Paul Lewis Launches "Pictures at an Exhibition", Performs with Chicago Symphony Orchestra
In January, celebrated pianist Paul Lewis releases Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition on which he performs two major works of the keyboard repertoire. Decidedly programmatic, Pictures at an Exhibition is more commonly heard today in Ravel’s orchestral version. However, the original for solo piano is both a technical tour-de-force and a brilliant example of the composer’s coloristic gifts. The pairing is Schumann’s Fantaisie Op.17, a work whose movements originally had evocative titles (Ruin, Triumphal Arch, Constellation). The ‘program’ was removed before publication, but the ‘pictures’ Schumann intended listeners to imagine remain.
Paul Lewis toured with the Mussorgsky in 2014. Reviewing a recent performance at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, The New York Times praised the "myriad distinctive touches and nuances" of his interpretation.
"Time and again, you marvel at the confidence and sureness of Lewis's playing... It's the kind of playing, in fact, where comparisons cease to matter."
Lewis's latest recording, Schubert's Late Piano Sonatas, completed his acclaimed Schubert cycle, prompting Gramophone to call him "one of the great Schubertians of our time." The album reached No. 9 on the Billboard Classical Chart and made The 2014 Want List in Fanfare Magazine. 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, and all of Schubert's major piano works from the last six years of his life, including the 3 song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore.
"One of the finest Beethoven interpreters of his generation" (The New York Times), Paul Lewis returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven's Emperor concerto January 7-10, 2015. He tours with violinist Lisa Batiashvili in March and April, followed by solo recitals in May and two dates with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in July. His full schedule is available here.