Louis Schwizgebel has been described as “a genuine virtuoso, a spirited young genius with real depth” (Fono Forum) and an “insightful musician” (New York Times). He is praised repeatedly for his poise, elegance, imagination, expressive lyricism and crystalline articulation. He performs regularly in recital and with the finest orchestras across the globe and has received critical acclaim for his recordings.
Schwizgebel’s 2019/20 season include debuts with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Bern Symphony orchestras in Europe, with Cincinnati Symphony, Omaha Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic orchestras in the US and further afield with the Tasmanian Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras.
In recent seasons, highlights have included performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony, all BBC orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre National de France, National du Capitole de Toulouse, Danish National Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony, Utah Symphony, Nagoya and Shanghai Philharmonic orchestras. Conductors he has worked with include Edward Gardner, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Emmanuel Krivine, Nicholas Collon, Thierry Fischer, Charles Dutoit, Fabio Luisi, Lahav Shani, Robin Ticciati, Louis Langrée, John Wilson, James Gaffigan, Santtu Matias Rouvali, Elim Chan and Fabien Gabel amongst others.
In solo recital and chamber music, Schwizgebel performs regularly at the major festivals and halls including most recently London’s Wigmore, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Rheingau Festival, Klavierfest Ruhr, Lille Piano Festival and Singapore International Piano Festival, with artists such as Benjamin Beilman, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Renaud Capuçon and Alina Ibragimova.Read more
Schwizgebel performs frequently in his native Switzerland; he has played in the major festivals such as Verbier, Lucerne and Menuhin Festival Gstaad and in 2019/20 makes his debut in the Meisterinterpreten series in Zurich. In 2014 he made his BBC Proms debut with an electrifying televised performance of Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1 and in 2018 at the Festival de Radio France in a televised performance of Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue.
Schwizgebel records for Aparté and his latest recording of Schubert Sonatas D845 and D958 was described as an “album of extraordinary precision” by Le Figaro. Previous releases include Saint-Saens Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, described as “gorgeously singing and wonderfully delicate” by BBC Music Magazine and Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra hailed as a “beautifully nuanced account” by Gramophone.
Schwizgebel was born in 1987 in Geneva. He 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. 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 became a BBC New Generation Artist.
Gershwin Klavierkonzert / Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, cond. John Wilson
“Vom Beginn des ersten Abschnitts an offenbart sich eine absolut klare Diktion als Markenzeichen seines Spiels. Skalen perlen mit gläserner Reinheit, ungemein transparent ist seine Klangschichtung, selten hört man einen derart sauberen Pedalgebrauch, von dem kein einziger Ton verschluckt wird. Technisch über alle Zweifel erhaben, trifft er auch stilistisch die rhythmische Raffinesse und die virtuos funkelnde, jazzige Attitüde des Stücks. Die Koordination mit dem Orchester stimmt, dessen homogener Tutti-Klang und griffige Pizzicato-Akzente verschmelzen im Mittelteil mit Schwizgebels geschärftem Anschlagsprofil und seiner leuchtenden Unisono-Rhythmik zu einer elastischen, souveränen Klangpräsenz. Im Schlussteil glänzt Schwizgebel mit rasant geschliffenen Repetitionen und kraftvoller Impulsgebung – die schwungvolle Phrasierung des BRSO macht ohnehin immer Spaß. Als ‚rhythmische Orgie‘ hat Gershwin dieses Finale beschrieben – als solche zelebrieren es die Beteiligten. Als Zugabe bedankt Schwizgebel sich mit einer hochsensibel vorgetragenen pianistischen Rarität: Erwin Schulhoffs ‘Chanson’ aus den ‘5 Jazz Etudes‘.“
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.5 / Ulster Orchestra, cond. Jac van Steen
“This concerto allowed him to display all his refined technical skills with absolute assurance; hands were impeccably balanced, right-hand melodies projected with a cantabile tone, scale passages absolutely even, and staccatos crisp. Trills were measured and precise, chords voiced to perfection.”
Gershwin, Piano Concerto / Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. John Wilson
“with Louis Schwizgebel a clean-fingered and hugely stylish soloist, it was wholly successful”
Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 / Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra cond. Fabien Gabel
“Schwizgebel brought a big, bright sound and an unrelenting musical energy to the piece’s striding first movement, making bold, driving musical statements … Schwizgebel turned inward for a completely involving, warm, soulful interpretation of the melodic second movement, built of small, intimate musical gestures and delicate colours of sound. The third movement, which continues from the second without a pause, didn’t so much begin as it launched, beginning with an explosion of sound and energy, unfolding in a delightfully exuberant performance.”
Journal Sentinel, January 2018
Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Egyptian’ / BBC National Orchestra of Wales, cond. Jun Märkl
“Again this was a superbly nuanced performance, and the delivery of the fiendishly difficult solo part by Louis Schwizgebel had all the brilliance one could wish. The fact that he didn’t use a score (in a work which he is surely not likely to play all that often) also helped communication, and made the difficulties seem negligible.”
Seen and Heard, April 2017
Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 / Royal Scottish National Orchestra cond. Elim Chan
“There was plenty of character and wit in his sparkling interpretation especially in the allegro’s jazz-like cadenza and the rondo’s dance-like rhythms. Schwizbegel is an engaging performer.”
Scotsman, February 2017
Recording: Schubert Piano Sonatas D.845 and D.958 (Aparté 2016)
“A Schubert album of extraordinary precision”
“This magician of sound deploys playing of an exceptional clarity, supported by extreme precision and nimble fingering which lends an overall impression of fluidity to the work”
Le Figaro, December 2016
“He scores again with an approach that lives from its surprise”
Journal Frankfurt, December 2016
“By tackling Franz Schubert in his most recent album, the young Swiss pianist plumbs the depths of the romantic soul, taking a path of nostalgia, vehemence and introspection.”
Radio Classique, October 2016
Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major / London Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Robin Ticciati
“Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major was a thrilling highlight of the evening, Louis Schwizgebel impressively capturing both the sublime melancholy of the second movement and the joviality of the first and third.”
The Latest Magazine, November 2015
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Michael Francis / Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand
“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”
Rian Evans, Guardian, September 2014