George Lepauw began his studies at the Rachmaninov Conservatory in Paris, France at the age of three, and soon after, was accepted by Madame Aïda Barenboim as her youngest student with the exception of her son, pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim. George went on to study with Russian virtuoso, Elena Varvarova who prepared him for his first public concert at the age of ten in Paris, performing Beethoven sonatas.
On the recommendation of the conductor Carlo-Maria Giulini, George began working under the tutelage of Maria Curcio, a disciple of the great Arthur Schnabel, and later continued his studies in Paris and in Alsace with Rena Shereshevskaya, the renowned professor responsible for the “Gifted Young Artists” at the Moscow Conservatory. During that time he also traveled to Hannover, Germany to work with Russian concert pianist, Vladimir Krainev.
A lifelong interest in improvisation led George to explore the world of jazz, studying under American composer, Christopher Culpo as well as Bernard Maury (a disciple of Bill Evans) in Paris. He even attended an intensive summer program at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, experimenting on different instruments in fusion, blues and jazz.
George obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with a double major in English Literature and History and received his Masters of Music in Piano Performance at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he studied piano with Ursula Oppens and James Giles. He was the recipient of the first Earl Wild Foundation Prize to study with the legendary pianist.
In recent seasons, George has performed and given master classes in Europe and Asia, as well as many in Chicago where he is based. His recital and concerto appearances have been centered on the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel and Gershwin. In Chicago, he has also developed strong chamber music collaborations with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing programs from Brahms to Messiaen and Takemitsu. His first solo recording of the complete Préludes for piano of Claude Debussy was released in 2010 on the JoAM label.
In 2008, George formed the Beethoven Project Trio with violinist Sang Mee Lee and cellist Wendy Warner; the group gave its Lincoln Center debut in New York City, May 18, 2010 and just released their first recording, on Chicago’s Cedille Records which shot up to #24 on the Classical Billboard Charts in its first week. The New York Times wrote that “Mr. Lepauw played with sparkling clarity on the bright-toned Fazioli piano in elegant partnership with Ms. Lee and Ms. Warner” and further lauded George’s “singing tone.” In 2007 George founded a magazine on music and culture called the Journal of a Musician, available online at www.TheJoAM.com and by subscription in print.