Graham Fitch, M. Mus (Manhattan), GRSM (Hons.), ARCM, Cert.
of Advanced Musical Studies (RCM), was a student of Stephen Savage,
Peter Wallfisch and Roger Vignoles at the Royal College of Music,
London, during the late 70s, and also studied harpsichord with
Ruth Dyson. At the RCM, he was awarded the Borwick Prize, Hopkinson
Gold Medal and Sydney and Peggy Shimmin Prize for piano playing,
and a Belgian government scholarship to participate in harpsichord
masterclasses with Kenneth Gilbert in Antwerp. In 1982, Graham
was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, A Countess of Munster Musical
Scholarship and a BUNAC award to complete his studies in the
United States with Ann Schein and Nina Svetlanova. He established
himself in New York and stayed for seven years, becoming Mme.
Svetlanova's teaching assistant at the Mannes College of Music.
He has played in masterclasses by Leon Fleisher, András
Schiff, Tamás Vásáry, Jeffrey Siegel, the
Beaux Arts Trio (chamber music) and Kenneth Gilbert (harpsichord).
From 1990 to 1997, Graham taught piano at the Purcell School,
Centre for Young Musicians and St. Paul's Girls' School in London,
as well as commuting monthly to New York to teach privately.
Among his students' many national and international successes
are the International Russian Music Piano Competition, BBC Young
Artists’ Platform, Royal Overseas League, Derby Concerto
Competition, South East Arts and UNISA Overseas Scholarship Competition.
In the 90s, Graham studied further with Edith Picht-Axenfeld
in Germany, and with piano guru Peter Feuchtwanger, making a
study of his special exercises.
As a performer, Graham has specialised in the music of the high
Baroque (especially Bach, Rameau and F. Couperin), Haydn, Mozart,
Chopin and Schumann. He gave all-Bach recital programmes in the
Bach year, all-Chopin recitals in the Chopin year, and more recently
all-Mozart solo and chamber programmes in the Mozart year. He
has performed concertos with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
under Bernhard Gueller
and David Tidboald,
as well as performances with Bryden Thomson
and Iain Leddingham.
As a teacher, Graham was in high demand in the early 1990s at
the Purcell School, privately in London and New York, and later
as a piano professor at the University of Cape Town (1997-2008).
He is now available in London as a private teacher. He has extensive
experience as an adjudicator (Cape Town and Bloemfontein Eistedfodds),
and as a national and international competition jury member (the
Pretoria International Piano Competition, Sanlam National Music
Competition, the Kawai Australasian Youth Piano Concerto Competition,
and others). He has given masterclasses in the UK (including
at the Royal Academy of Music, where he also deputised for Christopher
Elton and took the Performers' Class, Chetham's School of Music),
USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.