"Levin lives Mozart throughout his entire body, and for every second of the score...he plays the music as if he's writing it himself - for the first time"
Hilary Finch, The Times
"The Second Piano Concerto was also given a magnificent performance. Levin’s playing was a model of classicism for this early Beethoven work"
Jonathan Richmond, Boston Globe
Pianist and Conductor Robert Levin has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. His solo engagements include the orchestras of Atlanta, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, Utah and Vienna on the Steinway with such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Bernard Haitink, Sir Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen. On period pianos he has appeared with the Academy of Ancient Music, English Baroque Soloists, Handel & Haydn Society, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Sir Charles Mackerras, Nicholas McGegan, and Sir Roger Norrington.
Renowned for his improvised embellishments and cadenzas in Classical period repertoire, Robert Levin has made recordings for DG Archiv, CRI, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, ECM, New York Philomusica, Nonesuch, Philips and SONY Classical. These include a Mozart concerto cycle for Decca; a Beethoven concerto cycle for DG Archiv (including the world premiere recording of Beethoven’s arrangement of the Fourth Concerto for piano and string quintet); and the complete Bach harpsichord concertos with Helmuth Rilling, as well as the six English Suites (on piano) and both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier (on five keyboard instruments) as part of Hänssler’s 172-CD Edition Bachakademie. ECM will be releasing his traversal of the Mozart piano sonatas on Mozart’s piano. He is a regular partner of cellist Steven Isserlis, with whom he recorded the complete piano and cello music of Beethoven, and pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, with whom he appears in recital and with orchestra. Earlier this year he toured Europe and the United States with violinist Hilary Hahn.
A passionate advocate of new music, Robert Levin has commissioned and premiered a large number of works. He has recorded the complete piano music of Dutilleux for ECM and joined pianist Ursula Oppens in a CD of Bernard Rands’ piano music for Bridge. A renowned chamber musician, his completions of Mozart fragments are published by Bärenreiter, Breitkopf & Härtel, Carus, Peters, and Wiener Urtext Edition, and recorded and performed throughout the world.
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Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
Scottish Chamber Orchestra (November 2017)
The result was edge-of-your-seat stuff, sometimes raising a smile, often raising eyebrows, but carried through with utter conviction and brilliant, sometimes rather hard-edged clarity.
David Kettle, The Scotsman ****
Robert Levin, who has just celebrated his 70th birthday, brought his renowned erudition to the solo part, as well as the flair of his own improvised cadenzas, always staying clearly within the embrace of Beethoven’s own themes.
Keith Bruce, The Herald ****
Alte Oper Recital
Mozart Saal, Frankfurt
Erfolgreich Musik machen und erfolgreich über sie reden können wenige. Ein solcher Universalkünstler, bekannt auch als Vollender berühmter Fragmente wie etwa Mozarts Requiem, ist der Pianist Robert Levin.
Gerhard Schroth, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Hilary Hahn Recitals
European and US Tour (March 2017)
A Mozart sonata, K. 481, followed. Again it was Levin whose dynamism collared our ears… it was clear that our musicians were enjoying a conversation.
…Levin’s solo turn followed in Hans Peter Türk’s Träume, another welcome UK premiere. Its angular opening line suggested an academic fugue was coming. Yet bell sounds and free-flowing fingers soon whisked us into a reflective world much more suited to the music’s purpose as a memorial for the composer’s late wife.
The final proof of Hahn’s rebirth came in Schubert’s Rondo, D. 895. For thrust and snap she and Levin were now equal, prancing together, jubilant in attack. The applause rang out; the encores arrived, topped off by Lili Boulanger’s Cortège and Nocturne, easing us beautifully into the night. This was a very enjoyable second half.
Geoff Brown, The Times ****
Levin was a full partner, with Hahn a lyrical presence (the slow movement [of the Kreutzer Sonata] seemed downright magical).
Olin Chism, Fort Worth Star Telegram
Their joint recital Saturday night at Jordan Hall as part of the Celebrity Series brought the best of both worlds… Levin brought dexterous technique and fine touch to both works. In the third movement of the Bach sonata, which featured Levin by himself, his phrases swirled elegantly in a singing, almost fruity tone…
Many of the Mozart’s violin sonatas are juvenilia, but K. 481 is a mature work rich in flowering melody. In Saturday’s performance, the first movement had moments of drama, with Hahn and Levin traversing both the delicate and dark themes with finesse. Levin was the focus of the second movement as he conjured soft phrases with clean, pure tone.
Long and rapturous applause brought Hahn and Levin back to the stage for three encores. These short works revealed yet again that Hahn and Levin are a duo of rare and sensitive musicality.
Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review
Mozart’s Sonata in E-Flat Major was outstanding. A Mozart scholar and expert improviser in the Classical style, Levin played with a tender sort of assertiveness. Clear, connected phrases flowed like a transparent sheet of water blooming from a fountain… Three encores followed… After each, Hahn and Levin bowed to each other, and then to the audience, standing together as equals.
Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe
Hilary Hahn Recitals
US Tour (October 2016)
The Bach and the Mozart are true duets, in which the piano and violin have equal roles, and Levin made an arresting partner. Both players sounded so spontaneous that it seemed miraculous they were so perfectly coordinated. The Bach was as fluid and swift as rushing water, and the Mozart sounded as contemporary as the Abril.
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
Levin was a consummate accompanist, never overwhelming Hahn’s solo lines or forcing her to make herself heard. She sounded, as a result, completely at ease throughout the evening.
Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (October 2016)
Levin’s solo work in the concerto was marked not only by nimble technique and expressive clarity, but by the deep knowledge of the period that gives his every performance such a sense of linguistic mastery. At the most obvious level, that enables him to improvise his own cadenzas — the showy, unaccompanied flourishes that come right before the conclusion of nearly every movement — just as Beethoven and his contemporaries would have done, and to do so firmly within the bounds of Beethoven’s musical grammar and vocabulary.
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Gate
Robert Levin’s Concert Repertoire
|J. S BACH||
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
Complete piano concertos
Rondo WoO 6
Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15
Piano Concertos in A minor
No.1, Op. 25
Complete piano concertos and rondos
Concerto for 2 Pianos
Complete works for piano and orchestra
Concerto for Piano and Winds
Piano Concerto (Chiavi in mano), dedicated to RL
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