Martin James Bartlett possesses a fearless technique and plays with a maturity and elegance far beyond his years. The British pianist is the inaugural recipient of the Prix Serdang in 2022, a Swiss prize curated by Rudolf Buchbinder in recognition of the achievements of a promising young pianist while forging an international solo career.
Highlights of Bartlett’s 2023/24 season include debuts with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Manfred Honeck at the Grafenegg Festival, Stockholm Philharmonic under Jukka-Pekka Saraste at the Merano Festival and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under Jonathan Bloxham. Bartlett will also return to the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. Recent concerto highlights include a UK tour with the Sinfonia of London under the baton of John Wilson, and a European tour with the LGT Young Soloists, performing Philip Glass’s ‘Tirol’ piano concerto at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, culminating in a gala performance for the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein in London.
Past seasons have seen Bartlett in recital at the Wigmore Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, The Concertgebouw, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Salle Cortot Paris, Stadtcasino Basel, Festival International de Piano de La Roque d'Anthéron and the Rheingau Musik, International Chopin Piano, Dresden Music, Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter and Turku Music Festivals. Bartlett’s debut US tour in February 2022 in the Young Concert Artists Series included debut performances in New York and The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC.
An exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics, Bartlett has released two widely acclaimed albums on the label. Rhapsody (2022), recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Joshua Weilerstein and featuring concerti by Rachmaninoff and Gershwin, was released to critical acclaim, receiving accolades including Editor’s Choice on Gramophone and a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine. His debut recital album Love and Death (2019), an exploration of the elemental themes and ranging from Bach to Prokofiev, received outstanding reviews in The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times.
Martin James Bartlett’s early public success was as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. This led to engagements with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra and, in 2015, his BBC Proms debut performing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday, he performed at the National Service of Thanksgiving, which was broadcast live on BBC One from St. Paul's Cathedral. In August 2020, Bartlett was announced as the winner of the Virtu(al)oso Global Piano Competition by Piano Cleveland. In 2018 he was awarded 2nd prize and the Audience Award at the Kissingen Piano Olympiad.
In 2021 he was awarded the Queen Mother Rosebowl by HRH Prince Charles and graduated with a first class Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and an Artist’s Diploma from the Royal College of Music, having studied under Professor Vanessa Latarche. From 2020 to 2022, Bartlett was the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow, and made his play-direct and conducting debut with the London Mozart Players at the Cheltenham and Ryedale festivals in 2022 leading works by Pärt, Mozart and Britten. In 2019, Bartlett was awarded first place at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.