George Lepauw


“A prodigious pianist” (Chicago Tribune) recognized for his “singing tone” (New York Times), and someone who “likes to shake it up” (Chicago Tribune), George Lepauw is an artist and cultural activist who uses music and the arts to inspire and bring people together, following upon Beethoven's idea of "brotherhood". Named Chicagoan of the Year (2012) for Classical Music (Chicago Tribune), George represents the ideal 21st century musician, intensely focused on his art and wholly engaged with the world. In 2009 he had the honor of giving the World Premiere performance of a newly-discovered long-lost piano trio of Beethoven’s to great acclaim, which was followed by a highly-praised first recording. In addition to his performance career, George is the Founder of the International Beethoven Project (IBP), a non-profit organization focused on innovation in the arts with which he has organized multi-disciplinary festivals, special events, educational programs, and annual “Beethoven Birthday Bashes”. From 2016 to 2018, George was also Executive Director of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest), which allowed him to deepen his passion for film, an artform he has occasionally participated in as a producer, consultant, and musician for over a decade. George, who grew up in France in a musical family, began piano studies at the age of three in Paris with Aïda Barenboim (mother of pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim), and furthered his studies with Brigitte Engerer, Vladimir Krainev, Rena Shereshevskaya, Ursula Oppens, and Earl Wild, among others. He has degrees from Georgetown University (Literature and Film Studies, and History), and from Northwestern University (Piano Performance). George is a frequent speaker and guest teacher at universities and “ideas festivals” as well as on radio and television. He recently recorded Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and hosts a podcast on the arts, Through The Stage Door. Visit for more information.