Martin Cousin



Martin Cousin is now regarded as one of the most exceptional pianists of his generation, having been awarded 1st Prize at the 2005 Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (Seregno, Italy) and Gold Medal at the 2003 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition (London).

Martin has appeared regularly in the major British musical venues since graduating from the Royal College of Music, making his London solo debut at the Purcell Room in 1998. Numerous solo recitals followed, notably at the Wigmore Hall in 2001,2005 and 2011. He has performed as concerto soloist with the London Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia and BBC Concert Orchestras. Performances further afield have included tours of New Zealand, the US, Italy and concerts in Stockholm, Brussels, Toronto, Tokyo, Berne and The Hague.

2006 saw the release of his debut CD of Rachmaninov’s Sonata No 1 and Morceaux de Salon with SOMM Recordings, which was selected as Classical CD of the week by the Daily Telegraph, with Geoffrey Norris stating that, “Martin Cousin’s debut disc establishes a striking new benchmark for the interpretation of Rachmaninov’s 1st Piano Sonata ….. has discretion, judgment, perception and formidable technique.” The US magazine Fanfare added, “This is the performance of the 1st Sonata that I have always heard in my head but never thought I’d actually get to hear with my ears. This guy’s the Real Deal!”

His second CD for SOMM, featuring Glazunov’s piano sonatas, was released in 2010 to great acclaim, with Gramophone stating that the new release is “in every way, an impressive disc” and International Piano remarking “this new disc showcases playing that is both seemingly effortless in its technique and yet utterly natural and sympathetic in its musical narrative and characterisation.”

His disc of Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux was released in 2014 and was proclaimed ‘a landmark recording’ by The Observer with a 5-star review. Classical Source added, ‘This is one of the best solo piano records I have heard for a very long time – the more so considering it faces some pretty severe competition in the catalogues. Those who do not know these extraordinarily original masterpieces are strongly advised to acquire this disc. There is none better.’
Fanfare Magazine proclaimed, ‘Based on the present disc and on the towering performance of the First Sonata on his debut CD, I am prepared to state that Cousin is among the most distinguished Rachmaninoff pianists of our generation.’

For Naxos, in 2022, he will record 2 discs of solo piano music by Anton Rubinstein and 2 discs of solo piano music by Liszt.

Alongside his solo schedule, chamber music has taken him to Prague, Tokyo, Indonesia and Thailand, Zimbabwe and Barbados and he is a member of the Aquinas Piano Trio.

Martin’s hands are also featured on the big screen in the Oscar-winning film “Shine”, for the scenes involving Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto.


“Martin Cousin…a master in the art of the tapered phrase, the dying fall and the precisely weighted texture”
The Times

“Martin Cousin’s debut disc establishes a striking new benchmark for the interpretation of Rachmaninov’s First Piano Sonata…His has discretion, judgment, perception and formidable technique”

The Daily Telegraph

“Martin Cousin proved an engaging dandy, capable of producing extravagant colourations from his piano. His playing was effervescent in Julian Anderson’s Piano Etudes, darkly dramatic for Simon Holt’s Tauromaquia.”

The Observer

“Chopin’s B minor sonata…objective, aristocratic account by the Scottish-born pianist Martin Cousin…he evoked Ravel’s ‘Oiseaux Tristes’ beautifully and dressed Chopin’s First Ballade in all its splendour, before a deeply intelligent account of Liszt’s Sonata in B minor..”

The Independent

“Cousin’s handling of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Sonata and Prokofiev’s 7th Sonata was masterly.”
The Independent

“Playing Bach’s Partita in C minor, young Scot Martin Cousin showed that he had the light touch essential for Baroque keyboard music. His playing was beautifully articulated and paid great attention to the overall structure of the piece. Not that Bach was his sole speciality-as the concert ended with a stylish performance of some of Brahms’ piano miniatures.”
The Herald

“Sacconi String Quartet and Scottish born pianist Martin Cousin…are extraordinarily high class acts”
The List



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