Louis Schwizgebel


Stefana Atlas
Martin Wittenberg
North America
Press Resources
“He avoided the current tendency to over-refinement in the Fourth, offering a performance on a biggish scale that was exceptional for its poetry and insight, and which stood comparisons with some of the great interpretations of the piece." (Leeds Int'l Piano Competition/The Halle Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder/ Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4)
Tim Astley, The Guardian, September 2012

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 Edward Gardner, Thierry Fischer, Joshua Weilerstein, Lahav Shani, Robin Ticciati, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Louis Langrée, Alondra de la Parra, James Gaffigan and Fabian 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 makes 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, 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, 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 Prague 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; his recent 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”. His latest recording of Schubert sonatas will be released later in 2016.

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

“I had Schwizgebel down as a romantic on the strength of his mature Schubert and Beethoven on a BBC Music Magazine Cover disc, but he can do the naughty stuff, the beat poetry, too, dashing off the runs, tongue-pokings and nose-thumbings as well as any enfant terrible." (National Youth Orchestra of G.B./Sage Gateshead/Edward Gardner/Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1)
David Nice, The Arts Desk, August 2014
“His passagework was lithe and sparkling; his phrasing lucid and shapely. Here was an insightful musician in action who brought out complexities in inner voices and gave an extra nudge to the crucial rhythmic accents. He drew out in mysterious moments, searching passages and milky textures. And he has a romping good time in the dancing rondo." (Orchestra of St. Luke's / Alexander Mickelthwate / Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1)
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, May 2013