Igor Levit is the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year and the 2018 recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award. This month, Sony Classical releases Life, Mr. Levit’s highly anticipated fourth album for the label, which features works by Bill Evans, Bach, Busoni, Liszt, Wagner, Rzewski, and Schumann. Mr. Levit brings this program and others this season to the Lucerne Festival, San Francisco Performances, Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Berlin’s Philharmonie. He also appears in recital in Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, Antwerp, Liège, and Dresden. Mr. Levit makes his Paris and Tokyo recital debuts in the spring of 2019, followed by three recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Mr. Levit made debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival during the summer of 2018. This season, his orchestral debuts include appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Filarmonica della Scala, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mr. Levit also returns to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and joins the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a tour that includes his return to Carnegie Hall in March 2019 for his highly anticipated New York orchestral debut.
Highlights of past seasons include debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, The Cleveland Orchestra, and London Symphony Orchestra. Additional highlights include the 2017 Opening Night of the prestigious BBC Proms alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner, and a tour to Asia with the Bavarian State Orchestra conducted by Kirill Petrenko.
An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Mr. Levit’s debut CD of Beethoven’s last five piano sonatas won BBC Music Magazine’s 2014 Newcomer of the Year Award and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2014 Young Artist Award. In October 2015, Sony Classical released Mr. Levit’s third solo album in collaboration with the Heidelberger Frühling International Music Festival, which features Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Thirty-Three Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!. The album won Gramophone’s Instrumental Award and Recording of the Year Award in 2016.
Born in Russia, Mr. Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He completed his piano studies at Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media in 2009 with the highest academic and performance scores in the history of the school. Mr. Levit has studied under the tutelage of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovátkay, and Hans Leygraf. As the youngest participant in the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, Mr. Levit won the Silver Prize, the Audience Prize, and prizes for the best performance of chamber music and contemporary music. Mr. Levit lives in Berlin and plays on a Steinway Model D concert grand piano, kindly given to him by the trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells.