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 learning piano 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 Leygraf at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2005 he won no fewer than four prizes at the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv; he also triumphed at the Hamamatsu Competition in Japan. Levit soon began performing with such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic under Riccardo Chailly, the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lionel Bringuier. In the 2016-17 season he makes his debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden (with Christian Thielemann conducting), the Bavarian Staatsorchester (with Kirill Petrenko), and the London Symphony Orchestra, which will be led by Fabio Luisi. His recitals will take him to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall in New York, Chicago, Boston, Lisbon, Hamburg, and Cologne. He also launches a complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, which he will initially present in London and Brussels. Since 2012 Igor Levit has been directing the Academy for Chamber Music at the Heidelberg Spring. In the summer of 2013 he released his debut CD, an account of Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas, for which he received numerous awards. In 2014 came a recording of the six Partitas of Bach, and, in the fall of 2015, his accounts of three major variation sets for piano: Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. For this he received Gramophone’s 2016 Recording of the Year Award.

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

    October 2016

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