News / Reviews

Debut at Rheingau Musik Festival

4 August, 2016

Louis makes his debut at the Rheingau Musik Festival on 4 August, performing a solo recital at Schloss Johannisberg. Louis performs Mozart Piano Sonata No.18 in D major, Schumann Kinderszenen, Beethoven 32 Variations for Piano on an Original Theme and Schubert Piano Sonata in C minor.

The recital at Schloss Johannisberg follows Louis’ debut at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in July and recitals at the Festival Chopin in Paris and in Hong Kong.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra & Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

14 – 17 July, 2016

Louis travels to Michigan, US, for three performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on 14, 15 and 17 July. This will be the first time Louis will perform under the direction of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the 29-year-old Lithuanian conductor who will succeed Andris Nelsons as the music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in September.

Louis will play Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 within a programme of Šerkšnytė – De profundis and Tchaikovsky – Selections from Sleeping Beauty.

Debuts at Klavier-Festival Ruhr

1 July, 2016

Louis makes his debut performance at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr on 1 July 2016, performing Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Chopin Ballades No. 2 and No. 3, Beethoven 32 Variations and Schubert Piano Sonata in C minor at the Martinstift music school in Moehrs.

This recital follows Louis’ recent solo performance in Hong Kong:

“Schwizgebel proved to be a virtuoso with a vein of modesty. He slipped into the skin of the composers and brought their music to life from within.”
South China Morning Post

Louis then travels to Paris for a recital at the Festival Chopin on 3 July, where performs the same programme.

Kings Place: Byron in Switzerland

18 June, 2016

The year 1816 has become known as ‘The Year Without a Summer’ due to the thick ash clouds that covered the skies in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. Despite the icy weather, famine and poverty, it was also an extraordinary time for creativity. In June, King’s Place combines music and literature, expert historical, scientific, climatic and cultural insights, to shed new light on these extraordinary events.

On 18 June, Louis features in a concert reflecting the English poet Lord Byron’s extraordinary journey from London to Switzerland in 1816, fleeing debt, divorce and scandal. Alongside readings from Byron’s diaries and poems, and from Shelley’s Frankenstein, Louis plays Schubert, Beethoven, Liszt, Mendelssohn and more.

Wigmore Hall Recital

29 May, 2016

Louis returns to Wigmore Hall for an evening recital on 29 May. He performs a programme of Haydn’s Sonata Hob.XVI:50, Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert Lieder and Schubert Sonata D.845. The recital follows the success of his most recent Wigmore Hall recital, where a critic described him as “an artist to take note of.”

Debut with the Tonhalle Orchestra & Lionel Bringuier

3 & 4 May, 2016

Louis makes his debut with Tonhalle-Orchester and their chief conductor Lionel Bringuier in May, performing two performances at Tonhalle Zurich on 3 and 4 May 2016. Louis performs Beethoven Triple Concerto alongside soloists from the orchestra.

Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

21 & 23 April, 2016

Louis makes his Australian debut with two performances with Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rory MacDonald on 21 and 23 April 2016. Louis has received praise from critics for recent performances of the concerto with Utah Symphony (“Schwizgebel gave a debonair performance” – Salt Lake Tribune) and London Philharmonic (“Schwizgebel impressively capturing both the sublime melancholy of the second movement and the joviality of the first and third.” – Latest Magazine).

Following this, Louis performs in recital at Hong Kong City Hall on 25 April, with a programme of Haydn Sonata in C Hob.XVI:50, a selection of Liszt’s Schubert Lieder transcriptions, and Schubert’s Sonata D.845.

Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2 with NAC Orchestra and Thierry Fischer

21 March, 2016

“[Schwizgebel’s] playing demonstrated an authoritative comprehension of the Concerto‘s symphonic structure as well as its lyrical, harmonic and textural elements. His tone is rich, even sensuous, and projects superbly while maintaining precision and scrupulousness, all of which suggest this 28-year old artist is already launched as an important Beethoven interpreter.”

Four-star review for Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 5

“Louis Schwizgebel brings weight, poise, deftness and sparkle to this endearing work… Schwizgebel is to be reckoned with, for both these performances are excellent and do these marvellous concertos proud – the finale of No 5 has the wind in its sails. Bon voyage!”
Classical Ear, February 2016

Recording of the Month: Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 5

15 January, 2016

Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 5 has been awarded Recording of the Month by MusicWeb International:

“Schwizgebel’s articulation and phrasing are exemplary, as is his feel for overall thrust and contour. There’s no let-up in the Presto either, which trips off the keyboard with disarming ease … I don’t expect to hear better accounts of these concertos any time soon; yes, Schwizgebel really is that good.” MusicWeb International

“Great intensity and passion”

6 January, 2016

The latest reviews for Louis’ release of Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 5:

“Louis Schwizgebel recently set a new benchmark with the first two concertos by Beethoven. Now we can also experience his brilliant playing in the piano concertos of Saint-Saëns, characterized by great intensity and passion. I cannot recall ever having heard the Second Piano Concerto performed in a manner so full of drama, so brilliant in its pyrotechnics, so electrifying and convincing. He makes a compelling case for it.” Musik&Theater

**** “He has fingers of steel in the Second Concerto’s whirling tarantella finale and a silky turn of phrase for the less-obvious joys of the Fifth. His quiet, pearly runs up and down the keyboard are treasurable for their own sake, and he shows the sensitivity to hold back until Saint-Saëns really starts to let his hair down and dance.” Sinfini

Review: Ravel G Major / London Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Robin Ticciati

17 November, 2015

**** “Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major was a thrilling highlight of the evening, Louis Schwizgebel impressively capturing both the sublime melancholy of the second movement and the joviality of the first and third.” The Latest Magazine

Reviews for Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 & 5

16 November, 2015

Nominated for an ICMA 2016 in the Concerto category.

“The ranks of gifted young pianists must now include the Swiss-Chinese musician Louis Schwizgebel, not yet thirty and brimming with talent. These two piano concertos, the most frequently played and recorded examples of the five composed by Camille Saint-Saëns, are a feast of elegance, clarity, unboastful confidence, well-measured virtuosity, and pleasure accepted and generously passed on.” Télérama

“In “The Egyptian”, Louis Schwizgebel’s interpretation clearly shows he is a colourist. His fingers create different qualities for every note and every passage, each with their own colours: in the Allegro we experience a wonderful contrast between the near-aggressiveness of the octave passage with full orchestra and the delicate sparkle of the high notes as the first theme returns; in the Andante, during some calm moments he creates a tone similar to that of a prepared piano, whilst the rapid rising scales that follow ring like bells. He also has a great sense of rhythm: at the beginning of the third movement, the score virtually swings. Moreover, this entire movement dances joyfully under his fingers, and the theatricality so dear to the composer – borrowed from grand opera – is abundant … Louis Schwizgebel offers us a modern (you could say “dust-free”) vision of longstanding piano concerto “hits”, with a dazzling performance bursting with freshness.” ResMusica

Purchase the album on iTunes, Amazon and via Aparté, and stream the album on Spotify.


15 September, 2016, 19:30

Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Schwerin, Germany
Tianwa Yang (violin)
Anastasia Kobekina (cello)

Brahms: Piano Trio No.2 in C major, Op.87
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor, M.67
Mozart: Piano Sonata No.18 in D major, K.576

16 September, 2016, 20:00

Prague Autumn Festival
Prague, Czech Republic
Benjamin Beilman (violin)

Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 19 in C minor, D. 958
Dvořák: Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 100, B. 183
Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M. 8

08 October, 2016, 19:30

Reading recital
Reading, United Kingdom
Town Hall

R. Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op.15
Chopin: Ballade No.2 in F major, Op.38
Chopin: Ballade No.3 in A-flat major, Op.47
Beethoven: 32 Variations
Schubert: Piano Sonata in C minor, D.958

19 October 2016, 20:00

Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Geneva, Switzerland
Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor)
Victoria Hall

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat major, Op.10

20 October 2016, 20:00

Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Fribourg, Switzerland
Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor)
University of Fribourg

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat major, Op.10

21 October 2016, 20:00

Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Martigny, Switzerland
Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor)
Fondation Pierre Gianadda

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat major, Op.10

24 October 2016, 19:00

Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Basel, Switzerland
Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor)

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat major, Op.10

26 October 2016, 19:30

Aurora Orchestra
Bilbao, Spain
Baldur Brönnimann (conductor)
Sociedad Filármonica de Bilbao

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, op.15

07 November 2016, 19:30

Huddersfield Music Society Recital
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
St Paul’s Hall

R. Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op.15
Chopin: Ballade No.2 in F major, Op.38
Chopin: Ballade No.3 in A-flat major, Op.47
Beethoven: 32 Variations
Schubert: Piano Sonata in C minor, D.958

13 November 2016, 14:00

Coffee Concert in Saffron Walden
Essex, United Kingdom
Saffron Hall

R. Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op.15
Beethoven: 32 Variations
Schubert: Piano Sonata in C minor, D.958

02 December 2016, 19:30

International Piano Series
London, United Kingdom
St John’s Smith Square

Mozart: Piano Sonata No.18 in D major, K.576
R. Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op.15
Beethoven: 32 Variations
Schubert: Piano Sonata in C minor, D.958

15 December, 2016, 19:00

Oslo Philharmonic
Oslo, Norway
David Afkham (conductor)

Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488


Born in Geneva in 1987, Swiss-Chinese pianist Louis Schwizgebel has been described as an “insightful musician” by the New York Times (May 2013) and “already one of the great masters of the piano” by Res Musica (July 2014). At the age of seventeen he won the Geneva International Music Competition and, two years later, the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. In 2012 he won second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition and was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2013-2015.

Schwizgebel has performed with many orchestras across the globe including the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre National de Lyon, Nagoya, Macao and Shanghai Philharmonic orchestras, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (NYC) amongst others. He has worked with conductors such as Edward Gardner, Thierry Fischer, Joshua Weilerstein, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Louis Langrée, Alondra de la Parra, James Gaffigan and Fabian Gabel and in the coming seasons he looks forward to working with Ticciati, Shani, and Schønwandt amongst others.

He performs regularly in his native Switzerland, both in recital and with the symphony and chamber orchestras; he has played at all the major festivals including Progetto Martha Argerich, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Verbier Festival. In 2014 he made his BBC Proms debut with an electrifying televised performance of Prokofiev’s First Concerto and recent recital highlights include performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, Fribourg International Piano Series, Munich’s Herkulesaal, and with violinist Benjamin Beilman his debut at the Berlin Philharmonie.

In the 2015/16 season Schwizgebel returned to the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Lucerne Symphony and made his debut with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich/Bringuier and Munich Symphony/Altstaedt. Further afield he made his debut with the Utah Symphony, NAC Ottawa, Winnipeg Symphony and Queensland orchestras and in solo recital he performs at London’s Wigmore Hall, Klavierfest Ruhr, at Festival Pianissimmes (Paris) and in duo with Alina Ibragimova. In SE Asia he performed his debut recital in Hong Kong and to returned to China for four concerts which include Beijing Concert Hall and Shanghai Symphony Hall.

Schwizgebel records for Aparté; his recording of Beethoven’s First and Second Piano Concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Thierry Fischer received critical acclaim with Gramophone magazine describing Schwizgebel’s performance as a “beautifully nuanced account.” His solo disc, Poems, which features works by Ravel, Liszt, Holliger and Schubert was given four stars by Germany’s Fono Forum who hailed Schwizgebel “a genuine virtuoso, a spirited young genius with real depth”. His recording Saint-Saens’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra was released in autumn 2015, with Radio Classique selecting it as ‘Disc du Jour’.

Schwizgebel studied with Brigitte Meyer in Lausanne and Pascal Devoyon in Berlin, and then later at the Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax and Robert McDonald, and at London’s Royal Academy of Music with Pascal Nemirovski.

Schwizgebel is grateful for the support he has received from the Migros Culture Percentage, Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund and Animato Foundation.

2015/16 biography / 500 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Louis Schwizgebel is represented by Intermusica worldwide.





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