Pianist Gwilym Simcock's solo album Good Days at Schloss Elmau has been nominated for the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize as one of the 12 best albums of the last year. Released in January on ACT Music, Gwilym’s album presented him as one of the country’s greatest musical talents, with huge praise for the 30-year old’s technical and compositional abilities coming from all corners.
Good Days At Schloss Elmau was recorded at the Bavarian hideaway of the album’s title, a luxury hotel and resort with a long and venerable tradition of inviting the world’s best musicians to perform and record, and Gwilym joins these ranks with an album that seamlessly embraces a wealth of contemporary musical ideas, including jazz and classical influences, while asserting a very individual musical identity.
Previously honoured as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Gwilym has always maintained a healthy dialogue between different musical genres - as The Guardian’s John Fordham puts it, “Simcock has effortlessly absorbed and adapted every piece of musical input he encounters”. He is widely recognised as one of the country’s most brilliant piano players in any field, who has worked alongside some of the leading figures of the international jazz scene such as Bobby McFerrin, Steve Swallow and Dave Holland, and whose classical commissions have included writing and performing for the BBC Proms with the BBC Concert Orchestra, with the Britten Sinfonia, and the NDR Big Band in Hamburg, Germany.
Good Days At Schloss Elmau showcases Gwilym Simcock as a stunning example of the wide pool of young British musicians breaking new ground and finding success away from the mainstream. His nomination for the Mercury Prize is a well-deserved acknowledgement that the UK has a brilliantly varied range of talent worth celebrating, and is sure to raise his already enviable profile even further.
The winner of the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize 'Albums of the Year'
will be announced on Tuesday 6th September.