Photo by Felix Broede / Sony Classical
Live from Berlin, streamed exclusively for Adelaide Festival
We broke down the experience of attending an international performance into its essential parts: you have to travel to a theatre to see a specific show, at a specific time and date, with lots of strangers around you, united in a compact space to see the same event, performed live, as a group. There is a potent exchange between artists and audience throughout the show that reaches its peak at the end of the night, when the performers look into the audience to take their curtain call and you acknowledge the shared experience with applause.
In 2021, we are delighted to say that we’ll meet all those criteria. The only difference is that the performance is happening, in real time, on the other side of the world.
Unique, specially commissioned performances on European mornings, by some of the most lauded artists of our time in theatre, music and dance, coming to you in state-of-the-art vision and sound within milliseconds, on four unforgettable nights, each introduced by the director or principal artist.
Country Arts SA Chief Executive/Executive Director Anthony Peluso said, “The Adelaide Festival of the Arts has selected these amazing and unique experiences from around the world. I’m very excited that in 2021 Country Arts SA will connect regional South Australian audiences to artists in Amsterdam, Berlin and London in real time. This is a new experience for everyone – a result of the times. Be the first to share in the new magic of live theatre and music on screens at the Middleback Arts Centre and Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre.”
Gen Y is adding to the canon of exceptionally gifted pianists at a thrilling rate. Some, like Yuja Wang and Lang Lang have achieved mass-market fame, but no one comes close in cultural stature to 33-year-old Russian-German pianist Igor Levit, hailed by the New York Times as “one of the essential artists of our time”.
As a prolific ‘lockdown’ musician, his streamed performances pushed his profile to a peak in 2020 (Gramophone voted him Artist of the Year and thanked him for “providing spiritual nourishment at a time when music fell silent”) but his uncompromising activism, especially concerning the re-emergence of extreme nationalism, has survived years of “just shut up and play” commentary, and even assassination threats. Deeper than ‘politics’, universalism is for him central to (as he puts it) “the existential must” of music making.
His repertoire ranges from Bach to Busoni to Bill Evans but it is his Beethoven that commands critical and audience adulation. The sense of line, beauty of tone and voicing, solidity of touch; it’s as perfect as a Bauhaus chair, but the intelligence, rhythmic drive and earthy humour in his playing seems to summon back the spirit of young Beethoven the piano virtuoso.
Last year’s recording of the complete sonatas has been showered with the globe’s most prestigious awards, but regularly returns to the huge piece from the composer’s final years, described by Alfred Brendel as “the greatest of all piano works”: the 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli. Taking the best part of an hour, it demands almost superhuman stamina, technique and concentration and is very rarely performed live.
But that is exactly what Igor will do for you in Adelaide this March.
“Igor Levit is like no other pianist”
Alex Ross, The New Yorker
“He is the future”
Los Angeles Times
“A Russian depth of sound and eloquence of phrasing, tempered by Germanic intellectual grasp…Levit’s musical personality is as integrated and mature as his technique. And both of these are placed at the service of the music’s glory rather than his own.”
“One imagines Beethoven playing [the Diabellis] like this — in his dreams, anyway.”
Ludwig van Beethoven: 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120
Igor Levit’s worldwide exclusive representation: Kristin Schuster, CCM Classic Concerts Management GmbH.
Igor Levit records exclusively for Sony Classical International.
Image Felix Broede / Sony Classical
Production by Boris Fromageot
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