One of the most versatile and charismatic violinists on the current scene, Brian Lewis is an exceptionally dedicated and gifted performer whose passionate artistry has been heard and embraced around the world. “There are a lot of fine violinists on the concert stage today, but few can match Lewis for an honest virtuosity that supremely serves the music,” reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. Acclaimed performances include concerto debuts in both New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, as well as performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Berlin (Germany), Louisiana, Kansas City, Syracuse, Odense (Denmark), Wichita, Hartford, Eugene, Spokane, and American Symphony orchestras, among others. He has recorded six CDs, most recently for Delos as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra of music by Leonard Bernstein and Hollywood composer Michael McLean.
Mr. Lewis has won numerous young artists’ competitions, including the grand prize in the Mid-America Violin Competition. In addition to the Waldo Mayo Talent Award, he holds both the Peter Mennin Prize and William Schuman Prize awarded by Juilliard for outstanding achievement and leadership in the field of music. Mr. Lewis was one of the first recipients of the Sony ES Award for Musical Excellence, and he has received two Elizabeth B. Koch Fellowships from the Kansas Cultural Trust. In 2005-06, Mr. Lewis received both the Texas Exes Teaching Award and The University of Texas School of Music Teaching Excellence Award.
Known for his variety in programming and ability to communicate with audiences of all ages, Mr. Lewis has performed frequently as a member of the Kansas Arts Commission Touring Program and the Mid-America Arts Alliance Regional Touring Program.
Radio and television appearances include performances on WNYC, WFMT (Chicago), National Public Radio, and CBS “Sunday Morning.” An advocate for music education in the schools, Mr. Lewis frequently presents concerts, workshops, and master classes for Young Audiences of Houston. Named National Artist of the Year in 1998 by Young Audiences, Inc., he was also presented the 2003 Fredell Lack Award by YAH for having performed for more than 165,000 young people in the Houston area.
As a student of Eleanor Allen, Mr. Lewis began his violin studies at the age of four and participated in the Ottawa Suzuki Strings program under the direction of his mother, Alice Joy Lewis. He later studied with Tiberius Klausner, and twice traveled to Japan where he studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School where he was a student of Dorothy DeLay, Masao Kawasaki, and Hyo Kang. Mr. Lewis holds the David and Mary Winton Green Chair in String Performance and Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also Artistic Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City, concertmaster of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, founding member of the Texas Piano Quartet, and Artistic Director of the Starling Distinguished Violinist Series at UT.