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UK concert pianist is charged with assault on boys

John Briggs, MBE, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which relate to alleged offences that took place some years ago.

Mr Briggs, 65, was granted unconditional bail and will appear before Bradford Crown Court on July 30. Presumptions of innocence apply.

He appeared once at Carnegie Hall, in 1987, on his own booking.


john briggs


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  1. Truth be told, i’m not familiar with this ‘world renowned’ pianist as some of the publicity describes him…slipped off my radar completely. I’d have thought that label was more befitting of Pletnev, Argerich, Kissin etc.

  2. Mark Stratford says:

    Wasn’t he the attention-seeking guy who played by the Grand Canyon ?

  3. John Humphreys says:

    Never heard of him. Wonder what the MBE was for?

  4. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Did nobody ever see The John Briggs Music Show? It was broadcast on Granada in the 1980s. I saw it a few times. Birgit Nilsson was on it once. He wasn’t a bad pianist but certainly didn’t have the chops of the better-known variety. Studied with Sulamita Aranovsky, I think, and came from Bateley in Yorkshire, but I’m probably wrong and I can’t be bothered to open another tab and have a look on Wikipedia in the full knowledge that I’m going to do just that as soon as I click on ‘Post Comment’.

  5. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Here’s a goldmine of information about the show:

    I meant Batley, not Bateley, that was a typo. The show was made by Yorkshire TV but broadcast on Granada in Manchester (duh).

  6. Theodore McGuiver says:

    The intro to the show ran something like ‘He wowed at the Sydney Opera House and triumphed on the high seas. Now celebrated concert pianist John Briggs is back home to host The John Briggs Music Show’ or some such. ‘High seas’ means he played on a cruise ship, I suppose. We’ve all done that at some stage.

  7. Michael Pearson says:

    I remember him being a friend of Denis and Edna Healey.

    • I have heard him play on Yorkshire TV when he was publicising a musical stunt and I’ve also heard him play in a shopping centre. He’s no more than a competent pianist whose showy performances don’t disguise the occasional wrong notes. Whoever it was he ‘wowed at the Sydney Opera House’ they must have been easily pleased.

  8. Ann Allen says:

    Miaow! Nothing like kicking a man when he’s down. As far as I am aware this bloke, whether known or not, is on trial for sex offences, not for his musical prowess. Strikes me it is a personal tragedy for all concerned, but hey if you can get your 5 minutes of fame through spiteful comments – you go for it.

  9. I had the misfortune to see one of his “concerts” in the 1980s. He’s a raconteur/showman with a piano, not a concert pianist. The piano equivalent of Jane McDonald – remember her ? No ? QED.

  10. Sarah Beth Briggs says:

    I would concur entirely with what Mark says. It’s been the bane of my life to share the name of Briggs, especially as I’m still Yorkshire based and some music societies assume that we must be related.

  11. I always thought he was imitating Liberace. I live not far away

  12. My comment re. him imitating Liberace got sent before completion. What I was saying was that I live not far away from him, and I’ve not heard his name mentioned in years.

  13. I heard him play Liszt’s ‘Tristan’ paraphrase at the Georgian theatre in Richmond, Yorkshire in about 1990. Sounded capable enough. More than that, I can’t say.

  14. His MBE was for fundraising and charity/community work. There’s a lot of people wish him well. I suppose, like Liberace , who maybe was an influence, you’d really have called him an entertainer rather than just a pianist. One of those odd people who wanted the country to reaIize there was an alternative to the electric guitar and massive loudspeakers. I’d assumed he retired years ago.

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