Rachel & Vanessa Fuidge

piano duo

Identical twins Rachel and Vanessa Fuidge were born in 1988 and began learning the piano with their mother at the age of four years. They were introduced to piano duets when aged eight by Mary Engel. In the same year they took part in their first music festival. For the next nine years of participating in such competitions, they never came home empty-handed; their most successful year found them polishing no fewer than 17 cups!

In 2001 and 2002 they took part in the British Federation of Music Festivals workshops for trainee adjudicators, and were recommended in the latter year for further adjudication training. For three years before beginning University in 2003, the twins had lessons with Susan Bettaney – teaching member of the keyboard department at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester – and it was she who introduced them to the annual Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival for Pianists , where they concentrated on piano duet playing for three years running. At the summer school they met Maltese composer, the late Charles Camilleri, and worked with him on Paganiana , variations for piano, four hands, which they later recorded for Dunelm and which appears on their CD.

The Fuidge family lives in Glossop, Derbyshire, England, so during their formative years, Rachel and Vanessa have given many concerts in the town. These include those for the Glossop Concert Society, Probus, Age Concern and the Methodist Guild, Further afield, they have given four recitals for the Doncaster Arts and Museum Society; they have played in concerts for the Incorporated Society of Musicians, European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) and the EPTA Young Artists, and were chosen to appear in a demonstration of piano duet playing at the Royal Northern College of Music Keyboard Focus Day. They have also played at the Lowry Centre, Manchester for EPTA Young Artists.

The twins have attended masterclasses playing duets with Keith Swallow and John Wilson who are based at the RNCM and the late Mark Ray, former Head of Keyboard there. They also attended a solo masterclass with Sergei Dukachev, from Ufa in Russia and who is visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, when he visited Glossop on a musical weekend sponsored by the Glossop Concert Society and Dunelm Records.

In the summer of 2009 Vanessa graduated from reading music at the University, where she was awarded a 2.1 Degree. In 2010 she will be attending Sheffield University to read for a Masters (MA) Degree in librarianship, which she hopes will allow her to continue with her interest in music libraries. Rachel is also studying at York, in the final year of her Master of Mathematics degree.

Both Rachel and Vanessa also play the flute and piccolo and have kept up this interest by playing in many different groups at university, from the concert orchestra to the flute quartet they established with fellow musicians.