Barry Douglas (musician)

William Barry Douglas OBE (born 23 April 1960)[1] in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a classical pianist and conductor.

Barry Douglas
Barry Douglas.jpg
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Barry Douglas
Born (1960-04-23) 23 April 1960 (age 60)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Occupation(s)Musician, conductor
Years active1978–present
LabelsRCA Victor Red Seal
Satirino France
Associated actsCamerata Ireland

Early life and educationEdit

He studied piano, cello, clarinet and organ while growing up in Belfast. He first studied in Belfast while attending Methodist College Belfast and, at 16, had lessons with Felicitas LeWinter, a pupil of Emil von Sauer and grand-pupil of Franz Liszt. In London he studied with John Barstow for four years and then studied privately with Maria Curcio,[2][3] the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel, going on to study with the Russian pianist Yevgeny Malinin in Paris. He won the Bronze Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas in 1985 and second prize in the 1980 Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. He won the gold medal outright in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986, the first non-Russian pianist to do so since Van Cliburn in 1958.[4]


His debut album was a recording of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. He has made many recordings since then and has recently (2007) completed (with Camerata Ireland) recording the five Beethoven piano concertos and the Triple Concerto (with Kim Chee-yun and Andrés Díaz). He is Artistic Director of the International Piano Festival in Manchester, England and the Clandeboye Festival in Clandeboye, Bangor, County Down. He founded Camerata Ireland in 1998[5] which has Elizabeth II and Mary McAleese (the then President of Ireland) as Joint Patrons.

Douglas increasingly devotes part of his time to conducting the Camerata Ireland orchestra. He has directed cycles of the complete Beethoven symphonies (in November 2002) and Mozart and Schubert symphonies and Mozart concertos in 2000 and 2001. He has made recordings for the RCA Victor Red Seal and Satirino France labels.

Later awardsEdit

Douglas was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year Honours List for services to music.[6] He also received a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music where he is Visiting Prince Consort Professor of Piano, and an Hon. Doctorate of Music from Queens University Belfast. He received an honorary Doctorate of Music from the National University of Ireland in September 2007.

He is married and has three children. He shares his time between Paris and Lurgan.


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2014. Mr Barry Douglas, concert pianist, 52
  2. ^ Immelman, neil, 14 April 2009, Maria Curcio, Obituaries,
  3. ^ 7 April 2009, Mario Curcio, Obituaries, Telegraph,
  4. ^ Melinda Bargreen (1 February 2009). "Irish piano star Barry Douglas can do it all". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Camerata Ireland with Barry Douglas". Library of Congress. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Profiles - Barry Douglas". BBC Northern Ireland. Retrieved 6 February 2010.

External linksEdit