The pianist talks about his early passions, the rigours of Alfred Brendel and surviving a Liverpudlian seagull swoop.

Paul Lewis The pianist with the special relationship to Beethoven talks to Clive Paget about early passions, the rigours of Alfred Brendel and surviving a Liverpudlian seagull swoop.

You famously grew up in a non-classical music family, how did you get drawn into it all?

It was all really to do with the local library, which was really well stocked with LPs and recordings. I had a thing for music. When I was four I had a little toy organ bought for me as a Christmas present and I started picking out tunes on that. I started to learn the cello when I was eight and around that time I got into the idea of taking these records out from the library and just discovering all this music. It was something I wanted to do. It was there and I just wanted to know about it.

So, were you listening to solo piano players at that time?

Yeah, they had quite a good range actually. There was a lot of symphonic stuff and there were a lot of solo pianists that they had in...

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