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Pianist Leon McCawley in Recital March 16

Program celebrates milestone anniversaries of Chopin and Barber

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Pianist Leon McCawley celebrates two milestone anniversaries, Samuel Barber's centenary and Chopin's bicentenary, with a free recital at the Curtis Institute of Music on Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. Since graduating from Curtis in 1995, Mr. McCawley has established himself as one of England's finest young pianists, championing core classical repertoire together with lesser-known works. His program traces Chopin's distinct influence on Barber's piano writing, while highlighting both composers' keen interest in the musical styles and idioms of their homelands and their respect for classical forms and structures.

The concert takes place in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia. The performance is free and no tickets are required. For more information, call (215) 893-7902 or visit

Leon McCawley made his New York recital debut in 2006 at the Frick Collection and has given other acclaimed recitals at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (International Piano Series); Wigmore Hall in London (London Piano Series); Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin; Kumho Recital Hall in Seoul; Miami International Piano Festival; Musikverein in Vienna; Rudolfinum in Prague; Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Tonhalle in Zurich. This year he makes his Lincoln Center recital debut in New York on March 14 and returns for the fourth time to the International Piano Series in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. He can be frequently heard on BBC Radio 3 both in performance and interview.

As a concerto soloist, Mr. McCawley performs with many leading British orchestras, including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, and City of Birmingham Symphony. He has also appeared with the symphonies of Adelaide, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Vienna; the Malaysian and Netherlands philharmonics; and the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras. After his 2008 appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was praised as "a master of tone and articulation" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Mr. McCawley's discography includes Barber's Complete Piano Music (EMI/Virgin); Schumann's Piano Music (Avie Records), selected as "Editor's Choice" in Gramophone; Complete Piano Works of Hans Gál (Avie), also a Gramophone "Editor's Choice"; and Mozart's Complete Piano Sonatas (Avie Records), which was awarded a 2007Diapason d'Or. His latest disc of Ronald Corp's Piano Concerto with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra was released by Dutton Epoch in 2009.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 160 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, Leila Josefowicz, Lang Lang, and Time for Three. 

Guest Recital: Leon McCawley, piano ('95)
Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m.

Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music
1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia


CHOPIN Four Mazurkas, Op. 6
BARBER Nocturne: Homage to John Field
CHOPIN Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35
BARBER Excursions
CHOPIN Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
BARBER Sonata in E-flat minor


Free; no tickets required.


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