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The long-awaited return of one of today’s most celebrated pianists

It has been a long wait for Igor Levit’s many fans in our region to experience the supremely gifted and always intriguing pianist’s return to the Washington Performing Arts stage. Originally scheduled for May of 2020, his recital was canceled (like most public engagements at that time) due to COVID-19. In the hiatus that Spring, he live-streamed concerts from his home in Berlin on 52 consecutive nights, becoming a viral sensation in classical music circles and beyond. As New Yorker critic Alex Ross marveled at the time, “It was no surprise that Levit’s inaugural live stream attracted attention, though I was taken aback when the number of viewers climbed into the tens of thousands.” In 2020, Levit also earned the title of Musical America’s “Artist of the Year.”

Now Levit is back on tour, characteristically exploring a great range of repertoire—in this recital, three classics (by Schumann, Wagner, and Liszt) plus a novel twist: an arrangement of the beloved American folksong “Shenandoah” commissioned by Levit from jazz pianist Fred Hersch. As the New York Times attested in a May 2022 review, Levit remains a force of nature in concert: “At the keyboard he was capable of conjuring not only thunder…but also the troubling calm that can precede it and…something like the gentle parting of clouds that follows.”

SCHUMANN - Waldszenen, Op. 82
FRED HERSCH - Variations on a Folksong
WAGNER (arr. Zoltán Kocsis) - Prelude from Tristan and Isolde, WWV 90
LISZT - Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178

Special thanks to the following lead supporters of Washington Performing Arts’s mission-driven work: Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated; the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs Program and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities; and the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Mars

DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities