John Andrew Howard Ogdon was born in 1937. He studies at the Royal Manchester College of Music and at Manchester Grammar School for Boys. It was noticed very early on that his prowess on the piano was not to be ignored and he became a well known soloist, leading to many prizes and an international career. No challenge proved too much for him; his capacity to absorb substantial works at a glance has already passed into legend and helped him conquer peaks of piano literature hitherto considered unscalable.
Whilst not as well known as a composer, he did create a fair few piano compositions, most of which remain unpublished. These are a joy to see, with scribbles, amendments and even shopping lists and telephone messages scribbled on their covers.
He struggled with mental illness for many years and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia which later was re-diagnosed as bipolar disorder. Whilst at a psychiatric hospital in London he continued to play but couldn't commit to more touring. Despite the severity of his condition, he continued to perform and even recorded hours of music successfully but died in 1989 of diabetes-related problems.
Biography added : 21st August 2020
by Heather Roberts