The English-born Canadian pianist and teacher, Valerie Tryon, appeared in public regularly while still a child. She toured with the Northern Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at age nine, and at age eleven made the first of many BBC broadcasts. In 1948 she completed the ARCM and LRAM diplomas. From 1950 to 1955 she studied with Eric Grant at the Royal Academy of Music. On bursary, she studied with Jacques Février in Paris in 1955-1956.
Critical acclaim for Valerie Tryon's recital at the 1959 Cheltenham Festival (UK) launched her career with appearances as soloist and recitalist in major British concert halls and in Europe, South Africa, Canada, and the USA. She has performed Piano Concertos with the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and other major orchestras.
In 1971, Valerie Tryon relocated to Canada and continued her international career. She has since performed in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles. She became Artist-in-Residence at McMaster University, Canada, in 1976. In 1984, she took a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music, FRAM, and in 1986 the Hungarian Minister of Culture awarded her the Ferenc Liszt Medal of Honour for "outstanding achievement" in the interpretation of Liszt's music. In 1986 she became naturalized Canadian.
Valerie Tryon's wide repertoire includes some 50 concertos and spans from J.S. Bach to the late 20th century. She is best known for her interpretation of romantic works, particularly those of Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Sergei Rachmaninov. In addition to giving recitals as soloist or accompanist, she has made frequent recordings in Canada, the USA and the UK, including of works by Canadian composers, eg, Srul Irving Glick (Suite Hébraïque No. 1 and other works), Murray Adaskin (Dedication), Milton Barnes (Folk Dances) and Claude Champagne (Quadrilha brasiliera). About her recording of F. Chopin's scherzos and ballades, the New York Times declared it "among the best Chopin recordings of the last decade," while Diapason called her playing of Scarlatti "supreme elegance." Primarily a solo performer, she has also appeared often with chamber ensembles including Camerata and Trio Canada (Hamilton). She has performed and recorded with the Rembrandt Trio, which she co-founded with Gerard Kantarjian, violin and Coenraad Bloemendal, cello in 1986, and she has been heard on the CBC. She has also been artist-in-residence with the Brott Summer Music Festival.
Valerie Tryon has been awarded several distinctions for her services to music. She was an early recipient of the Harriet Cohen Medal. In 1986 the Hungarian Ministry of Culture awarded her the Ferenc Liszt Medal of Honour for 'outstanding achievement' in the interpretation of Franz Liszt's music. In 1991 she was granted an Honorary Licentiate Diploma (LWCM) from the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music (now Conservatory Canada). Her Debussy Songs, performed with soprano Claudette LeBlanc won a Juno Award for "best classical album" in 1994. In the same category, her album, "The Joy of Piano" brought a second Juno nomination the following year. An honorary D. LITT was granted to Valerie Tryon in 2000, by McMaster University.