Angela Hewitt

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Angela Hewitt at a concert in 2017 Angela Hewitt Toronto2017 (cropped).jpg
Angela Hewitt at a concert in 2017

Angela Hewitt, CC OBE (born July 26, 1958) is a Canadian classical pianist. She is best known for her Bach interpretations. [1]



Hewitt was born in Ottawa, Ontario, daughter of the Yorkshire-born Godfrey Hewitt (thus she also has British nationality) who was choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. [2] [3] She began piano studies at the age of three with her mother. She earned a scholarship at the age of five. She studied violin with Walter Prystawski, recorder with Wolfgang Grunsky, and ballet with Nesta Toumine in Ottawa. Her first full-length recital was at the age of nine, in The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she studied from 1964 to 1973 with Earle Moss and Myrtle Guerrero. She then went on to be the student of French pianist Jean-Paul Sevilla at the University of Ottawa.

Hewitt has performed around the world in recital and as soloist with orchestra. She is best known for her cycle of Bach recordings which she began in 1994 and finished in 2005—covering all of the major keyboard works of J. S. Bach. Her recording of Bach's The Art of Fugue was released on October 17, 2014. [4] Her discography also includes works by Louis Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Olivier Messiaen, Emmanuel Chabrier, Maurice Ravel, Robert Schumann, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré. She has recorded two discs of Mozart concertos with the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, and a third with Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu. With the DSO Berlin and Lintu, she also recorded the Schumann Piano Concerto.

Her entire 2007–08 season was devoted to complete performances of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier in major cities all over the world. Her Hyperion DVD on Bach performance on the piano was released to coincide with the tour.

In July 2005, Hewitt launched the Trasimeno Music Festival in Umbria near Perugia, of which she is artistic director.

Hewitt switched to Fazioli pianos in 2002. [5] Her unique four-pedal F278 Fazioli was dropped by instrument movers in January 2020 and considered unsalvageable by Paolo Fazioli, the company's founder. [6] [7] She chose a new Fazioli (out of five made available for her from which to choose) in January 2021. [8]


In 1975, Hewitt won the Chopin Young Pianists' Competition in Buffalo, New York, and a Bach competition in Washington, D.C. In 1979, she won third prize in the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition, since renamed the Cleveland International Piano Competition. In 1978, she won piano division in the CBC Radio Competition and in 1980 the Dino Ciani Competition in Milan, Italy. The same year, she won an honorable mention at the X International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. In 1985, she won first prize in the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition, which led to a recording with Deutsche Grammophon. In 1986, she was named artist of the year by the Canadian Music Council.

In 2000, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC). [9] In 2002, Hewitt was awarded the National Arts Centre Award, a companion award to the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, given to an artist or group who has had an exceptional performance year. [10]

Hewitt was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on June 17, 2006 and Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2006. She received the MIDEM Classical Award for Instrumentalist of the Year in 2010, and was awarded the first ever BBC Radio 3 Listener's Award (Royal Philharmonic Society Awards) in 2003. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has honorary degrees from the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, Queen's University (Kingston), The Open University (Milton Keynes, UK), Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax), the University of Saskatchewan and Carleton University (Ottawa). [11]

On December 30, 2015, Hewitt was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest grade of the honour. [12]

Personal life

After living in Paris from 1978 to 1985, Hewitt moved to London, which has been her principal residence ever since. [1]

Selected discography

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  1. 1 2 Hewitt, Angela (April 25, 2023). "'Like sex and religion, we don't like to talk about memory': pianist Angela Hewitt on how she keeps hers in shape". The Guardian. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  2. Betty Nygaard King, Jean Southworth. "Hewitt, Godfrey". Encyclopedia of Canadian Music. Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  3. Angela Hewitt explained her dual nationality on the CBC Radio Two program, This Is My Music which aired on February 23, 2013.
  4. "Home". Angela Hewitt. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  5. Picard, Anna (April 11, 2010). "Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall, London" . The Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  6. Weaver, Matthew (February 11, 2020). "Virtuoso mourns beloved £150,000 piano smashed by movers". The Guardian. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  7. Reynolds, Emma (February 11, 2020). "'It's kaputt.' Movers accidentally drop virtuoso's one-of-a-kind $194,000 piano". CNN. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  8. Weaver, Matthew (January 4, 2021). "Celebrated musician finds new 'best friend' to replace smashed piano". The Guardian. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  9. "Order of Canada citation for Angela Hewitt". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  10. "Angela Hewitt". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  11. "Angela Hewitt Receives Honorary Degree from Carleton University". Carleton University. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  12. "Order of Canada Appointments". The Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Governor General of Canada . Retrieved December 31, 2015.
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  19. "Debussy: Solo Piano Music – CDA67898 – Claude Debussy (1862–1918) – Hyperion Records – MP3 and Lossless downloads". Hyperion Records. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
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