News / Reviews

“Schwizgebel was able to demonstrate his considerable virtuosity”: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

“Swiss soloist Louis Schwizgebel did not disappoint in his gentle touch. He produced a lovely lyrical dance, ballet-like, caressing the strings with the keyboard hammers yet maintaining crystal clear separation in the notes in even the most fleeting runs… Schwizgebel was able to demonstrate his considerable virtuosity. I found his playing to be very precise and the relationship between him and Gabel ensured that soloist and orchestra held tightly together in tempo and momentum throughout.”
Bachtrack, April 2017

“Louis Schwizgebel gave an unaffected reading of the solo part […] with a poised elegance to the Romanze that never cloyed and a vivacity that saw the finale home in engaging fashion.”
Independent, April 2017

Recital at Lugano Musica’s New Generation cycle

Louis appears in recital at Lugano Arte e Cultura on 3 May as part of Lugano Musica’s New Generation cycle. Louis performs a Romantic programme comprised of Schumann Kinderszenen, two of Chopin’s Ballades, Beethoven 32 Variations and Schubert Sonata No.21.

Louis recorded Schubert’s piano sonatas with Aparté last year to great critical acclaim:

“A Schubert album of extraordinary precision”
Le Figaro, December 2016

“By tackling Franz Schubert in his most recent album, the young Swiss pianist plumbs the depths of the romantic soul, taking a path of nostalgia, vehemence and introspection.”
Radio Classique, October 2016

“A superbly nuanced performance” BBC National Orchestra of Wales

“Again this was a superbly nuanced performance, and the delivery of the fiendishly difficult solo part by Louis Schwizgebel had all the brilliance one could wish. The fact that he didn’t use a score (in a work which he surely not likely to play all that often) also helped communication, and made the difficulties seem negligible.”
Seen and Heard International, April 2017

Performances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

This month Louis makes returns to two UK orchestras, starting with a performance with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on 7 April. Performing under the baton of Jun Märkl, Louis plays Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Egyptian’ in F major. The Egyptian-themed programme also features Debussy Six Epigraphes Antiques, Ravel Sheherazade and Debussy’s ballet Khamma. Louis recorded the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.5 for his acclaimed 2015 Aparté album with the BBC Symphony Orchestra:

“Schwizgebel’s touch is gorgeously singing and wonderfully delicate, but can sharpen to serious bling when occasion demands – and he applies it judiciously. Throughout he shows exemplary musical taste and good sense, whilst making Saint-Saens’s most fiendish passagework sound utterly effortless.”
BBC Music Magazine

Louis then returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 26 April to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor in the Birmingham Symphony Hall, conducted by Fabien Gabel. He also gives a recital of Beethoven, Brahms and Mussorgsky in Porrentruy on 21 April.

Debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec

Louis made his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on 2 and 5 March, performing under the baton of Gilbert Varga. Louis joined the orchestra to perform Ravel Piano Concerto on 2 March and Grieg Piano Concerto on 5 March.

Louis then travels to Canada to make a second debut of the month, this time with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec. He performs Ravel Piano Concerto alongside the orchestra and conductor Fabien Gabel at the Grand Théâtre de Québec on 26 March.

Debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Louis steps in to make his debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on 17 February at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2 under the baton of Elim Chan. The concerto is bookended by Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet‘Overture-Fantasy’ and Rachmaninov Symphony No.2 in E minor, Op.27. Louis and the orchestra repeat the programme the following day at Glasgow’s City Halls.

Louis’ recording of Beethoven’s first two Piano Concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Thierry Fischer was well-received by the press:

“Schwizgebel’s playing is poised, lively and full of subtle, changing detail”
BBC Music Magazine, Apr 2015

“Schwizgebel is a fine pianist technically, with a keenly attuned sense of poetry. His shaping of the melodies in these two concertos is beautifully done… Schwizgebel produces a beautifully nuanced account”
Gramophone, March 2015

“Schwizgebel’s musicianship has special depth and imagination”: reviews for Louis’ St John’s Smith Square recital

“[Schwizgebel] never disappoints. Let’s hope that audiences continue to be drawn in as much by his authoritative and stylish playing as by the intelligence and maturity of his interpretations. His playing has bags of personality, but it is not the sort of personality that gets in the way of the music. In a densely populated field, Schwizgebel’s musicianship has special depth and imagination.”
Classical Source, December 2016

“Schwizgebel opened the recital with Mozart’s very last piano sonata… He brought enormous clarity and precision to this performance and demonstrated a refined appreciation of Classical style. The ascending quavers in the opening Allegro were beautifully weighted and the articulation was superb. Schwizgebel brought a feathery lightness to some of the textures and there was wonderful shaping of the material… This recital featured some highly sensitive playing and real musical artistry.”
Seen and Heard International, December 2016

Debut with the Oslo Philharmonic

Louis makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic on 15 December, playing Mozart Piano Concerto in A-major, K.488, under the baton of David Afkham at the Oslo Konzerthus.

Louis’ performance in Oslo is the latest of a series of major debuts this season and comes hard on the heels of his first appearance with the Aurora Orchestra in Bilbao in October this year. In 2017, he also makes debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestras. He also returns to the CBSO and the Macao Symphony Orchestra.

Debut at the Lucerne Festival

Louis makes his debut at the Lucerne Festival in November, performing a solo recital of music by Schumann, Beethoven and Schubert.

Louis’s performance in Lucerne is the latest in a series of festival debuts this year, following performances at the Rheingau Musik Festival and Klavier-Festival Ruhr this summer.

Solo Recitals in Madrid

Louis performed for the first time in Madrid in two recitals in November at the Fundación Juan March.

Click here to watch a video of the second recital, courtesy of the Fundación Juan March.

“A path of nostalgia, vehemence and introspection”: Louis’ Schubert disc reviewed

“By tackling Franz Schubert in his most recent album, the young Swiss pianist plumbs the depths of the romantic soul, taking a path of nostalgia, vehemence and introspection.”
Radio Classique, October 2016

“This recording of two Schubert sonatas attests to an artistic maturity that complements his considerable digital skills… Mr. Schwizgebel has made this music sing and dance without having become percussively insistent, without cloying his melodies, and having maintained an artful balance of form and color most impressive to this listener.”
Audiophile Audition, November 2016

Debut with Aurora Orchestra in Bilbao

Louis makes his debut with the Aurora Orchestra this month, performing under the baton of Baldur Brönnimann at the Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao on 26 October. Louis joins the orchestra to perform Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1, which he recorded for Aparté with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014.

Schwizgebel arrives in Bilbao following a series of solo recitals across the UK and France, in Germany where he was playing with Ray Chen, and a tour of Switzerland with the Orchestre du Chambre de Lausanne conducted by Santtu-Mathias Rouvali.

‘I like to programme recitals linked by a dramatic theme’: Interview with International Piano

Louis spoke to International Piano magazine ahead of his International Piano Series recital at St John’s Smith Square. In the interview he discusses how he developed the programme for his recital, ‘Light and Shade, Innocence and Experience’:

“I like to programme recitals linked by a dramatic theme, or even through harmonic links, where one piece finishes with a sound or chord that might also be the start of the next. The first half is light and innocent with Mozart’s Sonata No 18 in D major K576 and Schumann’s Kinderszenen, but the second has a dark and tormented mood, with Beethoven’s 32 Variations and Schubert’s D958 Sonata united by their C minor tonality. Thematically, Schubert alludes to Beethoven, too.”
Click here to read the full interview.

New release: Schubert Piano Sonatas D. 845 & D. 958

Louis Schwizgebel’s latest recording on Aparté of Schubert’s Sonatas D. 845 and 958 has now been released and is available to purchase on iTunes, Amazon UK, Amazon France and

Louis will be performing the Schubert sonatas in recitals across the 2016/17 season in venues across the UK (including London on 2 December), France, Switzerland – notably at the Lucerne Festival on 23 November – in Madrid and in the US.

Debut at the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival with Benjamin Beilman

Louis gives his debut performance in Prague at the Dvořák Prague Dvorák Festival on 16 September, performing in recital with violinist Benjamin Beilman in the wonderful Rudolfinum. Offering solo repertoire in the first half (Beilman plays Bach, Schwizgebel plays Schubert) they come together in the second half to play Dvorák’s Sonatina and Franck’s Sonata for Violin.

The recital in Prague follows an appearance at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on 15 September, where Louis performs a mixed programme of solo and chamber works by Brahms, Ravel and Mozart

2015-16: A season in review

Louis rounded off the 2015/16 season with a debut at the Rheingau Musik Festival in September, stepping in at the last minute to replace an indisposed Thibaudet, following his hugely successful debut at the Klavierfest Ruhr which was later broadcast on WDR.

Other highlights for Louis this season included his debut with orchestras such as the Tonhalle, London Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, NAC Ottawa, Winnipeg Symphony, Queensland Symphony and Munich Symphony orchestras, and return visits to the BBC Symphony, Lucerne Symphony and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. In recital he performed widely, including at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Festival Chopin a Paris, in Stockholm’s prestigious piano series, on tour across China and in Hong Kong where he was received with critical acclaim:

“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… Schwizgebel’s sensitive phrasing cast a spell… played with delightful, light-fingered grace.”
South China Morning Post

Louis also released his third album for Aparté, a recording of Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos 2 and 5 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductors Fabien Gabel and Martyn Brabbins. The album was greeted with fantastic reviews:

“In ‘The Egyptian’, Louis Schwizgebel’s interpretation clearly shows he is a colourist… Louis Schwizgebel offers us a modern (you could say “dust-free”) vision of longstanding piano concerto ‘hits’, with a dazzling performance bursting with freshness.”
Res Musica

“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

“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


28 May 2017, 19:30

Oxford recital
Oxford, United Kingdom
Balliol College

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

10 June 2017, 20:00

Macau Orchestra
Macau, China
Gilbert Varga (conductor)
Macau Cultural Centre

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.22

14 July 2017, 20:00

Recital at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Benjamin Beilman (violin)
Narek Hakhnazaryan (cello)

Beethoven: Piano Trio No.7 in B-flat major, Op.97 ‘Archduke’
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.1 in C minor, Op.8
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor, M.67

17 August 2017, 21:00

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
São Paulo, Brazil
Fabien Gabel (conductor)
Sala São Paulo

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.5 in F major, Op.103 ‘Egyptian’

18 August 2017, 21:00

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
São Paulo, Brazil
Fabien Gabel (conductor)
Sala São Paulo

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.5 in F major, Op.103 ‘Egyptian’

19 August 2017, 21:00

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
São Paulo, Brazil
Fabien Gabel (conductor)
Sala São Paulo

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.5 in F major, Op.103 ‘Egyptian’


Born in Geneva in 1987, Swiss-Chinese pianist Louis Schwizgebel has been described as an “insightful musician” by the New York Times and “already one of the great masters of the piano” by Res Musica. 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 in 2013 he was invited to become a BBC New Generation Artist.

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, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle, Nagoya and Shanghai Philharmonic orchestras, Utah Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (NYC) amongst others. He has worked with conductors such as Gardner, Gražynite-Tyla, Thierry Fischer, Weilerstein, Shani, Ticciati, Slatkin, Langrée, de la Parra, Gaffigan, Rouvali and Gabel amongst others.

Schwizgebel performs regularly in his native Switzerland, both in recital and with the symphony and chamber orchestras; he has played in the major festivals including Progetto Martha Argerich, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Verbier Festival and in 2016 made his debut at the Lucerne 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, Klavierfest Ruhr, Rheingau Festival, Fribourg International Piano Series, Munich’s Herkulesaal and on tour across Hong Kong and China including in Beijing and Shanghai.

Highlights of Schwizgebel’s 16/17 season include debuts with the Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Sao Paulo Symphony and the Aurora Orchestra in Bilbao, returns to the Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne, City of Birmingham and Macao Symphony orchestras. In recital he makes his debut at the International Piano Series, London, at the Rudolfinium as part of the Prague Dvorak Festival, returns to Lugano, Bern and in chamber music he returns to the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival and makes his debut at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Schwizgebel records for Aparté and recently released a solo disc of Schubert Sonatas D845 and D958. His recording of Saint-Saens’s Piano Concertos 2 and 5 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra received wide and critical acclaim, with BBC Music Magazine describing his playing as “gorgeously singing and wonderfully delicate”. Of his recording of Beethoven’s First and Second Piano Concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra Gramophone magazine described Schwizgebel’s performance as a “beautifully nuanced account” and his solo disc, Poems, featuring 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”.

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.

2016/17 biography / 498 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Louis Schwizgebel is represented by Intermusica worldwide.





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