Get fit with the Olympianist

Get fit with the Olympianist


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2012

Despite legal rumblings from the organisers of the London Olympics, who want to protect their brand from any show of spontaneous enthusiasm, the Olympianist Anthony Hewitt is pressing ahead with his plan to cycle and play the length of the UK with a piano in his BeethoVan. He launches Sunday week at the Wigmore Hall. Be there, if only to snub the lawyers.


Olympianist to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and perform fundraising concerts for charity


Wednesday 9th May – Tuesday 29th May 2012 

‘A young pianist of outstanding talent’

 –Alfred Brendel

To raise money for music charities, Anthony Hewitt the Olympianist will cycle with piano in tow from Land’s End to John O’Groats to complete 1,200 miles in 20 days.  With a piano in the BeethoVan, the avid cyclist will cover 70 – 120 miles a day, giving more than 20 concerts on route – some spontaneously from his van in remote locations and others at established venues across the British Isles.

The epic journey will raise money for charities including Mayor of London’s Fund For Musicians, Musequality, CLIC Sergeant, Classic FM Foundation and Get Kids Going!  Highlights of the tour include concerts with the Manchester Camerata, and recitals at the Newbury and Swaledale festivals.  Via his website, additional concerts can be requested on route.

The programmes for the tour have been chosen to convey a sense of journey, energy, movement, dynamism and excitement reflecting Anthony’s challenge. On each of the twenty days of the tour, Anthony will perform a movement from Schumann’s Carnaval Op. 9 in chronological order. The concert programmes will also include some of the following pieces – Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Sonata Op.109, Janacek’s Sonata 1:X:1905 From the Street, Schubert’s Impromptu in E Flat Op, 90 No.2, Chopin’s Fantasy-Impromptu, Nocturnes and Barcarolle, Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No.5.  There will be a new commission by Stephen Goss aptly named Piano Cycle, which will be premiered at the Swaledale Festival on May 19th.

Anthony Hewitt’s communicative and virtuosic pianism has won him many plaudits worldwide as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras including the National Symphony in the USA and the Royal Philharmonic in London. He is also the founding Artistic Director of the Ulverston International Music Festival.

Anthony is currently in training for his Olympian journey. He will be performing in a coffee concert at the Wigmore Hall on 5th February 2012 at 11:30am. His repertoire will include works for the tour including Schubert – Impromptu in E? and A?,

Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Op. 109, Skryabin – Piano Sonata No. 4 in F? Op. 30 and Chopin – Barcarolle in F? Op. 60, Polonaise-fantasie in A? Op. 61 and Polonaise in A? Op. 53 ‘Heroic’.



Repertoire for the tour includes:


Beethoven Moonlight Sonata

Beethoven Sonata Op.109

Schubert: Impromptu in E flat Op. 90 No. 2

Chopin: Fantasy-Impromptu, Nocturnes, Barcarolle

Rachmaninov: Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

Franck Piano Quintet (with Manchester Camerata)

Janá?ek Sonata I:X:1905 ‘From the Street’


Follow Anthony’s progress and fundraising barometer on twitter @olympianist and his website