Wednesday 4 December 2019 at 8pm

Haydn                       Sonata in G major, Hob XVI:40

Schubert                  Sonata no. 21 in C minor, D958

Schumann              ‘Abegg’ variations, op 1

Gál                              nos. 5 & 6 of 24 Fugues, op 108

Brahms                     Vier Klavierstücke, op 119

Chopin                       Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, op 61

The owner of ‘a disarmingly profound and mercurial virtuosity’, Leon McCawley ‘seduces the listener by a spontaneous performance devoid of any sense of narcissism’. In 1993 Leon won first prize in the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition. After an absence of several years, during which he has continued to forge a highly successful career establishing himself as a pianist of great integrity and variety, Leon makes a long-awaited return to Ilkley.

He brings a programme which includes sonatas from the classical and romantic period alongside Schumann’s mercurial op 1 variations on the name of his imaginary friend, Meta Abegg, and his real friend, Brahms’s last piano works. The twentieth century is represented by two of Edinburgh-based Hans Gál’s piano fugues. We end with Chopin’s majestic Polonaise-Fantaisie.

“We have perhaps more media-glittering pianists, but none can surpass McCawley in his thoughtfulness of approach … spreading a rapt stillness which lasted long after its conclusion.” BIRMINGHAM POST