Woodward studied piano at the Sydney Conservatorium
of Music, University of Sydney, with Prof Alexander
Sverjensky (a pupil of Sergei Rakhmaninov) and in
the class of Prof Zbigniew Drzewiecki (a pupil of
Ignazy Paderewski and lifelong friend of Szymanowski
and Artur Rubinstein) at the National Chopin Academy
for Music, Warsaw. He works with young artists in
many countries and participates on the juries of international
competitions. Together with the musicians of the Alexander
String Quartet he is Professor at the San Francisco
State University and author of publications covering
a wide field.
He founded and directed the London Music Digest,
Kötschach-Mauthner Musiktage, Sydney Spring International
Festival of New Music and Joie et Lumière
series, Bourgogne. Woodward has performed at international
festivals on five continents, including Sviatoslav
Richter's Festival at Grange de Meslay, Tours, on
several occasions; has made television documentaries
for the BBC with Xenakis and Boulez and video documentaries
with Stockhausen, Cage and Arvo Pärt.
He is Commander of the Polish Order of Merit
(1993) and will receive the Polish Order of Solidarity
in 2008; a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts
et des Lettres (2005); Officer of the Order
of the British Empire (1980) and Companion
of the Order of Australia (1992), where he was
designated a lifelong National Treasure by
the Australian National Trust (2005). Roger Woodward
performs with the major orchestras and conductors
including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, New York, Los Angeles
and Israel Philharmonics, Orchestre de Paris, the
Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonia and EEC Mahlerjugendorchester
directed by Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Charles
Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, James Judd, Lorin Maazel, Sir
Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington, Kurt Masur,
Zubin Mehta, and Edo de Waart. He also worked with
Paavo Berglund, Eric Leinsdorf, Witold Rowicki, Georges
Tzipine and Walter Susskind. He performed new works
by Gilbert Amy, Jean Barraqué, Anne Boyd, James
Dillon, Franco Donatoni, Morton Feldman, Rolf Gehlhaar,
Peter Michael Hamel, Askell Masson, Richard Meale,
Olivier Messiaen, Hans Otte, Arvo Pärt, Horatiu
Radulescu, Larry Sitsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Toru
Takemitsu, Xu XiaoSong and Iannis Xenakis.
As a composer, Woodward was commissioned by the Festival
d'Automne à Paris for the bicentennial celebrations
of the French Revolution with his works performed
in the UK, Poland, France, Spain and at the Sydney
Spring International Festival of New Music.
His passion for chamber music involved him in performances with a wide range of artists including the Vienna Trio, Alexander, Arditti, Edinburgh and Tokyo String Quartets, Jacques Thibaud Trio/Quartet, Frank Zappa, Ivry Gitlis, Synergy Percussion (Sydney) and with the Sydney Dance Company in a production of Xenakis's Kraanerg.
Roger Woodward during a TV interview on the Australian ABC network.
The London Guardian described him as a "pianistic
genius"; Le Monde de la Musique, Paris, for his
Debussy performances, as "magnificent";
in Edinburgh, he was described as a "musician's
musician" and at the Toulouse Festival, the French
Press wrote: "Roger Woodward compte parmi les
musiciens internationaux de premier plan à
notre epoque". The Financial Times, London, called
Woodward "one of the most consistently exciting
and convincing interpreters of virtuoso avant-garde
"... fingers and nerves of steel ..."
"... magical sounds came from every part of
the instrument ..."