“One of today’s most impeccably musical pianists.” International Piano, January/February 2021

Praised for his unfailingly communicative playing, British pianist Leon McCawley has been delighting audiences worldwide since winning, in 1993, First Prize in the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and Second Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition. His many 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. McCawley’s 2024 release ‘Natural Connection’ for SOMM Recordings is no exception: “This scintillatingly varied recital combines sensuous virtuosity, compelling charm and musical probity. Highly recommended.” (Gramophone, February 2024).

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NEWS

EXCELLENT REVIEWS FOR ‘NATURAL CONNECTION’

May 15th, 2024|

Leon has received some excellent reviews for his latest CD ‘Natural Connection’ on SOMM Recordings:

‘This scintillatingly varied recital combines sensuous virtuosity, compelling charm and musical probity. Highly recommended.’ Gramophone

‘a recital of enormous pictorial charm’ Pianist Magazine

‘The fluidity […]

‘ELEGANCE AND VIRTUOSITY’ IN MEXICO

October 10th, 2023|

Leon has returned from a highly successful recital tour in Mexico making his debuts at the En Blanco y Negro Festival in Mexico City, the Festival Internacional de Piano Sala Beethoven in Monterrey and Festival Internacional de […]

EXCELLENT REVIEWS FOR ‘NATURAL CONNECTION’

May 15th, 2024|

Leon has received some excellent reviews for his latest CD ‘Natural Connection’ on SOMM Recordings:

‘This scintillatingly varied recital combines sensuous virtuosity, compelling charm and musical probity. Highly recommended.’ Gramophone

‘a recital of enormous pictorial charm’ Pianist Magazine

‘The fluidity […]

‘ELEGANCE AND VIRTUOSITY’ IN MEXICO

October 10th, 2023|

Leon has returned from a highly successful recital tour in Mexico making his debuts at the En Blanco y Negro Festival in Mexico City, the Festival Internacional de Piano Sala Beethoven in Monterrey and Festival Internacional de […]

CONCERTS

9th August 2024 MANCHESTER, UK
Solo recital at The Stoller Hall (8.30pm)

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Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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10-12th August 2024 MANCHESTER, UK
Teaching and masterclasses at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

More info

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6th September 2024 WESTPORT, IRELAND
Recital at Westport House (8pm) for Westport Festival of Chamber Music

Schubert: Impromptu in B flat D935
Dvorak: Piano Quintet (with Simply Quartet)

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7th September 2024 WESTPORT, IRELAND
Recital at Town Hall Theatre (8pm) for Westport Festival of Chamber Music

Richard Dubugnon: Mikroncerto Op. 37 (with Jose Franch-Ballester, basset clarinet and Nicholas Daniel, oboe d’amore)

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6th October 2024 LICHFIELD, UK
Solo recital for Lichfield Festival at Hub at St. Mary’s (7.30pm)

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Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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22nd October 2024 DUNDEE, UK
Solo recital for Dundee Chamber Music at Caird Hall (7.30pm)

More info

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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28th October 2024 LUTON, UK
Solo recital for Luton Music at St. Mary’s Church (7.30pm)

Book tickets

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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10th November 2024 WORCESTER, UK
Solo recital for Worcester Concert Club (3pm)

More info

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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17th November 2024 NOTTINGHAM, UK
Lunchtime recital for Sunday Piano Series at Royal Concert Hall (11am)

More info

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14

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23rd November 2024 HORSHAM, UK
Solo recital for Horsham Music Circle at St. Mary’s Parish Church (4.30pm)

More info

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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26th November 2024 LONDON, UK
Solo recital for Medical Music Society at Royal Overseas League (6.30pm)

Book tickets

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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30th November 2024 LEEDS, UK
Solo recital for University of Leeds International Concerto Series (7.30pm)

Beethoven: Sonata in A major Op. 2 No. 2
Rachmaninov: Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 2
Bach arr. Liszt: Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso Op. 14
Mendelssohn: Six Songs Without Words Op. 19b
Schumann: Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22

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CHECK BACK FOR MORE CONCERT UPDATES

El Norte (Monterrey, Mexico), October 3rd 2023
Solo recital for 27th Festival Internacional de Piano Sala Beethoven, Monterrey, October 2nd 2023

Leon McCawley displayed to the audience that attended the Auditorio San Pedro not only his immaculateness and level- headedness in the interpretation of classical repertoire (which included the Sonata No. 38 in F major of Haydn) but also an elegance and virtuosity very much in tune with the quality of performances to which this festival has accustomed us.

The recital began precisely with Haydn’s work in which the pianist displayed clean, thoughtful articulation and phrasing, with rhythmic clarity. Later, he performed Two Nocturnes Op. 55 by Chopin. The deeply emotional interpretation of these melancholic pages drew ‘’bravos’’ from the public. McCawley continued with Beethoven’s Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, known as “Les Adieux” where he gave a measured, reflective, technically impeccable reading, capturing the author’s emotional chiaroscuro in his touch.

The second part of the recital consisted of Two Rhapsodies Op. 79 by Johannes Brahms, in which the pianist overcame the technical challenges, and to conclude, Faschingsschwank aus Wien (Carnival Jest from Vienna) by Robert Schumann. Structured in five contrasting movements, the work allowed for a virtuoso and dynamic display by this master pianist from the Royal College of Music in London. The audience gave him a standing ovation.

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CharlesHutchPress, October 24th 2022
Solo recital at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York, October 12th 2022

Athletes and performers alike talk about being “in the zone”. Leon McCawley found it here. He played the Schubert like a man possessed, not running amok, quite the opposite. The audience sensed it early on and kept incredibly quiet, even between movements. No-one wanted to break the extraordinary spell he generated.

Although Schubert’s multiple key-changes can easily disrupt the flow, they were not allowed to here, seeming perfectly and smoothly logical. This slackened not a whit in the Andante, which was deeply thoughtful and ended with the same serenity we had heard earlier.

The scherzo was fiery but light, with crisp inner voices. Gravity returned in the trio but evaporated with the scherzo’s return and peaceful conclusion. The finale was inevitably more extrovert, and even briefly stormy, but the scale was always intimate, as if secrets were being shared rather than trumpeted around the hall.

By now McCawley had the audience in the palm of his hand and could have got away with almost anything. But he kept faith with our intelligence and resisted the temptation to over-explain. It was possible to believe that this was exactly how Schubert intended it to be. Certainly it was a performance never to be forgotten.

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The Straits Times, June 15th 2022
Solo Recital for Singapore International Piano Festival at Victoria Concert Hall, June 12th 2022
British pianist Leon McCawley’s recital returned to the classical world of Vienna, represented by Haydn’s masterly Variations in F minor and Mozart’s rarely heard Sonata in F major (K533/494), brought out with gravitas that was both touching and moving. In the fast movements of the Mozart, clarity and illumination were the rule, and the music could not have been more tastefully rendered.
Then there was Schubert’s final Sonata in B flat major (D. 960) where McCawley’s sense of proportion and architecture was peerless. Playing the exposition repeat of its first movement ensured that its warmth and lyricism were doubly enjoyed.
An overwhelming sense of mortality possessed the haunting slow movement. This, balanced by the apparent gaiety of the last two movements, gave this magnificently judged performance a human perspective that has become all too rare.
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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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RECORDINGS

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