The Canadian pianist, Angela Hewitt, was born into a musical family (her father was the Cathedral organist in Ottawa, Canada), and began her piano studies at the age of three, performing in public at four, and a year later winning her first scholarship. Angela also studied violin, recorder, singing, and classical ballet. Her first piano teacher was her mother, Marion Hewitt (b. 1922) - a high-school teacher of English and music. At nine, she gave her first recital at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music where she studied from 1964 to 1973, where her piano teachers were Earle Moss and Myrtle Rose Guerrero. From 1970 to 1974 she studied privately violin with Walter Prystawski. Angela Hewitt then studied with French pianist Jean-Paul Sévilla (piano, summers 1973-1975 in Aix-en-Provence, main terms 1974-1977 at the University of Ottawa, and privately). She earned her Bachelor of Music degree University of Ottawa at the age of eighteen.
Hewitt performed with distinction in several piano competitions, winning the Chopin Young Pianists' Competition (Buffalo, 1975), the piano category in the 1978 CBC Talent Festival, and the Dino Ciani Competition at La Scala, Milan, in 1980. In 1985 she had a triumphant victory in International Bach Piano Competition held in Toronto in memory of Glenn Gould. The prize for the Toronto competition included the release of a recital album on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Other competitions in which she was a top prize-winner include Bach competitions in Washington, DC (1975), and Leipzig (1976), the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, East Germany (1977), the 1978 International Viotti Competition in Vercelli, Italy, and the Casadesus Competition in Cleveland (1979).
Angela Hewitt continues to captivate and charm audiences around the world with her musicianship and virtuosity. Since her triumph the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition, Angela Hewitt has been hailed as “the pre-eminent Bach pianist of our time” (The Guardian, London, 2001), and “nothing less than the pianist who will define Bach performance on the piano for years to come” (Stereophile, 1998). In 1994, she embarked on a ten-year project to record all of the major keyboard works by Bach for the Hyperion label, a series which has been called “one of the record glories of our age” by London’s Sunday Times. The Inventions, French Suites, Partitas, the complete Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations and the Toccatas have received acclaim for their artistry, “effortlessly eclipsing all competitors” (Gramophone, 1997). Her disc of Bach Arrangements won a Juno Award in Canada for the Best Instrumental or Chamber CD of 2001. During the year 2000, she gave complete performances of the 48 Preludes and Fugues in Canada, the United States, England, and Germany. She has performed throughout North America and Europe, as well as in Japan, Australia, China, Mexico, and the former Soviet Union.
Angela Hewitt’s repertoire is vast, ranging from Bach to the contemporary. Her discography also includes CD's Enrique Granados, Olivier Messiaen, and most recently, the complete solo works of Ravel. She has performed with orchestras across the USA, with the Japan Philharmonic, and with every major orchestra in Canada and Australia. Highlights of 2002-2003 include appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (in a world premiere of a concerto by Dominic Muldowney); Houston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra; her debut in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; tours with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Australian Chamber Orchestra; and recitals for the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Bilbao Philharmonic, the Arts Tower Mito in Japan, the Serate Musicali in Milan; and the Schwetzingen, Cheltenham, and Oslo Festivals.
Angela Hewitt’s lecture-recitals on Bach, and her frequent masterclasses are widely appreciated by students and teachers alike. Dedicated to keeping “live music” alive, she has recently been a founding member of Piano Six-a project involving six Canadian pianists who take music to the rural communities of Canada. In 1995, Angela Hewitt was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa; in 1997, she received the Key to the City of Ottawa, and this year was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She has made her home in London, England since 1985.