With an alert and critical mind, he places his art in the context of social events and understands it as inseparably linked to them. The New York Times describes Igor Levit as one of the “most important artists of his generation”. Igor Levit is Musical America’s “Recording Artist of the Year 2020” and the 2018 Gilmore Artist. In June 2022 his Album “On DSCH” has been awarded the “Recording of the Year” Award as well as the Instrumental Award of the BBC Music Magazine.
As a recitalist Igor 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 opened the 2022 Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival together with Alan Gilbert and the NDR Elbphilharmonieorchester followed by recitals at the Salzburger Festspiele and the Lucerne Festival as well as concerts with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano at the Musikfest Berlin and at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. In the 2022-23 season Igor Levit presents his new recital program featuring works by Brahms, Hersch, Liszt and Wagner among others in Berlin, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milano, New York, Paris, Prague and Rome. Igor Levit is one of Vienna’s Musikverein’s portrait artists of the 2022-23 season. In June 2023 he joins the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen for a multi-week residency. In spring 2021 Igor Levit and the Lucerne Festival announced a multi-year collaboration for a new piano festival curated by Igor Levit, its first edition to take place in May 2023. With the 2022-23 season, Igor Levit joins the Festival Heidelberger Frühling music festival as its Co-Artistic Director.
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. In spring 2021 Hanser published Igor Levit’s first book “House Concert”, co-authored by Florian Zinnecker. In Fall 2022 Igor Levit’s new solo album for Sony Classical “Tristan” - featuring his first orchestral recording Henze’s “Tristan” with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Franz Welser-Möst - was released as well the feature documentary “Igor Levit – No Fear” in cinemas in Germany.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Igor 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. His teachers included Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetzke, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf. Igor 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.
For his political commitment Igor Levit has been awarded the 5th International Beethoven Prize in 2019 followed by the award of the "Statue B" of the International Auschwitz Committee in January 2020. His 53 Twitter-streamed live house concerts during the lockdown in spring 2020 garnered a worldwide audience, offering a sense of community and hope in a time of isolation and desperation. In October 2020 Igor Levit was recognized with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly given to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells.