British pianist Paul Lewis, who will appear twice with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra over the next 10 months, shares some candid observations in a recent edition of the Guardian’s Facing the Music column.

Asked to name the best music written in the last 50 years, he says that “in terms of piano music, the Ligeti Etudes would have to be somewhere near the top of the list.”

He also reports that if he had six months to learn a new instrument, he’d choose the bagpipes. “It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for decades,” said Lewis, who performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the CSO and conductor Kirill Karabits on Aug. 5 at Ravinia. “I fantasize about walking back on stage at the end of a recital and delivering an encore nobody was expecting.”

And if he could pick one composer or conductor from the past to perform with, he said, “I’d find it difficult to choose between Carlos Kleiber and Leonard Bernstein.”

To read the full article, click here. Next season, Lewis will appear April 9 on the SCP Piano Series and June 8-9, 10 and 13 playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 with the CSO in subscription series concerts conducted by Manfred Honeck.