Jonathan Starkey

Striking the right note . . .

I am actively involved in the music industry as a pianist, composer and arranger with the broadcast arms of EMI, ITV, AMPHONIC and another major publisher. I compose, arrange, perform and record albums which are distributed to the broadcast industries of 54 countries. Although I am known as a pianist and composer for that instrument (sort of modern day Chopin) I enjoy a working and compositional relationship with most acoustic instruments and of course sampled instrumental writing and recording 9but still favour the piano!).

Up until 1st February 2006 I was a member of the Library Publishers Executive Committee (official body of the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society - MCPS) whose main purpose is to decide and ratify copyright fees and broadcast blankets paid by all major and international users of UK production music repertoire controlled by the MCPS.

As a performance orientated virtuoso pianist and composer I get involved giving performances for various private events and charitable institutions, of note masonically was a performance at MUFC to mark the handing over of £5.65 million to the RMTGB by the Freemasons of Cheshire.

I trained at the Royal Northern College of Music firstly in the Junior School then the Senior School. Piano under Una Bradbury and then David Smith in the Junior School followed by that polish terror Ryszard Bakst in the Senior School. I call him a terror because his reputation was as an extremely demanding teacher with a temper to match if you didn't measure up to his expectations. What else would you expect from someone from the Moscow Conservatoire and a past winner of Tchaikovsky Prize for Piano. I studied composition under Anthony Gilbert. At that time I was developing an interest in the broadcast industry of the UK. Anthony Gilbert provided a sound background in composition and arrangement but it was in the field of piano and piano orientated arrangement and composition that I entered into the Production Music industry.

Although well versed in Microsoft operating systems, I am an avid Apple Mac enthusiast (love OSX) and extremely IT literate both in software terms and networking (wired and wireless, LAN and WAN), composing and recording on that platform utilising Cubase and Logic, I/O by various units but mostly MOTU, M-Audio with effects by TC Electronics and various others.

I use three pianos from a well known manufacturer - one acoustic grand and two digital hybrid grands and one notable portable (but heavy!) unit by Kawai, the DP10 for rehearsals. I have various other keyboards (and sound modules) newest of which is the Korg Kronos X (updated I might add), an amazing bit of kit!

I am always looking for new experiences which involve people, music, performance, composition, communication, recording and technology as I believe ultimately that compositions are a product of who, what, where, how and why we are!

Main picture courtesy of Sean McDonald