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.
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 addition to working with musicians of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, he performs chamber music on tour with the Hagen Quartet.
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. 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 and in October 2020 Levit was recognised with the Federal Cross of Merit.
Photo: © Felix Broede /Sony Classical