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.