“What do I like about being a pianist? The music. You have to be crazy about the music otherwise there is no point in doing this.” Paul Lewis
A record library in his Liverpool neighbourhood provided eight-year-old Paul Lewis the opportunity to listen to Beethoven and Mozart for the first time. Largely self-taught until age 14, Paul won a position at Chetham’s School of Music where his piano studies began in earnest. At 20 he was invited to participate in a masterclass, then lessons with the legendary Alfred Brendel, who had a profound effect on his musical development.
“I wasn’t a child prodigy, but guidance from Alfred Brendel helped to make up for lost time,” he says.
Now recognised as the ‘great Beethoven pianist of his day’, Lewis’ recent recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas have won him great critical acclaim. He is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation, moving seamlessly from solo recitals to chamber music to concerto performances. “I want to try to convey what I love about the music, on whatever journey that entails…”
Lewis describes his Australian program as a journey from darkness to light. “The B minor Adagio is one of Mozart’s blackest pieces ever. Out of that comes the Schumann Fantasie – an explosion of passion. As for Beethoven’s ‘Waldstein’ Sonata – the French call it ‘The Dawn’. To me, that’s exactly right,it’s like sitting and watching the sun rise.”