Scottish pianist Steven Osborne was born in 1971. His father was a church organist. Osborne began his course of study in his native Edinburgh with Richard Beauchamp; he completed it at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Renna Kellaway. Osborne first became a known quantity when he took first prize at the Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1991. With that honor came a number of engagements and concert appearances, but these had long been fulfilled by 1997 when Osborne won the Naumberg Foundation Award in New York. This established Osborne more firmly as a force to be reckoned with among young piano virtuosi, and the following year he signed a recording contract with Hyperion Records in England, the first fruit of which was his recording of piano concertos by Alexander MacKenzie and Donald Tovey in the nineteenth volume of the Romantic Piano Concerto series. Since then, Osborne has appeared in concert throughout the world and has recorded quite bit more for Hyperion, including works of Messiaen (his 2002 recording of Vingt régards sur l'enfant-Jésus was a standout), Debussy, Alkan, Schnittke, Liszt, and Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin. In concert, Osborne also plays the piano music of Michael Tippett, Bartók, and Mozart.
A favorite at Britain's Proms concerts, he has appeared there almost annually, and he is a fixture at the Edinburgh Festival in his native Scotland as well. Osborne's recordings have begun to accumulate major prizes, not only in Britain (the Gramophone Award for his 2009 reading of Britten's Piano Concerto, and again in 2013 for a Mussorgsky-Prokofiev disc) but beyond: he has earned two German Schallplattenpreis awards. An enthusiastic chamber player, Osborne has collaborated with Alban Gerhardt, Paul Lewis, and Alina Ibragimova. Dividing his recorded outings between standard and contemporary repertory, Osborne turned to Beethoven in 2016 and issued an album of three late sonatas including the barely playable Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier") and displaying an impressive sense of control.