One of the leading British pianists of her generation, Samantha Ward has performed extensively around the UK, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Greece and Macau, appearing on national television and radio numerous times. She made her solo London debut at the Wigmore Hall in 2007 and has performed in major venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John's Smith Square, Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, St David's Hall in Cardiff and Tokyo’s Toppan Hall. She has won first prize in a number of competitions, starting in 2004 when she won the Making Music Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists. She has also won the Beethoven Society of Europe's Intercollegiate Piano Competition, The Hastings International Concerto Competition as well as the Sir Philip Ledger Prize for the best Mozart or Beethoven Concerto and the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Maisie Lewis Young Concert Artists Fund Award.
In August 2013, Samantha founded PIANO WEEK her international festival and summer school for pianists of all ages and abilities. At PIANO WEEK 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Samantha joined forces to close the festival with one of the most distinguished pianists in the world, Stephen Kovacevich, performing works for two pianos by Rachmaninoff and Debussy. In August this year, she performed alongside internationally acclaimed Australian pianist Leslie Howard, as well as with her husband, fellow pianist and co-director of PIANO WEEK, Maciej Raginia, performing works for two pianos/six hands by Percy Grainger. In 2020, the festival continues to tour internationally alongside its UK residencies, having been invited to China, Italy and Japan. PIANO WEEK is supported by Henle Urtext and Schott Music publishers and 2020 marks the start of a media partnership with Pianist magazine. As of 2017, PIANO WEEK began a collaboration with Steinway&Sons Asia Pacific, followed by Steinway&Sons UK from 2018 onwards. In 2018 and 2019, the festival was invited to give showcase concerts and master classes at Steinway Hall in Beijing, Tokyo and London.
In September/October 2018, Samantha gave a series of seminars for Schott Music publishers on a tour around Asia, which subsequently led on to master classes, workshops and performances in Macau, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Singapore. In November 2018, Samantha was invited back to Asia to be a jury member alongside Maciej at the Hong Kong Youth Piano Competition. Aside from her performing career, Samantha is also a recording artist and author for Schott Music publishers, frequently recording both solo and duet albums for them and currently completing a series of six ‘Relax with’ anthologies for pianists. 2019 saw the release of her album with SOMM recordings, of two of Dora Bright’s works for piano and orchestra with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Charles Peebles to great critical acclaim. She has also recently recorded an album of the complete piano works of British composer, Rory Freckleton, which was released on Quartz Music in 2018. In 2016, Samantha was commissioned to write a piece for Sir Andrew Parmley, for his inauguration as the Lord Mayor of London. Her debut recital at St John's Smith Square was chosen to be recorded by 'Slow Down London', to be featured in their festival and she was also shortlisted for a 'Woman of the Future'Award in Arts and Culture in association with Shell, resulting in an interview for ‘Stylist’ Magazine.
Samantha was awarded a fellowship from the Guildhall School of Music for the year 2007/8, where she studied under the Senior Professor Joan Havill. She previously studied with Leslie Riskowitz and at Chetham's School of Music with Alicja Fiderkiewicz.
Kathryn Stott, Concert Pianist & Curator, Artistic Director of Australian Chamber Music Festival, International Chair at Royal Northern College of Music ,Professor at the Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo