Hailed as "a premier pianist with exquisite musicality, masterful technique, and a veritable deluge of sonorities" (La Presse Montreal) and for “poetic, electrifying” performances (Michigan Live), 21-year-old pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded to “the most promising American pianists of the new generation.” He felt privileged to perform solo at the White House and at the Kennedy Center for President Obama’s second term Presidential Inauguration concert.
With "mesmerizing artistry and extraordinary ability to communicate" (Syracuse), his solo performances for global audiences have included the Louvre and Grenoble Museums in France, Smetana Hall in Prague, Czech Republic, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Ashford Castle in Ireland, Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain, and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal and Banff Arts Festival in Canada. In the United States, he has frequently concertized at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Sawdust in New York, Mary B. Galvin Hall in Chicago, Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, Paramount Theater in Oakland, and the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Art Museum, and Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.
For his commitment to social action through music, Llewellyn received the Atlantic Council’s Young Global Citizen Award, alongside fellow honorees Robert De Niro, Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Petro Poroshenko, and Prime Ministers Shimon Peres and Lee Kuan Yew. He performed with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in Baghdad, raising funds to support the Children’s Cancer Hospital and celebrating U.N. World Day for Cultural Diversity. General Petraeus commended Llewellyn’s “courageous humanitarian contributions through the arts…strengthening the ties that unite our nations.” In Paris, he performed at the U.S. Embassy for a special event honoring the visit of the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Muslim Communities, Shaarik Zafar, which was attended by an American delegation and local representatives from various religious groups and civil society advocates. In Rwanda, he performed for President Kagame, as well as civic and economic leaders to help Rwandans continue rebuilding from the Tutsi genocide, and he augmented awareness when he was featured on CNN International.
Llewellyn has enjoyed performing with leading artists such as Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, Marina Poplavskaya, Mai Motobuchi, and Cynthia Phelps. He also partnered with the Gershwin family on a concert and biographical tribute to the Gershwin brothers, and performed “Hallelujah Junction” for John Adams at his 70th birthday celebration in New York. He was the Discovery Artist of the New West Symphony, the Artist-in-Residence at the Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival, and served as music director for a production of Aida at City College Arts Academy in New York. For a Hilan Warshaw WDR-Arte documentary titled “Wagner’s Jews,” which explores the controversy of performing Wagner in Israel and has been aired around the world, Llewellyn recorded works of Liszt, Wagner, and Tausig.
He has performed with regularity under the batons of such conductors as Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Michael Morgan, Boris Brott, Tito Muñoz, David Lockington, William Noll, Burns Taft, Robert Lawson, and Karim Wasfi. His long relationship with Michael Morgan, with whom he has soloed with 3 orchestras, expanded beyond performing titans of the concerto repertoire when they took on the rarely performed Carlos Chávez piano concerto in a performance that received the Ross McKee Foundation Grant. Llewellyn’s adventurous programming also took him to perform Glass’ Second Piano Concerto, “After Lewis and Clark,” in 2016 under the baton of Tito Muñoz.
Llewellyn performed Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn concerti in partnership with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and the New West Symphony in 16 concerts for 20,000 North American students to excite more youth about classical music. He continued his work with conductor Boris Brott with performances for an additional 6,000 students as part of an anti-bullying campaign.
A California native, Llewellyn began his first college degree at 5, and at 6 began performing regularly with orchestras. At Juilliard, he was the youngest admittee to the Bachelor’s Degree at 14 and the Master’s Degree at 18, where he was the recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. While at Juilliard, as the winner of the concerto competition he performed under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. He was also awarded a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ YoungArts gold medal in music. Principal teachers have included Yoheved Kaplinsky, Ilya Itin, Burns Taft, composition with Lowell Liebermann, and improvisation with Noam Sivan. He has extensively studied chamber music with artists including Wu Han, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert McDonald, Robert Levin, and the Brentano, Borromeo, and Shanghai Quartets.
Concerti Performed with Orchestra
·BACH Concerto in F Minor, BWV 1056
·BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
·BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
·BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy, Op. 80
·Carlos CHAVEZ Concerto 1940
·CHOPIN Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
·GERSHWIN Concerto in F
·GERHSWIN Rhapsody in Blue
·GLASS Concerto No. 2 “After Lewis and Clark”
·GRIEG Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
·HAYDN Concerto in C Major, Hob. XIV, No. 4
·LISZT Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125
·MENDELSSOHN Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25
·MOZART Concerto in A Major, K. 414
·MOZART Concerto in C Major, K. 415
·MOZART Concerto in E-flat Major, K. 449
·MOZART Concerto in A Major, K. 488
·RACHMANINOFF Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
·SAINT-SAENS Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22
Reviews and articles
Photos by Chris McGuire * Jean Frick * Dania Maxwell * Martha Sanchez-Werner