Pianist Natalie Burch specialises in vocal accompaniment and is widely in demand as a song pianist across London and the UK. She was winner of the accompaniment prize at the 2015 Maureen Lehane Awards at Wigmore Hall, a finalist alongside 2nd Prize winner James Way at the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and is a current Britten-Pears Young Artist. She was a finalist in the 2017 Somerset Song Prize, a recipient of the Sam Hutchings Prize to study at Oxenfoord with Malcolm Martineau and a Help Musicians grant to study at the 2016 Oxford Lieder Mastercourse led by Wolfgang Holzmair. Natalie is co-founder of SongSpiel who are currently in residency at METAL with Ensemble Perpetuo and composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad working on her song cycle The Thought Machine, and are soon to make the first performance of a new programme based around Dominic Argento’s A Few Words about Chekhov.
Natalie was a fellow at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she gained a masters with distinction under the tutelage of Eugene Asti and Andrew West. She formerly studied with John Railton before moving to Chetham's School of Music to study solo piano with Peter Lawson. In 2014 she graduated with first class honors from King's College London where she studied musicology and studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music with Daniel-Ben Pienaar and Andrew West.
Past performance highlights include Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer and Stephen Hough’s Other Love Songs alongside Alisdair Hogarth and the Prince Consort at Wigmore Hall, a new commission by Daniel Kidane for 'Occupy the Pianos' at St John’s Smith Square, solo recitals at Manchester Cathedral and performances of Schumann’s Mignon Lieder, Frauenliebe und Leben and a new commission from William Marsey, Austerity Songs, all at St James’ Piccadilly. She has performed in masterclasses and song projects with Julius Drake, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Malcolm Martineau, Robert Holl, Iain Burnside, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir John Tomlinson and Dame Anne Murray amongst others.
As co-founder of SongSpiel, Natalie explores the established song repertoire alongside new commissions creating more dramatically engaging performances of the genre through rehearsal methods more commonly associated with opera and theatre. She also runs the Devon Song Festival – an annual event that brings short and varied programmes of song sung by outstanding young singers to new audiences across the county.
Aside from song accompaniment, Natalie is resident pianist for Opera Prelude performing regularly at Cadogan Hall, Leighton House and in Henley for lecture recitals and gala concerts. She is also Musical Director of Devon Opera with whom she directed Rigoletto from the keyboard at Dartington Hall and where she will return in Autumn 2017 for their production of Così fan tutte. In 2017 Natalie joined the Shanghai Opera House for their Barbican Residency as orchestral pianist in the UK premier of The Wager. She has also performed as an orchestral pianist for the chamber reduction of Mahler's 4th Symphony and Shostakovich's Jazz suites alongside Aldwych Sinfonia at St George's Bloomsbury and as on-stage pianist in King's Opera's production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
Natalie continues to pursue her academic interests through research into the history of song accompaniment on record and a long-running project exploring culinary culture and its relationship with music. Natalie is hugely thankful to her sponsors for supporting her various projects and especially for the support of the Guildhall Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and Help Musicians UK.