Prelude lecture by Kristi Brown Montesano · 6:30 PM
Described by The New York Times as one of the “most important artists of his generation,” Igor Levit places his art in the context of social events and understands it as inseparably linked to them. In 2020, Levit was named Musical America’s Recording Artist of the Year and nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the category “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” This unique program riffs on the genre of musical preludes, including a jazz-influenced piece by Fred Hersch.
“Igor Levit is like no other pianist.” — The New Yorker
With an alert and critical mind, Igor Levit places his art in the context of social events and understands it as inseparably linked to them. The New York Times describes him as one of the “most important artists of his generation.” He was Musical America’s “Recording Artist of the Year 2020” and the 2018 Gilmore Artist. In November 2020 he was nominated for a GRAMMY in the category “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.”
As a recitalist, Levit regularly performs at the world’s most renowned concert halls and festivals. He is regular soloist with the world’s leading orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. Igor Levit’s upcoming schedule includes concerts in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Vienna and Tokyo. In 2022 he premiered a new piano concerto written for him by William Bolcom as well as a solo piece written for him by jazz pianist Fred Hersch. In spring 2021 Levit and the Lucerne Festival announced a multi-year collaboration for a new piano festival curated by Igor Levit starting in 2023.
An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s 2019 highly acclaimed first recording of the 32 Beethoven-Sonatas was awarded the Gramophone “Artist of the Year“ Award as well as the Opus Klassik in autumn 2020. His next album, Encounter, followed in September 2020. Recorded during the lockdown in spring 2020, it is a deeply personal album marked by a desire for human encounter and togetherness. The program includes rarely played arrangements of Bach and Brahms by Ferruccio Busoni and Max Reger, as well as Palais de Mari, Morton Feldman’s final work for piano. Igor Levit’s next release is a double album featuring Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 and Ronald Stevenson’s Passacaglia on DSCH.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He completed his piano studies in Hannover with the highest score in the history of the institute. Levit was the youngest participant in the 2005 International Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, where he won silver, the special prize for chamber music, the audience prize, and the special prize for the best performance of contemporary pieces. In spring 2019 he was appointed professor for piano at his alma mater, the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hanover.
BRAHMS (arr. Busoni)
Six Choral Preludes, BV B 50
Variations on a Folksong
WAGNER (arr. Kocsis)
Prelude from Tristan and Isolde, WWV 90
Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178
PLEASE NOTE: At the artist’s request, the piano hands camera and video screen will NOT be available for this performance.