Robert Levin starts teaching at the Mozarteum University

Robert Levin & Elisabeth Gutjahr | © Wolfgang Lienbacher

As part of the International Summer Academy and numerous masterclasses, the renowned American pianist, teacher, Mozart researcher and Harvard professor Robert Levin has been a regular guest at the Mozarteum University for many years. From May, he will take up his teaching position at the Department of Keyboard Instruments. We are very much looking forward to it!

Prof. Dr h. c. mult. Robert D. Levin performs worldwide in solo recitals and as a chamber musician and has already worked with the orchestras of Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Montreal, Tokyo and Vienna. He is a regular performer at the Sarasota, Oregon Bach, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Hollywood, Bremen and Salzburg Mozartwoche festivals. As a chamber musician, he has a long-standing duo with violist Kim Kashkashian and often performs with his wife, pianist Ya-Fei Chuang. He was Artistic Director of the Sarasota Music Festival for ten years. A passionate advocate of new music, Robert Levin has performed numerous commissions and world premieres, including Paysage au clair de lune by Denissow, Veils by Joshua Feinberg, the 2nd Piano Sonata by John Harbison, the piano concerto Chiavi in mano by Yehudi Wyner (Pulitzer Prize 2006), the Préludes by Bernard Rands, the piano concerto by Thomas Oboe Lee and Träume by Hans Peter Türk. He has made a complete recording of the Beethoven concertos with John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique on period keyboard instruments (DG Archiv), the complete works for piano by Henri Dutilleux (ECM) (Star of the Month at Fono Forum) and Beethoven's sonatas and variations for piano and cello on period instruments with Steven Isserlis (Hyperion). His more recent recordings include Mozart's unfinished works for piano and violin in his additions with Gérard Poulet and the six Bach partitas (Grand Prix International du Disque) (Le Palais des Dégustateurs); all of Schubert's piano trios with Noah Bendix-Balgley and Peter Wiley (Le Palais des Dégustateurs); all of Mozart's piano sonatas on Mozart's own Walter grand piano (ECM, co-production with the International Mozarteum Foundation, Diapason d'Or de l'année) and all of Mozart's works for keyboard instruments (harpsichord, tangent grand piano and fortepiano) and orchestra with Christopher Hogwood, Richard Egarr, Bojan Čičić, Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music (Decca/Oiseau Lyre and AAM).

Robert Levin studied piano with Louis Martin and composition with Stefan Wolpe in New York. As a teenager, he received lessons from Nadia Boulanger in Fontainbleau and Paris. After completing his studies at Harvard University, he was appointed by Rudolf Serkin to head the Department of Music Theory at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and from 1972 to 1986 he held a professorship at the State University of New York/Purchase. After working as a piano professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau, Levin was appointed Professor of Humanities at Harvard in 1993, where he worked for twenty years. In 1979, at the request of Nadia Boulanger, he headed the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, where he worked as a professor until 1983. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and President of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Leipzig. He is a visiting professor at the Juilliard School and the Sibelius Academy and holds an international chair at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In addition to his concert activities, Robert Levin is active as a music theorist and Mozart researcher. His revival of the practice of improvised cadenzas and ornaments in Viennese classical music is recognised worldwide, his additions to unfinished compositions by Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert have been published, recorded and performed worldwide by Bärenreiter, Breitkopf & Härtel, Carus, G. Henle, Peters and the Wiener Urtext Edition. His cadenzas for Mozart's violin concertos have been recorded by Gidon Kremer with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic and published by Universal-Edition Wien; cadenzas for Mozart's wind concertos, Beethoven's violin concerto and the viola concertos by Hoffmeister and Stamitz have been published by G. Henle. His reconstruction of the Wind Concerto K. 297B was premiered by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the Salzburg Mozart Week and recorded several times. His completion of the Mozart Requiem, commissioned by the International Bach Academy Stuttgart, was premiered by Helmuth Rilling in 1991, performed all over the world and recorded several times.  In January 2005, Rilling conducted the world premiere of Levin's addition to Mozart's Mass in C minor, a work commissioned by Carnegie Hall New York. 

In 2018, he was honoured with the Bach Medal of the City of Leipzig, and in April 2024 he was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal of the International Mozarteum Foundation for his services to the completion of numerous fragments of Mozart's compositions left behind.