And the new Gilmore Artist is….

January 3, 2018 by norman lebrecht


… the Russian-German pianist Igor Levit, announced last night.

The $300,000 award is given every four years.

Past winners are: Rafał Blechacz (2014), Kirill Gerstein (2010), Ingrid Fliter (2006), Piotr Anderszewski (2002), Leif Ove Andsnes (1998), Ralf Gothóni (1994), and David Owen Norris (1991).



Comments (28)

  1. Caravaggio says:

    Well deserved and congratulations. Levit is one of the finest pianists around. And that is an understatement.

  2. Dorothee says:

    Levit is an ordinary pianist not quite on the level of Grosvenor, Trifonov, Wang, and a whole host of other pianists of his generation but who makes a name using the stage to lecture the public. He is a serious liability for halls such as the Wigmore.

    1. Antennae Jimmy Simmons says:

      I guess you’ll just have to take it or Levit, then.

    2. Mark says:

      I like Trifanov and Wang, but find Grosvenor rather overrated. Not a huge technique and a bit too “let’s pretend I’m a throwback to really great pianists.” I haven’t heard Levit in person yet, so I’ll forgo comment on him at this time.

  3. Olassus says:

    Oversized award. Overrated musician — or at any rate someone unmatched to the Viennese Classicists.

  4. Bruce says:

    Ah, if only they had checked with people who really know what they’re listening to before misguidedly bestowing this award… so sad *sigh*

    1. Olassus says:

      Hear his Beethoven and report back, okay?

      Whining about fellow commenters is a pain to read.

        1. Olassus says:

          Bruce, awards are bestowed, to use your verb, for a whole host of reasons — money, favors, politics, appearances, renown. Quite rarely is the process only about an impartial, diligent, expert jury and its voting, which is why we do not see the names, numbers and method.

          It is nice for Igor Levit that a handful of donors decided to support him for a few years. That is all.

          And you really do need to listen to his Beethoven.

  5. Fabio Luisi says:

    Congratulations. Well deserved.

  6. esfir ross says:

    Igor Levitt’s little better than “robotic” Ingrid Filter. It’s discredited award system.

  7. Ferrucio Dante Michelangeli says:

    Without a doubt, the most talented and interesting pianist around today. Beter than Trifonov, Grosvener, Wang, Abudraimov, Rana, etc…

    His intelectual level is beyond his peers. And his uttermost interesting and unique programming is without match.

    1. Hugh Jaarsz says:

      Hi Igor, How’re you doing?

    2. M2N2K says:

      Actually, doubt is a very healthy thing to have.

  8. Dirck Daggler says:

    That contorted pose, apparently a spirolateral snogging attempt on the black keys, has been effected either for the benefit of the camera to convey the aura of an intellectual giant and stunning aesthete, or it indicates a cervical spinal disorder. Best not emulated by the hundreds of aspiring young pianists.

  9. Sue says:

    The Triff has done it as has David Fray. Bad posture is a huge issue for many pianists.

  10. Sue says:

    Levit is obviously a political animal. That may cost him. And he also dislikes Chopin. I would caution about anything written in “The Guardian” – aimed at 12 year olds – but especially one which declares that, when meeting a virtuoso pianist, one is tempted to look at the hands! Infantile stuff.

  11. rg says:

    Wow, Levit collaborated with Marina Abramovic, who appeared in the Podesta emails in a potentially unfavorable light.

  12. Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Lest everyone pass judgement on current and past recipients of prizes, this or the long gone Avery Fisher Prize: many do get overlooked, unfortunately, but for those who cast the lucky straw, it isn’t in the moment of the win, but rather, what they do with their prize and how they shape their legacy. This, is what I would look for beyond anything else, let alone political agendas (which, I must say, should never be part of the artistic presentation since it is about the music and nothing else at that moment on stage). Mr. Levit is an insightful musician, along with many of his colleagues, which is to be grateful for in a world of automation on all levels. Keeping the classics alive is a good part of our duty as conduits and messengers of music in our brief lifetime. It will be interesting to see how he develops and where he takes his gifts, both musically and financially. I wish him good luck and success.

  13. RW2013 says:

    I’m looking forward to his Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues here in two weeks, and can’t imagine that I will be disappointed.

    1. M2N2K says:

      It is precisely when one “can’t imagine” them, that disappointments do happen sometimes.

    2. Olassus says:

      Yes, he likes those pieces, and I would certainly go if I were in Berlin. He will use the scores.

      1. RW2013 says:

        Who would play them from memory?
        Maybe Nikolayeva. But that’s not the point.

    3. esfir ross says:

      This bad mannered pianist can’t render good D.Shostakovich Prelude and Fugues.
      Alexander Melnikov attempt to play all 24 in one recital was poor and exhausting event for pianist and audience. Ollie Mustonnen does it right. I have his recording and attend his recitals. Genius!

  14. Norman Krieger says:

    Why even bother to compare artists???!!!

    1. Bruce says:

      Because it’s super important for everyone to know how refined your tastes are.


    2. Jeffrey Biegel says:

      I’m so with you. Waste of time to compare.

    3. M2N2K says:

      Because that is how human mind works. It is natural and normal to compare. Ranking, on the other hand, is a different story – subjective and unnecessary in arts.

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