Masterclass with Paul Lewis at The University of Queensland’s School of Music

October 1, 2019

On Tuesday, 10 September, Geoff and I attended this remarkable event. To music lovers the internationally acclaimed pianist Paul Lewis needs no introduction; he is renowned for his cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert and is the recipient of numerous worldwide awards. And, if your read my Travel snippet about Schwarzenberg 06/2017 and my infatuation with Alfred Brendel, Paul studied privately with Alfred Brendel. Yes, I am a tad excited. So there we were, being included in Paul giving a Masterclass. Each student (female and male), performed their chosen piece by Chopin and Schumann respectively. Whether is was Paul demonstrating how loosening up the wrist perfects the performance or other suggestions on how to improve the students’ musical rendition, he generously gave wisdom and feedback. It was a wonderful experience for students and audience alike.

When asked by an audience member which of Paul’s advice the students would prioritise, he humbly replied ‘none’, but that they would reflect about their own performance. After the event we were treated to drinks and nibbles. Since we had tickets for Paul playing on Thursday, 12 September, we were truly primed for that concert:

Romance and Revolution, Paul Lewis plays Beethoven with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the Concert Hall, QPAC

Paul played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 37. Robert Gibson writes in the Programme Notes that: ‘The solo piano is a crucial player in the drama, creating much of the momentum through brilliant passages (forceful scales, decisive octaves, dazzling ornamentation) but also by pulling back and lowering the temperature as required.’ What else can I add? It was simply fabulous. And, Mr Brendel, I blame your influence on acquiring a new hero of musicianship. 

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