A native of New Zealand, Read Gainsford began full-time music study with top piano teachers, Janetta MacStay and Bryan Sayer, before receiving a grant from the Woolf Fisher Trust and the top prize in the Television New Zealand Young Musician of the Year. Gainsford then relocated to London, where he studied privately with Brigitte Wild, a protégée of Claudio Arrau, before winning a place in the Advanced Solo Studies course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with Joan Havill, graduating with the prestigious Concert Recital Diploma (premier prix).
Read Gainsford has performed widely in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has made successful solo debuts at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has performed in many other venues, including the John F. Kennedy Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican Centre, Fairfield Halls, Birmingham Town Hall and St-Martin-in-the-Fields. He has recorded for the Amoris label, BBC Radio Three, Radio New Zealand’s Concert Programme, and has broadcast on national television in New Zealand, the UK and Yugoslavia.
Gainsford moved to the United States in 1992 to enter the doctoral program at Indiana University, where he worked with Karen Shaw and Leonard Hokanson. Since that time he has been guest artist for the American Music Teachers Association and has also given numerous recitals, concerto performances and master-classes. He has appeared at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and the Music Festival of the Hamptons, spent several summers at the Heifetz International Music Institute, is a member of the contemporary music group Ensemble X, and the Garth Newel Chamber Players. Gainsford has also enjoyed working with such musicians as Jacques Zoon, William Vermuelen, Roberto Diaz, Eddie vanOosthuyse and Luis Rossi. Formerly on the faculty of Ithaca College, where he received the college-wide Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004, Gainsford joined the piano faculty at Florida State University in 2005.