Vergangenes Konzert

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Piano Festival

19.11.-27.11. 2016



    Igor Levit  piano
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
    Aria with 30 Variations, BWV 988 Goldberg Variations

    “What will this piano-mad artist do next?” wondered the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) when Igor Levit last fall performed two absolute milestones of the repertoire, Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, together with a pianistic tour de force by Frederic Rzewski, all forming a massive triptych. But from the start Levit, who was born in 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod and who has resided in Germany since 1995, was someone who did the unusual. His very first CD, which was released in 2013, already took on one of the summits of the piano literature: the five last sonatas by Beethoven. Levit sets no boundaries. He performs as a soloist with the major orchestras, plays chamber music with colleagues like the violinist Julia Fischer and the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, accompanies lieder, gives piano lectures, and sometimes improvises with jazz colleagues. He recently performed the Goldberg Variations in New York as part of a project with the performance artist Marina Abramović. But in Lucerne he will present pure Bach, incomparably played “with a crystal clear, vocally saturated sound” (FAZ).

    Igor Levit

    The pianist Igor Levit was born in 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and began his piano training at the age of three. In 1995, his family moved to Germany, where Levit continued his studies with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, and Bernd Goetzke in Hanover and later with Hans Ley-graf at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He won four prizes at the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv in 2005 and was additionally a winner in the Hamamatsu Competition in Japan. Levit soon began appearing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Bavarian Radio Symphony; the Dresden Staatskapelle; the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras; and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. In the summer of 2018, he made his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival; he will make his first appearance with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in March 2019. Levit’s schedule for the 2018-19 season also includes recitals in Vienna, Munich, Paris, and Tokyo, and he will make three solo appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall. One of his major projects is the complete cycle of 32 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, which he will also perform at LUCERNE FESTIVAL beginning in 2019. Levit devoted his debut recording, which was released in 2013, to Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas. His account of Bach’s six Partitas followed in 2014, and in 2015 he released an album containing Bach’s Goldbergs and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations as well as Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. He received Gramophone’s Recording of the Year and Best Instrumental Recording Awards in 2016. Life (2018), his most recent release, contains the works heard on today’s recital. Igor Levit received 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.

    October 2018

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