Born in Nizhni Novgorod in 1987, Igor Levit moved with his family to Germany at age eight where he completed his piano studies at Hannover Academy of Music, Theatre, and Media. He has studied under Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovatkay, and Hans Leygraf. Mr. 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 at the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv. Previously, he won the First Prize of the International Hamamatsu Piano Academy Competition in Japan. Since 2003 Mr. Levit has been a scholarship student at Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes as well as at Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2015 as a Shenson Young Artist.
Mr. Levit’s 2016-17 season marks his first appearances with the Staatskapelle Dresden, Bavarian State Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra, and his recital debuts at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Boston’s Celebrity Series, at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation. He makes return engagements with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, and appears in recital at the Lucerne Festival, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and Cologne Philharmonie. He initiates Beethoven sonata cycles at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, in Hannover and at the Berlin Philharmonie. A recording of all three works was released by Sony Classical in 2015 in cooperation with the Heidelberg Spring Festival. The album earned him Gramophone’s 2016 Recording of the Year Award.
An exclusive Sony Classical recording artist, Igor Levit’s debut disc of the five last Beethoven sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year Award in 2014, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award, and the ECHO Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th-century Music) in Piano. His second recording for Sony, of J.S. Bach’s Six Partitas, was released in 2014.
Mr. Levit makes his home in Berlin, where he plays on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly lent to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells.