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

66 May, 2020

LEON IS TELEVISION GUEST ON BBC YOUNG MUSICIAN 2020

Leon was invited to be the Television Guest on the recent BBC4 TV broadcast of the BBC Young Musician 2020 Keyboard Final and joined presenter Anna Lapwood to offer his expert opinion on the five selected pianists. The programme is available to watch on BBC iPlayer throughout May.

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, […]

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CONCERTS

6th June 2020 SINGAPORE *POSTPONED TO 12th JUNE 2022*
Solo recital at Victoria Concert Hall

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 *POSTPONED TO 13th JUNE 2022*
Masterclass at Dance Studio, Victoria Concert Hall

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19th June 2020 DARTMOUTH *POSTPONED TO 5th MARCH 2021*
Solo recital at The Flavel

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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25th June 2020 ISLE OF MAN *POSTPONED TO 24th JUNE 2021*
Solo recital at Erin Arts Centre

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 *POSTPONED TO JULY 2022*
Solo recital at Trinity College Chapel

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 *POSTPONED TO AUGUST 7th 2021*
Solo recital at All Saints Church (7.30pm)

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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30th September 2020 CRIEFF *CANCELLED*
Solo recital at St. Andrew’s Hall (7.30pm)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Hans Gál: Fugue in E flat minor from 24 Fugues Op. 108
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Schubert: Sonata in B flat D960

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1st October 2020 NEW LANARK *POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 18th 2021*
Solo recital for Music in Lanark (7.30pm)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Hans Gál: Fugue in E flat minor from 24 Fugues Op. 108
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Schubert: Sonata in B flat D960

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2nd October 2020 MILNGAVIE *POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 19th 2021*
Solo recital at Cairns Church (7.30pm)

Haydn: Sonata in E flat Hob. XVI/49
Hans Gál: Fugue in E flat minor from 24 Fugues Op. 108
Beethoven: Sonata in A flat Op. 110
Schubert: Sonata in B flat D960

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14th October 2020 MONTERREY, MEXICO *CANCELLED*
Solo recital

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7th & 8th November 2020 SOUTHAMPTON
Recording sessions of Haydn: Sonatas Volume IV for SOMM Recordings at Turner Sims Concert Hall

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PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR MORE CONCERT UPDATES

PRESS – RECITALS

International Piano January 2020
Benchmark online recordings of Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109
McCawley’s live Wigmore [Hall] account is a lesson in intelligence and gentilité, approaching the transcendent.

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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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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: