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Paul Lewis

Widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation, Paul Lewis is best known for his interpretations of the 32 sonatas and five concertos of Beethoven. He also plays a large number of works from Mozart, Liszt, and Schubert, including the substantial piano accompaniments in the latter composer's famous song collections Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin. Lewis has concertized across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas and has performed with many world-class ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2021, Lewis joined Steven Osborne on the album French Duets and issued his second volume of Haydn's piano sonatas. Paul Lewis was born in Liverpool, England, on May 20, 1972. Though he preferred the piano as a precocious child, he first studied the cello because his school lacked a piano teacher. From about age ten, he took piano lessons and, at 14, enrolled at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, where his teachers included Ryszard Bakst. He later studied at Guildhall School of Music in London and took master classes with Alfred Brendel, who befriended him and gave him private instruction. Following graduation, Lewis steadily built his concert career while also branching out into teaching. Lewis' first important recordings appeared in 2003: an album of Schubert sonatas entitled Les Dernières Sonates on Harmonia Mundi, and a Hyperion release of Mozart quartets, with the Leopold String Trio. To coincide with the release of his complete Beethoven piano sonatas on Harmonia Mundi (issued from 2005 to 2008), Lewis toured the U.S. and Europe extensively from 2005 to 2007, giving critically acclaimed performances of all 32 masterworks. The final volume in the Harmonia Mundi series received the prestigious Gramophone Best Recording of the Year award in 2008. During 2010, Lewis performed all five Beethoven piano concertos in BBC broadcast concerts, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London, becoming the first pianist ever to do the entire cycle at the Proms in a single season. That year, Lewis was heard on a Hyperion album of Schubert's piano duets with fellow virtuoso Steven Osborne. In 2016, Lewis was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The following year, Lewis began a two-season concert series investigating the relationship between Haydn's sonatas, Brahms' late works for piano, and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Bagatelles. Lewis teamed up with Osborne once again for the 2021 album French Duets on Hyperion. Later that year, Lewis issued the second volume in his survey of Haydn's piano sonatas on Harmonia Mundi.
© Robert Cummings /TiVo
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