This day in music, we celebrate Angela Hewitt’s birthday. Of a musical family, Angela Hewitt turns fifty-eight today as one of Canada’s and the world’s finest musicians. Hewitt began piano lessons at three before a meteoric rise led to her first full-length recital at nine with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto.
Hewitt’s pivotal success was her capture of Toronto’s 1985 International Bach Piano Competition, held in honour of Glenn Gould. The win garnered not only accolades, but more importantly, led to a relationship with recording company, Deutsche Grammophon. With DG, Hewitt’s recording of English Suite No. 6 launched a legacy as one of the foremost Bach-interpreters of all-time.
This reputation led to appearances on iconic stages as Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, to BBC Proms. Hewitt adds to this list with her own Trasimeno Music Festival held every summer in Umbria, Italy. Yet, not all these accolades come from her Bach pedigree. Her discography and repertoire feature a wide mastery of composers from baroque Couperin and Rameau to Romantics as Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann, to Impressionists as Fauré, Debussy, Ravel.
For these achievements, Hewitt has received laurels including 2006 Gramophone Awards’ Artist of the Year, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Officer of the Most Excellent in the Order of the British Empire.
In this video, Hewitt plays Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin with her signature meticulous detail and resonant, singing tone at the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. The baroqueness of ornamentation and harmony key in the listener to the neo-classical nature of the piece. Hewitt takes this and still imbues it with Ravel’s signature airy wanderings through various tonal colours. Resulting is a sensitive and deep appreciation of both Ravel’s intricacies and the elements of Couperin he wished to convey.
Angela Hewitt – Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin
Happy birthday Ms. Hewitt!