Rehearsing at Milton Court Concert Hall (‘Mozart: The Genesis of Genius’), 22 February 2015

‘Excellent performance…played with historical awareness and humour’

International Piano

‘Gorgeously subtle colouring’

The Guardian

‘Superbly inflected performances – outstanding’

The Observer

‘Beautiful – clarity and delight’

Birmingham Post

‘Irving’s performances are balanced and exquisitely judged’

Presto Classical

‘The fortepiano sounds just right for these early Beethoven pieces, and is played with a sensitive and delicate touch by John Irving.’ 

Andrew Benson-Wilson

‘Exquisite fortepiano playing’

Early Music Review 

‘Superb…skilled at bringing out the colours and beauties of the piano…a real treat.’ 


‘All promising young pianists should hear this [John Irving Plays Mozart on the Hass Clavichord SFZM0612] before they become too indoctrinated with the standard received notions of Mozartian style’

Early Music Review

‘wonderful colours … really sparkling passage work … elegant melodic lines. The entire performance was imbued with much joy and wit.’ (The Cross Eyed Pianist blog)

‘John Irving’s commanding performance was so assured… moments of real excitement’ BristolClassical

 ‘I haven’t really heard a better performance of the Haydn sonatas on fortepiano – beautiful instrument, and you shaped the music as if making it newly – creating it.’

Professor Susan Wollenberg – Oxford University


‘Totally exquisite…sublime’
Michelle Castelletti, Artistic Director, RNCM 

As a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber music performer on fortepiano, clavichord and harpsichord, I specialize in 18th– and early 19th-century solo and chamber music repertoires. My latest solo CD recording, Josef Haydn Piano Sonatas (Devine Music: DMCD005) appeared in December 2015 and was recorded on a Johannes Secker South German fortepiano (2011) after Stein (1784). Previous releases include John Irving Plays Mozart on the Hass Clavichord (sfzmusic: SFZM0612, March 2013) featuring Sonatas, Fantasias and miscellaneous early works played on a historic clavichord dating from 1763. This CD and associated website, were funded by a research grant from The British Academy.


Recent and forthcoming appearances include King’s Place; Milton Court, Barbican Centre; Greenwich International Early Music Festival; LSO St. Lukes; Music at 22 Mansfield Street; Brighton Early Music Festival; North York Moors Chamber Music Festival; Royal Northern College of Music; Deal Festival; Newcastle Early Music Festival, Canterbury Festival; St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh; the Holywell Music Room, Oxford; Turner Sims Concert Hall; Clothworkers’ Centenary Hall; the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands; Finchcocks; Holburne Museum, Bath (on a historic Schantz fortepiano); Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin; and the ORPHEUS Instituut, Gent, Fondazione Cini, Venice; Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, Lugano. Overseas invitations for 2016-17 include Sala dei Marmi, Pesaro; Geelvinck Festival, Amsterdam; and the Valetta International Baroque Festival, Malta.

John Irving Brochure


P1000702Rehearsing with Ensemble DeNOTE in the Concert Hall of the RNCM, Manchester, 9 March 2015



In addition to my solo work, I play with Ensemble DeNOTE – principally classical chamber music, and also duo recitals with Marcus Barcham Stevens (violin), Jane Booth (clarinet), Steven Devine, (fortepiano). I also worked with BuskAid’s Soweto Strings Ensemble in their 2014 UK Tour.

Read an interview with Frances Wilson about my work as a performer:

Watch John on Video from The Mozart Project iBook:

Chamber music recordings include Clarinets by Arrangement, a CD of arrangements c.1800 for clarinet or basset-horn and fortepiano, with JANE BOOTH, including chamber works by Mozart (clarinet quintet) and Beethoven (horn sonata) is available on the sfzmusic label and has  received critical acclaim. My own solo harpsichord CD, Sonatas from the Court of Salzburg was released in the UK on sfzmusic in February 2012. A solo clavichord disc, featuring keyboard sonatas by Mozart, appeared in spring 2013 also on sfzmusic. For more information, see the listing of current performance activity on the Diary page.

For clips from my recent work for Pipedreams Collective’s The Mozart Project – the world’s first digital interactive book on Mozart released for iPad – see:

I frequently give lecture-recitals on my performance research, for instance at the 2012 Incorporated Society of Musicians Annual Conference, ‘Going for Gold’ at LSO St Lukes. A short video montage of the conference including excerpts from my lecture-recital can be seen at


You may also like to view some performances on my YouTube channel: johnalanirving

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