Colin Decio (the 'c' is pronounced 'ch' as in 'church' - hence Dech-io) was born in Birmingham, England to an English mother and a Ukrainian father. From 1982 he studied Piano Performing, Piano Teaching and Composition at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire, UK), graduating in 1986 with five diplomas, which included a distinction in composition.
“I started piano lessons aged 10 – because there was a piano in the house and my brother had a good ear”. Colin took to the piano – his brother didn’t!
As a young pianist Colin won several prizes in the Cheltenham Competitive Festival including the Open Challenge Class, the Composition Class and the Accompaniment Class. Later as a mature student he was awarded the Burke Trophy for Advanced Piano, The Birmingham Midland Institute Composition Prize, the John Ireland Chamber Music Prize and was winner of the piano section of the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Competition with Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, which he then went on to perform several times with orchestra as well as performing the Beethoven ‘Emperor’ Concerto.
In 1986 the legendary pianist John Ogdon performed Colin’s 1st Piano Sonata.
Shadowing Colin’s classical career has been performances as a professional keyboard player, music director, guitarist and singer working in four different British holiday parks and on two cruise ships; one for six months based in Singapore and the other for a shorter time span in the Mediterranean. This regularly involved six shows a week and accompanying of cabaret acts who would expect perfect sight-reading on the night. In 1990 he formed the progressive British rock band ‘The E Thing’ performing original material, touring and recording a CD. In 1998, further serious educational study ensued at the University of East Anglia where Colin attained a PGCE in Secondary Music Teaching. In 2004, Colin was lead singer and keyboard player in rock covers band Big Sur.
During 2005 Colin worked briefly as a session musician in Yellow-Shark Studios, Cheltenham. 2005 also saw the world-premiere of his Symphony No. 2 performed by the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra.
Professionally Colin has performed many solo piano classical recitals often including his own compositions. As an accompanist his liaison with Anglo/French soprano Evelyne Beech has resulted in two CDs - Cotswold Songs featuring song-cycles by Colin and Air Chantes (songs by Debussy, Faure and Poulenc). He is also a skilled accompanist to various string instruments and wind instruments.
2008 saw the world-premiere of his Symphony No.1, performed by the Gloucester Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral (of Harry Potter fame). In 2012 Colin toured the UK with Souvenir d’Anne Frank, playing as pianist in the Decio Piano Trio. Souvenir d’Anne Frank is a theatre work based on Colin’s Piano Trio No.1 for Anne Frank, ‘Het Achterhuis’, which was highly praised by Anne’s cousin Budy Elias, and which tells the story of a rose named after Anne Frank.
In 2015 concert pianist Dr Mark Tanner gave the world-premiere of Colin’s 1st Piano Concerto ‘in memoriam John Ogdon’. Colin’s 2nd Piano Concerto, ‘In the Flowers of the Sun’, written after the plane crash in the Ukraine, awaits its premiere in New Zealand!
Colin’s composition, Lord Have Mercy, specially written for Palliser Viols, was premiered in the Hall of Memories, Wellington, August 2018.
In June 2022 two short works by Colin for Grade 1/2 violinists (Aue and Train Ride) were included in a new book - Easy Tunes for Tamariki by composers from Aotearoa. They were also performed in St Andrews, Wellington in a concert given by young musicians.
Colin regularly performs concerts of Piano & Poetry with his wife (Ingrid Prosser). Their programmes are mixtures of piano music from the Baroque, Classical & Romantic periods, & the 20th & 21st centuries (including Colin’s own compositions), intertwined with poetry from Ancient Greece & Rome, the Elizabethans, the 19th & 20th centuries, and new poems by Ingrid.
Colin is currently a freelance composer, teacher and pianist, and has a permanent resident visa for New Zealand.
'First Prize' in the TAVAC Composition Competition 2022
'Commended' in the Australia and New Zealand Viola Society Winter Composition Competition 2021 'Highly Commended' in the Sounz Brass Composition Competition 2020
'First Prize & The Audience Award' in the New Zealand Double Reed Society Chamber Music Competition July 2018
'Winner' of the Burke Trophy for Advanced Piano 1986
'Winner' of the John Ireland Chamber Music Prize 1986
'Winner' of the Birmingham Midland Institute Composition Prize 1986
'Winner' of the piano section of the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Competition 1986
for full orchestra, 8m
for cello and piano, 10m
for violin and piano
for Bb cornet and piano, 4m 30s
for cello and orchestra, 29m
for cello and piano, 24m
for three bassoons, 6m
for piano solo, 7m 45s
for piano solo, 14m
for two trumpets in Bb, 1m
for piano solo, 9m
for tenor voice and piano, 22m 30s
for recorder ensemble, 10m
for beginner piano duet, 10m
for tuba solo and piano, 3m
for piano solo, 4m 30s
for full orchestra, 4m
for clarinet, cello and piano, 11m
for recorder consort, 4m
for solo bassoon and piano, 9m 20s
for solo bassoon and piano, 8m 30s
for viol consort, 8m
for full orchestra, 18m
for solo piano
for solo flugelhorn, 3m 30s
for full orchestra, 10m
for piano and orchestra, 32m
for piano soloist and orchestra, 34m
for piano quartet, 11m 30s
for solo piano, 14m
for solo piano, 19m
for piano trio, 37m
for piano trio, 12m
for piano trio, 18m
for piano trio, 11m 30s
for piano solo, 2m 40s
for solo piano, 18m 30s
for solo piano, 7m
for viola and piano, 9m 30s
for piano solo, 3m 30s
for clarinet, 3m
for viola and piano, 19m 30s
for violin and piano, 36m
for double bass and piano, 11m
for cello and bass, 9m 40s
for cello and piano, 16m
for cello and piano, 17m
for guitar, 14m
for clarinet (in A) and piano, 11m
for flute and piano, 8m
for french horn and piano, 11m 40s
for oboe and piano, 15m
for trumpet and piano, 6m
for clarinet (in A) and piano, 13m
for trumpet and piano, 10m
for cello solo and piano, 16m
for piano quintet, 13m 40s
for string trio, 23m
for string quartet, 14m
for full orchestra, 47m
for full orchestra, 42m
for orchestra, 28m
for solo piano, 8m 30s
for 3 part treble choir and piano, 6m
for solo viola, 3m 45s
for violin and piano
for clarinet, viola and piano, 18m 40s
for piano solo, 11m
for solo guitar, 3m
for solo violin and orchestra, 31m 30s
for wind octet, 12m 30s
for recorder consort, 9m
for recorder sextet, 5m 30s
Palliser Viols premieres Colin Decio's 'Lord Have Mercy'. Admission: $25 Students: $15 ...