Described as possessing a “wonderfully full sound” (American Record Guide) and a “polished, refined technique” (Allmusic.com), Luis Magalhães has achieved critical acclaim as both a soloist and a chamber musician. Born in Portugal and currently residing in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Luis’s career as a pianist displays the cosmopolitanism typical of successful 21st century musicianship. Luis has played extensively across Europe with recent engagements in Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, his native Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, amongst others. Beyond Europe, he has appeared on stages in Brazil, South Africa, China, Japan, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and on numerous occasions, the United States. Reflecting his eminence as an artist of global standing, Luis was bestowed the honour of being named a Yamaha International Artist.
Luis is active as a studio musician, and has collaborated with many remarkable recording artists including Frank Stadler (violin), Daniel Rowland (violin), Priya Mitchell (violin), Gareth Lubbe (viola), Julian Arp (cello) Peter Martens (cello), and James Austin Smith (oboe). The recording with Martens, featuring the complete cello sonatas of L. v. Beethoven, was awarded a coveted South African Music Award (SAMA) in 2011, while both violin recordings have received glowing reviews in The Strad. As one half of the Schumann-Magalhães duo, better known as TwoPianists Piano Duo, Luis has also released a further four critically acclaimed CDs, with another soon to be released. This collaboration with his wife, Nina Schumann, has been compared to the celebrated Ashkenazy-Previn and Argerich-Freire duos (American Record Guide).
Luis’s further activities in the recording industry include the co-founding of the independent label TwoPianists Records. The result has been both local and international accolades, such as a German Record Critic’s Award in 2011. Luis is also amongst the musicians involved in the pioneering Korngold Project, which features high quality recordings of the chamber music of Erich Korngold, as performed by some of the most exciting artists of this generation. Luis’s immersion in the world of classical music recording has extended to the role of producer, to which he brings a wealth of experience as a practicing musician of the highest calibre. As a promoter of classical music in South Africa, Luis is a co-founder of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, which has since 2004 become the premier classical music festival on African soil. He is also a co-founder of the biannual Stellenbosch International Piano Symposium.
Eminent musicianship always leaves a legacy in the form of tuition. Luis himself was a student of maestro Vladimir Viardo at the University of North Texas. He has since gone to teach students who have scooped up major awards and placings in South African competitions, such as the MUSIQ Competition and the UNISA National Piano Competition. Luis was awarded a DMus in Piano Performance from the University of Cape Town in 2011, and continues his association with university musical life with his appointment to an Associate Professorship at the University of Stellenbosch. Luis has also given extensive masterclass tuition including lessons at New York’s fabled Juilliard School and numerous universities across Europe, Asia and the United States. As an expert pianist and educator, Luis has also served in the jury of many competitions including the prestigious Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition for Young Musicians (2012).