Skip to main content

Angela Hewitt, pianist

Angela Hewitt in Concert
Friday, February 12, 2010 at 8pm, Roy Thomson Hall
60 Simcoe Street, Toronto

On May 10, 1985, pianist Angela Hewitt stepped out on stage at the 1st and only ever Toronto International Bach Piano Competition for her own-choice virtuoso piece, knowing her career was virtually in the balance. While she wasn't available for an interview, understandably, she does like to share with her fans and fellow music/Bach enthusiasts online in various forms, including her own website, and in an online post reminiscing about the win, she says,

For ten years, since the age of 16, I had been on the international piano competition circuit, winning many prizes but lacking the “big one”. Winning this would, I knew, launch me worldwide and put an end to competitions for life.

She launched into a version of Liszt’s “Aprės une Lecture de Dante” that left the competition behind, and a jury that included pianist Leon Fleisher, composer Olivier Messiaen and his pianist wife, Yvonne Loriod, and Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin awarded her first place. As she had judged, it launched an enviable professional career of concerts, collaborations and recordings. Enviable - but nonetheless a life she took on with a sense of responsibility.

And I say “the door had been opened” because in fact that is all it is. An immense opportunity to then build a life with music: to keep showing time after time that you were worthy of it; that you can continue to grow as a person and as a pianist; that you can withstand constant, enormous pressure; that you have the repertoire to sustain 100 concerts a year; that you can put up with constant travelling and never being at home.But that after 25 years of doing so, you can still get up on stage and feel the freshness of a piece you have played all your life and play it with all your heart.

On February 12, at that same Roy Thomson Hall, Hewitt reprises the programme that won the prize, including Bach’s Italian Concerto; Beethoven’s Sonata in D major, Op. 10 No. 3; and Brahms’s Sonata in F minor, Op. 5. Her current tour has seen her play Carnegie Hall (February 6). That concert ended her tour with the celebrated Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and she'll cross the continent to Oregon later this month before heading back to Europe.

Ms Hewitt grew up in Ottawa, born into a musical family that included a father who was a church organist. Her own musical involvement began early, at age 3, and she gave her first solo recital at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music at the tender age of 9.

In 1994, well established in her professional life, she set out to record Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, an undertaking whose results are available on Hyperion Records, and one that took her 11 years. The results were immediately acclaimed as the new gold standard for Bach on the keyboard - described as “one of the record glories of our age” by The Sunday Times. She was Gramophone's Artist of the Year in 2006 not for Bach, but a recording of Beethoven Piano Sonatas.

In 2007 she took WTC on the road, a long road that took her from Colombia to South Africa, playing an exhausting repertoire of both books in full over two concerts on two consecutive days. Indeed, if you read a few of the reviews here and there, the only complaint seems to be the amount of time the reviewer had to spend sitting on his duff while Ms Hewitt played. You can check a taste of it out yourself here Live from Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, U.K. in June 2008 as part of her Bach world tour. In 2008, after 58 cities on 6 continents, the tour ended, and she recorded a new version of the Well-Tempered Clavier to universal accolades.

Ms Hewitt recently won Artist of the Year - Instrumentalist at the 2010 MIDEM Awards. Nowadays she lives in London, with homes in both Ottawa and sunny Italy, where every year she runs the Trasimeno Music Festival.

You can read the rest of Angela's reminsces on her 1985 win at this link. The evening - on the 12th - should prove sublime.


Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …