Interview: Michael Lewin in the time of COVID
Watch a selection of new Michael Lewin Video Interviews.
New Position in China
Michael Lewin has been named Classical Music Director for Ethos Music Company in China. He will make two trips a year to China for Ethos, teaching, lecturing and performing.
Rave review for the Newport Music Festival Opening Night.
Lewin played beautifully, with the confidence that enables insightful performances. It ought to have been the concert closer — it packed that kind of emotional wallop.
- Providence Journal, Keith Powers. July 2019
Rave review of Brahms 1st Concerto in Boston, March 2019
"Lewin scaled the heights as the soloist in Brahms Concerto No. 1... he brought a combination of elegance and muscle to the first movement..the second theme was golden-toned, stately, perfectly balanced." Read full review here.
Promo video for Brahms 1st Concerto performances March 9 & 10, 2019 in Boston.
Thank you for visiting my website. Please take a look at my new Blog. I welcome your comments! - ML
Rave Review for NY recital, "Piano Music of the Americas" - June 2018
"Lewin's performance was consummate. He displayed the lyricism and intense tonal beauty that time and again make him a superlative pianist. An estimable Chopin player, his synthesis of the lyric and the tango elements were sublime...profound understanding of the idiom." - ConcertoNet.com
ROUNDGLASS MUSIC AWARDS
Michael Lewin won the Best Classical Recording Award for his Debussy CD at the Roundglass Music Awards, held on Jan 26, 2018 at the Edison Ballroom in NYC. He was also one of the featured performers at the Gala Award Ceremony, along with Paquito Rivera, Tina Guo, Patti Austin and the Ricky Kej World Ensemble. Click here for more information.
Boston News, Dec 2017
Michael Lewin's Nov. 2017 Liszt performance was chosen a Boston musical season highlight.
Lewin's performance of Liszt's Petrarch Sonnet No. 123, from his Nov. 28, 2017 Piano Masters recital can now be watched here.
Michael Lewin will play the Dvorak Piano Quintet on Friday April 6 at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, with Katie Lansdale, Judith Eissenberg, Markus Placce, Rhonda Rider.
Review - Western Piedmont Symphony, John Gordon Ross. Oct 2017
splendid performances. – W. Gerald Cochran
Review - Franco Center, Maine. March 3, 2017
One of the finest, and most unusual piano recitals of the year... – Maine Classical Beat
New Worldwide Representation - Dec. 5, 2016
Mr Lewin is delighted to announce that he is now represented worldwide by Jenny Rose, of AOR Management. You are most welcome to contact Jenny at any time for concert inquiries or for any information about Michael Lewin.
"Pianist gets with the program." Sept 2016
Honors for Lewin's "Starry Night"
Starry Night, Michael Lewin's second Debussy recording, was named:
Best Solo Piano Recording of 2015 -Voix-des-Arts
Best Classical Recordings 2015 -The Arts Fuse
Recording of the Month -Music Web International
Top 10 September Classical Recordings -Rhapsody Music
Trended at Top of Apple Classical Music
Critics Applaud for "Starry Night."
The electrifying virtuosity of "Jardins sous la pluie" elevates the entire set to dazzling heights. The first book of Preludes radiates sensuality and whim...Lewin's magical touch melts the coldness and melancholy of "Les soirs ilumines par l'ardeur du charbon. - Clavier Companion Magazine
Lewin's interpretations of Debussy stand out. He captures both the brilliance and subtlety of Debussy's imagination. Estampes is beautifully paced and full of poetry- flawless, intricate precision. - American Record Guide
Each Prelude is flawlessly characterized. The E major Arabesque is utterly unmannered and as fresh as paint. Golliwog's cake walk oozes dry wit. The closing bars of Debussy's bittersweet final piano piece, Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbonare are heart-stopping. All fabulous, and Lewin's unfussy notes are a joy to read. - The Arts Desk
Surely must rank among the most poetic and sensitive Debussy recordings of recent memory. There’s no denying that Lewin identifies with the Preludes and dramatizes the music behind the notes as well as anyone. - The Arts Fuse
Lewin clearly has this music in his blood and brings out the very essence of each work on this generous program.. Lewin provides another terrrific Debussy recital. - blu-raydefinition.com
Overall, Michael Lewin succeeds where other pianists of his generation have fallen short when performing the works of Debussy. His virtuosity cannot be underestimated and with this offering, his splendid interpretations continue to distinguish him as an abundantly gifted pianist whose command of Debussy’s repertoire remains unmatched. Splendid! - AXS.com
These are some of the most moving performances of these works I have heard...transformative for the listener. - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
This is a very distinguished recording, an outstanding addition to the Debussy discography. I was hugely impressed, and enjoyed this playing enormously. - MusicWeb-International.com
STARRY NIGHT Released!
Sono Luminus has released "Starry Night," Michael Lewin's new Debussy album. It is now available wherever compact discs are sold. This is the companion disc to last year's Debussy album "Beau Soir,", and marks Lewin's fourth disc for Sono Luminus.
Program: 12 Préludes, Book 1, Estampes, Arabesque No. 1, Golliwog’s Cakewalk, Les soirs illumines par l’ardeur du charbon, Nuit d’étoiles (Starry Night) transcribed by Koji Attwood.
A Busy Summer 2015
Mr. Lewin's summer begins June 6th with a performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" in NY at SUNY Purchase, with the Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra under conductor Jun Nakabayashi. From June 10-14 he will serve as Jury Chair for the Boston International Piano Competition. June 28-July6 he will make his first trip to Costa Rica, at the Costa Rica Piano Festival. Festival activities include Master Classes and a solo recital. July 23-August 8th he will be in Italy for MusicFest Perugia. There he will play the Grieg Piano Concerto with Uri Segal conductor and a solo recital of Debussy & Chopin in addition to master classes and teaching. July 28th will see the world-wide release of his newest recording for Sono Luminus, "Starry Night", an all-Debussy disc. From August 18-30 he will be in Tokyo, Japan to judge the PTNA Competition, Japan's most important national piano competition.
A GRAMMY® Award!
The Billboard No.1 album and international sensation "Winds of Samsara" has won the Grammy® Award in the New Age Category! Michael Lewin is the Featured Artist on NOCTURNE, the final track. The album is a creation of Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej and South African flutist Wouter Kellerman. Working with Lewin's performance of the Chopin c-sharp minor Nocturne, Kej & Kellerman added flute solos, the voices of the Seattle Pro Musica Choir and Indian vocalists to create a fascinating and original new take on Chopin's eternal music.Watch & Listen
Fall 2014 Recital Program Announced
During the fall Michael Lewin will play recitals in San Juan, PR and Ponce, PR, Boulder, CO and Greeley CO; Lewiston, Maine, Boston MA and Drenth, The Netherlands.
Program: Debussy (arr: Attwood) Beau Soir & Nuits d’étoiles; Scriabin Sonata-Fantasy No.2; Schubert “Wanderer” Fantasy; Debussy Préludes Book 1 and L’isle joyeuse.
Boston Performances 2014-15
Michael Lewin will appear twice with orchestras as well as in solo recital this season in Boston. On Nov. 4th, he will play a solo recital on the Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series. On Feb. 8 2015 he will play the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with Bruce Hangen and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. On April 12, 2015 he performs the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat with Steven Lipsitt and the Boston Classical Orchestra in Faneuil Hall. See CALENDAR for details and tickets.
Upcoming: Another Debussy CD for Sono Luminus - It will be entitled Starry Night.
Michael Lewin recorded a second all-Debussy disc over the summer in the Sono Luminus studios, for 2015 release.
Program: 12 Préludes, Book 1, Estampes, Arabesque No. 1, Golliwog’s Cakewalk, Les soirs illumines par l’ardeur du charbon, Nuit d’étoiles (Starry Night) transcribed by K. Attwood.
BEAU SOIR: New Debussy CD Released on Sono Luminus
March, 2014: Michael Lewin’s third recording for Sono Luminus is now available via download, on compact disc, and in Blu-Ray 5.1 Surround Sound. It is called “Beau Soir:” Préludes Book II and Other Works.
In addition to the 12 Préludes, the program includes a transcription of the famous song Beau Soir, made for Mr. Lewin by Koji Attwood, L’isle joyeuse, The Little Shepherd, Danse, Élégie, the Octave Etude, Valse Romantique and La plus que lente.
Beau Soir receiving worldwide rave reviews!
Beau Soir is played with a cantabile full enough to make even Gérard Souzay (the song’s most celebrated singer) envious....Masterly and assured in the outgoing music such as L’isle joyeuse or the ‘Octave’ Etude..Sono Luminus’s sound is excellent and the expressive, warm-hearted notes are by the pianist himself. - Bryce Morrison, Gramophone Magazine (England)
unyielding brilliance of technique and artistic intelligence…an intimate discourse between a great composer and a preeminent interpreter of his music. - Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts
Even in a catalog crowded with world-class Debussy Préludes Book II cycles, Michael Lewin has a lot to offer. The intricate fingerwork in Nos. 1, 4, 8, 11 and 12 combine muted hues and blueprint clarity, while sustained neutral tones create haunting long lines throughout Nos. 2 and 10. The disc opens with pianist/transcriber Koji Attwood’s beautiful reworking of the song “Beau Soir,” followed by myriad short works. L’isle joyeux and Etude pour les octaves release their pent-up tension to impressive effect. – Jed Distler, Listen Magazine
Michael Lewin'stechnique is phenomenal, but he's too generous a player to draw attention to himself at Debussy's expense. Sample his dazzling, thunderous traversal of Feux d'artifice – it's delirious, giddy stuff, both entertaining and terrifying... This is an imaginatively planned, idiomatically performed Debussy anthology, and an ideal entry point for anyone curious about this repertoire. Lewin's notes are a model of lucid accessibility, and Sono Luminus's sound is rich and immediate. - Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk. England
the playing has great beauty... A number of dances are here as well, both brilliant and subdued, all played with the technique and panache required. The 12 Preludes make for a greater whole in the hands of Lewin, who knows how each fits into the overall design of Debussy... I will return to this on a regular basis. - Harrington, American Record Guide (Oct. 2014)
outstanding interpretation of Michael Lewin, and very great sound in both stereo and multi channel. Highly recommended. – Audiophile, Norway
This recital shows off piano virtuoso Lewin's ability to dig deeply into each of these samll masterpieces and extract what the composer intended without letting his personal style trump their meaning. It is a very well chosen program with considerable variety in its moods and tempi. As such, the performance values of Beau Soir are quite competitive with the best out there including recordings by such keyboard luminaries as Walter Gieseking, Arturo Benedettti Michelangeli, and, more recently, Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Michael Lewin’s disc gains considerable advantage over its predecessors with fabulous sonics that simply let more of Debussy’s tonal palette reach my ears. Another Sono Luminus winner! - Blu-RayDefinition.com (U.S.)
Two Debussy Songs Transcribed for Michael Lewin by Koji Attwood
The very gifted pianist and transcriber Koji Attwood crafted a gorgeous arrangement of Beau Soir (Beautiful Evening)for Michael Lewin’s recording featuring the Debussy Préludes, Book 2. When Sono Luminus heard it, they even decided to title the album Beau Soir!” Audiences have loved this arrangement in performances over the last year, it is a magical encore. Download on iTunes
Here is a concert video of the first performance of Beau Soir, from Perugia, Italy. Watch & Listen
For the upcoming 2015 Debussy disc, Koji made an ingenious arrangement of Nuits d’étoiles (Starry Night), which Mr. Lewin will be performing widely this season.
Pianists: If you would like to receive a free piano score to the Attwood transcriptions of Beau Soir or Nuits D’etoiles, contact Michael Lewin!
Piano Phantoms named CD of the week
Piano Phantoms was named CD of the week at KDFC San Francisco, and Bolcom’s “Grace Ghost Rag” wins Listener’s Favorite!
Rave Reviews for Piano Phantoms!
This is a fabulous – in more ways than one – new release from Sono Luminus that explores a wide range of musical achievement from a number of talented composers. It is a beautifully contrived CD that will be of interest to all those who are young at heart and who relate to goblins, ghouls and things of the night. ..Michael Lewin’s playing is flawless – Musicweb-International
There are so many gifted pianists coming out of conservatories these days that it has been said there just isn't enough room for them in the concert halls. So it behoves a pianist to be inventive in their programming selections. Lewin gives us a prime example: a haunting collection of works perfect for your next Halloween party. Mostly from the romantic era's preoccupation with ghosts and goblins, there are also a few modern works, and some previously unrecorded works from various times. Lewin has also carefully orchestrated the works so that there is musical lift in the moody atmosphere. The rapid-fire goblin dances are where he gets to display his technique and virtuousity. It's everything a ghoul could wish for. - WSCL Radio Reviews, Maryland
Enjoy this promotional video about Piano Phantoms Available Now
Review from the Harbison & Beethoven Concert in Boston Feb 10, 2013
Harbison Leonard Stein Anagrams:
May I point out that the group was entertaining also because of Michael Lewin’s engaged and dramatic playing? Lewin coached the piece with Harbison, who reported being quite pleased with the performance. Modern composers are not always so lucky with their interpreters. – Boston Musical Intelligencer
Frank Kelley and pianist Michael Lewin gave intense performances, not shying away from extreme contrasts and jolting drama. – Boston Musical Intelligencer
May 28, 2013: Worldwide Release Date for ”Piano Phantoms,” Michael Lewin’s newest Sono Luminus recording.
A compelling collection of 18 evocative piano pieces inspired by Ghosts, Goblins and Phantoms…
For more on the Sono Luminus label, click here.
Visit Michael Lewin’s new Amazon Artists Store
Twelve Michael Lewin recordings at this Amazon store link, all available for CD purchase or as downloads:
Buy Michael Lewin’s recordings at Arkiv Music
Micahel Lewin’s recordings are now also available at Archiv Music:
Another David Kocsis Premiere for Lewin
On May 4, 2012, Michael Lewin will give the world premiere of the Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, op. 21b in Georgia with the Lagrange Symphony New Music Ensemble under the direction of conductor Lee Johnson. This is a completely re-written and re-orchestrated work based on the Kocsis Concerto for Organ or Piano and Orchestra (2000), which Mr. Lewin premiered twelve years ago with Adrian Gnam and the Macon (GA) Symphony. Lewin has also performed and premiered various solo piano works by David Kocsis.
Click here to read more about David Kocsis and the Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra.
Boston Recital – Best of 2011 and a Rave Review
Mr. Lewin’s recital “Liszt and his Circle” on the Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series on Dec. 6, 2011 was named the 2011 Best Piano Recital of the Year in the Boston Tab
When Michael Lewin takes the stage, it’s an event. This program of Liszt and his influences was a sprawling, outsized display of virtuosity and insight.
Lewin’s Grand Virtuoso Playing - No Playing Safe
One seldom has the feeling of listening to a performer from a bygone era, but I daresay many had this feeling at a piano recital by Michael Lewin….his tonal range was immense.. the numerous virtuoso sections were played truly in the grand manner…The “Black Key” Etude fizzed and sparkled delightfully… Gottschalk’s “Manchega” had a virtually unrelenting high energy, and Lewin reveled in its near-constant syncopations and the tattoo of left-hand chords like drums. The Transcendental etude was played with amazing mastery.. The Menter drew a purr of pleasure from the audience. The Tausig threw caution to the wind with electrifying results…In the Faust Waltz Lewin plunged into the breach, nothing daunted, and gave us a hair-raising performance. In this age of antiseptic digital perfectionism, there are not many pianists who, playing live, “go for broke” in this hard-core virtuoso repertoire. Michael Lewin is one such. May he prosper.
Lewin & Liszt in 2011- 200th Birthday Recitals
Mr. Lewin is known throughout the world as a foremost performer of the works of Franz Liszt. He remains the only American prize-winner in the International Liszt Competition’s 25 year-old history, his recording career was launched with “Michael Lewin plays Liszt” on Centaur Records, and he has performed the composer’s works often and widely. In 2011, he celebrated Liszt’s 200th Birthday internationally with a variety of solo recital programs entitled “Liszt and his Circle”, featuring music of Liszt, his friends and his students.
New Recording Contract with DORIAN Sono Luminus
Michael Lewin is now recording for Dorian Records. Their first release together, “If I Were a Bird,” is a collection of 20 solo piano pieces spanning three centuries inspired by Birds. It was recorded at Skywalker Sound in California, and will be released in 69 countries on March 22, 2010, distributed by Naxos.
Rameau • The Gathering of the Birds
J. Hofmann • Woodbird’s Delight
Griffes • White Peacock
MacDowell • To a Humming-Bird
Messaien • The Dove
Grieg • Little Bird
Granados • Maiden and the Nightingale
A. Jensen • Little Wood-Bird
Leschetizky • The Two Larks
Ravel • Sad Birds
Glinka-Balakirev • The Lark
Schumann • The Prophet Bird
C. Scott • Water Wagtail
Daquin • The Cuckoo
Saint-Saens, arr.Siloti • The Swan
Alabieff-Liszt • The Nightingale
D. Guion • Turkey in the Straw
Henselt • If I Were a Bird
W. Niemann • Chinese Nightingale
Stravinsky-Agosti • Firebird Suite
The CD was Produced by Victor and Marina Ledin of Encore Consultants, and Engineered by Leslie Ann Jones and Dann Thompson. Editing, Mixing and Mastering by Brandie Lane and Daniel Merceruio of Dorian Sono Luminus.
Listen to Michael Lewin in a live WGBH Radio broadcast! (from April 6, 2009)
Listen to the full broadcast in the new media section of this site: click here.
Michael Lewin Celebrates the Music of Charles Griffes in New York and London: June, 2009
Mr. Lewin, who has recorded the complete piano works of Charles Griffes on two Naxos CD’s, and championed his music, played some special all-Griffes concerts in June. On June 19, he performed a recital covering a wide selection of solo music at Bargemusic, NY. He was also joined on this concert by flutist Gary Schocker for the Poem, and by baritone Robert Honeysucker for the “John Masefield” Songs and the Song of the Dagger. Read the review here.
On June 25, the pianist made his London debut at the Wigmore Hall in London, in a Gala concert entitled “Michael Lewin and Friends Celebrate the Music of Charles T. Griffes”. For this concert, which introduced much of the music of Griffes to London audiences for the first time, Mr. Lewin was joined by flautist Adam Walker, soprano Angela Bic, baritone Robert Honeysucker, and pianist Charles Owen (with whom he played the “Symphonische Phantasie” for two pianos.) Solo piano works included the 3 Tone Pictures, Scherzo, White Peacock, 3 Preludes, Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan, Prelude in b minor, Piece in E Major and the Piano Sonata. Donna K. Anderson, the biographer and foremost authority on the composer gave a pre-concert lecture and created an elaborate programme book. Read the review here.
The following evening, Lewin played a recital in the famous Codrington Library of All Souls College at Oxford University, a program which included a considerable amount of Griffes along with the Haydn f minor Variations and F Major Sonata and various works of Franz Liszt.
Photo: Lucy Cobos
Fall 2007 CD release:
Fall 2007 saw the worldwide release of the new CD by the Lewin-Muresanu Duo, which features the violin sonatas of William Bolcolm.
50 Performances of Rhapsody in Blue
Michael Lewin’s Oct. 14/15 2006 performances of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Miami Symphony under Eduardo Marturet mark 50 acclaimed performances of this work. In the United States he has played it with orchestras including the Boston Pops, Indianapolis Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Middletown Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony and the Miami Symphony. In Europe he has played it with the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thessaloniki State Orchestra of Greece and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Italy. Conductors with whom he has collaborated on it include Keith Lockhart, William Henry Curry, Thomas Conlin, Carmon DeLeone, Yaacov Bergman, Dmitri Toufexis, Yoichi Udagawa, Eduardo Marturet and Carlos Miguel Prieto. Mr. Lewin also plays Gershwin’s Concerto in F and his rarely performed Second Rhapsody.
In the fall of 2005, Michael Lewin performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in Greece with the Thessaloniki Symphony Orchestra under Dimitri Toufexis. The concerts were held in the Thessaloniki Megaron and the Athens Megaron. He also made two different trips to Italy. In October, he gave a recital and master class with violinist Irina Muresanu in Trieste, at the United World College of the Adriatic.
In July of this year, he appears with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas under Carlos Prieto at the Musica Riva Festival on Lake Garda.
Lewin-Muresanu Duo Recordings
The Lewin-Muresanu Duo received a 2006 Copland Foundation Recording Grant to record the Four Violin Sonatas of William Bolcom for Centaur Records. The CD will be released in the fall of 2007. The Boston Globepraised their live performances of these works, saying “their playing was marked by passion and tremendous rhythmic vitality”, with “almost telepathic rapport.” The Duo also recently recorded “Kreutzette”, by Andy Vores. They commissioned and premiered this work, meant to be played with the Beethoven “Kreutzer” Sonata. Gramofone Magazinepraised the performance, saying “the Lewin-Muersanu Duo keep the work light and speculative.”
Buy Michael Lewin’s Centaur Recordings on sale directly from Centaur
Centaur Records is offering Michael Lewin’s three recordings for that label at a special sale price of $16 each. The recordings are: “Michael Lewin plays Liszt,” “A Russian Piano Recital,” and “Bamboula! Piano Music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk.” Go to www.centaurrecords.com for more information.
Mr. Lewin makes his first tour of the Czech Republic in July, performing recitals in Prague, Nové Mesto, at the Cesky Krumlov International Piano Festival, and in Jihlava at the Vysocina Festival, as well as giving a master class for the European Piano Teachers Association. He performs twice in Puerto Rico this summer: a solo recital in San Juan in June, and an all-Schumann program in Ponce in August. In June, the Lewin-Muresanu Duo recorded Kreutzette, by Andy Vores, for an all-Vores disc. They had commissioned and premiered this work last season. Mr. Lewin makes his debut with the North Carolina Symphony under William Henry Curry on July 20 and 24, performing Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody and the Gottschalk Grand Tarantelle.
2003-04 Season Highlights
Michael Lewin’s international concerts this season include his first trip to the Czech Republic in July performing three Festival recitals, in Mexico with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guadalajara playing Liszt’s Totentantz (Dance of Death), as well as Canadian concerts. Other orchestral engagements include Rhapsody in Blue three times with the Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart in Symphony Hall; Totentantz with Ian Hobson conducting the Liszt Festival Orchestra at the University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana; and a pair of Haydn Concertos both with the Boston Virtuosi under Paul Dulude as well as in Puerto Rico with Henry Hutchinson conducting. He will also appear often in recital with violinist Irina Muresanu as the new Lewin-Muresanu Duo.
BAMBOULA! Receives 2002 Top 10 CD Pick
Lewin’s sixth recording, Bamboula! Piano Music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk has been winning rave reviews. It was selected by the Boston Herald’s Keith Powers as a 2002 Top 10 CD release. Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe raved “Lewin has the chops and the charm for these pieces.” Donald Vroon, writing in American Record Guide, enthused “Here it sparkles. Sound and articulation are wonderful, and the flow is utterly natural. Lewin need take second place to no one in this piece.” And Leonne Lewis in Clavier Magazine wrote: “The recording is outstanding from start to finish; and Lewin’s playing is fresh and alive, blazing with energy and rhythmic precision… This C.D. by Lewin will keep you smiling!”
November ’02 Recital Tours Great Success
Michael Lewin’s recitals in November took him to Canada, New England and South Carolina. All concerts met with standing ovations, immediate re-engagements and glowing reivews. The program was: Prokofiev Sonata No.3, Scriabin Sonata-Fantasy No.2, Beethoven “Waldstein” Sonata, Brahms B minor Rhapsody and Intermezzos Op.119 Nos.1&3 and the Ginastera Piano Sonata No. 1.
Michael Lewin has three new compact disc releases on the Naxos label, performing piano music of Domenico Scarlatti and Charles Tomlinson Griffes.
The Griffes, in two volumes, encompasses the complete Griffes piano music. This project marks the first time this important body of American piano music has ever been recorded in its entirety, and contains a number of first recordings. It is available worldwide at stores on the Naxos American Classics series, by calling Naxos at 1-800-75-NAXOS or via their website — www.naxosusa.com. American Record Guidesaid of this recording: “Michael Lewin, a crackerjack pianist with a larger-than-life command of these ferociously complex works, turns in pristinely detailed, passionate, big-boned readings of affective and intonational precision. Lewin belongs to a new pianistic elite… he sculpts them with a kind of visceral intensity and unimpeachable authority.” Volume 1 was recorded in Los Angeles and Volume 2 was done in Canada. Mr. Lewin wrote the liner notes.
Also now available are Nineteen Sonatas by the Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti on Naxos 8.553067. These sparkling performances are Vol.2 in the new Naxos project to record the complete keyboard Sonatas for the first time on the piano, using various pianists. The disc was selected and used by WGBH-FM Boston for their October week-long fund-raising drive. Clavier Magazinecalls it “a splendid recording. Mr. Lewin’s crisply articulated performances are remarkable for their unabashed vigor. He emphasizes and gives voice to their festive, even wild character, making no apologies either for their exuberance or rhythmic vivacity… authoritative pianism.”
In the February 2000 issue of England’s
Gramophone Magazine, Bryce Morrison raves:
“Volume 2 in its complete Scarlatti sonata cycle is played by Michael Lewin, an American pianist as dexterous and assured as he is audacious. Here there is no sense of ‘studio’ caution but only of liberating and daring music-making, live and on the wing. Not even the most persistent lover of Scarlatti on the harpsichord could accuse Michael Lewin of heaviness, of an absence of the necessary glitter, panache and stylistic awareness.”
Michael Lewin will perform the world premiere of the David Kocsis Piano Concerto,”For the New Millenium” (1999), in January in Georgia with the Macon Symphony under the direction of Adrian Gnam. The premiere takes place on Jan.22, 2000 in Macon, Georgia with a repeat performance on January 23rd in Griffin, Georgia. Mr. Lewin will also perform Franck’s Symphonic Variations on the program. Mr. Lewin has often performed the Kocsis Preludes for Piano, which were dedicated to him, in earlier seasons. For more information on this exciting event, please visit the concert’s website at www.organdesigns.com.
Mr. Lewin’s current concert season includes performances of a wide variety of piano concertos. In addition to the Kocsis, he will perform Bartok Piano Concerto No.3 (Walla Walla Symphony, Wa.), Brahms No.1 (Pioneer Valley Symphony, Ma.), Beethoven Choral Fantasy (Charal Symphony Society, New York City), Loeffler “A Pagan Poem” along with the Franck Symphonic Variations (Newton Symphony, Ma.), Grieg Concerto (Western Piedmont Symphony, North Carolina), and the Tchaikovsky Concerto (George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic.)
Additionally, the composer Robert Chumbley is writing a piano concerto for Michael Lewin, for which a commissioning consortium of world premiere performances is now being discussed.