In praise of the orchestral pianist

In praise of the orchestral pianist


norman lebrecht

April 14, 2015

Gareth Davies, principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, has written a beautiful portrait of his colleague, John Alley, who has reached retirement age.

Do not miss the video clip where John downs a pint while playing a Shostakovich cadenza at the BBC Proms.

Click here.

john alley

pictured: John Alley, flanked by Andrew Marriner and Moray Welsh


UPDATE: Message from John Alley: Flattered as he is to receive a plethora of kind comments and messages, John Alley would like to announce that HE HASN’T RETIRED. Because of LSO rules he is no longer Principal Keyboard Player. He is still available through the normal channels. Many Thanks. J. A.


  • Hilary says:

    One of the unsung heroes of musical life in GB. My first experience of the Barbican was an open rehearsal of Boulez’s Eclat with the composer conducting.
    John Alley played the opening solo with unforgettable aplomb. Fierce concentration, he didn’t smile once but that was part of the appeal. Boulez and Alley seemed like the right kind of partership.