A native of Wolverhampton, England, Ian Hobson is recognized throughout the world for his masterful performances of the Romantic repertoire, his deft and idiomatic readings of neglected piano scores old and new, and his assured conducting from both the piano and the podium. Mr. Hobson is also renowned as a dedicated scholar and educator, who has pioneered renewed interest in the music of lesser-known masters Johann Hummel and Ignaz Moscheles. He is also an effective advocate of works written expressly for him by several of today’s noted composers, including John Gardner, Benjamin Lees, David Liptak, Alan Ridout and Roberto Sierra.
As guest soloist, Mr. Hobson appears regularly with the world’s major orchestras in the United States including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Abroad, he has been heard with Great Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Hallé Orchestra, ORD-Vienna, Orchester der Beethovenhalle, Moscow Chopin Orchestra, Israeli Sinfonietta and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, Ian Hobson is a much sought-after judge for national and international competitions, and has been a member of numerous juries, among them the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (at the specific request of Mr. Cliburn), the Chopin Competition in Florida, Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (U.K.), Schumann International Competition (Germany) and Arthur Rubinstein Competition (Poland). In 2005, he served as Chairman of the Jury for the Cleveland International Piano Competition and New York City’s Kosciuzsko Competition; in 2008, he served in the same capacity for the New York Piano Competition - to which, renamed New York International Piano Competition, he returned in 2010.
One of the youngest graduates in the history of London’s Royal Academy of Music, Ian Hobson subsequently pursued advanced studies at both Cambridge University and Yale University. He began his international career in 1981 when he won First Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, after having earned silver medals at both the Arthur Rubinstein and Vienna-Beethoven competitions. Among his distinguished teachers were Sidney Harrison, Ward Davenny, Claude Frank and Menahem Pressler, while, as a conductor, he studied with Otto Werner Mueller, Dennis Russell Davies, Daniel Lewis and Gustav Meier, and worked with Lorin Maazel in Cleveland and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood. Currently, Mr. Hobson is Emeritus Center for Advanced Study and Swanlund Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and will be a Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge, this fall.
1980, 2nd Prize, The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv, Israel