Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland, the only all-Ireland orchestra and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. In January 2021 Barry Douglas was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to music and community relations in the 2021 New Year Honours List.
In recent seasons Barry performed with a list of orchestras that includes the London Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Russian National, Vancouver and Colorado Symphonies, and the Halle Orchestra. In 16/17 he marked the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition win with full Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycles with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. Also noted for his promotion of contemporary repertoire, he performed the premiere of Kevin Volans’ fourth piano concerto with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the European premiere of the Penderecki Piano Concerto.
Other recent highlights include a major UK tour with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the RTE, Barcelona and Sydney Symphonies as well as a continuation of his collaboration with the Borodin String Quartet. A highly sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, he has given performances across the globe from Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Wigmore Hall and the Verbier Festival to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Grand Theatre in Shanghai and other cities in China.
He has previously given concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle Halle, Orchestre National de France, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others.
Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed a six-album recording of the full works for solo piano of Brahms. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority… this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.” His current recording projects focus on the solo piano works of Schubert and Tchaikovsky. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers.
In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.
Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.