EU anthem played at Proms’ first night

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm July 15, 2017 08:44

EU anthem played at Proms’ first night

Pianist Igor Levit surprised audiences at the first night of the BBC Proms by improvising a version of the EU Anthem. The 30-year-old played Beethoven’s Ode To Joy as an unscripted encore, wearing an EU flag on his lapel pin.

Although he gave no explanation for the choice, Levit is a fierce advocate of the EU, which he has described as “a project of unity and peace”. He has also challenged European politicians to stand up to the “angry, dangerous” rhetoric of President Trump.

After coming off stage at the Royal Albert Hall, the musician tweeted: “Hey guys, I’ve been away for an hour and a half. Is @realDonaldTrump still President?”

The BBC said it had been aware of his intention to play Ode To Joy in advance but saw it “an artistic choice”. Levit based his initial phrases on Liszt’s transcription then segued into his own, lyrical improvisations.

The pianist has been called “the future of piano” and the “player of the century”. He was born in Russia in 1987, but moved to Germany at the age of eight.

At that age, he had already been playing for five years. His first recording (of Beethoven’s late sonatas, usually tackled much later in a pianist’s career) brought him widespread acclaim; and he won the 2014 newcomer categories in both the BBC Music Magazine and Royal Philharmonic Society awards.

Having adopted Germany as his home, he describes himself as “a grateful, happy, respectful, political, curious and responsible European”. When Britain voted to leave the union last June, he posted an image of the EU flag, missing one star, accompanied by a sad face emoji.

Source: bbc.com

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm July 15, 2017 08:44
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