South African pianist, Mark Nixon won all of the major overseas scholarships there to continue his studies at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Before this he completed his BMus Honours at the University of Cape Town under Lamar Crowson. Subsequent teachers were Håkon Austbø, Graham Johnson and Andrew Ball. In 2000-2001 he held the Anthony Saltmarsh Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music.
He received first prizes in the Adolph Hallis Piano Competition in 1994 and the Nederburg-UNISA National Piano Competition in 1998. He was selected on three occasions a ‘Young Concert Artist’ of the National Federation of Music Societies in the UK (now known as ‘Making Music’). He has performed concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and Grieg with all of the South African orchestras, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with several orchestras in England. He gave the world premiere of ‘Raka’, a piano concerto by Stefans Grove. Engagements have included concerts in Holland, France, Greece, Italy, China, the UK, the USA and many recital tours of South Africa with singers and instrumentalists. In 1999 he won the Guildhall’s Schubert and Ireland Prizes and the accompanist’s prize in the Association of English Singers and Speakers (AESS) Song Competition. In 2006 he won the accompanist’s prize at the Great Elm Vocal Awards held at Wigmore Hall. He has released two CDs – one of songs by Grieg, Wolf, Rachmaninov, Wilding and de Villiers with the soprano Erica Eloff, the other of solo piano works by Liszt, Brahms and Debussy.
A busy and dedicated teacher, since 2009 he has been Head of Keyboard at King’s College School, Wimbledon and also teaches in the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music. He is a member of the Piano Week teaching faculty, giving masterclasses in China, Italy and in many venues in the UK on these courses. In 2019 he taught and performed several concerts at the Universities of Akron and Youngstown in Ohio, USA. He also gave a weekend of masterclasses in Italy in the same year and will return in 2022 as part of the faculty of ArtePiano.
He is a Kawai Pianos Artist and the artistic director of the Latimer Music Festival, an annual chamber music festival in the Chilterns.