Paul Lewis, piano

November 16, 2017 – 7:30pm – Brendle Recital Hall

Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His 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. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton Universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He appears regularly as soloist with the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.

Plans for the 2016/17 season include Beethoven concerto cycles with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, appearances with the Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding, the Philharmonia with Andris Nelsons, the Chicago Symphony with Manfred Honeck, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Haitink. The 2017/18 season sees the start of a two year recital series exploring connections between the sonatas of Haydn, the late piano works of Brahms, and Beethoven’s bagatelles and Diabelli Variations.

Paul Lewis’s 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, and the Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus. He is also a frequent guest at the some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Schubertiade, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Lucerne, and the BBC Proms where in 2010 he became the first person to play a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in a single season.

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, all of Schubert’s major piano works from the last six years of his life including the 3 song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore, solo works by Schumann and Mussorgsky, and the Brahms D minor piano concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Future recording plans include a multi-CD series of Haydn sonatas, Beethoven’s bagatelles, and works by Bach.

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. He is co-Artistic Director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK, and the Leeds International Piano Competition.

Haydn: Piano Sonata in C major Hob XVI/50

Beethoven: Six Bagatelles, op. 126

Brahms: Six Klavierstücke, op. 118

Haydn: Piano Sonata in G Hob XVI/40


Enrich your concert-going experience by joining a pre-performance talk at 6:40 pm in M208, adjacent to Brendle Recital Hall.

There is an almost filial connection which links the composers Mr. Lewis has selected for his recital. Haydn taught Beethoven at the beginning of the 19th Century, and Brahms learned from, and deeply admired, Beethoven’s music in the second half of the century. Dr. Peter Kairoff will discuss what aspects of their musical styles make us consider them all part of one great tradition, and also what differences distinguish their individual styles.

Peter Kairoff was born in Los Angeles, and studied at the University of Southern California, where he received Master’s and Doctoral degrees with highest honors.  He also studied for two years in Florence, Italy, as winner of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Rotary International Fellowship.  His teachers include Jerome Lowenthal and Brooks Smith in California, and Orazio Frugoni in Florence.  He has performed throughout the world as pianist and harpsichordist to great critical acclaim.  In recitals in Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, New York, Rome, Moscow and many other musical centers, reviewers have noted his “meticulous accuracy and profound musicality” (Oxford MAIL, UK), and his “Fire and Passion” (Washington POST, USA).   He has published 8 CD recordings on the Albany and Centaur record labels, which been enthusiastically received for their “powerful romantic passion and broad sweep” (American Record Guide), and are frequently heard on classical music radio stations throughout the world.

Dr. Kairoff is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Wake Forest University, where he has taught since 1988.  He also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, the State University of New York, and Middlebury College, and has given master classes at conservatories in Moscow, Brazil, Italy, China and several states in the U.S.    He has also served as judge in a number of international piano competitions, most recently the Scriabin International competition in Tuscany, and the Sala Gallo competition in Milan.  In 2012 he was named a “Steinway Artist” in recognition of his “outstanding artistic contributions” in the field of piano performance.

All tickets are general admission and doors to the hall open at 7:00 PM.

Adults – $18

Senior (62+) – $15

Non-WFU Student (12+) – $10

Child (5-12) – $5

Children under 5 free

Admission is free for WFU students, faculty, staff, and retirees by showing your WFU or WFU Medical School ID.

Wake Forest University and Medical School faculty, staff and retirees receive free admission for themselves and one guest to each Secrest Artists Series performance. WFU students and Medical School students receive free admission for themselves. Simply show your WFU I.D. at the door.

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