Igor Levit gets Nobel call

Igor Levit gets Nobel call


norman lebrecht

April 20, 2020

The German-Russian pianist has been chosen to play at this year’s Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm on December 8.

The Frenchman Stéphane Denève will conduct the Royal Stocholm Philharmonic.

Levit, 33, originally from Nizhny Novgorod, is a Beethoven specialist who has recorded the 32 sonatas for Sony. He is a combative, left-spinning user of social media.


  • Schmock says:

    He is totally overrated. What a boring pianist!

  • A.L. says:

    I had better expectations of his treatment of LvB’s 32. He should try again in a decade or two or longer.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Nobel concert = light classics.

  • Alviano says:

    Many of Levit’s detractors simply don’t like his politics and express that dislike by criticizing his playing.

    • The View from America says:

      Yeah, right — that’s it.


    • Tamino says:

      You mean like with Barenboim? I disagree. Also all the talking or not talking aside (Levit is rarely competent in the subjects he talks about), there are a couple of interpreters, who‘s mannerism and egocentricity appall me. Currentzis is one of them, Levit the other. Just not my cup of tea, those kind of personalities.

  • Ted says:

    I heard him playing a Beethoven recital.What a disppointment !! Agressive and boring playing, great suffering until I ran away during the intermission.

    • Too True says:

      Yes, his Beethoven is awful. He doesn’t have the Classical style in him, and although Beethoven is of course pushing boundaries in many of the sonatas, starting with the first E-flat piece, his work is always grounded in form and proportion and beauty, moving away from these qualities each time for a purpose. So I cannot accept what Levit does. In fact I feel he is not properly trained.

      There was a time when his Shostakovich Op.87 held some fascination, but this too evaporated upon closer acquaintance with better musicians, especially the old Nikolayeva recording from the 60s and the Ashkenazy, and more recently Shcherbakov on Naxos, who is a bit slow in the later pairs but more probing and way more listenable everywhere than this Sony guy.

  • esfir ross says:

    He’s not Beethoven specialist. Nothing special-just learn all 32 sonatas. Also same with Andras Schiff, Soheil Nazzeri. Good marketing schtick.