Pianist, Igor Levit, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Gilmore Artist Award in an announcement on Wednesday 3 January 2018 by Daniel R Gustin, Director of the Irving S Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.
One of the most prestigious honours in music, the Gilmore Artist Award is presented every four years on a non-competitive basis to an exceptional pianist, regardless of age or nationality: who is a superb performing artist and a profound musician with both charisma and breadth of musicianship; who desires and can sustain a performing career as a major international concert artist and can make a real impact on music; and whose developing career can benefit from the enhancement the award’s money and prestige provide.
Igor Levit will receive $300,000 in support of his musical and career goals over the next four years.
Previous recipients of the Gilmore Artist Award are:
- Rafał Blechacz (2014)
- Kirill Gerstein (2010)
- Ingrid Fliter (2006)
- Piotr Anderszewski (2002)
- Leif Ove Andsnes (1998)
- Ralf Gothóni (1994)
- David Owen Norris (1991)
Levit will give his first public performance as the 2018 Gilmore Artist in an event presented by New York City’s classical music radio station, WQXR, at the Jerome L Greene Performance Space on Thursday 4 January at 7pm. Hosted by American Public Media‘s Fred Child, the event will include interviews with Igor Levit, Daniel R Gustin, Pierre Van der Westhuizen (who succeeds Gustin as Director of the Gilmore this year) and members of the Artistic Advisory Committee who chose Levit as Gilmore Artist.
Igor Levit will perform Bach’s Chaconne in D minor (transcribed by Brahms for left hand alone) and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The Greene Space event will be streamed live on:
- the Gilmore’s website
- the Gilmore’s Facebook page
- WQXR’s Facebook page
- Performance Today‘s Facebook page
Daniel R Gustin said:
‘Igor Levit is not only a superb pianist but also a deeply thoughtful and insightful artist and he made a deep impression on all of us who followed his performances over the last three years. He exemplifies the pianist that the Gilmore was formed to support. Igor will be the final Gilmore Artist chosen during my tenure as Director and I am honoured to have led an organisation that has made a significant impact on so many great pianists’ lives.’
Igor Levit said:
‘It is a great honour to receive the Gilmore Award and I am deeply grateful. The news almost leaves me speechless but I feel privileged, blessed and excited. For me, the purpose of music-making and being an artist is to share – to share the past, present and future of music with my audience as best I can. This award will help me to continue on this path and broaden the possibilities of that sharing.’
About Igor Levit
Igor Levit, 30, was born in Russia and relocated at a young age to Germany, where he still resides today.
Recognised as an artist to watch as early as 2005 when he won several prizes as the youngest participant of that year’s Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Mr Levit went on to gain wide acclaim for his 2013 Sony Classical recording of Beethoven’s late sonatas, praised by Alex Ross of the New Yorker for its ‘technical brilliance, tonal allure’ and ‘intellectual drive’.
Since his North American debut in 2014, he has dazzled audiences and critics in concert halls around the nation, with Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times declaring: ‘He is the future.’ He has appeared with orchestras and in recital around the world, collaborated with such leading artists as Marina Abramović and made additional, well received recordings for Sony Classical, featuring works by composers from Bach to Rzewski.
Header photo: Igor Levit © Robbie Lawrence