Paul Lewis (pianist)

Paul Lewis
Birth name Paul Lewis
Born (1972-05-20) 20 May 1972
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Classical Pianist
Instruments Piano
Website Official website

Paul Lewis CBE (born 20 May 1972) is an English classical pianist.[1] His father worked at the Liverpool docks and his mother was a local council worker; there were no musicians in his family background.[1]

Early life

Lewis began by playing the cello, the only instrument for which his school could offer him tuition. At the age of 14 he was accepted by Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, where his piano studies blossomed. His teachers included Ryszard Bakst (at Chetham's), Joan Havill (at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Alfred Brendel. His first international achievement was the second prize at the 1994 World Piano Competition in London.[2] He also won the Dudley and Royal Overseas League Piano Competitions.


Lewis is strongly affiliated with the Wigmore Hall, London.[2][3] He has played at many prestigious venues and festivals worldwide and with many notable orchestras and conductors.

Lewis performed all 32 of the Beethoven piano sonatas, on tour in the United States and Europe, between the 2005 and 2007 seasons, in parallel with his complete recording of the cycle for Harmonia Mundi. Each of these CD releases has been included in Gramophone magazine's "Editor's Choice", and in August 2008, volume 4 of the series was awarded Gramophone's "Best Instrumental" recording and "Best Recording of the Year".

In July and August 2010 Lewis became the first pianist to perform all five Beethoven Concertos in a single season of The BBC Proms.[4]

Lewis was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music.[5]


"There is in Lewis's playing a strong physicality, a firm connection between his deep thinking about the music and his articulation of it. He knows and can define its character, and can show how its rhythmic, harmonic and melodic components coalesce. This was playing of intellectual rigour and imaginative vigour." Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph



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