Born in 1987 into a family of artists from Switzerland and China, Louis Schwizgebel’s performances are steeped in imagination, rich in colour and musical insight. A refined pianist, Schwizgebel is hailed repeatedly for the clarity of his playing and his exceptional fingerwork. 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 between 2013-2015 he was a BBC New Generation Artist.
Schwizgebel has performed with many orchestras across the globe including the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle, Nagoya, Shanghai Philharmonic and Macao orchestras, Utah Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke's (NYC) amongst others and in 2014 made his debut at the BBC Proms with an electrifying televised performance of Prokofiev’s First Concerto. He has worked with conductors such as Elder, Gardner, Gražynite-Tyla, Thierry Fischer, Luisi, 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. Elsewhere recent recital highlights include performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, International Piano Series (London), Klavierfest Ruhr, Rheingau Festival, Fribourg International Piano Series, Munich’s Herkulesaal, Prague’s Rudolfinium Hall, Stockholm Piano Series, on tour across Hong Kong and China including in Beijing and Shanghai and at the Lille Piano Festival when he performed with his father, the Swiss animator George Schwizgebel, in a programme combining music and animation, featuring works by Chopin and Schubert. A regular chamber performer, Schwizgebel made his debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in a trio programme with Narek Hakhnazaryan and Benjamin Beilman at the Robeco Summer Concerts 2017.
Highlights of Schwizgebel’s 17/18 season include his debut with the Orchestre National de France, conducted by Krivine, at the Montepellier Festival, with the Danish National Symphony conducted by Nicholas Collon and his recital debut in Tokyo at the Musashino Foundation. Elsewhere he made his debut in Mexico and Brazil with the Mineria Orchestra and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra respectively, with the Bournemouth Symphony and Slovak Philharmonic orchestras and in the US with Florida and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras. He returned to Leeds with the BBC Philharmonic, performed again with the Munich Symphony and made a studio recording with the Bamberg Symphony of the piano concerto by the American composer Florence Price, as well as performing across Europe both in solo and duo recitals, including in Geneva with Renaud Capuçon.
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. He now lives in London. Schwizgebel is grateful for the support he has received from the Migros Culture Percentage, Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund and Animato Foundation.
Piano Concerto No.1 in C Major Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op.18
Piano Concerto No.4 in G Major Op.58
Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat Major Op.73
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor Op.11
Grande Polonaise Brillante in B-flat Major Op.22
Rhapsody in Blue
Piano Concerto in F
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.16
Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major
Piano Concerto No.9 in E-flat Major (“Jeunehomme”) K.271
Piano Concerto No.21 in C Major K.467
Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major K.488
Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat major K.365
Concerto for Three Pianos in F major, K.242
Concerto for Two Pianos
Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat Major Op.10
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.18
Piano Concerto in G Major
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor Op.22
Piano Concerto No.5 in F Major Op.103
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.54
Piano Concerto No.2 in F Major Op.102
Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor Op.23
Alondra de la Parra
Sir Mark Elder
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Jac van Steen
Jan van Steen
New York Times
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 crucial rhythmic accents. He drew out mysterious moments, searching passages and milky textures. And he had a romping good time in the dancing rondo.
Schwizgebel was most impressive: slight of build but astonishingly powerful, he highlighted the dark drama of Ravel’s sonorities, yet it was the expressivity of the slow poetic lines that were most potent
This young artist is a genuine virtuoso, a spirited young genius with real depth… he produces an astonishing range of different colours and tones, showing an unerring instinct for the drama and tension of the cycle’s artificial brilliance and demonic energy… There is only one thing to be said after this hour of inspired music-making: Bravo!