Shows: 2 x 45 min
Praised by The Times for his “mastery of an instrument once dismissed as a squeezebox”, accordionist Martynas Levickis has captivated audiences and critics alike with his musicality, charisma and dynamic performances. Martynas Levickis is a leading exponent of the accordion. His virtuosity and versatility in classical and contemporary repertoire has transformed the way we hear this instrument.
Encouraged by his family, at the age of just three Martynas Levickis began to teach himself the traditional folk music of his home country Lithuania. At eight years old he started to learn formally at the S. Sondeckis School of the Arts in his hometown of Šiauliai, and then went on to study with Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of Music in London followed by postgraduate studies with Iñaki Alberdi at Musikene in Spain. Martynas Levickis has taken masterclasses with Claudio Jacomucci, Friedrich Lips, Masimiliano Pitocco and Matti Rantenen. He is the recipient of over 30 awards internationally, including winner of the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships. The first accordionist to be signed to Universal Music’s Decca Classics label, his eponymous debut album went straight to the top of the UK Official Classical Album Chart.
Martynas Levickis has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St Petersburg Grand Philharmonic Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Warwick Arts Centre, Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, Debussy’s Residence in Paris, Seoul Arts Center, and at festivals such as Bath, Dartington, Dresden, Edinburgh Jazz, Gaida, Henley, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Kissinger Sommer, Leigo Lake, March Music Days, MDR Musiksommer, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Petworth, Plush, Schleswig-Holstein, Spitalfields and St Magnus. Over the years he has appeared with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Concerto engagements include with the Lithuanian Chamber, National Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Seoripul Symphony Orchestra, St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Geneva Camerata and Manchester Camerata. He has directed the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.
In 2015, Martynas Levickis founded the Mikroorkéstra chamber orchestra , comprised of outstanding young musicians from Lithuania. As Artistic Director, he has created a number of touring projects with Mikroorkéstra, directed from the accordion or with him as conductor.
Martynas Levickis has enjoyed recent collaborations with Adriano Adewale, Adrian Brendel, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Harriet Krijgh, Joanna MacGregor, SIGNUM saxophone quartet, Signum String Quartet and Thomas Gould. Masterclasses and teaching form an important part of his work, recently leading residential courses at Dartington International Summer School and Ruse International March Music Days.
Martynas Levickis curated the Christopher Festival Accordion Week 2012-14. He is Artistic Director of Vilnius Accordion Music Week and of Composers+ Summer Academy, the annual event he founded in 2014 with the objective to create and premiere new music for accordion with chamber ensemble.
Forthcoming highlights include tours to Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Latvia, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey. Concerts include Seoul Arts Center, Riga Culture Palace and Thüringer Bachwochen. This season Martynas Levickis will make his debut at Konzerthaus Berlin with a special programme to mark the centenary of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania, which includes a new work commissioned by Levickis for the occasion. He will direct Mikroorkéstra in various projects including his own vibrant arrangement for accordion and chamber orchestra of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Concerto engagements include debuts with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, and as director with City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.
Martynas Levickis is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his distinguished contribution to music in his field. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Lithuanian World Arts Council.
Martynas Levickis plays a classical accordion Pigini NÒVA, thanks to the generous support of The Lady R Foundation.
"The amazingly talented Martynas Levickis, the man who is single-handedly reinventing the accordion" The Independent
"This brilliant young Lithuanian accordionist is making the music world sit up and reevaluate his instrument as one capable of great expression and emotion" Classic FM