Brooklyn-based pianist Beth Levin is celebrated as a bold interpreter of challenging works, from the Romantic canon to leading modernist composers. The New York Times praised her “fire and originality,” while The New Yorker called her playing “revelatory.” Fanfare described Levin’s artistry as “fierce in its power,” with “a huge range of colors.”
Debuting as a child prodigy with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age twelve, Levin was subsequently taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Shure and Dorothy Taubman. Another of her teachers, Paul Badura-Skoda, praised Levin as “a pianist of rare qualities and the highest professional caliber.” Her deep well of experience allows an intuitive connection to the great pianistic traditions, to Bach, to Mozart, to Beethoven.
Critics hail the immediacy of her performances. “Levin plays with a rare percussive audacity, making notes and phrases that usually rush by in the background stand out in high relief,” writes Richard Brody in The New Yorker. “Her choice of adventure over suaveness,” stated David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “created a sense of barely controlled improvisation.”
“Her choice of adventure over suaveness created a sense of barely controlled improvisation."
— David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer
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 also worked with noted conductors such as Arthur Fiedler, Tonu Kalam, Milton Katims, Joseph Silverstein and Benjamin Zander.
Chamber music festival collaborations have brought Levin 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. Her solo performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, WGBH (Boston), WFMT (Chicago) and WNYC, WNYE, and WQXR (New York).
Among Levin’s recent albums include Bright Circle: Schubert, Brahms, Del Tredici, on Navona Records; Personae: Chopin, Eliasson, Schumann, released on the Parma label, and Inward Voice: Schumann, Eliasson, Schubert, from Aldila. Wrote Henry Fogel in Fanfare, reviewing Bright Circle: “Levin’s performance is a blend of power and grace, wit and warmth, grandeur and intimacy. It is worthy of standing alongside that of her teacher [Rudolf Serkin].” Tiara Ataii in Music and Vision, reviewing Personae: “Levin’s performance is near perfection, maintaining intensity in each note and crystalline tone in every register.”
“Levin’s performance is near perfection, maintaining intensity in each note and crystalline tone in every register.”— Tiara Ataii
Music and Vision
Two live performance recordings have been extremely well praised: Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, both released by Centaur Records. Steve Smith of The New York Times described her interpretation of Diabelli “consistently fascinating,” while Robert Levine of Stereophile Magazine termed it “stunning.” Of Levin’s Goldberg Variations, Peter Burwasser of Fanfare Magazine stated that “she is in love with the notes...with always the sense that she is exploring Bach’s genius.”
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.