Virginia began her music career in earnest when, aged 17, she played Beethoven’s 3rd piano concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham Town Hall. Having won numerous piano competitions, she then won the FE Beckett piano scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London.
At the Royal Academy she developed her piano skills under Gordon Green and harpsichord under Geraint Jones. Virginia studied piano for 4 years as her principal instrument, winning the Lillian Davies Beethoven Prize and the Dove Prize; she also gained the inter-college Raymond Russell Prize for harpsichord performance and was awarded DipRAM for her final recital.
During her long career at the RAM, Virginia has continued to nurture many talented musicians as professor of harpsichord, chair of postgraduate diploma studies and senior postgraduate tutor. She developed a reputation amongst students for the practical intensity of her performance classes!
In addition to, and in parallel with her teaching work, Virginia has pursued a dazzling worldwide performing career, initially specialising in the virtuoso harpsichord repertoire (“… one of the world’s finest harpsichordists” – Daily Telegraph) and has made many critically acclaimed recordings, TV and radio appearances.
As a performer, she has now returned to her roots as a pianist and has a busy concert schedule playing solo recitals and concertos, with a repertoire encompassing Bach, Schubert, Haydn, Rameau, Soler, Scarlatti, Mozart and Beethoven, together with some more contemporary works. For more information and to listen to Virginia play, please visit www.virginiablack.net.
Virginia has judged many music competitions and continues to influence and mentor rising musicians. She has given numerous external masterclasses and performance classes for specialist music schools and academies, universities and conservatoires around the world.
Virginia is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM) an honour limited to 300 members. It is “awarded to those musicians who have distinguished themselves within the profession”.
“… a communicative artist, extrovert, colourful, spontaneous but with a deep sense of poetry.” Gramophone