Michael Lewin is internationally applauded
as one of America’s most abundantly gifted and charismatic
concert pianists, performing to acclaim in over 30 countries with
orchestras, in recital and as a chamber musician.
Celebrated for his performances of Liszt, he honored the composer's
200th birthday in 2011 around the world with recital programs entitled “Liszt
and his Circle” and orchestral performances of the Totentanz
and First Piano Concerto. Other recent performances include recitals
in Canada and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.,
performances of Beethoven's 1st and 3rd Concertos, the Boston premiere
of John Harbison's "Leonard Stein Anagrams" and the world
premiere of the David Kocsis “Concerto for Piano and Chamber
Orchestra.” He recently made his London recital debut at
Wigmore Hall (all-Griffes program), gave a recital at Oxford University,
toured China playing the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 with the China
National Radio and Television Orchestra, and made his 13th appearance
with the Boston Pops. Summer festival appearances included Holland’s “Peter
the Great Festival”, MusicFest Perugia in Italy, the VivaceVilnius
Festival in Lithuania and the International Keyboard Institute
and Festival in New York City. Mr. Lewin now records exclusively
for Sono Luminus, who released "Piano Phantoms" in May
2013 following the great success of his first CD for the label
entitled "If I Were a Bird." Forthcoming is an all-Debussy
disc, and his 2013 recitals have featured the music of Debussy.
Commanding a repertoire of 40 piano concertos, Michael Lewin’s
international orchestral engagements include the Netherlands Philharmonic
Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Cairo Symphony, Bucharest ‘Enescu’ Philharmonic,
Beijing National Radio and Television Orchestra, Filharmónica
de Guadalajara, the Thessaloniki State Symphony of Greece, and
the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He has soloed with American
orchestras including the Boston Pops, the Symphonies of Phoenix,
Indianapolis, Miami, Colorado, Nevada, West Virginia, Puerto Rico,
Illinois, North Carolina, Sinfonia da Camera, and the Jupiter Symphony,
He has given world premieres of two piano concertos by David Kocsis,
the “Concerto for the New Millennium” in 2000 and the "Concerto
for Piano and Chamber Orchestra" in 2012. He has performed
Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" over 50 times. He
has performed with conductors including Carlos Miguel Prieto, Keith
Lockhart, Constantine Orbellian, Anton Kersjes, Theo Alcantara,
Ian Hobson, Sergei Babayan and Hugh Wolff.
Michael Lewin’s career was launched with top prizes in the
Liszt International Piano Competition in the Netherlands, the William
Kapell International Competition, and the American Pianists Association
Fellowship. He has been awarded major career grants from the Martha
Baird Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and
the Aaron Copland Recording Fund.
Mr. Lewin’s discography has received extraordinary critical
praise, and reflects the great scope of his musical interests. “If
I Were a Bird,”a selection of 20 bird-themed pieces for Sono
Luminus, received a Grammy nomination in the "Producer of
the Year" category. The just-released "Piano Phantoms" features
music inspired by ghosts, goblins, phantoms and the spirit world.
An all-Debussy disc featuring the Préludes Book II is in
preparation. His recording of Gottschalk piano music, “Bamboula!," earned
a Boston Herald “Year’s Top 10 Pick”, while the
Boston Globe enthused that “Lewin has the chops and the charm
for these pieces.” For Naxos he has recorded a best-selling
collection of Scarlatti Sonatas and the complete piano music of
American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes in two volumes. Mr.
Lewin's recordings on Centaur include “Michael Lewin plays
Liszt,” “A Russian Piano Recital”, featuring
music of Scriabin, Glazunov and Balakirev, and the four Violin
and Piano Sonatas of William Bolcom with violinist Irina Muresanu.
The New York Times wrote of his New York recital debut in Lincoln
Center in 1984 that “his immense technique and ability qualify
him eminently for success”. Since then, his tours have taken
him to New York’s major halls, Boston's Symphony Hall, Pasadena's
Ambassador Auditorium, the Library of Congress and National Gallery
of Art in Washington, Moscow’s Great Hall, Hong Kong's City
Hall Theater, Taipei's National Concert Hall, the Opera Houses
of Cairo and Wilmington, the Athens Megaron, Holland’s Muziekcentrum
Vredenburg, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Spoleto Festival.
Television appearances include a PBS recital performing Schubert’s “Wanderer
Fantasy” and Chopin works, hosted by Victor Borge. He has
been the featured interview in Clavier and Piano & Keyboard
Magazines, and edited piano music of Griffes for C.F.Peters. A
Steinway Artist, he was Artistic Director of Steinway’s Gala
150th Anniversary Concert held in 2003 in Boston’s Symphony
Hall. His commitment to contemporary music has led to premiere
performances of compositions by Joel Hoffman, Andy Vores, David
Kocsis, Sylvia Rabinof, Robert Chumbley, Andy Vores and John Harbison.
Deeply committed to guiding and nurturing gifted young pianists,
Michael Lewin is one of America’s most sought-after teachers.
He is currently a member of the Piano Faculty at The Boston Conservatory,
where he also directs the Piano Masters Series. A native of New
York, he studied at the Juilliard School. His own teachers included
Leon Fleisher, Irwin Freundlich, Adele Marcus, and Yvonne Lefébure.
|photo: Lucy Cobos