Unanimously described as one of the leading pianists of his generation, John Lill’s career spans over 60 years, during which time he has given over 5,000 concerts. Lill originally studied at the Royal College of Music and with Wilhelm Kempff. His rare talent emerged at an early age, giving his first piano recital at the age of nine. At eighteen he performed Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto under Sir Adrian Boult, immediately followed by his much-acclaimed London début playing Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Piano Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall. His early career flourished and was enhanced by many prestigious international prizes and awards. In 1970 he won the most coveted of these: the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition, further consolidating his already busy international concert schedule. Since then he has given concerts in over fifty countries, both as a recitalist and as a soloist with the world’s greatest orchestras.
John Lill’s extensive repertoire includes more than eighty concertos, and he is acclaimed in particular as a leading interpreter of Beethoven, whose complete sonata cycle he has performed on several occasions in the UK, USA and Japan. In Britain he has given over 25 London Promenade concerts and regularly appears with all the major symphony orchestras. He has toured overseas with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham, Hallé, Royal Scottish National and BBC Scottish symphony orchestras.
John Lill has been awarded many Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from British Universities, Colleges and Academies. He lives in London and was awarded the OBE in 1977 and the CBE for his services to music in the 2005 New Year’s Honours’ List.