Recital 3 − Piano

Igor Levit


Sun, 25.08. | 11.00 | No. 19321

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019



    Igor Levit  piano
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Sonata in F-sharp major, Op. 78
    Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op. 7
    Piano Sonata in E major Op. 14, no. 1
    Piano Sonata in G Major, Op. 14 No. 2
    Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 81a Les Adieux

    Ludwig van Beethoven composed 32 piano sonatas, but by no means are all of them regularly performed in the Concert Hall. The complete Beethoven cycle that Igor Levit will traverse at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2019 and 2020 thus offers a unique opportunity to hear sonatas that have been undeservedly eclipsed by the more famous ones. And there is so much to discover! Take Beethoven’s Opus 78, which he dedicated to his former pupil and favorite Therese von Brunsvik. Levit finds it to be a “tremendous work,” adding: “F-sharp major, what a comic key. Who writes a piece in F-sharp major? The Sonata is in part genuine Schubert. It is incredibly beastly to play, really difficult,” he admits, with reference to the “defiant, immodest” second movement and its constant alternation between major and minor. How Beethoven became what he is, Levit believes, can be seen above all in the great Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 7, where, for the first time, the “drive of one’s own self” is fully expressed, resulting in “a new sound, a new time, a new sense of time, a new intensity.”

    You can purchase the digital concert program here.

    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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