Pianist Igor Levit is key to the First Night of the Proms this Friday!
The Proms 2017 season features poets of the keyboard young and old
The world’s largest classical music festival kicks off this Friday, and as usual, it features plenty to get pianists and pianophiles flocking to South Kensington.
Firstly, Igor Levit opens the festivities on Friday 14 July playing Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Edward Gardner. The concert will be aired live on BBC4 from 8pm (switching over to BBC2 at 9pm).
Here's Levit playing the slow movement of Beethoven's Op 31 No 2 Sonata, recorded at a BBC Radio 3 In Tune Session:
The Royal Albert Hall will play host to three young, Russian-born pianists as part of a focus on Rachmaninov: Kirill Gerstein (in the First Concerto on 31 August), Bezhod Abduraimov (No 2, 17 July) and Alexander Gavrylyuk (No 3, 13 August). The cycle is completed in style by Leif Ove Andsnes playing the Fourth with the Oslo Philharmonic on 29 August.
Sir András Schiff returns to the Proms as part of his ongoing series of the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach in late-night concerts: on 7 September he will play Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Clavier. The following evening brings another elder statesman of the piano, Emanuel Ax, to play a lesser-known Mozart concerto (No 14, K449) in the distinguished company of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. There are two concertos by Saint-Saëns: the ‘Egyptian’ Fifth played by Cédric Tiberghien on 16 August, and the popular Second with Javier Perianes on 22 August.
Other highlights include the exciting young Israeli-American pianist Inon Barnatan, making his Proms debut with Ravel’s Concerto in G (14 August); and welcome returns for Denis Matsuev in the surviving movement of Tchaikovsky’s Third Concerto (3 September), Stephen Hough in Brahms’s mighty First, (29 July) and Steven Osborne, who will give the premiere of the major concerto commission in this year’s festival, from Julian Anderson (26 July).
See the Proms website for all details.
BBC Radio 3 will be covering all concerts, from beginning to end.