Iain Masson is a Scottish composer and educator who grew up in the seaside town of Carnoustie in Angus. He has been composing since the age of 7, moving to England to study in the School of Composition and Creative Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire in 1999.
Iain worked as a piano bar and hotel pianist in his teenage years and as a young adult in his 20s, employed by the Swallow Hotel Dundee to play twice-weekly in their 120-seater Italian garden restaurant as Resident Pianist, also playing at Wigmore's Wine Bar, Restaurant and Bistro in Broughty Ferry. He became the principal weekend pianist at Bar Epernay in the Mailbox, Birmingham at the age of 25. Iain was a member of the historic Arbroath Instrumental Band, the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland Reserves, the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, Angus Schools Senior Wind Band and the Carnoustie High School wind band, on tuba.
His composition teacher was Professor John Mayer, and he also completed individual years of study with Thomas Simaku and Andrew Downes. Iain completed a postgraduate diploma in Composition with Adam Gorb at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2005 where he won the RNCM Alan Rawsthorne Composition Prize and had an RNCM New Ensemble commission, a 5-minute companion piece to Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale', premiered at the Bridgewater Hall at the flagship Gala Concert.
His compositions have been performed on BBC Radio 3 and in venues including The Bridgewater Hall, King's Place London, the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building and the Kungliga Operan, Stockholm. Performers include the Brodsky Quartet, Cats' Adam Linstead, RNCM New Ensemble and the Goldberg Ensemble.
Performance prizes include the The Evelyn Forbes Ruark Memorial Scholarship for Solo Piano Performance, the Dr. and Mrs. William Christie Piano Trio Rosebowl, the Miss K.H. McLauchlan Cup for Piano Performance.
Privately, Iain was a student of Richard Evans who taught and mentored him in orchestral score reading, player management, coaching and musical direction at his homes in Preston, on the phone and online for many years. His childhood music teachers were Jack Sinclair and award-winning mentor Mike Robertson (brass), Edna Boffey (singing, recorder and tuned percussion), Maureen Rutherford, Pauline Robertson and Kathleen Renilson (piano). His community music teacher was Kate Luxmoore. He has also generously mentored by Colin Touchin. Iain is very grateful for the input and support of all his teachers.
Iain is a proud former recipient of the Dr. Kenneth Ruark Memorial Award for Citizenship. In 2015 he was proudly conferred with Honorary Membership of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (HonRBC) for services to music in the ten years following graduation.
In 2023, he will be presented with a Fellowship of the Guild of Musicians and Singers at the Regent Hall in London.
Iain is a member of the Independent Society of Musicians 87895.
Excerpt from 'Whoosh-ka!'
Performed by Oliver Dunn (baritone)
and Malcolm Forbes Peckham (piano)
Words and music by Iain Masson.
Copyright © 2001 Iain L. Masson