Pianist Angela Hewitt Plays Bach, Debussy and Ravel in Washington

Angela HewittWashington, D.C.­, Jan 14, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio) Internationally-renowned pianist Angela Hewitt performs a recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Debussy and Ravel at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on February 8. Hewitt’s 11-year project to record all Bach’s keyboard works was described in The Times of London as “one of the record glories of our age,” while Stereophile has described Hewitt as “nothing less than the pianist who will define Bach performance on the piano for years to come.” Said the Boston Globe of her debut there, “Hewitt is known principally as a Bach performer, but she is in some ways an unusual one. Most current Bach players favor a kind of dry pointillism; Hewitt plays with great fluidity and grace. The first phrase of Bach’s English Suite No. 6 spun out languidly, as if suspended in space. In the lengthy fugue that followed, she sculpted Bach’s counterpoint into phrases that ebbed and flowed with a shape all their own. The Sarabande was a model of sustained beauty.”

Who: Angela Hewitt (Piano Masters Series)
Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
When: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Program: Bach French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BMV 817 Bach Toccata in D Major, BWV 912 Debussy Pour le Piano Bach French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BMV 816 Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin
Tickets, $55 available at www.wpas.org or by calling (202) 785 9727

Named Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2006, Hewitt has a vast repertoire ranging from Couperin to the contemporary. Her discography includes a 15-CD collection of Bach's keyboard works  (released in 2010), CDs of the complete piano solo works of Ravel, as well as recordings of works by Granados, Beethoven, Schumann, Rameau, Chabrier, Olivier Messiaen, the complete Chopin Nocturnes and Impromptus, a Handel/Haydn album, and three discs devoted to the music of Couperin. Her recordings of the complete solo keyboard concertos of J.S. Bach with the Australian Chamber Orchestra entered the billboard charts in the U.S.A. only weeks after their release, and were named Record of the Month in Gramophone magazine. A cycle of Mozart Concertos has begun, the first of which features the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova. In 2012 Hyperion released her recording of solo works of Debussy, as well as the works for piano and orchestra by Robert Schumann in which she is partnered by the Deutsche-Sinfonie-Orchestra.

Highlights of recent seasons include her debuts in Carnegie Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as a North American tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Her recitals have taken her to the festivals of Edinburgh, Osaka, Prague, Hong Kong, Schleswig-Holstein, Brescia/Bergamo and Oslo to name but a few. Her frequent Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall recitals in London sell out months in advance. She has also performed chamber music at Lincoln Center in New York and in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

This Canadian-born pianist was born into a musical family (her father was the organist at Ottawa’s cathedral) and gave her first recital at age four. She also studied violin, recorder, and classical ballet. Trained at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music Hewitt went on to study with French pianist Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa.

Watch:  Claude Debussy "Claire de lune" played by Angela Hewitt (Youtube)

Hewitt won First Prize in Italy’s Viotti Competition (1978) and was a top prizewinner in the International Bach competitions of Leipzig and Washington, D.C., as well as the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, the Casadesus Competition in Cleveland and the Dino Ciani Competition at La Scala, Milan. In 1985, she won the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition. Hewitt was also awarded the first ever BBC Radio 3 Listener’s Award (Royal Philharmonic Society Awards) in 2003. Her recordings of Bach’s complete solo keyboard concertos with the Australian Chamber Orchestra hit the Billboard charts and were named Record of the Month by Gramophone magazine.

As a chamber musician Hewitt has joined international artists at Lincoln Center and at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and performed here for WPAS with German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, with whom she has recorded the Bach Gamba Sonatas and the first volume of a Beethoven cycle. Recitals have taken Hewitt to festivals in Edinburgh, Osaka, Prague, Hong Kong, Schleswig-Holstein, Brescia/Bergamo and Oslo, among others.

Hewitt launched her own week-long Trasimeno Music Festival in the heart of Umbria near Perugia in July 2005. Now an annual event, it draws an international audience to hear Hewitt perform as a recitalist, chamber musician, song accompanist, and conductor, working with both established and young artists of her choosing.

Funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo: Bernd Eberle