For his Associated Board Grade 8 exams – on both piano and French horn.
He went on to study classical piano, French horn and composition at Chetham’s School, Manchester, where he was introduced to jazz by pianist and teacher Les Chisnall and bassist and teacher Steve Berry. He studied jazz piano at The Royal Academy of Music, London with John Taylor, Nikki Iles, Nick Weldon and Geoff Keezer.
He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a first-class honours degree and the “Principal’s Prize’ for outstanding achievement and played both piano and French horn whilst in NYJO from 2001 to 2003.
Gwilym’s influences are wide ranging, from jazz legends including Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny, to classical composers including Maurice Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Béla Bartók and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Although principally a jazz artist, Gwilym has composed numerous works for larger Classical ensemble that combine through-composed elements with improvisation, creating a sound that is distinctive and very much his own.
In the last few years, Gwilym has become renowned for his solo performances, releasing a critically acclaimed album Good Days at Schloss Elmau in 2011 and touring throughout Europe and to places as far afield as Australia, the USA, Canada, Korea and China to name but a few.
Gwilym has toured extensively with the cream of British and international jazz artists including Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Bob Mintzer and Bobby McFerrin. He co-leads the Anglo-American Supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen with British guitar legend Mike Walker, Steve Rodby and Adam Nussbaum. He also tours with classical virtuoso Nigel Kennedy, with whom he is writing a programme of new music.