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, a Diapason d’or de l’annee in France, two successive Edison awards in Holland, the 25th Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and three Gramophone awards, including Record of the Year in 2008. Between 2005 and 2007, he performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at venues throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim, and his recordings of the cycle for Harmonia Mundi have received unanimous praise throughout the world. His 2010 recording of Schubert’s Winterreise with Mark Padmore received a Gramophone award, and his complete set of the Beethoven Piano Concertos with Jiri Belohlavek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was named Recording of the Month in the September 2010 issue of Gramophone, and Record of the Month in the October 2010 issue of Classic FM Magazine.
In the summer of 2010 Paul Lewis became the first pianist in the history of the BBC Proms to play all the Beethoven Piano Concertos in a single Proms season. The complete cycle was broadcast on BBC television. In addition to the Proms, he is a regular guest at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals including the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Roque d’Antheron Piano Festival, and the Klavier Festival Ruhr. He has a particularly strong relationship with London’s Wigmore Hall where he has appeared on more than forty occasions. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including all of the major UK orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bamberg Symphony, NDR-Philharmonie, Vienna Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, and Melbourne Symphony, with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Charles Mackerras, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Andrew Davis, Marin Alsop, Dimitri Kitajenko, Daniel Harding, Adam Fischer, Richard Hickox, Emmanuel Krivine, and Armin Jordan.
Highlights in recent years have included a complete Beethoven concerto cycle with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, debuting with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, opening the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York with Beethoven’s 5th concerto, concerts in New York, Chicago, Milan and Turin with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, a European tour with the Bournemouth Symphony and Marin Alsop, his second recital tour of Australia for Musica Viva, and an extensive tour of the US with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Solo recitals have taken him to venues such as the Royal Festival Hall in London, Toppan Hall Tokyo, Symphony Centre Chicago, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Tonhalle Zurich, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Kennedy Centre Washington, and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
In 2011 he embarks upon a two year Schubert project, entitled Schubert and the Piano: 1822-1828, performing all the mature piano works from the Wandererfantasie onwards, which will be presented in major centres such as London, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Florence, and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. Future CD releases include Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, the completion of the three Schubert song cycles with Mark Padmore, and a new double cd of Schubert piano works.
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 (www.midsummermusic.org.uk).