To love is to act.”

-—Victor Hugo

Angela Hewitt

2018 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Classical Music)

Concert pianist

Angela Hewitt is widely considered the leading Bach pianist of our time. Known for her clarity, precision and vast repertoire, she has performed in recital and with major orchestras around the world, and is especially renowned for her recordings of all of J. S. Bach’s major keyboard works. Her discography also includes solo recordings of Couperin, Rameau, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Chabrier, Granados, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen, as well as concertos by Mozart and Schumann. Personal communication with her audience is important to her, and she has built a huge international fan base.
Born into a musical family in 1958, Ms. Hewitt began piano studies at age three, gave her first public performance at four and won her first scholarship at five. She studied at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and at the University of Ottawa, graduating with a Bachelor of Music at age 18. In 1985, she won first prize in the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition, launching her international career.
In 2005, she founded the Trasimeno Music Festival in Umbria, Italy. This seven-day annual event draws an international audience and features Ms. Hewitt as a recitalist, chamber musician, song accompanist, and conductor, working with both established and emerging artists.
In 2016, she embarked on The Bach Odyssey, an ambitious overview of the complete keyboard works of J. S. Bach. Over the course of four years, she will perform a cycle of twelve recitals in venues on three continents.
“I grew up with Bach all around me,” she recalls. “I loved the melodies, the structure, and above all the rhythms, which are all taken from the dance. That is what makes it such joyous music.”
Ms. Hewitt is an ambassador for OrKidstra, a social development program that empowers inner-city children by providing free music lessons and an opportunity to learn life skills such as respect, compassion, teamwork, and responsibility.
Angela Hewitt is a Companion of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Her other awards and honours include the National Arts Centre Award (GGPAA), inaugural BBC Radio 3 Listeners’ Award, numerous Juno nominations and awards, Key to the City of Ottawa, and seven honorary doctorates.