Paul Lewis

Pianist


Paul Lewis is one of the foremost interpreters of the Central European piano repertoire, his performances and recordings of Beethoven and Schubert receiving universal critical acclaim. He was awarded CBE in 2016 for his services to music, and the sincerity and depth of his musical approach have won him fans around the world. 

This global popularity is reflected in the world-class orchestras with whom he works, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Philharmonia, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras. His close relationship with Boston Symphony Orchestra led to his selection as the 2020 Koussevitzky Artist at Tanglewood.

With a natural affinity for Beethoven, he took part in the BBC’s three-part documentary Being Beethoven and performed a concerto cycle at Tanglewood during summer 2022. He has performed the cycle all over the world, including Boston Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Melbourne Symphony, Orquestra Simfonica Camera Musicae, São Paulo State Symphony and Royal Flemish Philharmonic orchestras, and was the first pianist to play the complete cycle in a single season at the BBC Proms in 2010. Over the last 2 seasons Paul Lewis has been performing a 4 programme Schubert piano sonata series at over 30 venues around the globe showcasing the completed sonatas from the last twelve years of Schubert’s life.

Beside many award-winning Beethoven and Schubert recordings for Harmonia Mundi, his discography also demonstrates his characteristic depth of approach in other Classical and Romantic repertoire such as Haydn, Schumann, Mussorgsky, Brahms and Liszt. In chamber music, he is a regular at Wigmore Hall, having played there more than 100 times. He works closely with tenor Mark Padmore in lied recitals around the world – they have recorded three Schubert song cycles together.

Lewis is co-Artistic Director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK, and this year is the Co-Artistic Director of Norway’s Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival up in the Artic Circle. He is a passionate advocate for music education and the festival offers free tickets to local schoolchildren. He also gives masterclasses around the world alongside his concert performances. He himself studied with Joan Havill at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. In 2021 Paul Lewis became an Irish citizen.

 

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“Paul Lewis did not approach it [Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor] like a hackneyed war horse though, nudging and coaxing it to life in an understated, fresh account. His touch was often deft, emphasising the concerto’s essentially lyrical nature.”

MARK PULLINGER, BACHTRACK