Paul Lewis, piano

The Shenson Piano Series is made possible by Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Herbst Theatre

“The distinction between brains and brawn in the piano world, between the ivory-tower musician and the arena virtuoso, is to some extent a fictitious one, and Lewis is happily crashing through it.”

—The New Yorker

Franz Schubert: Impromptu No. 2, D935


SCHUBERT: Sonata in B Major, D. 575
BRAHMS: Ballades, Op. 10; Intermezzi, Op. 117
LISZT: Dante Sonata

Klavierstück in F-sharp Major, S.193

About This Performance

The New York Times asserts a golden age of pianists in the present and counts Paul Lewis “among those who have left a profound impression in recent performances.” This esteemed British pianist’s perceptive and powerful surveys of Beethoven and Schubert sonatas are among the most highly regarded in recent years, “An unmissable benchmark” (Gramophone).

Artist Biography

Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His recent cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Annee, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Southampton.

He performs regularly as soloist with the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras, in collaboration with such conductors as Sir Colin Davis, Stephane Deneve, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, Pablo Heras-Casado, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Sir Charles Mackerras, Andris Nelsons, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Robin Ticciati. He is also a frequent guest at the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Lucerne, Mostly Mozart (New York), Tanglewood, Schubertiade, Salzburg, Edinburgh, La Roque d’Antheron, Rheingau, Klavier Festival Ruhr, and London’s BBC Proms where in 2010 he became the first pianist to perform a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in one season.

Paul Lewis’ recital career takes him to venues such as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Alice Tully and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Tonhalle Zurich, Palau de Musica Barcelona, Oji Hall in Tokyo, and Melbourne’s Recital Centre.

His multi-award winning discography for Harmonia Mundi includes the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, concertos, and the Diabelli Variations, Liszt’s B minor Sonata and other late works, and all of Schubert’s major piano works from the last six years of his life, including the three song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore. Future recording plans include the Brahms D minor piano concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding, and solo works by Mussorgsky and Schumann.

Paul Lewis studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London 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.