Delving into music with passionate spontaneity and heart-wrenching intimacy, Paul Lewis has scaled the heights to sit among the legendary interpreters of Beethoven and Schubert. With luminosity, clarity and poetic insight, Lewis reveals Schubert’s heart-stopping emotional world, where the simplest things seem most profound.
From the New York Times: “ ‘When Schubert wants to tell you something important,” Paul Lewis says, “he will usually lower his voice rather than raise it — he draws you into the message, rather than projects it out to you.’ “
“Mr. Lewis similarly drew in the audience with the intimacy of his interpretations, the resigned melodies unfolding with a sorrowful glow. Mr. Lewis played with a warm, inviting sound and heartfelt commitment throughout…”
Franz Schubert: three last piano sonatas
Sonata in C minor D.958
Sonata in A major D.959
Sonata in Bb major D.960
Paul Lewis is internationally recognised as one of the leading pianists of his generation. His many awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award, the South Bank Show Classical Music Award, the Diapason d’or de l’annee, two successive Edison awards, the 25th Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, the “Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, a Limelight Award in Australia, and three Gramophone awards, including Record of the Year in 2008. In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Southampton. His concert performances and Harmonia Mundi recordings of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, Concertos and the Diabelli Variations have earned him unanimous acclaim from all over the world, culminating in 2010 with the honour of becoming the first pianist in the history of the BBC Proms to perform all five Beethoven Concertos in a single Proms season.
Paul Lewis is a guest at many prestigious venues and festivals including the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Lucerne Piano Festival, La Roque d’Antheron, Rheingau, and London’s Wigmore Hall where he has appeared on more than fifty occasions. He has performed with many of the world’s leading conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Charles Mackerras, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Daniel Harding, Sir Andrew Davis, Andris Nelsons, Emmanuel Krivine, and Armin Jordan.
Recent and forthcoming highlights include concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Phiharmonia, New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Boston Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Tonhalle Orchestra, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Solo recitals have taken him to such major venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, Toppan Hall Tokyo, Orchestra Hall Chicago, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, KKL Luzern, Tonhalle Zurich, Festspielhaus Baden Baden, and the Auditorio Nacional Madrid.
At the beginning of 2011, Paul Lewis embarked upon a two year project to perform all the mature piano works from the last six years of Schubert’s life. This series is being presented in London, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Bologna, Florence, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and at other major venues worldwide. Future recording plans for Harmonia Mundi include two double CDs of Schubert solo works, Mozart concertos with Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, and solo works by Schumann and Mussorgsky.
Paul Lewis studied with Ryszard Bakst at Chethams School of Music and Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. Along with his wife the Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, he is artistic director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK.