Young Artist of the Month: Pianist Harry Rylance

Musicians’ Company Young Artist Harry Rylance is an award-winning pianist and recent Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music who has performed live on TV, radio and at world leading concert halls. Beyond his dedication to the core canon, Harry’s passion for new and experimental music has led to exciting collaborations with top contemporary artists. Here Harry tells us what he’s been up to since winning the Company’s Silver Medal and what he’s planning next.

Hi! How are you? Where are you?

I am very well, thank you! And thank you for having me.  I’m currently in London, although in the past few days I have been in both Glyndebourne and Leeds for some work.

Congratulations on your recent work at Glyndebourne. What did you work on?

I have been very lucky to have started working as a répétiteur at Glyndebourne this year. I started with a brand new production of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers conducted by Robin Ticciati in the summer festival opener, followed by Puccini’s La bohème most recently as part of their tour.

Who/what motivates or inspires you musically?

I’ve always thought and reminded myself what a lucky life I’ve had in terms of being constantly surrounded by family, friends, colleagues, and teachers who inspire me. My time at RAM and as a Musicians’ Company Young Artist has exposed me to so many people that keep me motivated. Finding new perspectives through other musicians, regardless of their instrument, is always refreshing and exciting to me. In my experience, the beauty of music really comes through in collaboration, and that extends to the rest of life.

You’ve been described as a ‘true artist and splendid pianist’. What makes a great pianist?

I think every artist has something to say and sometimes what determines “greatness” is a matter of just having the courage to take risks (at least that’s what I convince myself I’m trying to do when I make mistakes on stage!).

What makes a good live performance in your opinion? 

Alongside the risk-taking, I think a good live performance is one that transports at least one person (the more the better!) to another world and engages them with the programme from start to finish. Similarly, it is always exciting if a performance sets off a spark within an audience, whether that be through uncovering new repertoire or presenting a fresh way of programming a familiar piece.

What have been your concert highlights of the year?

Playing at the Concertgebouw for the first time this spring was definitely a highlight – it is such an iconic venue and one I hope to return to, either as a performer or an audience member. Another equally welcoming venue for me was my parent’s house, where I recorded my #MusicShots performance! I had been enjoying all the previous videos up on the Musicians’ Company website so it was a big pleasure to add one of my own.

What’s on your schedule?

I have some exciting things coming up in the new year, including a trip to Wales for a concert with Trio Arisonto, a horn trio I have recently joined, as well as an album recording with soprano Cassandra Wright and Linn Records. I will also be back at Glyndebourne next season for their production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with Robin Ticciati.

Connect with Harry:


Instagram: @harryrylancepiano


Interview by @suzywillmott

Suzy is freelance copywriter who works with the Musicians’ Company