22 January 2024
By Ellie Palmer
The Russian-born German pianist was awarded the prestigious medal last week
36-year-old pianist Igor Levit has just become the youngest ever recipient of The Wigmore Hall Medal.
Levit received the medal from Wigmore Hall director John Gilhooly in recognition of his outstanding musical achievements and contribution to Wigmore Hall on Friday 19 January, where he also gave a performance of the complete late piano works of Johannes Brahms at the Hall on Friday 19 January.
Igor Levit with his Wigmore Hall medal. © Richard Cannon (Bolton & Quinn)
Igor Levit said, "For more than 10 years Wigmore Hall has been my home in London, where I have had some of the most memorable musical experiences of my career. I am absolutely delighted to receive this honour from John and very much look forward to the next chapter of this wonderful friendship with Wigmore Hall."
Levit, who appeared on the cover of Pianist 112, has been a mainstay at the hall over the last decade. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2013 and has since given more than 40 concerts at the Hall in a wide range of repertoire.
Highlights include a seminal Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle in 2016/17, two world premieres by the American composer Frederic Rzewski, the complete Preludes & Fugues of Shostakovich and influential revivals of major keyboard works by Ferruccio Busoni and Ronald Stevenson. As a chamber musician Levit performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Violin Sonatas with the violinist Julia Fischer in 2016. In 2023 he gave a two-piano concert with the pianist Alexei Volodin and performed Schubert’s song cycle Die schöne Müllerin with the German tenor Simon Bode.
Levit's next appearance at Wigmore Hall is on Saturday 4 May when he performs all of Brahms's Piano Trios with violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellist Julia Hagen.
What is the Wigmore Hall medal?
First awarded to Matthias Goerne in February 2007, the Wigmore Hall Medal recognises artists whose contribution to Wigmore Hall has been especially significant. Many laureates gave early performances on the Wigmore Hall stage and have continued to return throughout their careers, building long-standing relationships with both the Hall and its audiences.
Past recipients of the Wigmore Hall Medal include Iestyn Davies, Christian Gerhaher, Angela Hewitt, Steven Isserlis, Dame Felicity Lott, Brad Mehldau, Menahem Pressler, Thomas Quasthoff, the Takács Quartet and Dame Mitsuko Uchida.