Hewitt picks up another gong — the Wigmore Medal

Angela Hewitt. Photo: Bernd Eberle

Angela Hewitt just keeps on racking up the honours.

This time the Ottawa native will receive the 2020 Wigmore Medal next June just after concluding her four-season survey of J.S. Bach’s complete keyboard works on June 2. The medal will be awarded in recognition of Hewitt’s international and her contribution to Wigmore Hall over 35 years. Wigmore Hall is a favourite haunt for Hewitt and it is considered a leading venue for chamber music, early music, vocal music and song recitals. 

The Wigmore Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists and significant figures in the classical music world who have a strong association with the Hall. Hewitt has given more than 80 performances at Wigmore Hall since her debut in 1985.

The Wigmore Medal is being given the same year that Hewitt will receive the Bach Medal from Leipzig, Germany becoming the first woman and only the second pianist to receive the award. She was also honoured by her alma mater uOttawa with a new prize for successful alumni from the music school that is named after her. 

“Thank you, Wigmore Hall and director John Gilhooly, for awarding me this most prestigious honour, and adding my name to such an illustrious list of former winners. There is no other recital hall stage in the world that feels more like “home” than does Wigmore, and my performances there over the past 35 years have been the backbone of my career, always giving me the inspiration to go on,” Hewitt said is a media release.

Speaking on behalf of Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly, the artistic and executive director, said: “Angela is an exceptional artist, and her performances at Wigmore Hall over the past 35 years have been characterized by a tireless curiosity, technical flair and an overriding sense of artistic integrity.

Past recipients of the Wigmore Medal include Iestyn Davies, Steven Isserlis, Sir András Schiff, Thomas Quasthoff, Christian Gerhaher, Menahem Pressler, the Takács String Quartet and Dame Felicity Lott.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.