Pianist Igor Levit on his year of pandemic performances: music is a necessity

Posted on: January 5, 2021

“When the German pianist Igor Levit was selected as the featured soloist of the Nobel Prize ceremony last month, it marked yet another grace note in a career that’s quickly grown filled with awards and honors,” reports Jon Wertheim in a Sunday (1/3) profile at CBS News. “Levit is 33 and already among the brightest stars in the classical music cosmos. But lately, as the pandemic mutes and muffles so much music, Levit’s performances have been mostly streaming over Twitter from his Berlin living room. As Igor Levit plays in a new way to a new audience, he’s reached a conclusion: music is not an extravagance, but a life necessity. Igor Levit is, to mix musical genres, a rock star…. Levit curls over his instrument. At odds with every piano teacher’s demand for perfect posture, it’s almost as if Levit is physically becoming part of the music he is conjuring.” In the segment, Levit describes his need for connection with an audience, speaking out against anti-Semitism, and performing 52 nights of virtual house concerts during the lockdown, including a marathon sixteen-hour performance of Erik Satie’s Vexations.