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Malcolm Messiter Contributor

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Malcolm Messiter

Born in 1949, Malcolm Messiter began playing the oboe in 1964 while at Bryanston School in Dorset. Within a year, he'd packed away his stethoscope and left behind all thoughts of becoming a doctor to concentrate on the oboe. Two years later, 1967, he won a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire of Music.

From Paris - where he studied with Pierre Pierlôt - Messiter returned to The Royal College of Music in London during 1969 to continue his studies with Sydney Sutcliffe. While at The Royal College, he won the Joy Boughton, the Grade 5 and the R.A.O.S. Prizes as well as a Performers' A.R.C.M. with Honours.

On leaving the Royal College of Music in 1972, Malcolm Messiter joined the BBC Concert Orchestra as principal oboe. In 1977 he left to become principal oboe in the London Mozart Players. Within a year, he was acclaimed as joint-Winner of the 1978 Leeds International Musicians' Platform. Hence, with his solo engagement diary fit to bursting, Malcolm was forced to reduce his orchestral playing. As soloist, Malcolm Messiter has recorded for BMG / RCA; Deutsche Grammophon; ASV; Hyperion; Arte Nova Classics & the BBC as well as a great many British and foreign radio and TV stations. He was featured oboist on Mike Oldfield's multi-million selling original recording of Tubular Bells; was the preferred oboist by the Amadeus Quartet for many years, performing regularly with them in Britain, Spain and France until they ceased to perform; featured soloist on the theme to BBC TV's The Secret Garden as well as a regular performer on radio and television world-wide; a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Festival Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra among many others.

Malcolm Messiter flying his helicopter
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Lionel Markson, reviewing for Records & Recording stated... an astounding display of virtuosity such as I have never heard before from an oboist. Bewildering velocity of fingers and tongue, phenomenal breath control, harmonics and the upward extension of the oboe's range a fourth beyond its 'highest note', F in altissimo, are allied to rhythmic vivacity and exuberant showmanship. Yet, we hear ravishing tone and a musician's sensibility. After my first encounter with the British oboist Malcolm Messiter I can best describe him as the ‘Heifetz of the oboe'. To date, Messiter has played as soloist in more than 51 countries that cover every conceivable corner of the globe: from Britain to Italy, from Spain to Namibia, from Jamaica to Bulgaria, from Taiwan to Liechtenstein and Equador to Zimbabwe. In 1982, for example, Messiter received a twelve minute plus standing ovation after playing to the International Double Reed Society in Texas, the toughest audience imaginable consisting, as it did, of the top 500 oboists in the world. Working alone and, more recently in tandem with acclaimed pianist John Lenehan, Messiter is a highly respected orchestrate and arranger – their most recent joint work in this field being the orchestrations for Nigel Kennedy's forthcoming Klassic Kennedy release while Messiter's solo orchestrations and arrangements include works for the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Radio Orchestra of Cologne and the London Festival Orchestra.

He is also a co-founder of The Virtual Orchestra – a project launched in 1999. In addition to his concert and recording commitments, Malcolm Messiter founded and runs Trans-Send International Ltd., a communications software company whose programs are used by over 3 million users around the world. Besides his solo engagements, Malcolm Messiter currently plays principal oboe with the London Festival Orchestra, The English Classical Players and several other leading British orchestras.

Reviews

"Phenomenal!"

The Times, London (England)

"... Malcolm Messiter exercised an almost hypnotic sway over his audience with his flawless timing, the eloquent beauty of his long-breathed phrasing, and scintillating agility ..."

Daily Telegraph, London (England)

"Best of the month! If any record was calculated to bend the unfamiliar ear to the beauty of sound possible from the oboe, then this is surely such a disc. Malcolm Messiter possesses a distinctively rich, glowing tone and a wide, but nicely varied and controlled vibrato; it sounds especially seductive in the arrangement of the Debussy. In sheer dexterity, too, Messiter yields to no one. There are formidable triplet octaves in the Pasculli, while a little later, as the theme is picked out amid a welter of mordents, it is difficult to credit a single player at work."

Hi Fi News

"...provides a vehicle for an astounding display of virtuosity such as I have never heard before from an oboist. Bewildering velocity of fingers and tongue, phenomenal breath control, harmonics and the upward extension of the oboe's range a fourth beyond its 'highest note', F in altissimo, are allied to rhythmic vivacity and exuberant showmanship. Yet, when it comes to a simple cantilena, we hear ravishing tone and a musician's sensibility. After this my first encounter with the British oboist Malcolm Messiter, I can best describe him as the Heifetz of the oboe." (Lionel Markson)

Records & Recording

Malcolm Messiter
email: cocky@nildram.co.uk

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Malcolm Messiter Born in 1949, Malcolm Messiter began playing the oboe in 1964 while at Bryanston School in Dorset. Within a year,... More
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