British Pianist Paul Lewis Caps Off the 2011–2012 Performing Arts Series
May 4, 2012
May 4 Concert of Schubert Works is the Penultimate Recital in a Series of Five
Middlebury, VT—A favorite of Middlebury audiences, British pianist Paul Lewis will perform a beautiful evening of Schubert’s piano works at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8:00 P.M. Lewis is internationally recognized as one of the leading pianists of his generation, and is a fitting artist to close the 2011-2012 Middlebury College Performing Arts Series with a flourish.
This concert is the fourth in a series of five concerts in Lewis’s worldwide Schubert project. He began this two year cycle in 2011, performing all of Schubert’s mature piano works from the Wandererfantasie onwards. The series has been presented in Middlebury, London, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Bologna, Florence, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and at other venues worldwide. For the May 4 concert at Middlebury, he will perform Schubert’s sixteen German Dances, the Allegretto in C Minor, and Piano Sonatas 14 and 16. The final installment in the cycle will take place in Middlebury in October 2012.
Lewis has already garnered significant critical acclaim for his Schubert performances. The Chicago Tribune noted, “Lewis’ deep insights into the emotional complications of this music were matched by his firm grasp of classical structure and the ways in which Schubert’s lyrical gift illuminates that structure. This was Schubert playing of a very high order.” Responding to Lewis’ recent Schubert CD release, Gramophone wrote, “…Paul Lewis returns to Schubert, some of whose sonatas he set down a decade or so ago for Harmonia Mundi, a project left tantalizingly hanging in the air. Well, it was worth the wait. In the intervening time, he has developed into arguably the finest Schubert interpreter of his generation.”
Between 2005 and 2007, Lewis 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 complete set of the Beethoven Piano Concertos with Jiri Belohlavek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was chosen as Recording of the Month in both Gramophone and Classic FM Magazine in autumn 2010. He has recently completed recordings of the three Schubert song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore. Many of Lewis’ most recent recordings will be for sale at the concert venue in Middlebury.
In the summer of 2010, Lewis became the first pianist in the history of the BBC Proms to play all five Beethoven Piano Concertos in a single Proms season. The complete cycle was broadcast on BBC television. He is also a regular guest at many other prestigious venues and festivals including the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Roque d’Antheron Piano Festival, the Klavier Festival Ruhr, and London’s Wigmore Hall where he has appeared on more than forty occasions.
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.
Audiences for the May 4 concert will not only enjoy a wonderful evening of music, but will also receive a “sneak peek” at next season’s presentations, when Performing Arts Series Director Paul Nelson offers his remarks to preview the year ahead. One lucky concert-goer will also win the annual raffle for a set of CDs signed by this year’s artists.
Admission is $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and parents; and $6 for Middlebury College students, For tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/tickets.
Top and bottom photos: Jack Liebeck