“Igor Levit Is Like No Other Pianist”
Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the essential artists of his generation” (New York Times), Igor Levit is the 2018 Gilmore Artist and Royal Philharmonic Society’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” 2018. He is the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Academy and of the Festival “Standpunkte” of the Heidelberg Spring Festival and has been appointed a professorship at his Alma Mater the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover in spring 2019.
After the release of his highly acclaimed first recording of all Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Sony Classical in fall 2019, Igor Levit performs full cycles of the sonatas at the Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Lucerne Festival, Salzburger Festspiele and Stockholm’s Konserthuset through spring 2021.
In the 2020/21 season, Igor Levit is Artist in Residence with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestral engagements in the same season see him perform with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orkest amongst others.
An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s debut disc of the five last Beethoven Sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award 2014. In October 2015, Sony Classical released Igor Levit’s third solo album in cooperation with the Festival Heidelberger Frühling featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, which has been awarded the “Recording of the Year” and “Instrumental Award” at the 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards. In October 2018 the label released his fourth album “Life” featuring works by Bach, Busoni, Bill Evans, Liszt, Wagner, Rzewski and Schumann and in September 2020 “Encounter” – both deeply personal double albums, the latter recorded during the lockdown in spring 2020 and marked by a desire for human encounter and togetherness. The program includes rarely played arrangements of Bach and Brahms by Ferruccio Busoni and Max Reger, as well as Palais de Mari – Morton Feldman’s final work for piano.
Born in Nizhni Nowgorod in 1987, Igor Levit moved to Germany with his family at age eight. He completed his piano studies at Hannover Academy of Music, Theatre and Media in 2009 with the highest academic and performance scores in the history of the institute. Igor Levit has studied under the tutelage of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf. As the youngest participant in 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, as well as the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the Audience Favorite Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music.
For his political commitment Igor Levit was awarded the 5th International Beethoven Prize in 2019. This was followed in January 2020 by the award of the “Statue B” of the International Auschwitz Committee on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of AuschwitzIn Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly given to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells.
“Yesterday’s concert at Carnegie Hall has been one of the most intense experiences of my life. No idea why and when these moments happen. But it is of no importance. They just happen and that’s all what matters. Sharing these experiences is the single most wonderful thing of my life.”