Piano virtuoso Igor Levit has been named as featured artist for the Barbican Presents 2019-20 classical music season. He will perform at three concerts between 26 Jan and 19 Feb 2020, including solo recital and chamber performances. The young Sony Classical artist release Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas in September 2019.
Speaking of his commitment to humanism and politics, the activist musician said: “Every concert is in one way or another an aspect of my life and a deep declaration of love towards everyone involved.”
“Art and politics is just the way I am as a human being…I’ve always walked around with my eyes wide open.”
At the opening concert on 26 January he will perform Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues. Commenting on his choice of repertoire, Levit said: “On many levels it’s very demanding but I couldn’t care less…one should hear this piece in full because it’s an extraordinary experience. The first 23 preludes and fugues are like a conversation with yourself, they are deeply unique and personal pieces and then we get to number 24 and it’s full of this feeling of ‘we the people’, we’re all together.”
On 13 February he turns his to Messiaen and Shostakovich in a concert at Milton court, supported by friends Markus Hinterhãuser on piano, Ning Feng violin, Julia Hagen cello, Klaus Reda percussion, Andreas Boettger percussion, Moritz Wappler percussion and Jeremy Cornes percussion.
Finally, on 19 February he takes on Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms at Barbican Hall, this time joined by just Becker, Reda percussion and Boettger in a programme of Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue, Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn and Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.
Not yet 35, Berlin-based Levit has performed with Berliner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and has toured with the Tonhalleorchester Zürich and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This year he’ll head out on tour with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and London Philharmonic Orchestra.