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Igor Levit: The Next-Generation Pianist Tackles Beethoven

Born in 1987, and now in his 20s, he's been called, "...the finest pianist of his generation," by the UK Telegraph, who also commented that, ..."[he] shows that he's set to be one  of this century's big names." He's Igor Levit. And his latest CD of the last five piano sonatas of Ludwig von Beethoven has been creating quite a stir.


It was just this past Wednesday and Thursday that this already stellar performer made his North American recital debut at the prestigious "Arts at the Armory" series at NYC's Park Avenue Armory to great acclaim.

The Russian-German Levit was born in 1987 in Gorky (what is now Nizhny Novgorod) and started on piano at 3 years of age, with his first successes coming on the stages in his hometown. Having studied from 1999-2000 at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Hans Leygraf and from 2000-2010 at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover with Karl-Heinz Kammerling, Matti Raekallio and Bernd Goetzke, Levit  became a BBC New Generation Artist in November 2011, guaranteeing him a valuable platform through broadcasts and other avenues. He's also been quite busy on the international concert scene, and has won, or has finished at high rank, in numerous premiere piano competitions.

As the youngest participant in the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the "Audience Favorite" Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music.

Jill speaks with Igor Levit about his latest CD of the late Beethoven sonatas, and why he was moved to record these works. We'll also hear excerpts from the disc.

This program originally aired on March 15, 2014.

Crossover, Saturday morning at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore Friday evening at 7 pm on WRTI-HD2.  Both airings are available on the All-Classical stream at wrti.org.

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