Igor Levit “is like no other pianist” (The New Yorker). 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”, the Süddeutsche Zeitung described him as a “stroke of luck” for today’s concert scene.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod in 1987, 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 compulsory pieces. In spring 2019 he was appointed professor for piano at his alma mater, the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hanover.Read More
For the 2020/21 season Igor Levit focuses on the piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. The first complete recording of Igor Levit’s Beethoven piano sonatas, released by Sony Classical in September 2019, received excellent reviews and immediately reached number 1 in the official classical charts in 2019. Igor Levit presents the cycles of the complete piano sonatas at the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival as well as the Musikfest Berlin, at the Elbphilharmonie and the Konserthuset Stockholm. In May 2021 Igor Levit makes his debut tour of Asia with a Beethoven Sonata Program, which takes him to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Further recital debuts take him to the Firkusny Festival in Prague and to Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
In the 2020/21 season Igor Levit is Artist in Residence of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks as well as Portrait Artist of the Philharmonie Essen. He will make guest appearances with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Antonio Pappano), the Orchestre de Paris (Manfred Honeck), the Cleveland Orchestra (Franz Welser-Möst), the Berlin Philharmonic (Paavo Järvi) and the Concertgebouw Orkest (Antonio Pappano). In the USA he makes debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic – both conducted by Herbert Blomstedt. In addition to working with musicians of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, he performs chamber music on tour with the Hagen Quartet.
Last season Igor Levit was “Featured Artist” at the Barbican Centre in London. Highlights of past seasons include debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, European tours with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s debut disc of the five last Beethoven Sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award 2014. After the 2014 release of Bach’s Partitas, Sony Classical released Igor Levit’s third solo album in cooperation with the Festival Heidelberger Frühling featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, in fall of 2015. The triple album has been awarded the “Recording of the Year” and “Instrumental Award” at the 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards.
In October 2018 the label released Igor Levit’s fourth album “Life” featuring works by Bach, Busoni, Bill Evans, Liszt, Wagner, Rzewski and Schumann and in September 2020 “Encounter” – both deeply personal double albums, the latter recorded during the lockdown in spring 2020 and 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 is the winner of the “2018 Gilmore Artist Award” and “Instrumentalist of the Year 2018” of the Royal Philharmonic Society. For his political commitment Igor Levit was awarded the 5th International Beethoven Prize in 2019. This was followed in January 2020 by the award of the “Statue B” of the International Auschwitz Committee on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano – a donation of the “Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells” foundation.