ABOUT LEON McCAWLEY

“A musician of great finesse. Diapason, February 2019

“Light of touch, stylistically assured and brimful of intelligence and wit. Gramophone, November 2019

One of Britain’s foremost pianists, Leon McCawley has forged a highly successful career since winning first prize in the 1993 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition the same year. Since then, his concert performances and extensive discography have 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 Sonatas Volume II for SOMM Recordings is no exception: “The sparkle of McCawley’s touch is instantly apparent…most impressive throughout the disc is McCawley’s command of subtle nuance and rubato without ever sounding self-conscious or mannered. This collection should stand high on any list” (BBC Music Magazine, December 2019).

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NEWS

2020 February, 2020

‘SPELLBINDING’ BEETHOVEN WITH ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Leon’s recent performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan has received a wonderful review in the Cambridge Independent:

“McCawley gave a spellbinding performance of this concerto…[he] was superlative in the first movement’s lengthy cadenza (one of three Beethoven wrote for the concerto), and in the expansive and serene Largo where, towards the end, […]

44 November, 2019

FURTHER PRAISE FOR LEON’S HAYDN SONATAS VOLUME II

Leon has received stunning reviews for his Haydn: Sonatas Volume II on SOMM Recordings from International Piano, MusicWeb International, BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone: ‘Light of touch, stylistically assured and brimful of intelligence and wit, Leon McCawley’s second instalment of Haydn sonatas for Somm fairly sparkles with delight’. Click here to read all the latest reviews.

1414 September, 2019

‘SPARKLING’ BBC RADIO 3 RECORD REVIEW FOR HAYDN SONATAS VOLUME II

Leon’s latest release of Haydn’s Sonatas Volume II for SOMM Recordings was featured today on Andrew McGregor’s BBC Record Review (listen from 4:00 into the broadcast- available on the BBC iPlayer until 13th October):

“First some sparkling Haydn from Leon McCawley…this makes for an excellent opening. McCawley is a persuasive advocate for, as the booklet notes say, Haydn’s ‘airy charm’, […]

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CONCERTS

Listen to Leon’s February 2019 live performance of Beethoven Sonata Op. 111 at Wigmore Hall HERE

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ALL MARCH/APRIL/MAY CONCERTS CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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6th June 2020 SINGAPORE
Solo recital at Victoria Concert Hall (7.30pm)
Info here (tickets available March 2020)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 43 (Nos. 1, 4 and 6)
Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16

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7th June 2020 SINGAPORE
Masterclass at Dance Studio, Victoria Concert Hall (4pm)
Info here (tickets available March 2020)

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25th June 2020 ISLE OF MAN
Solo recital at Erin Arts Centre (7.30pm)
Info here (tickets available April 2020)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 43 (Nos. 1, 4 and 6)
Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16

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23rd July 2020 CAMBRIDGE
Solo recital at Trinity College Chapel (7.30pm)
Info here (tickets available April 2020)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 43 (Nos. 1, 4 and 6)
Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16

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8th August 2020 LEAMINGTON HASTINGS
Solo recital at All Saints Church (7.30pm)
Book tickets

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 43 (Nos. 1, 4 and 6)
Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16

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14th August 2020 DARTMOUTH (postponed from June 19th 2020 TBC)
Solo recital at The Flavel (7.30pm)
Book tickets

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 43 (Nos. 1, 4 and 6)
Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16

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PRESS – RECITALS

Birmingham Post, February 15th 2018
Solo Recital at Artrix, Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove Concerts’ imaginative programming brings hidden rewards, there in abundance on Friday when pianist Leon McCawley led us off the beaten track with a fascinating sequence of comparative rarities. We have perhaps more media-glittering pianists, but none can surpass McCawley in his thoughtfulness of approach, and his ability to make himself as one with an instrument new to him. His pedalling on Bromsgrove’s piano was so subtly coloured, so well-contoured to the phrasing…and always so right for the music under discussion. *****

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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

Cambridge Independent, 20th February 2020
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Domingo Hindoyan at Cambridge Corn Exchange

The soloist for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 was multi-award- winning British pianist Leon McCawley who in many respects, one would have to say, is the perfect pianist.

McCawley gave a spellbinding performance of this concerto…[his] understanding of this beautiful music was complete. It was impossible not to be moved by both the ability of the composer to create such a thing, and a performer who could engage with it so masterfully.
John Gilroy

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La Nueva España, Asturias 12th May 2019
Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias/Hans Graf at Auditorio Principe Felipe, Oviedo

Without a doubt, McCawley was one of the attractions of the evening. His style, intimate and technically imposing, fitted like a glove for the interpretation of the Schumann concerto, and was in evidence even more so in the ‘Liebeslied’ encore, played with such sensitivity and delicacy.
Jonathan Mallada

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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, so transparent and precise…

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Read all concerto reviews

RECORDINGS

Click on the cover images for reviews  and options to buy online

List of recordings

PHOTO GALLERY

Click on images for downloadable high res files

VIDEO

Featured videos from LEON McCAWLEY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL: