John Tilbury won a piano scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Arthur Alexander. He subsequently became a pupil of James Gibb and then went to Warsaw on a Polish government scholarship where he studied with Zbigniew Drewiecki and cofounder the Warsaw Music Workshop group with Zygmunt Krause. In 1968 he was prize-winner in the Gaudeamus International Competition in Contemporary Music in Holland and since then has specialized as a performer of contemporary music.
Tilbury has given first performances and broadcasts of new music in many contemporary music festivals, including the Warsaw Autumn, the Venice Biannale, Glasgow Musica Nova, the European Festival in Brussels, the Zagreb Biennale, Bremen Musica Nova and Cheltenham. He has also performed in the Far East, in North Korea and Japan, and has toured the U.S. on several occasions. He has worked with many composers – including David Bedford, Howard Skempton, Dave Smith, Michael Parsons, John White, Morton Feldman, John Cage, Christian Wolff, Terry Riley and Cornelius Cardew (whose biography he is writing) – and has toured with the New York based Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
His Decca recording of Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano from the seventies has become a classic and more recent CDs of piano works by of Howard Skempton, Cornelius Cardew and the complete solo piano works of Morton Feldman have received much critical acclaim.
Tilbury is also well known as an improvising musician most notably through his membership of AMM, one of the most distinguished and influential free improvisation groups to have emerged in the sixties and which continues to this day.
Tilbury is a visiting piano tutor at london University’s Goldsmiths’ College.
Werner Dafeldecker / Christof Kurzmann / John Tilbury / Stevie Wishart (mikroton cd 4)