Pianist Paul Lewis hosts intimate Schubert festival

Arts diary: For three days in June one of Britain's buzziest young pianists will stage a festival in a tiny church

Paul Lewis is one of Britain's buzziest young pianists: he has been showered with awards, performed at the Last Night of the Proms, and received particular praise for his performances of the complete Schubert and Beethoven sonatas. These days, you'll hardly hear him outside the grandest of the world's concert halls. But for three days this June he will be performing in a much more intimate context - at a new festival he and his wife, Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, are staging in a tiny church in the village of Latimer, Buckinghamshire.

The idea is for a small-scale, friendly chamber music festival. Lewis said: "We want to present something that's really high quality, in a really intimate setting. The programme is very Schubert-oriented - I'm not one for themes in festivals, but that's just the way it's landed." The lineup includes Schubert's Trout Quintet, and his Fantasie in F minor D 940 for piano four-hands, to be played by Lewis with Imogen Cooper.

So why put on a festival? "Bjørg and I had been thinking about it separately for a while," Lewis said. "She already runs one in Norway with her string quartet, the Vertavo. The church is 10 minutes away from our house, and it's an amazing spot. We just decided to give it a go. It's a steep learning curve, but I think it's going to be great fun."

• For details, see midsummermusic.org.uk


Charlotte Higgins

The GuardianTramp

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