Recital 2 − Piano

Igor Levit


Wed, 21.08. | 19.30 | No. 19312

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

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Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019



    Igor Levit  piano
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, no. 1
    Piano Sonata in A-flat major, Op. 26
    Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 79
    Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 53 Waldstein Sonata

    Some events are big enough to cast shadows of anticipation. With this recital, Igor Levit, a figure known to be provocative both musically and politically, launches his Lucerne cycle of all 32 of the piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven. This grand project continues at the 2019 Piano Festival, extending until 2020, when the music world will celebrate the composer’s 250th   birthday. For Levit, Beethoven is more than a purely historical great figure – he is very much of today; after all, he asked himself the very same questions that we pose to ourselves. “This was not an inaccessible god whom we must dare not approach,” says Levit. “Beethoven was a human who translated human matters into music.” The pianist, who was born in Russia in 1987 and moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight, will play one of his favorites: the Waldstein Sonata. In its opening, he senses a force of nature, noting that “it shakes, like an earthquake. 300 heartbeats/minute. It’s pure life.” It also entails a paradox, he adds, since, all of a sudden, the piano, which has no vibrato, can seem as if it is producing one.

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    Igor Levit

    The pianist Igor Levit was born in 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and began taking piano lessons at the age of three. His family moved to Germany in 1995, where Levit continued his studies with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, and Bernd Goetzke in Hanover before transferring to Hans Leygraf at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He won four prizes at the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv in 2005 and was also a victor at the Hamamatsu Competition in Japan. Levit soon began performing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. He made his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival in 2018 and with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 2019. During the 2019-20 season, Levit is the Featured Artist at the Barbican Centre in London, where he will also appear with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons; with the latter he will additionally tour Spain. Levit has just undertaken a European tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck. He will also perform Busoni’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Antonio Pappano. Among his major projects is the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which he is performing at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2019-20; the complete set was released in September. Igor Levit has also recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!. He received Gramophone’s awards for Recording of the Year and Best Instrumental Recording in 2016. Levit was named the recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award in 2018.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 11 September 2011 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski performing Scriabin’s Prométhée; most recent appearance on 23 November 2016 playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

    October 2019

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