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Colin Decio

Composer, Performer

Born: 1959


Colin Decio (1959) was born in Birmingham, England to an English mother and a Ukrainian father – hence the surname! From 1982 he studied Piano Performing, Piano Teaching and Composition at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire), graduating with five diplomas - including a distinction in composition in 1986; he has recently immigrated to New Zealand with his wife, medieval singer and specialist Ingrid Prosser.

“I started piano lessons aged 10 – because there was a piano in the house and my brother had a good ear”. Colin took to the piano – his brother didn’t!

As a young pianist Colin won several prizes in the Cheltenham Competitive Festival including the Open Challenge Class, the Composition Class and the Accompaniment Class. Later as a mature student he was awarded the Burke Trophy for Advanced Piano, The Birmingham Midland Institute Composition Prize, the John Ireland Chamber Music Prize and was winner of the piano section of the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Competition with Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, which he then went on to perform several times with orchestra as well as performing the Beethoven ‘Emperor’ Concerto.

In 1986 the legendary pianist John Ogdon performed Colin’s 1st Piano Sonata.

Shadowing Colin’s classical career has been performances as a professional keyboard player, music director, guitarist and singer working in four different British holiday parks and on two cruise ships; one for six months based in Singapore and the other for a shorter time span in the Mediterranean. This regularly involved six shows a week and accompanying of cabaret acts who would expect perfect sight-reading on the night.

In 1990 he formed the progressive British rock band ‘The E Thing’ performing original material, touring and recording a CD.

In 1998 further serious educational study ensued at the University of East Anglia where Colin attained a PGCE in Secondary Music Teaching.

In 2004 Colin was lead singer and keyboard player in rock covers band Big Sur.

During 2005 Colin worked briefly as a session musician in Yellow-Shark Studios, Cheltenham 2005 also saw the world-premiere of his Symphony No.2. (The Cheltenham Symphony)

Professionally Colin has performed many solo piano classical recitals often including his own compositions. As an accompanist his liaison with Anglo/French soprano Evelyne Beech has resulted in two CDs - Cotswold Songs featuring song-cycles by Colin and Air Chantes (songs by Debussy, Faure and Poulenc). He is also a skilled accompanist to various string instruments and wind instruments.

In 2008 was the world-premiere of his Symphony No.1 (The Gloucester Symphony) in Gloucester Cathedral. In 2012 Colin toured the UK with Souvenir d’Anne Frank playing as pianist in the Decio Piano Trio. Souvenir d’Anne Frank was a theatre work based on Colin’s Piano Trio for Anne Frank ‘Het Achterhuis’, which was highly praised by Anne’s living cousin Budy Elias and which tells the story of a rose named after Anne Frank.

In 2015 concert pianist Dr Mark Tanner gave the world-premiere of Colin’s 1st Piano Concerto ‘in memoriam John Ogdon’. Colin’s 2nd Piano Concerto ‘In the Flowers of the Sun’, written after the plane crash in the Ukraine, awaits its premiere in New Zealand!

Colin accompanies his wife (Ingrid Prosser) in concerts on bazouki and classical guitar, performing medieval music, and on two CDs – Sumer is icumen in & Miri it is.

Colin is currently a freelance composer, teacher and pianist and has a permanent resident visa for New Zealand.

Composed (12)

Chorale for Three Bassoons

for three bassoons, 6m

Hall of Mirrors

for beginner piano duet, 10m

Movements in Time

for piano (grade 1-5)

Piano Trio No.1, 'Het Achterhuis'

for piano trio, 37m

Ragged Time

for solo piano, 7m

Snatch !

for clarinet, 3m

Sonatina for Bass and Piano No. 1

for double bass and piano, 11m

Sonatina for Cello and Piano No. 1

for cello and piano, 16m

Sonatina for Cello and Piano No.2

for cello and piano, 17m

Sonatina for Guitar

for guitar, 14m

Sonatina No. 1 for Oboe and Piano

for oboe and piano, 15m

The Witches Spell

for 3 part treble choir and piano, 6m

Performances (1)

Palliser Viols: Music with her Silver Sound

Palliser Viols premieres Colin Decio's 'Lord Have Mercy'. Admission: $25 Students: $15 ...