- Job title: Joint Head of Accompaniment
- Department(s): Accompanists
Brenda Blewett currently combines a concert career with her position as Joint Head of Accompaniment at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
She read music at Oxford University – specialising in 19th century music – and then continued at the Royal College of Music, where she studied piano with David Parkhouse and accompaniment with Robert Sutherland and was awarded the Ellen Marie Curtis Prize for her interpretations of Haydn and Mozart.
As an accompanist and chamber musician she has collaborated with many singers and instrumentalists including David Campbell, Wissam Boustany, Guy Johnston, Erik Stenstadvold, Mona Julsrud and Marianne Beate Kielland. Performances have taken her to major venues and festivals throughout the UK, Europe and in Los Angeles and New York. She has a great love of Norway and Norwegian culture and has performed in many of Norway and Sweden’s major festivals over the last 15 years, touring extensively through both countries with prominent Norwegian musicians. For the past three years she has been resident accompanist at the prestigious Valdres Music Festival – the largest festival in Norway for young string players and pianists. She has also worked regularly as a visiting accompanist at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo. Many of her Norwegian colleagues were part of the Chetham’s ‘Spirit of Norway’ Festival in 2007 which she helped organise. Brenda has made several television and radio appearances and has given live broadcasts on Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and NRK radio in Norway.
Through her role at Chetham’s Brenda has collaborated in masterclasses with eminent musicians such as Stephen Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Ralph Kirshbaum, Thomas Riebl and James Campbell. Brenda has a great passion for working with young people – nurturing and helping them to develop as performers and musicians. She accompanies frequently in national and international competitions, notably the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Yehudi Menuhin Competition, Royal Overseas League, the Davina van Wely competition in Holland, Spohr Violin competition in Weimar and the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki.
Her interest in music of the early 19th century and authentic performance practice has led her to perform regularly on the fortepiano particularly with her Anglo-Norwegian ensemble Musica Domestica. They have made 2 CD recordings on the Simax label, and their recording of the Haydn trios for flute, cello and piano was chosen as ‘Record of the Month’ by the German Music Journal “Alte Musik Aktuell”.