Excerpts from the Chopin Preludes, Op. 28
Beth Levin's artistry invokes an uncanny sense of hearing for the first time
works long thought familiar, as though the pianist herself were discovering
a piece in the playing of it. Such a style of refreshment and renewal can be
traced back to Levin's unique artistic lineage. As a child prodigy, she made
her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 12. She was subsequently
taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard
Shure, Dorothy Taubman and Paul Badura-Skoda (who praised her as "a pianist
of rare qualities and the highest professional caliber"). Her deep well of
experience allows Levin to reach back through the golden age of the Romantic
composers and connect to the sources of the great pianistic traditions, to
Bach, to Mozart, to Beethoven.
Levin has appeared as a concerto soloist with numerous symphony orchestras,
including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Boston
Civic Symphony and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with noted
conductors such as Arthur Fiedler, Tonu Kalam, Milton Katims, Joseph
Silverstein and Benjamin Zander. Chamber music festival collaborations have
brought her to the Marlboro Festival, Casals Festival, Harvard, the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Ankara Music Festival and the Blue Hill
Festival, collaborating with such groups such as the Gramercy Trio (founding
member), the Audubon Quartet, the Vermeer Quartet and the Trio Borealis,
with which she has toured extensively.
Among Levin's recordings are live performances of Bach's Goldberg
Variations, (Centaur Records, 2008) and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations
(Centaur Records, 2011). Her interpretation of the Diabelli Variations has
been described as "consistently fascinating" (Steve Smith, NY Times) and
simply "stunning" (Robert Levine, Stereophile Magazine). Of Levin's Goldberg
Variations, Peter Burwasser of Fanfare Magazine stated that she plays "as if
she is in love with the notes....with always the sense that she is exploring
Bach's genius." Her performances have been broadcast on National Public
Radio, WGBH (Boston), WFMT (Chicago) and WNYC, WNYE and WQXR (New York).
For all her devotion to the Romantic canon, Levin remains committed to the
performance of the music of our time, interpreting composers such as Henryk
Gorecki, Scott Wheeler, Mohammed Farouz and Michael Rose, among many others.
Her closest collaborators have been the composers David Del Tredici and
Andrew Rudin, both of whom have written works for her.
Beth's A Single Breath, Beethoven's Last Three Piano Sonatas (Op.109-111) will be released on April 30, 2013 on Navona Records. Click here for further information and a sampler.
Friday, June 8, 2012, 7pm
Premiere of a new work for piano by David Del Tredici
Brooklyn New Music Collective
The Firehouse Space
246 Frost St
Fiday, June 22, 2012, 8pm
Taubman Approach to Piano Seminar
Cali School of Music at Montclair State University,
Montclair, NJ 07014
Friday, July 13, 2012, 10:15 am
Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:30 pm
Portland International Piano Festival
Beth Levin Master Class
Op. 109-111, Beethoven
Sunday, October 7, 2012, 4pm
Beethoven Sonatas Op. 109, 110 & 111
Central Library, Dweck Center,
Brooklyn Public Library
Sunday, November 18, 2012, 3pm
Schumann's piano concerto in a minor with
The Barton College/Wilson Symphony, Mark N. Peterson director
The Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre
Wilson, North Carolina
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 3pm
Works of Schubert, Brahms, Del Tredici, Wyner, Wheeler, Rudin and others
2 Floor, 121 Ludlow, New York 10002
Half block north of Delancey; a block from the Essex/Delancey stop of the F,M,J and Z trains.
Praise for Beth Levin:
Beth reviewed in The New Yorker April 23, 2012
“Ms. Levin kept the ear engaged with boldly inflected readings and an impressive ability to convey emotion without exhibition. Her technique was solid, and better still, her organic approach made it feel like an afterthought.”
Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times
“Over the years, Levin has transformed herself. The flame within still burns with undimmed intensity, but now there is warmth as well as blinding light.”
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"A pianist with a bold interpretive personality and a powerful technique. She brought fire and originality to her program."
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"Her playing of Schumann's Carnival was at times dazzling in its virtuosity, at other times warmly moving in its sensitivity. Her performance was thoroughly persuasive."
Allen B. Skei, The Fresno Bee
"A pianist of rare qualities and the highest professional caliber. I was deeply impressed and moved by her performance at the last Marlboro Festival."
"Beth Levin was the highlight- and a bright light she was- of the opening concert of a new Portland series Sunday afternoon in Portland Art Museum."
"Miss Levin, who has well-drilled fingers and temperament to spare, romped through the nonstop virtuoso writing. But it was not all her show, and she subdued herself to let the other instruments have their say when the score indicated which, in all truth, is not too often. It was a bracing performance."
Harold C. Schonberg, The New York Times
"Her performance of the Hummel Septet with a touring ensemble for Marlboro lingers in the memory as one of the supreme examples of pianistic energy and equilibrium in this reviewer's experience."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"These were performances Rudolf Serkin would have relished for their density and solidity of musical substance, and envied for their purely pianistic panache."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"Beth Levin’s performance is very much in the “I’ll play it my way” mode, but without a speck of disrespect to the composer. Quite the opposite; she plays as if in love with the notes. Tempos are deliberate, sometimes to the extreme. Repeats are taken at will. Voicing is unexpected. And yet there is always the sense that she is exploring Bach’s genius, as opposed to fashioning a vehicle for her own personality."
Fanfare Magazine: Bach Goldberg Variations, Beth Levin, piano
Philadelphia's native daughter - Beth Levin, an exceptionally talented concert pianist
link here examiner.com
link to "Beethoven's Variations and Endless Imagination"
The New York Times
"Pianist Beth Levin likes the contrasts and is not afraid to underline
them, as well she should, and she is very brave in her choice of
tempos. To this end, note Var.24, a slow fughetta that she takes more
slowly than any other recorded pianist, and keeps it intact, graceful,
and clear throughout. Var.32,Fuga, is played slowly as well, with
leaden hands and ferocious accents-her reading of this double fugue
has the gravity of the high Baroque. By contrast, Levin ends this
variation with an elegant if quick take on the Minuet, her dynamics
varied and her attitude courtly, just as Mozart and Haydn would have
recognized...I remember Var.11, an adorable Allegretto, which Levin
plays as if winking at us from behind her fan...In general, the less
gregarious the variation, the better I like Levin's reading; despite
the fact that her playing is never self-effacing or shy...But when
she's good, which is very often, she's stunning."
Robert Levine, Sterophile Magazine
You can also listen to Beth here on Classical Connect