“The 21st Century has brought us many piano child prodigies from all over the world. A young Israeli pianist, Yoav Levanon, however, with experience of performing at Carnegie Hall at 7, prefers not to be labeled as such. After an interview with Yoav, I understood why. His answers are full of insight and maturity. As one music critic referred to him as ‘a big artist in a small body’. Now it is your turn to discover Yoav Levanon.”
Esther Basha, Piano Performer Magazine, “Generation Z: The Story of Yoav”, September 2016
Having started his professional piano education at the age of 3, Yoav Levanon has an impressive career of performances, winning prestigious competitions, being awarded creative excellence grants and playing with orchestras around the world.
This year, 2019, Yoav Levanon (14) is going to be the youngest musician performing solo recital at the 26th International Verbier Music Festival, and to take part in the Tsinandali festival, where, apart from a solo recital, he will also perform the Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra with the acclaimed pianist Sergei Babayan. Later this year Yoav is invited to perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1 as part of the “Grandes Clásicos Series” in the Symphony Hall of the National Auditorium, Madrid, which will feature the Santa Cecilia Classical Orchestra.
In June 2019 Yoav Levanon is being awarded the Excelentia Award for Culture in the “Young Talents“ category with the honorary presidency of Her Majesty Queen Sofía, in the National Auditorium, Madrid.
Last year (2018), Yoav, then 13, performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no.2 with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in concerts titled “First Prize – the best young pianists in the music world”. Later during the year he participated in the Verbier Festival Academy, Swiss, performed a solo recital at the Verdi Theatre, Italy, and took part at the Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau, Germany, performing a solo recital and participating in a chamber music concert. Yoav was named as one of 10 extraordinary Israelis under the age of 16 who have “accomplished by the age of 16 more than many of us do in a life time”.
Being only 11 years old, Yoav performed the Chopin Piano Concerto no.1 on the prestigious San Carlo Theatre stage under the direction of the well-reputed maestro Daniel Oren. In a breathtaking performance, Yoav won the audience excitement by his delicate Chopin interpretations, with an astounding variety of timbre and fluent virtuosity.
Maestro Daniel Oren commented:
“The child is undoubtedly a genius. A unique talent. Yoav Levanon played in a way that pianists in their 40’s can’t play. This child’s depth is indescribable……the way he sings, the poetry of this boy is extraordinary, truly extraordinary! And he captivates the audience.”
The critics praised the performance:
“Young Yoav Levanon aroused great enthusiasm at the San Carlo theater, being one of the promising upcoming stars of classical music”
“Yoav’s style of piano playing is bewildering: it’s filled with both a rare sensitivity and a rigorous technique, and he grasps each note even in the most virtuous passages. He’s aware of phrases, rhythm, shapes, and dynamics, thanks to his noble and clear touch. He takes a distance stand from the most recent interpretations, piano tight-rope walkers, and media-sponsored sideshows. His style can be compared to that of the legendary Arthur Rubinstein.”
“All this sounds like a miracle if you consider that it came from an 11 year-old talent child, the first young performer in the history of the San Carlo theater….” Paola De Simone, Dec 2015, Napoli, Italy
“We are witnessing a musician whose artistic sensitivity is mature. His version of Chopin is not only virtuoso, but also poetic, delicate, and it exhibits characteristics of pure sublime. The young virtuoso performs with freshness and maturity at the same time; his feelings seep through the music. Yoav is an artist that stands out because of his natural and transparent emotions. His feelings are palpable, alive, wrapped in a total surrender to the music like only a child could do.” Francesco Russo, December 2015, Napoli, Italy
“Since the first notes of the Chopin Concerto n° 1 in mi minor for piano and orchestra op. 11 you can tell how mature the execution is going to be: his touch is delicate and sweet, melodious and embracing, confident and virtuous.”
“Then the concert ends; the audience’s applause is unanimous and deafening; there is no face in the theater that doesn’t show enthusiasm for having enjoyed moments of fine music.” GBOPERA Magazine, December 2015, Napoli, Italy
At 10, Yoav became the First Prize winner of the Pnina Salzman Piano Completion and “Piano Forever” piano competition. At the age of 9, Yoav performed the Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra and received the Sharett Creative Excellence Grant from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
When Yoav was 8, he opened the “International Summer Jewish Festival” performing with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. After the concert, that took place in Europe’s largest synagogue – Dohány Synagogue – in Budapest, an enthusiastic critic stated:
“…Yoav Levanon is not a child prodigy. He is an eight-year old artist of high caliber…” Agnes Kory, MusicalCriticism.com
Shortly thereafter, Yoav was chosen to join a tour with the acclaimed Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra to perform Haydn’s Concerto under the baton of maestro Vladimir Spivakov who expressed his feelings by saying:
“Yoav was blessed by a touch of God”
Yoav made his debut as a soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra at the age of 7.
At 6, Yoav won his first Gold Medal at an International Piano Competition in the USA and was invited to perform on the prestigious stage of the Carnegie Hall in New York.
Yoav appears on stage from the age of 4, at 5 he became a winner of his first National Piano Competition in Israel.
Yoav studies and participates in masterclasses in Israel and abroad and he is privileged to take part in the Piano Program for outstanding young pianists at the Jerusalem Music Center, directed by the distinguished American concert pianist and conductor, Murray Perahia.