Charles Owen began his musical studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Seta Tanyel and continued at the Royal College of Music under the guidance of Irina Zaritskaya. While at the college he won all the major piano prizes before completing his studies with Imogen Cooper. He received the Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition (1995) and was a finalist in the 1996 London Philharmonic/Pioneer Young Soloist of the Year competition. In 1997 he won the prestigious Parkhouse Award in partnership with violinist Katharine Gowers.
Charles has performed in many of Britain’s leading concert halls including the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Internationally, he has appeared at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Louvre, the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Moscow Conservatoire.
As well as his solo recitals, Charles has performed with celebrated orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, English Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Lodz Filharmonia and the Moscow State Academic Symphony. He has also collaborated with many outstanding artists including violinists Julian Rachlin, Chloe Hanslip, Henning Kraggerud, Jack Liebeck, Renaud Capucon and Catherine Leonard as well as cellists Adrian Brendel, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston and the Wihan, Vertavo and Vogler quartets.
As a solo recitalist and chamber musician he has played for numerous concert societies and established festivals in the UK and internationally including the Homecoming Festival in Moscow, Ireland’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival and the Vogler Spring Festival in County Sligo, the Perth International Music Festival in Western Australia, the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, the Elverum Festival in Norway, the Leicester International Festival, Sheffield’s Music in the Round, the Worcester Three Choirs Festival and festivals in Bath, Cheltenham, Chester and Harrogate.
His first solo disc for SOMM featuring the piano music of Leos Janácek was listed as a “key” recording in The Penguin Good CD Guide followed by a highly acclaimed disc of works by Poulenc, selected as Editor’s Choice in the June 2004 edition of Gramophone. A disc of the 13 Nocturnes by Fauré, on the Avie label was released in 2008 to outstanding critical acclaim.
Together with Natalie Clein, he has recorded cello and piano sonatas by Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Chopin for EMI.
Charles Owen is a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.