Margaret Fingerhut (born 30 March 1955) is a British classical pianist. A fascination with exploring lesser-known repertoire is reflected in her eclectic recital programmes and also in her recordings. She teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Birmingham Conservatoire where she is an Honorary Fellow.
Fingerhut attended North London Collegiate School. She studied at the Royal College of Music with Cyril Smith and Angus Morrison, and afterwards with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and Leon Fleisher and Adele Marcus in the USA.
Fingerhut's career was launched when she was selected as a Young Musician of the Year by the Greater London Arts Association in 1981. She made her London debut at the Wigmore Hall in the same year, and first played in the Royal Festival Hall in 1983. She has since given recitals in many different European countries, the USA, Canada, India, Turkey, Israel and Africa. As a concerto soloist she has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players, in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican. She appeared in Testimony, Tony Palmer’s film about Shostakovich.
Her discs on the Chandos label include works by Bainton, Bax, Berkeley, Bloch, Dukas, Falla, Grieg, Howells, Leighton, Moeran, Novák, Stanford, Suk and Tansman, as well as several pioneering collections of 19th century Russian and early 20th century French piano music. She was also the soloist in the world première recording of Percy Young’s arrangement of Elgar’s sketches for his Piano Concerto slow movement, with the Munich Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Bostock. Other première recordings include the discovery of a student piece by Rachmaninov, Edgar Bainton's Concerto Fantasia, Bax's Octet and works by Howells, Leighton, Lennox Berkeley and Michael Berkeley.
Two of her Bax recordings - the Octet with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble and the Concertante for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra with Vernon Handley and the BBC Philharmonic - were short-listed for Gramophone awards. Her disc of solo piano music by Alexandre Tansman was awarded a "Diapason D’Or" in Diapason magazine. Her CD of encores, "Endless Song", was Featured Album of the Week on Classic FM and was selected as "Editor's Choice" in Pianist magazine as well as being awarded an "Outstanding" accolade in International Record Review.
Fingerhut has a keen interest in working with contemporary composers and she has given first performances of works by James Francis Brown, Paul Spicer, Peter Copley and Tony Bridgewater, in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and the Three Choirs Festival.
Fingerhut formerly taught piano at the Royal Northern College of Music and is currently Professor of Piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire as well as a Visiting Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire where she has been made an Honorary Fellow. She is a regular guest at summer schools such as Dartington International Summer School, Chetham's International Summer School for Pianists and Jackdaws. Her teaching at Dartington was described by The Spectator magazine as demonstrating "enormous skill and sympathy". She has given masterclasses in the USA, Canada and China, and has been on the jury of competitions such as the BBC Young Musician of the Year.
Bainton Concerto fantasia CHAN 10460 (BBC Philharmonic, Paul Daniel)
Bax Concertante for piano left hand, and orchestra CHAN 9715 (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley)
Bax Octet for piano, horn & string sextet CHAN 9602 (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble)
Bax Symphonic Variations CHAN 8516 (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thompson)
Bax Winter Legends CHAN 8484 (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thompson)
Bloch Piano Works CHAN 9887
Dukas Complete Piano Works CHAN 8765
Falla Nights in the Gardens of Spain CHAN 8457 (London Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon)
Grieg Piano Concerto CHAN 7040 (Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley)
Howells Piano Works CHAN 9273
Leighton Piano Works CHAN 9818
Leighton Piano Works, Volume 2 CHAN 10601
Moeran Third Rhapsody for piano & orchestra CHAN 7106 (Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley)
Novak Songs of a Winter’s Night / Pan CHAN 9489
Stanford Piano Concerto no.2 / Concert Variations CHAN 7099 (Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley)
Suk Piano Works CHAN 9026/7
Tansman Piano Works CHAN 10527
"Endless Song" - Encores for Piano CHAN 10826
Piano Music of the Russian Mighty Handful CHAN 8439
Piano Music of Tchaikovsky and his friends CHAN 9218
Hommages to Haydn, Fauré and Roussel CHAN 8578
- "Founder's Day special guests". News Archives 2007. North London Collegiate School. 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- Bredin, Henrietta (4 August 2007). "Classical, Indian, jazz and much more: you name it". The Spectator. p. 26. Retrieved 22 September 2013.