The Reed Lounge was founded towards the end of 2016 and is the brainchild of founder Murray Grainger.
It is hard to imagine exactly what went through Murray Grainger’s parents’ minds when their eight-year-old son announced his desire to learn either the accordion or the bagpipes. But that was the start of a chain of events that led to the creation of The Reed Lounge!
After a brief flirtation with the bagpipes, Murray finally settled on the accordion and he started with a nice little Hohner 48 bass and regular lessons with the wonderful Alice Dells. Her kindness and enthusiasm set Murray off on the right tracks it wasn’t long before he was ‘entertaining’ friends and family.
4 years later his interests had focused on the classical repertoire and after hearing a programme on Radio 4 by the renowned accordionist Mogens Ellegaard Murray converted to freebass accordion and started lessons with Owen Murray.
His passion for the accordion continued and he took the decision to continue his studies and become a professional. He finished his A levels and went on to the Royal Academy of Music in London and completed a four year degree studying with Professor Owen Murray.
Murray then gained tremendous experience both as a solo performer as well as working with many orchestras and chamber groups, including the BBC Symphony and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. Murray can boast performances at such events as the BBC Promenade Series and Edinburgh International Festival, recitals at venues such as Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and many broadcasts on BBC Radio and TV. He has collaborated with composers in the writing of new works for the instrument, giving World and British premiers of works by Jonathan Dove, Eddie McGuire, Gerhard Stäbler etc.
In 1999 Murray returned to his roots in Manchester and has since explored many areas of the music world. Working in a variety of fields from traditional, through classical and jazz to commercial and popular music, and as an accomplished player of both piano and button key accordions, Murray has become a renowned exponent of the modern accordion.
As a traditional player he has worked with many of today’s top performers from Steafan Hannigan, Cormac Byrne, Andrew Dinan, Desi Donnely etc. and at festivals around the world such as Celtic Connections, Sidmouth International Festival, Folk Est Italy, Festival Interceltic de Lorient France etc.
Murray is highly respected in the field of education, teaching at Chetham’s School of Music, with previous educational endeavours including the Folk and Traditional Music Course at Newcastle University, Bangor University, Liverpool’s Hope University, and The Orkney Traditional Music Project. Murray also held the position of Director of Music for the Fosbrooks Folk Education Trust, and Director of Education for Young Musicians Stornoway.
As a recording artist he has released 7 albums, filmed a renowned accordion tuition DVD, written 2 books and is currently collaborating on a number of new projects.
In 2006 The Music Room in Cleckheaton approached Murray to act as their accordion specialist. Murray found he rather enjoyed helping people find their perfect accordion and over the next 10 years Murray became more and more involved. He expanded his knowledge into the melodeon and concertina departments and before long he became the public face of The Music Room free reed departments.
His knowledge has become most sought after by manufacturers and distributers, and he has worked both as a demonstrator and product advisor to such manufacturers as Pigini and Roland Europe. He has attended trade events in China, Germany and the UK and has built up and enviable knowledge of products.
In 2016 Murray decided he wanted to put his experiences into his own business, focused only on free reed instruments. He wanted to be able to deliver the absolute best products at every price level and back this up with the best advice and support.
From this dream The Reed Lounge was born, a specialist retailer, with the finest stock, the finest service and the finest advice.