Igor Levit

Yesterday afternoon in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College, pianist Igor Levit played the final three piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, Opp. 30, 31 and 32. It was Levit's solo debut at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, which presented him with the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award in January. 

Levit and Cara Lieurance discuss the recital and the music of Beethoven, whose Concerto No. 4 is on the program Saturday for the Festival Finale concert. Warmth and improvisation are some qualities Levit sees in the concerto's writing, saying the piano part "almost disappears" at times in the ebb and flow of the orchestra. While sampling a 1942 recording of Artur Schnabel and the Chicago Symphony, Levit says he regularly listens to music of all kinds, which leads to a discussion of one-of-a-kind jazz pianist Fred Hersch.

Mr. Levit and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, led by music director emeritus Raymond Harvey, will appear on Saturday, May 12 at 8 pm in Chenery Auditorium. Details are available at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival website.


Robbie Lawrence

Dan Gustin, who has overseen the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival for the last 18 years, was recently in New York to introduce the 2018 Gilmore Artist, Russian-German pianist Igor Levit. He talks to Cara Lieurance about the process of selecting the final candidate, and how Levit rose to the top.

The keyboard festival will be held this spring, from April 25-May 12. It's the last festival Gustin will program as executive director. He's remaining as director emeritus while the new director, Pierre Van Der Westhuizen, settles in to the role.