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Piano Festival

16.11.-24.11. 2019

 

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    Igor Levit  piano
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 10, no. 1
    Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 49, no. 1
    Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 49, no. 2
    Piano Sonata in F major, Op. 54
    Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 Appassionata

    Is there actually an ideal interpretation of Beethoven? Igor Levit, who is performing the composer’s complete cycle of 32 sonatas at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2019 and 2020, rejects such a notion. “Phrases like ‘the performer, a servant of the composer’ are alien to me. I don’t think anyone should serve anyone, at any level. ‘I play what Beethoven writes’ is about the hollowest statement there can be.” Levit prefers to celebrate the freedom of interpretation, which can have quite different results. And the composition of his programs also ensures a color-ful range of stylistic levels and perspectives. Which is why for this recital the heroic and technically tricky Appassionata is juxtaposed with the allegedly innocuous “Sonatines” of Op. 49. Levit particularly loves “these two jewels, which any piano student can in fact play. They teem with pure grace. They are humorous, pointed, and cheeky. Beethoven could do this. Für Elise is also a children’s piece and yet it’s wonderful. I won’t let anything take away from it.”

    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 Saxon Staatskapelle Dresden, the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. 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, in 2019, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. During the 2019-20 season, Levit will be 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 will undertake 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 will be 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 Recording of the Year and Best Instrumental Recording awards 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.

    August 2019

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    This concert is under the auspices of the Friends of LUCERNE FESTIVAL