Pianist Joe Alexander Shepherd to perform at NCEM in aid of Charlie Gard Foundation

York contemporary classical composer Joe Alexander Shepherd

YORK pianist Joe Alexander Shepherd will play in aid of the Charlie Gard Foundation at the National Centre for Early Music, York, on March 7.

Joe studied at Bootham School, where he learnt to play the piano from a young age, before moving on to Paul McCartney’s Academy of Music in Liverpool as a teenager.

He composes and performs intricate, minimalist contemporary classical music with subtle touches of atmospheric melancholy, in the vein of Ludovico Einaudi, Michael Nyman, Dustin O’Halloron and beyond.

The poster for Joe Alexander Shepherd’s March 7 concert

Writing since the age of 15, piano has always been in the heart of Joe’s songs, adding his own twist with textural synths to bring the simplistic melodies to life.

After signing a worldwide record deal with the Vancouver label Nettwerk, he launched his five-track debut EP, Time, in an intimate concert at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York, in September 2018.

Recorded at his York home over a two-year period, it compromised the title track, One Day, Opus 266, Amore and Love Me Like You Did Before. “I’m now working towards my second EP and there’ll be an album to follow in the near future, released through Nettwerk, whose roster includes the likes of Passenger, Fun, Stereophonics, to name a few,” he said at the time.

The artwork for Joe Alexander Shepherd’s debut EP, Time, in 2018

Joe will showcase new material alongside special guest cellist Isaac Collier at his March 7 concert. Maybe an indication that recordings could be on their way?

Reflecting on his career so far as a performer and in-demand composer, he says: “I was lucky to compose the soundtrack for UEFA’s World War One Truce video, starring footballers Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale and Sir Bobby Charlton, and I’ve also written pieces for the Rugby Football Union, BBC One, BBC Two and Land Rover. My dream is to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, playing my own original material to fans across the globe.”

Support act Rachel Croft. Picture: Jono

Joe’s support act at his 7.30pm charity concert will be York singer-songwriter Rachel Croft. Tickets cost £15 on 07853 070201 or by email to stephanie@thecharliegardfoundation.org.

The Charlie Gard Foundation charity supports children, adults and their families affected by mitochondrial disease.