ABOUT LEON McCAWLEY

‘an exemplary piano soloist with commanding technical authority and a shining, enriched tone’. Guardian

Leon McCawley, one of Britain’s foremost pianists, has forged a highly successful career since winning 1st Prize in the 1993 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and 2nd Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, building on his earlier success as Winner of the Piano Section of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1990. Since then, McCawley’s impressive discography has established him as a pianist of great integrity and variety, bringing freshness and vitality to classical, romantic and 20th century repertoire. His recent CD of Haydn’s Sonatas and Variations for SOMM Recordings is no exception, and was awarded a Diapason d’Or in July 2017: ‘What a range in his interpretation and how many layers of gradation! McCawley ties these together in a special quality of inflexions which make their point with great intelligibility and sensitivity’. (Diapason, July 2017)

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NEWS

2828 December, 2017

RECORDING OF SCHUBERT PIANO MUSIC FOR SOMM RECORDINGS

Leon was back in the studio again just before Christmas making his seventh recording for SOMM Recordings: a solo disc of Schubert's Wanderer Fantasie, Three Piano Pieces D946 and a selection of five Schubert songs arranged by Liszt. The music was recorded at Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton and will be released in the latter half of 2018.

2727 October, 2017

BBC RADIO 3 BROADCAST ON 30TH OCTOBER

Leon's live performance of John Ireland's Piano Concerto with Ulster Orchestra/Andrew Gourlay, recorded at Ulster Hall, Belfast in August this year, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Afternoon Concert on Monday 30th October from 2pm.

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CONCERTS

 

15th February 2018  DUNDEE
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Dirk Brossé at Caird Hall (7.30pm)

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Brief Encounter Live Screening (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 excerpts)

 

16th February 2018  EDINBURGH
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Dirk Brossé at Usher Hall (7.30pm)

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Brief Encounter Live Screening (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 excerpts)

 

17th February 2018 GLASGOW
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Dirk Brossé at Royal Concert Hall (7.30pm)

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Brief Encounter Live Screening (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 excerpts)

 

22nd February 2018  MANCHESTER
Solo recital at Bridgewater Hall (1.10pm)

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Haydn: Sonata in C minor HXVI:20
Hans Gál: Three Preludes Op.65 (1944)
Chopin: Two Nocturnes Op.37
Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80

 

5th March 2018  LONDON
BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Recital (live broadcast) at Wigmore Hall (1pm)

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Haydn: Sonata in C minor HXVI:20
Hans Gál: Three Preludes Op.65 (1944)
Chopin: Two Nocturnes Op.37
Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor WoO 80

 

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PRESS – RECITALS

Malvern Concert Club November 2017
Solo Recital at Malvern Theatres, 23rd November 2017

This recital of mainly nineteenth-century piano music began with a near-immaculate performance of Mozart’s early Sonata K.282. McCawley showed how profound it can be when performed with an alert musical intelligence, an astonishing control of the keyboard and care for every detail. The total absence of ‘attitude’ allowed this music to speak for itself.

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Classical Source March 1st 2016
Wigmore Hall Solo Recital March 1st 2016

Every time in this excellent Wigmore Hall recital when I thought I’d nailed the main, generating aspect of Leon McCawley’s style, he’d confound expectations. His seemingly ascetic, self-contained persona would deftly step aside to allow comedy, fantasy and passion to hold the floor, on the back of a disarmingly profound and mercurial virtuosity, and his playing just sounded right…

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Washington Post November 17th 2014
Solo Recital at Phillips Collection, Washington DC

A performance this weekend by British pianist Leon McCawley was another strong offering in the Phillips Collection’s excellent Sunday concert series…McCawley is a thoughtful, lyrical pianist, and he played everything with erudition, imagination and fastidiousness…

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PRESS – CONCERTOS

La Nueva España (Diario Independente de Asturias) 22nd January 2017
Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias/Manuel López-Gómez at Auditorío Principe Felipe, Oviedo

In this programme we got to know Leon McCawley, considered today a poet of the keyboard. He is pure lyricism.

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La Nueva España (Gijón) 22nd January 2017
Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias/Manuel López-Gómez at Teatro Jovellanos, Gijón

McCawley…demonstrated to the audience his mastery of the classic/romantic field of music. With his first entrance, McCawley brought a special feeling to the main theme, managing to achieve an exceptional expressiveness while maintaining the narrative…

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El Comercio, Asturias 21st January 2017
Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias/Manuel López-Gómez at Teatro Jovellanos, Gijón

…this was a passionate and poetic Beethoven [Piano Concerto No. 3], full of energy and rhythm. McCawley is a pianist with a very lyrical and poetic touch, almost transparent and precise…

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RECORDINGS

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List of recordings

PHOTO GALLERY

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VIDEO

Featured videos from LEON McCAWLEY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL: