Internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation, classical pianist Paul Lewis received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Edge Hill University at a ceremony held on the campus.
Recently appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Paul has consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire.
The son of a Liverpool docks worker and a local council officer, Paul has not forgotten his roots, regularly performing in the North West. It was here as a young man, Paul supplemented his self-taught hours at the keyboard by eagerly borrowing vinyl recordings of pianists such as Kempf and Brendel from his local library. In recent years he has been outspoken about reforms to education and the consequences of library closures in the area.
Paul studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Annee, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. Paul’s recital career has seen him perform at venues such as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Sydney Opera House.
Along with his wife, the Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, he is Artistic Director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK. In October 2015, he was appointed joint Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition.