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.

    Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019

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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 Hamamatsu Competition in Japan. Levit soon began performing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Saxon Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras. He made his debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic in 2018 and, in 2019, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In the 2020-21 season, Levit will be artist-in-residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and will also be the featured artists at the Essen Philharmonie. He will make his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt. Additional plans include concert engagements with the Orchestre de Paris, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest, and he will go on tour with the Hagen Quartet. Among Levit’s major current projects is the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which he is performing at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, the Salzburg Festival, and Musikfest Berlin, as well as in Hamburg, Stockholm, and London. He has also released his recording of the complete set. His other recordings include accounts of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Encounter, which contains works by Bach, Brahms, and Feldman, is his latest album and will appear in September 2020. Levit was named recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award in 2018, and in 2020 he received the Beethoven Prize for his political engagement.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 11 September 2011 as the soloist in Scriabin’s Prométhée with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski.

    August 2020

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