Igor Levit


Sun, 22.11. | 16.00 | No. 20504

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Beethoven Farewell – Cancelled

20.11.-22.11. 2020



    Igor Levit  piano
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Sonata in E major, Op. 109
    Piano Sonata in A-flat major, Op. 110
    Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111

    Ludwig van Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas have taken on mythic status. He composed these works when he was already completely deaf, i.e., when he himself could no longer hear what kind of masterpieces he had achieved. In the process, he conceived a music so visionary that it seemed to Richard Wagner like the “key to the mystery of the world.” About the very last sonata in C minor, Thomas Mann wrote in his novel Doktor Faustus that Beethoven had thus taken the entire genre to its endpoint: “It had fulfilled its destiny, reached its goal, beyond which there was no going; cancelling and resolving itself, it had taken its farewell.” It is with this musical legacy that Igor Levit concludes his Beethoven cycle in Lucerne. At the end, a hymn-like chant resounds, radiating ever more ecstatically and liberating us from the entire weight of the earth. “This Beethoven pounces on us, grabs us by the ears, and shakes us to our core,” wrote Christian Wildhagen in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung about Levit’s Beethoven interpretations – declaring the pianist a great stroke of fortune for the 2020 Beethoven Year.

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    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

    Other dates

    15.00 | Introduction to the concert (in German) by Susanne Stähr | KKL Luzern, Auditorium