English pianist Paul Crossley is world-renowned for his expertise and artistry in the interpretation of twentieth century keyboard literature. Although he has made his reputation as a pianist, Crossley began his studies on the organ at Mansfield College in Oxford; he first undertook serious instruction on piano in Leeds with Fanny Waterman, later founder of the Leeds International Piano Competition. In 1967 Crossley was awarded a scholarship to France in order to study with Yvonne Loriod and Olivier Messiaen and in 1968 won first prize in the Messiaen Piano Competition.
Paul Crossley first came to prominence in the concert world at the 1973 Bath Festival, premiering the Piano Sonata No. 3 of Michael Tippett; likewise, Tippett's Piano Sonata No. 4 (1983-1984) would be entrusted to Crossley for its first performance. On the concert circuit, Crossley is most readily associated with "new music." He has given the first performances of piano works by composers Magnus Lindberg, Nicholas Maw, Hans Werner Henze, George Benjamin, Toru Takemitsu, John Adams, and Henryk Górecki. He has also made something of a specialty of the significant piano part in Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony and has recorded it with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a recording artist, Crossley has appeared on more than 50 releases, and has recorded the complete keyboard output of composers such as Tippett, Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy. Crossley became an Internet music marketing pioneer in 2001 when he offered his complete recording of the piano works of Takemitsu through an Internet download at www.gmn.com before he released it at the retail level.