Wayne’s relationship with music began at an early age. By the age of three, he had already familiarised himself with the piano, and only began to take formal lessons a few years later.
Wayne was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester from 1971 to 1979. He won a Foundation scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, which was combined with the post of Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and was a Post Graduate student at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna from 1983-84.
Wayne’s musical forays led him to experiment in multiple genres, including church music and jazz, but quickly found his professional voice as an organ/piano recitalist. His first recorded work goes as far back as 1990, recorded at the organ of Coventry Cathedral, for EMI.
This was also the time in which Wayne began to find his footing as a conductor, a path that would see him working with some of the world’s most accomplished orchestras. Wayne feels at home on the podium directing and conducting as well as being a soloist. He is a man with two gifts and one legacy.
Wayne’s concert diary has been quite full over many years. Some of the most noteworthy opera conducting achievements include Washington, Dallas, Montreal, Paris, (Opéra Comique) Rome and Dresden Semperoper.
Further guest conducting appearances in 2016 included performances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Taipei Symphony and the Malaysian Philharmonic, and he also gave a solo performance at the BBC’s Ten Pieces Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has performed many times at the BBC Proms in previous years, and was a co-presenter for the Barenboim Prom in 2014.
Wayne’s merits have not gone unrecognised. He was the BBC Music Magazine’s Artist of the Year in 1998. In 2004, Wayne received an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University, and in 2010 became a Fellow of the Royal College of Music. 2016 proved to be another significant year for Wayne, as he received the prestigious Golden Jubilee Award in commemoration of his services to music.
As a recording artist, one of Wayne’s most notable achievements was receiving an ECHO (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis) award for his Gershwin Songbook piano album.
Wayne has never been one to rest on his laurels, and the busy schedule that lies ahead is proof of this. Wayne’s calendar is brimming, particularly his work with the WDR. Other performances on the horizon are with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Czech Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony orchestras.
One of Wayne’s most anticipated projects is conducting the Orchestre de Paris in 2018, in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Interpreting the music of Bernstein is considered to be one of Wayne’s biggest strengths, and so this performance will certainly be one to keep an eye out for.
In addition to his engagements as a conductor, Wayne will still be travelling the world as a concert organist, with performances at the Moscow House of Music, Lotte Hall in South Korea and the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
© 2017 Wayne Marshall. Photos by WDR/Detlef Overmann & Ed Brambis.