Hartlepool Music Society
27th Season 2011-12
International Recital Series

(Registered Charity No 1071293)

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Monday 7th November 2011
Louis Schwizgebel-Wang

Commences 7.30pm (Hartlepool Town Hall)


Haydn: Piano Sonata No.60 in C major Hob.XVI,
50 Pieces by Franz Liszt to include Schubert Lieder transcription
Schubert Sonata in B flat Major D 960

Louis Schwizgebel-Wang

Artist Information:

1st Prize: Young Concert Artists in New York in 2007.
2nd Prize: (1st prize not awarded) 60e Concours de Genève in 2005.

Born in 1987 to a Chinese mother and a Swiss father working in the visual arts, and grandson of a famous Chinese painter, Louis Schwizgebel-Wang began studying the piano at the age of six with Franz Josefovski. Three years later, he was admitted to the superior level of the Lausanne Conservatory in Brigitte Meyer's class. At the age of fifteen, he graduated with honours as a soloist. He is currently pursuing his studies at the Universität der Künste in Berlin with Pascal Devoyon, with whom he had already taken advanced classes at the Geneva Conservatory. He also takes classes with Jean-Jacques Balet.

Mr Schwizgebel-Wang presented his first concerts when he was only nine. Ever since, he has repeatedly performed on the most prestigious international stages and also played for radios and televisions. Interested in chamber music, he has collaborated with artists like François Guye, Marie-Annick Nicolas, Raphael Oleg and the Sine Nomine Quartet. He also appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Basel Sinfonic Orchestra, the Musikkollegium of Winterthur and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with conductors such as Carl Davis, Hervé Klopfenstein, Douglas Boyd, Jean-Bernard Pommier and Louis Langrée. He recently gave a recital at the Wigmore Hall of London. He will shortly appear with the Vienna Sinfonic Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Marek Janowski.

In 2005 he won the Second Prize in the Geneva Music Competition (no First Prize being awarded that year), as well as the Coup de Coeur Breguet Prize and the Prize awarded by the Public. In January 2007, he won the First Prize in the Young Concert Artists Audition in New York as well as eight special prizes, which opened the doors to the finest North American concert halls and orchestras. He performed recitals in Washington's Kennedy Center and New York's Carnegie Hall and received excellent reviews from the Washington Post and the New York Times.

His first recording was released in 2006 under the Pan-Classics label (featuring Mendelssohn's Second Piano Concerto, accompanied by the Geneva Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul Goodwin, as well as piano pieces by Mozart, Moszkowski and Schulhoff).

Mr Schwizgebel-Wang has received scholarships from the Fried Wald, Hans Wilsdorf, Leenaards, Ville de Genève, Irène Dénéréaz and Kiefer Hablitzel Foundations, and also support from the Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund and the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation.



If anything linked the four works presented in a recital by the Swiss pianist Louis Schwizgebel-Wang at Zankel Hall on Tuesday night, it was inspiration. Not just in the sense that the composers did their work well - though that was certainly true - but also in the sense that each piece was written in reaction to some outer stimulus.

Presented here by Young Concert Artists, Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang, 19, opened with  Mozart's Sonata in D (K. 311), written at least partially when the composer was the same age. The motive was romance: Mozart wrote the piece for Josepha Freysinger, the musically gifted daughter of a composer who is now obscure. Mindful of that, Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang might have lavished more amorousness on his otherwise admirable account of the songful Andante.

Apparently impressed with Ms. Freysinger's ability as well, Mozart provided busy, playful outer movements and a brief, dramatic cadenza at the end. These Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang dispatched with a fastidious touch and plenty of sparkle.

Brahms was inspired to write his two Opus 79 Rhapsodies by a restful period spent in the Austrian village of Pörtschach in 1878. In a letter to a friend he referred to them as "worthless trash." These turbulent fantasies are anything but. Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang offered passionate readings, phrased with an expressive elasticity that never distorted the music's dramatic arc.

Erwin Schulhoff, a gifted Prague-born Jewish composer who perished in a Nazi camp in Bavaria in 1942, drew on vernacular sounds in his five " Études de Jazz," a set of devilish romps based on the Charleston, the blues, the chanson and the tango, and ending with an explosive take on Zez Confrey's novelty tune "Kitten on the Keys." The work ought to be better known, and Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang's dazzling account seemed to win converts.

Mussorgsky's Olympian "Pictures at an Exhibition" was inspired as much by his friendship with the artist and architect Victor Hartmann as by a display of Hartmann's paintings and sketches that Mussorgsky saw in 1874. It is better known now via Ravel's orchestration, difficult to ignore when hearing the piano version. But Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang's stately fanfares, tumbling phrases, lumbering chords and eerie sustains drew due attention to Mussorgsky's pianistic resourcefulness.

Mr. Schwizgebel-Wang saved his most dazzling fingerwork for two encores: a persuasively slippery account of Chopin's Waltz in C sharp minor (Op. 64, No. 2) and a lithe, ticklish version of Moszkowski's "Sparks." - Classical Flair With Vernacular Flourishes, Steve Smith, New York Times.


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