Boult, Celibidache, Del Mar, Gibson, Groves, Tausky, Vasary; members of the Amadeus, Arriaga and Brodsky Quartets, the Marlboro Wind Ensemble, Campoli, Civil, Elizabeth Harwood, Julian Lloyd Webber, Tortelier, John Williams to name only a few: trio formats with cutting edge improvising musicians such as long standing associates and kindred souls Mario Castronari and Asaf Sirkis as well as in electro-experimentational live concert settings with Marcio Mattos and Tony Marsh, young cutting edge Grammy award winning Scandinavians Haakon Johanson and Steinar Raknes and in the Far East with New Yorkers Damien Banzigou and Ronnie Williams et.al.
Another first for Mark Latimer, and St. John's Smith Square, was his concert of improvised music there. Furthermore, he is one of the very few to occupy that exceptionally rare jazz upper echelon as NOT being known as a 'sideman'.Other fields of the arts have benefitted from his expertise, with musical direction for a number of productions including those of Andrew Lloyd Webber and his coaching, composing, session and accompaniment work having brought him into contact with major figures from the worlds of the avant garde, ballet, choreography, contemporary dance, electroacoustic and experimental music, film - mainstream and independent, pop, rock and theatre - fringe, legitimate, musical.
The large and virtually unparalleled discography of "this renaissance man of music" includes a considerable number of live multiform jazz CDís including the ground breaking solo real-time site-specific Zeitgeist CD on Munitions Factory. Classical highlights include the first ever live recording of notoriously "the most difficult work ever written", The Concerto for Solo Piano by C.V. Alkan on APR - APR 5600 - and his 'trail-blazing' CD, his first release for Warner - Warner Classics 2564 61718-2 - of both the M. Reger cerebral, monumental and colossally demanding sets of piano variations and fugues - on themes by Georg Philipp Telemann and J./S. Bach (Classic FM's instrumental CD of the month 02.05) - the latter work also performed on tour 2000-2001 with world premieres of new jazz commissions including der rosenKlavier. Also, he has recorded many works by composers ranging from Albeniz to Xennakis and also organ compositions from J.S. Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude to Charpentier and Messaien. The latest in an on-going series of 'Take' albums for Spotlite Records was released in December 2002, as well as a charity CD which he recorded with the current Archbishop of Canterbury.
Numerous broadcasts, a great many of them live and a great many of them premieres, have been undertaken on BBC radio including arguably the first ever contrapuntal improvised jazz work on the resident four-manual pipe organ in the Concert Hall BBC Broadcasting House London (his composition Twelve Tone Altercation), which was part of a live concert broadcast from there on BBC Radio 3. Diverse BBC television performances include Rachmaninov and Britten songs with Sarah Brightman and a Royal Concert with Wayne Sleep. His international broadcasts have taken place in many countries including France, Holland, Italy, South Africa and the USA. His 'belief defying range' is demonstrated by his most recent live BBC radio 3 broadcasts which encompassed impromptu duos with artists as diverse as Alan Barnes and Julian Joseph and took in, uniquely Steve Reich, wild free-improv and indie band E.M.F. on the first; duets with Jim Mullen and Claire Martin and an arrangement of The Prodigy's 'Smack my Bitch up' - a typically bizarre first for BBC Radio 3 - on the second. Latimer's current multi-media projects include a unique collaboration with BAFTA award-winning film animators Cinetig for which he recieved an enormous Arts Council award, weaving a truly original web of free improvised contemporary jazz (from solo to large ensembles) with sand and ink film animations and various other multi-media interactive shows and productions including his new cutting edge chamber ensemble Camera Obscura and the improvised music and dance concept Terpsichorus - premiered by Battersea Arts Centre prestigious OktoberFest, as well as his duo project with Julian Joseph which has opened many prestigious festivals and series.
Touring musical theatre workshops are also being planned for the UK, Europe and Far East. Ancillary projects include the completion of Max Reger's biography as well as continued contributions to important conferences, symposia, journals etc. Interactive art installations including collaborations with Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, an improvised dance/music piece at the Place's Resolutions Festival and a Brecht collaborations with British theatre's doyenne Annie Castledine.
With such extensive academic and practical knowledge of The Arts (film, music and contemporary dance), Mark Latimerís commitment to driving these art forms forward and making all forms of contemporary music more accessible can be seen by his numerous workshop, masterclass and pedagogic activities, running mostly independently but also within an institutional context having either tutored or held positions at major music colleges and conservatoires in the UK (including professorship at the London College of Music at age 18), major specialised educational establishments in the country (including The Arts Education School in London and the new music initiative at the London Academy of Film), universities including the University of Wales and University of Hangzhou, China as well as a brief contemporary artist-in-residence at The Royal College of Music, Wales and recent film collaborations as music director including the Anglo-American award winning movie "Music from a Farther Room'.