Michail Lifits, Piano
Michail Lifits, Piano
SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894
SHOSTAKOVICH 24 Preludes, Op. 34
SHOSTAKOVICH Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, Op. 87, No. 24
KREISLER Liebesleid (arr. S. Rachmaninoff)
CHOPIN Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. posth.
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.
Distinctive Debuts is supported by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
At a Glance
FRANZ SCHUBERT Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894
During his tragically foreshortened lifetime, Schubert was far better known for his vocal music than for his instrumental works. Not until the 1820s did audiences and critics grow to appreciate his rich trove of orchestral and chamber masterpieces, ranging from symphonies to solo piano works. Even then, fewer than a quarter of Schubert’s major works in these genres—including just three of his 21 piano sonatas—saw the light of publication before his death in 1828. Among them was the lengthy Piano Sonata in G Major, which a contemporary listener described as “magnificent but melancholy.” The work’s characteristically Schubertian blend of lyricism and drama elicited comparisons to Beethoven.
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH 24 Preludes, Op. 34; Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, Op. 87, No. 24
Seventeen years and a world of bitterly disillusioning experience separate Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes, Op. 34, from his 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87. The latter work—which culminates in the majestic diptych in D minor that we hear on this evening’s program—reflects on the Russian composer’s lifelong admiration of J. S. Bach’s contrapuntal mastery. While Op. 87 ranks among Shostakovich’s most intricately wrought and richly expressive creations, the 24 short preludes of Op. 34 are more wide-ranging and youthful in spirit. The composer’s biographer Laurel Fay characterizes the earlier set as “an omnibus of miniatures, ranging from the insouciant to the somber.”
Michail Lifits is rapidly gaining international attention with his captivating musicality. In highly acclaimed solo recitals in major concert venues and as an accomplished chamber musician, he has moved audiences and critics worldwide. Highlights of the current season include performances with Munich Chamber Orchestra and Munich Symphony Orchestra; debuts with NDR Radiophilharmonie, Valencia Orchestra, and Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona; and performances at the Kissinger Sommer, Schwetzingen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bürgenstock, l’Épau, and Salzburg festivals.
Since he won the 57th Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in 2009, Mr. Lifits has performed in many of the world’s major venues, including Lincoln Center, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’s Palais des Beaux-Arts, and Munich’s Hercules Hall and Neue Philharmonie. As a soloist, he has appeared with renowned orchestras that include the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, The Hague Philharmonic, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano, Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra della Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, and L’Orchestre International de Genève.
Mr. Lifits is also a popular guest artist at renowned international festivals that include Verbier Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo, Festival d’Auvers-sur-Oise, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Bergen International Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, and BBC Proms. Since 2011, he has recorded exclusively for Decca Classics. His debut CD of works by Mozart, released in 2012, received excellent reviews and was named CD of the month by many leading classical music magazines and radio stations. His second recording of Schubert piano sonatas was released in early 2015, marking the first recording in his planned release of Schubert’s complete piano works.
Mr. Lifits was born in 1982 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He studied with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Bernd Goetzke at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, and with Boris Petrushansky at the International Piano Academy “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy. Mr. Lifits has been a Steinway Artist since 2014.