“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 first prize in the 1993 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition the same year. 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 recent CD of Haydn Sonatas Volume IV for SOMM Recordings is no exception: “There is real freshness to McCawley’s playing throughout, concomitant with a sense of Haydn’s delight in playing with form. Captured in superb sound, this is one of McCawley’s finest discs to date”. (International Piano, December 2021).

NEWS | EARLIER NEWS

NEWS

‘MAGNIFICENTLY JUDGED PERFORMANCE’ IN SINGAPORE

June 15th, 2022|

Leon has received a very impressive review from the The Straits Times for his recent solo recital performance for Singapore International Piano Festival at Victoria Concert Hall on June 12th:
“British pianist Leon McCawley’s recital returned to the classical […]

SINGAPORE DEBUT

May 21st, 2022|

Leon makes his Singapore recital debut at the Victoria Concert Hall for Singapore International Piano Festival on June 12th performing Haydn’s Variations in F minor, Mozart Sonata K533/494 and Schubert’s Sonata in B flat D960 followed […]

NEW RELEASE!

November 28th, 2021|

Leon’s fourth volume of Haydn Piano Sonatas has recently been released on SOMM Recordings and has already been lauded as “one of McCawley’s finest discs to date” by International Piano Magazine. See the whole […]

‘MAGNIFICENTLY JUDGED PERFORMANCE’ IN SINGAPORE

June 15th, 2022|

Leon has received a very impressive review from the The Straits Times for his recent solo recital performance for Singapore International Piano Festival at Victoria Concert Hall on June 12th:
“British pianist Leon McCawley’s recital returned to the classical […]

SINGAPORE DEBUT

May 21st, 2022|

Leon makes his Singapore recital debut at the Victoria Concert Hall for Singapore International Piano Festival on June 12th performing Haydn’s Variations in F minor, Mozart Sonata K533/494 and Schubert’s Sonata in B flat D960 followed […]

NEW RELEASE!

November 28th, 2021|

Leon’s fourth volume of Haydn Piano Sonatas has recently been released on SOMM Recordings and has already been lauded as “one of McCawley’s finest discs to date” by International Piano Magazine. See the whole […]

CONCERTS

27th January 2023 STAPLEFORD, UK
Solo recital at Stapleford Granary (7.45pm)

Book tickets

Haydn: Sonata No. 38 in F major XVI/23
Chopin: Two Nocturnes Op. 55
Beethoven: Sonata in E flat major Op. 81a “Les Adieux”
Schumann: Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op. 26

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5th February 2023 ROBERTSBRIDGE. UK
Chamber music recital at Vinehall School (3pm)

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Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44 with Castalian Quartet

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10th February 2023 DROGHEDA, IRELAND
Chamber music recital for Drogheda Classical Music (7.30pm)

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Clara Schumann: Piano Trio in G minor Op. 17
Dvorak: Piano Trio in F minor Op. 65

with Mia Cooper (violin) and Brian O’Kane (cello)

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15th February 2023 GUERNSEY, UK
Solo recital at Fanny Davies International Piano Series (7.30pm)

Tickets available soon here

Haydn: Sonata No. 38 in F major XVI/23
Chopin: Two Nocturnes Op. 55
Beethoven: Sonata in E flat major Op. 81a “Les Adieux”
Brahms: Two Rhapsodies Op. 79
Schumann: Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op. 26

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19th February 2023 NORWICH, UK
Solo recital at Norwich Chapel Concerts (6.30pm)

Book tickets

Haydn: Sonata No. 38 in F major XVI/23
Chopin: Two Nocturnes Op. 55
Brahms: Two Rhapsodies Op. 79
Beethoven: Sonata in E flat major Op. 81a “Les Adieux”

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28th-31st March 2023 DUBLIN, IRELAND
Adjudicating at Feis Ceoil 2023

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CHECK BACK FOR MORE CONCERT UPDATES

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.
Martin Dreyer

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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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Seen and Heard International, April 18th 2021
Solo Recital at Wigmore Hall, March 19th 2021
[In] Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke McCawley captured the driven febrile quality of the first piece with its racing triplets and there was close attention to detail and richly varied tonal and dynamic contrasts. The second piece in E flat received a ravishing performance here. The opening section was enchanting and a rare moment of poetic beauty. Both here and in the ensuing two episodes McCawley gave a masterclass on how to make the piano sing. The third piece with its syncopations was robust and lively in equal measure and I loved the handling of the modulation ushering in the central section. McCawley’s virtuoso technique came to the fore in the coda driving the set to an exhilarating conclusion.

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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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