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A b o u t

BBC New Generation artist, Royal Over-Seas League Gold medallist and Classic FM Rising Star, Ryan Corbett is an accordionist hailed by Sir James MacMillan as “one of the most astonishing and surprising newcomers in Scottish music.” A leading exponent of his instrument, he has given over eight hours of radio broadcasts and a televised performance at the Scottish Coronation of HM King Charles III. Corbett has enlarged the repertoire by creating hundreds of new arrangements for accordion, but no matter how strong his passion for the instrument, it is his dedication to musical integrity that takes precedence.


Recent seasons have seen recitals across Europe at venues including the Berlin Philharmonie, he has also performed in the USA, Mexico, and China. In the UK Corbett frequents major festivals including Bath, Beaminster, Beaumaris, Budleigh, Buxton, Cambridge Summer Music, Chipping Campden, Cumnock Tryst, Deal, Edinburgh, Lake District, Lammermuir, Lichfield, St Magnus, Norfolk & Norwich, Oxford Song, Paxton, Perth, Ryedale, Southrepps, and the Keyboard Festival at St George’s Bristol. He makes his debut at London’s Wigmore Hall this year.


Passionate about collaboration, Corbett regularly performs with soloists and ensembles alike. He has performed with BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Red Note Ensemble, Maxwell Quartet, singers Nicholas Mulroy, Ben Johnson and Lotte Betts-Dean, cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, violinist Geneva Lewis, and trumpeter Aaron Akugbo. Together with his accordion teacher Djordje Gajic, Corbett performs his own arrangements of Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Bach’s ‘St Anne’ Prelude and Fugue which was described as "musically unified and utterly compelling" (Seen and Heard International). He also works with composers to create new music for the accordion. This year he gave the premiere of Daniel Soley’s accordion concerto with Britten Sinfonia, and he will give the UK premiere of Mikhail Pletnev’s accordion concerto this August.


Ryan Corbett won first prize at the 2022 Bromsgrove International Musicians’ competition and is a prize winner of international accordion competitions in Italy, Germany, and China. He was nominated in the Young Artist category of the 2024 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and has been listed as ‘one to watch’ by BBC Music Magazine, Interlude HK, The Scotsman and Scala Radio. Corbett was a Tillet Trust and Munster Trust recital scheme artist and is the first accordionist to be part of the prestigious BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme since its launch in 1999. He has also performed at private events for Sir Jackie Stewart and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.


Born in Glasgow in 1999, Corbett studied at the Music School of Douglas Academy, St Mary’s Music School, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was introduced to the accordion aged eleven, when his grandmother bought a small instrument for him and his brother to try. As the instrument wasn’t airtight, the only way to play it was like a piano, while the other pulled the bellows across the floor. It was soon fixed, and Corbett would spend hours playing Scottish folk music on it rather than practising the piano or violin on which he was receiving lessons. He continued to teach himself accordion until the age of fourteen, when he began studying with Djordje Gajic. These studies were supported by Cross Trust, Drake Calleja Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, RCS Scholarship Fund and Help Musicians UK.


Ryan Corbett plays a Bugari Spectrum classical piano accordion made in Castelfidardo, Italy. This was made possible by private sponsors, the John Mather Trust, and Dewar Arts Awards. 

Updated 05/2024, please do not alter without permission.

“I am not clear how it is possible to achieve the variation in voice, as well as tone and dynamics, we heard in his approach to music written for organ and piano, but it was certainly audible. And the visual advantage of the front-facing accordion is that his remarkably dextrous technique could not have been easier to admire.” Keith Bruce, VoxCarnyx

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