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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

1919 October, 2020

‘PURE POETRY’: EXCELLENT REVIEW OF WIGMORE HALL RECITAL

Leon has received an excellent review in Seen and Heard International of his solo recital and livestream at Wigmore Hall on 10th October: “He displayed enormous sensitivity and tenderness while also breathing life into the more dramatic elements of the work [Schubert Sonata D664] and the strong dynamic contrasts. McCawley’s playing [in Janáčeks’ On an Overgrown Path] was nuanced and insightful, crystallising the very […]

3030 August, 2020

A CONCERT, AT LAST!

After several months of being unable to perform due to COVID restrictions, Leon is delighted to announce that he will give a solo recital at Wigmore Hall on 10th October. The programme will feature works that were scheduled in his cancelled April recital: Schubert’s Sonata in A major D664, Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path Book 1 and Schumann’s Kreisleriana. The concert will be live-streamed […]

77 July, 2020

LEON McCAWLEY’s YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Leon’s YouTube channel has expanded considerably during the lockdown and you can now find over 60 videos of his live concert performances there for easy viewing. Please take a look and subscribe to the channel HERE. Let the music play!

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CONCERTS

10th October 2020 LONDON
Solo recital at Wigmore Hall (7.30pm)
Concert live-streamed on YouTube and via Wigmore Hall website
*AVAILABLE TO LISTEN UNTIL 9th NOVEMBER*

More info

Schubert: Sonata in A major D664
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path (Book 1)
Schumann: Kreisleriana Op. 16

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18th & 19th December 2020 STOKE D’ABERNON
Recording sessions of Haydn: Sonatas Volume IV for SOMM Recordings at Menuhin Hall

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12th February 2021 RINGWOOD
Solo Recital for Avon Valley Concerts (venue TBC)

Janáček: In the Mists
Schubert: Three Piano Pieces D946
Grieg: Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72 –
No. 4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)
No. 2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6

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1st March 2021 LUTON
Solo recital at Luton Music Club (venue TBC)

Janáček: In the Mists
Schubert: Three Piano Pieces D946
Grieg: Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72 –
No. 4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)
No. 2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6

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5th March 2021 DARTMOUTH
Solo recital at The Flavel (7.30pm)

Janáček: In the Mists
Schubert: Three Piano Pieces D946
Grieg: Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72 –
No. 4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)
No. 2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6

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15th March 2021 HUDDERSFIELD
Solo recital for Huddersfield Music Society (venue TBC)

Janáček: In the Mists
Schubert: Three Piano Pieces D946
Grieg: Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72 –
No. 4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)
No. 2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6

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19th March 2021 LONDON
Solo recital at Wigmore Hall (7.30pm)

Janáček: In the Mists
Schubert: Three Piano Pieces D946
Grieg: Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72 –
No. 4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)
No. 2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6

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CHECK BACK FOR MORE CONCERT UPDATES 

PRESS – RECITALS

Seen and Heard International, October 17th 2020
Solo Recital at Wigmore Hall, October 10th 2020

There was much to admire in McCawley’s sterling interpretation of this work [Schubert Sonata D664].  He displayed enormous sensitivity and tenderness while also breathing life into the more dramatic elements of the work and the strong dynamic contrasts. The slow movement was poetic and eloquent, and McCawley did a wonderful job in capturing the reflective intimacy of the music. The finale was enchanting as Schubert’s scales and runs bubbled along delightfully.

Overall, this was an extremely impressive piano recital featuring a consistently high standard of playing throughout.

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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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Read all recital reviews

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

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VIDEO

Featured videos from LEON McCAWLEY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL: