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March 26, 2008

Robert Levin, piano
Harvard University

JMC

 

 

Pianist Robert Levin is one of America 's leading keyboard players in the early instruments movement, but maintains a large repertory in all major periods and genres of piano music. He is equally at home at the harpsichord, the fortepiano, and the standard pianoforte, and as a recitalist, concerto performer, and accompanist. In addition, he is recognized as an authoritative scholar on the Classical and Baroque periods.

Robert Levin is best known as a Mozart pianist and scholar. He has written cadenzas to many of the master's recordings (including the piano, violin, and horn concertos), published embellishments of Mozart solo parts, and written several reconstructions or completions of Mozart works. His completion of Mozart's Requiem won wide critical acclaim.His reconstruction of the K. 297b Sinfonia concertante for four winds and orchestra is now frequently performed. He has published numerous scholarly studies in musical issues, usually concerning performing practice and authenticity, including a world-renowned publication of completions of fragmentary Mozart works. He has recorded on several labels, notably on Sony Classics' Vivarte series.

Robert Levin studied piano with Louis Martin in New York City , and composition with Stefan Wolpe. He was invited to study with the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau , France , and in Paris . His piano teachers in Paris were Jean Casadesus and Alice Gaultier-Léon. In addition he studied composition with Leon Kirchner, and master classes in piano with Clifford Curzon and Robert Casadesus.

Robert Levin is both a pianist and musicologist, serving in the latter role as a teacher of composition, Mozart scholar, and writer of numerous articles on music. As a performer, he is most closely associated with the compositions of Mozart, which he plays on fortepiano in recordings, but usually on piano in concert. He has also completed several important compositions by Mozart, as well, most notably the Requiem. Beethoven has occupied a significant chunk of his repertory, too, Levin having recorded all the piano concertos. He has also been an advocate for modern composers, including Harbison and Denisov.

 

Date / time Activity
March 26, 2:00 p.m. Lecture: Improvised embelishments and cadenzas in Mozart's keyboard works.
   
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