Follow @HewittJSB
:: home :: biography :: gallery :: schedule :: discography :: press :: repertoire :: festival :: contact

Happy New Year! (2014-12-31)

A very Happy New Year to you all! When I woke up this morning in Umbria, the hills were covered in snow! Bello! Soon I will be in Canada where the temperature is going to hit something like -26C. Winter has finally arrived!

After my recital in Antwerp, the last of 2014, I performed only at a private event in Spoleto before spending Christmas with friends in Umbria. It was good to have some days when I didn’t just practise and travel. We visited Orvieto for the first time. What a wonderful cathedral that is! We had a lovely afternoon in beautiful Perugia, visiting the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria which is a jewel (the photo is of Gentileschi's Santa Cecilia). We drove around the lake and high up into the hills above it, seeing some breathtaking views. We also ate too much. Now for the diet…

This coming year, if all goes well, should be another memorable one. Highlights will include performances of three concertos new to my repertoire: Brahms D minor in Tokyo; Ravel Left Hand in Vancouver; and Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain in both Vancouver and Hamburg. The time to learn those pieces is now, not 10 years from now! They have been lifelong dreams. I will be recording more CDs for Hyperion: Scarlatti in February and Beethoven in March. I will perform recitals in venues as diverse as the Dulwich Picture Gallery (the world’s first ever purpose-built art gallery), the stunning Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Ontario. I will be in Japan, Brazil, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Norway, Holland, Italy, and of course Canada and the USA. My Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy will be presented for the 11th consecutive year, and will also feature in a special concert at London’s Wigmore Hall on May 31. Special events include collaborations with authors Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan, as well as actor Roger Allam.

You should also see a new version of this website before too long…..and maybe even an App!

Tanti auguri di Buon Anno!

Online CD shop for Canada now open! (2014-12-12)

Hyperion's distributor in Canada, Harmonia Mundi CA, has opened an online store for all my CD recordings. Orders are processed right away, and shipping costs are free. All payments are in Canadian dollars. Perfect if you want something still for Christmas!

An autographed CD for Christmas? (2014-12-07)

If you would like a personally autographed CD for a Christmas present to yourself or somebody else, just click on "shop" on the left and you will see what is available. The last day for an autograph in 2014 (not taking the post office into consideration) is December 16th!

A Japanese Record Academy Award (2014-12-02)

A big thank you to the Japanese Record Academy for naming my recording of Bach's Art of Fugue as Best Instrumental CD of the Year! Also to all of you who have purchased it and kept it in the top of the UK charts for so long already. I am glad that many people will get to hear this music who haven't heard it before. Just yesterday I made the final selection of Sonatas for my first Scarlatti CD on Hyperion which I will record in Hannover in February. Hard to choose among 555, but I think I have a nice group of 17.

Going back a few weeks: after Cleveland and some days at home in Ottawa, Canada, I went to New York and devoted a day to listening to 4 young pianists play for me at Klavierhaus--Fazioli's new showroom on 56th Street (in the Meridien Hotel). We had fun (see photo)! I taught them for six hours and we had lunch and dinner together as well. It's good to follow their progress. I don't do that very often because I simply don't have time. Then I performed for an enthusiastic audience at the Schubert Club in Greenwich CT where they have an annual recital in memory of a local piano teacher. I also went into the WQXR studios in NYC to do some commentary on my Bach recordings that they were playing on air. Then back to London, but only for 48 hours. Then on to Japan, and a lot of jet-lag.

It had been more than 25 years since I last performed in Tokyo's Suntory Hall--one of the great concert halls of the world. Then it was Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with the Japan Philharmonic. This time it was Messiaen's massive Turangalila Symphony with the Yomiuru Nippon Symphony and maestro Sylvain Cambreling. The other soloist was ondes martenot player Cynthia Millar whom I was very happy to meet as we are almost neighbours in London. We had a very short time to pull it all together, but it worked! The TV cameras were there (it will be broadcast in Japan in January), the hall was full at 2000 seats, and it was a very moving performance. The Fazioli concert grand sounded terrific in the hall and against the orchestra. Cynthia put one of her speakers near my piano bench, and I heard sounds coming from the ondes that I had never heard before. Maestro Cambreling obviously has the piece in his blood, and the orchestra (many of whom were playing it for the first time) did an excellent job. We will be repeating the performance in Utrecht and Brussels at the beginning of March next year. A night to remember!

Recitals in London, Canada, and Cleveland (2014-11-17)

I've played some recitals in great places since I last wrote. The first was in the church of St. John's Downshire Hill as part of the Hampstead Arts Festival in London. It was totally inspiring to perform there, and the acoustics for the Art of Fugue were perfect. What a difference that makes to the overall feel of a performance! Then it was over to the Toronto area where I played a different programme (Bach, Beethoven, Scarlatti, Albeniz, Liszt) for the recital series in Aurora, Ontario. Some musician friends, Bonnie Silver and Norbert Kraft, run that series and welcomed me warmly. Two nights later I played the same thing in the Cleveland Museum of Art--a concert organised by the Cleveland International Piano Competition (see photo). I was a winner in that in 1979 when it was named the Casadesus Piano Competition (and have many fond memories of the event). Another capacity audience in their newly-restored Auditorium which is a great place. Next up is Connecticut--a recital for the Schubert Club on the 22nd. A million things to do in the meantime. The time to announce my Trasimeno Music Festival programme for 2015 is coming soon, and I'm working hard on that. Stay tuned!

My recording of Bach's Art of Fugue on the Hyperion label is at the top of the UK Specialist Classical Chart for the 6th week in a row! I'm happy for Hyperion--and wish I could tell Bach himself!

Mozart with the Kristiansand Symphony (2014-11-02)

Then it was on to Norway--not to Oslo but rather Kristiansand in the south of the country on the sea. They have a beautiful-looking and beautiful-sounding concert hall there, Kilden, designed by Finnish architects. A nice discovery! And the Kristiansand Symphony played Mozart K482 very well under their music director, Giordano Bellincampi. We also did a "run-out" to Arendal further up the coastline. The days weren't all that long there, but I enjoyed getting a bicycle from my hotel and driving around town on it. What freedom! As a child I bicycled everywhere, and so I absolutely love it. There wasn't much traffic, so I felt safe. And not too many hills at least in the town...

Recitals in October (2014-11-01)

The rest of October was extremely busy. Almost constant travel. Upon my return to Europe, I played that great Scarlatti/Spanish programme (Albeniz, Granados, de Falla) in Nottingham, in Devon at the Two Moors Festival, at London's Wigmore Hall, in Richmond, at Holkham Hall in Norfolk (a real highlight!), and in Copenhagen. At Holkham, a grand Palladian mansion and estate in Norfolk, designed for the 1st Earl of Leicester, I had a butler to look after me. Now that was the life! The Marble Room was a terrific place to play (see photo). It was something out of a movie, making my entrance in high heels down the grand staircase, entering from the "Saloon" whose walls are adorned with paintings by no less than Rubens and van Dyck. I was taken on a private tour of the immense art collection the next morning which I hugely appreciated. Now if only I could take that butler with me everywhere I go....

Bach's The Art of Fugue now out on Hyperion! (2014-10-17)

It’s out! One of the CD recordings which means the most to me in my life (so far!): Bach’s The Art of Fugue. It makes me very happy to share this great music with so many people around the world. It’s available on this website (and if you want it signed personally, I can do that before November 11th or after December 4th), by clicking on the link “shop” on the left of this page. Also on Hyperion’s website where you can download it and the 6000-word essay that accompanies the double-CD.

'... playing of unusual distinction...This Art of Fugue is marvellous. The variety and beauty of tone alone make compelling listening, bringing contrasts, clarity and warmth to Bach’s intellectual marvels… radiant majesty and humanity' (Geoff Brown, The Times)

Cover of Gramophone magazine (2014-10-17)

....and I'm also on the cover of Gramophone magazine this month. BBC Music Magazine also has an interview done by James Naughtie.

Concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington (2014-10-12)

It was a very moving few days. Three concerts of the joyous Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major, K482 by Mozart with conductor David Zinman and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington. A very nice reunion with a conductor I respect highly and was so happy to work with again. He is a very natural conductor--letting the music speak without forcing anything, but always to great effect. The concert piano left a bit to be desired (to say the least), but I will remember this for next time. I didn't do too much other than concentrate on those three performances, apart from a visit to the beautiful Phillips Collection. And I visited with many friends who come every year to my Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy. Now I must concentrate on putting together the programme for next year. That takes so much time and thought. Back to London now for a series of recitals there over the coming weeks.

<< first < previous

page 1 of 50

next > last >>

  © copyright   ::login