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ARTICLE: Award-Winning Jewish Pianist Igor Levit to Perform in La Jolla

San Diego Jewish World

Eileen Wingard

March 2, 2023

The brilliant Russian-born Jewish pianist, Igor Levit, will be playing a solo recital at the Conrad in La Jolla on Thursday evening, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. It is under the auspices of the La Jolla Music Society.

His program will consist of works by Brahms, Fred Hersh, Wagner, and Liszt.

At 18, Levit was the youngest competitor at the 2005 Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, where he won the silver medal, the special prize for chamber music, the audience prize and the special prize for the best performance of contemporary pieces. Israel Philharmonic violist, Rachel Kam, was part of the orchestra accompanying him in the last rounds of the competition.

“I was extremely impressed with Igor. I knew right away that he would have a remarkable career,” she said.

Her prophetic words have come true. The New York Times described Levit as one of the most important artists of his generation. He was named Gramophone’s 2019 Artist of the Year and Musical America’s 2020 Recording Artist of the Year.

Born in Novgorod, Russia, Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of 8. He completed his piano studies in Hanover, where he now serves as professor of piano at the University of Music, Theatre and Media. There, he is a fellow faculty member of Rachel Kam’s daughter, the world-renowned clarinet soloist, Sharon Kam. He has also performed under the direction of Sharon’s husband, German conductor, Gregor Buehl.

As a recitalist, Levit performs regularly at the world’s most important concert halls and festivals and as a soloist, he plays with the leading orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic.

An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s first recording was of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas. His forthcoming release is a double album featuring Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues and Ronald Stevenson’s Passacaglia on DSCH.

In addition to his career as one of the great pianists on the concert stage today, Igor Levit is outspoken against racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and brutalization of the language. He recently was awarded the Carl von Ossietzky Prize for Contemporary History and Politics by the town of Oldenburg which commemorates the anti-Nazi journalist who won the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize for exposing the German rearmament race.

“Music has astonishing powers of communication,” Levit wrote, “but it cannot name things: It cannot be a substitute for calling racism racism. It cannot be a substitute for calling misogyny misogyny. It can never be a substitute for being a wakeful, critical, loving, living, and active citizen.”

To hear this remarkable performer, contact the La Jolla Music Society box office at (858) 459-3728.