Grace Francis was born in East London and attended the Yehudi Menuhin School, where she studied with Peter Norris and Louis Kentner. At the Royal College of Music, Ms. Francis studied with Irina Zaritskaya and was awarded the Chappell Gold Medal, the highest award for a pianist. She continued her studies with a Wingate Scholarship in the UK, also receiving the Hattori Foundation Award and winning the Negrada Piano House Award in Zagreb.
Grace has given many concerts in the UK, including at major London venues such as Wigmore Hall, St John’s, Smith Square, the Barbican and the Purcell Room of the South Bank Centre. Following the success of her Brahms/Liszt recording on the Quartz label, she performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in Lugano with the European Union Youth Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ms. Francis’s recitals have included a performance at the Bath Mozartfest, which was recorded live and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She also performed at a number of literary festivals during last year’s Liszt bicentenary year together with John Spurling, author of A Book of Liszts. She has been broadcast several other times on BBC Radio 3, performing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and in a recital of works by Chopin, Field, and Novak. Grace’s repertoire is wide-ranging and varied (including Haydn, Beethoven, Carl Vine, and Colin McPhee), but she is happiest with the Romantic composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Grace made her New York debut at the Weill Hall playing Brahms Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Prokofiev Visions fugitives and Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann, Sposalizio and Mephisto Waltz as part of Carnegie Hall’s Distinctive Debuts series.