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

    Pianist Igor Levit was born in 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and began his piano training at the age of three. In 1995 the family moved to Germany, where Levit continued his studies with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, and Bernd Goetzke in Hanover before joining Hans Leygraf at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He won the 2005 Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, along with the Audience Prize and special prizes for chamber music and contemporary works. Levit soon began appearing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras. He made his debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouworkest in 2018 and, in 2019, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. During the 2020-21 season, Levit was artist-in-residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in 2021-22 he holds the same position at the Düsseldorf Tonhalle. Levit’s recent major projects include playing the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which he has performed at Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and Musikfest Berlin, as well as in Hamburg and Stockholm. He has also recorded this Beethoven cycle as well as Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, among others; his new album On DSCH with Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues will be released in September 2021. The book Hauskonzert, which was published in 2021 and on which he collaborated with journalist Florian Zinnecker, follows the pianist through the course of one year and also sums up his experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Igor Levit received the Gilmore Artist Award in 2018, and in 2019 he was awarded the Beethoven Prize for his political commitment.

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

    July 2021

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