Ira Levin (Conductor/Piano)
Biography, Audio/Video, Discography, Photos, Concerto repertoire, Programs


Ira Levin is known internationally for the great versatility of his musical activities. He has conducted over 1200 performances of 95 operatic titles and is equally at home in concert, with a vast symphonic repertoire. He has worked with many leading instrumentalists, composers and stage directors and conducted at important opera houses and orchestras worldwide.
He studied with the legendary pianist Jorge Bolet at the Curtis Institute, later becoming his teaching assistant. Also at Curtis, he had coachings with Felix Galimir, Mischa Schneider and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, played under Leonard Bernstein and worked for two years with Max Rudolf, one of the leading conducting teachers of the 20th century, until being engaged by Michael Gielen in 1985 for the Frankfurt Opera.
He held posts as assistant conductor at the Frankfurt Opera (1985-88), principal conductor of the Bremen Opera (1988-1996) and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf-Duisburg (1996-2002) and as the principal guest conductor of the Kassel Opera (1994-1998).
He was the Music Director and Artistic Director of the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro (2019-2021), the National Theater of Brazil in Brasilia (2007-2010) and the Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo (2002-2005), bringing these organizations international acclaim. He introduced important works including 3 operas by Janacek (Jenufa, Katja Kabanova, Makropulos Affair), Mahler (Symphony No 10), Shostakovich (Symphony No. 4), Sibelius, Busoni, Reger, Enescu, Schoenberg, Schmitt, Schnittke, Jolivet, Corigliano and many others to Brazil.
He was the Principal Guest Conductor of the legendary Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires from 2011-15, where he conducted 12 major opera productions, including the American premieres of Enescu’s Oedipe and Glanert’s Caligula, and many symphonic concerts.
His appearances as guest conductor include, among many others, New York City Opera, Grand Theatre Geneve, Semper Opera (Dresden), Leipzig Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Montpellier Opera, Norske Opera in Oslo, Norrlands Opera in Umea, Cape Town Opera, Rio de Janeiro Opera, Theatro Sao Pedro in Sao Paulo, Dublin Opera, Düsseldorf Symphony, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Duisburg Philharmonic, Hannover State Orchestra of Lower Saxony, Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Badische Staatskapelle in Karlsruhe, Bremen Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon, State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and all of the major orchestras in Brazil.
Ira Levin’s recordings include two CDs of works by the American composer Michael Colina with the London Symphony and Colina’s Requiem with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, all on the Fleur de Son and distributed by Naxos. The first studio recording of the 1899 first edition of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 appeared on the Lindoro label. His recording of works by Reger with the Brandenburg State Symphony, including his orchestration of the Bach Variations and Fugue opus 81, appeared on the Naxos label in October 2020 to great critical acclaim.
His over 40 publications include over several transcriptions for piano and cadenzas to Mozart concertos in addition to orchestrations for large orchestra of Busoni’s monumental Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on BACH, Franck’s piano quintet, five works by Rachmaninoff, Reger’s Bach Variations opus 81, Respighi’s Violin Sonata in b-minor and Brahms Piano Sonata # 3 opus 5. All of these are published by Edition Tilli of Finland and the complete orchestrations are also appearing in study score format in the “Repertoire Explorer” series of the Munich publisher Jürgen Höflich.
An accomplished pianist, Ira Levin was the first-prize winner of the American National Chopin Competition in 1980. He continues to appear in recital and concert, often leading concertos from the keyboard as well, including works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin as well as Brahms’s second concerto, which he played and conducted on very short notice after a major soloist cancelled. The first CD of his own piano transcriptions was released on the Lindoro label in 2007.





Concerto repertoire

John Adams:
Violin Concerto


Johann Sebastian Bach:
Brandenburg Concertos, Concertos, Cantatas, Suites


Samuel Barber:
Second Essay, Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, Piano Concerto


Bela Bartok:
The Miraculous Mandarin, Concerto for Orchestra, Complete Piano Concertos,  Violin Concerto No. 2, Viola Concerto, Music for  strings, percussion & celesta, Dance Suite, Divertimento


Ludwig van Beethoven:
Complete Symphonies, Complete Concertos, Complete Overtures, Missa Solemnis


Alban Berg:
Violin Concerto


Hector Berlioz:
Overtures Roman Carnival, Benvenuto Cellini, Beatrice and Benedict, King Lear,   Corsaire, Romeo et Juliette, Requiem, Te Deum, La Damnation de Faust, Harold en Italie,   Symphonie fantastique, Chasse Royale et Orage, March Troyenne


Leonard Bernstein:
The Age of Anxiety, Halil, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Candide overture


Franz Berwald:
Symphony No. 3


Ernst Bloch:


Johnannes Brahms:
Complete Symphonies, Complete Concertos, Complete Overtures, Haydn Variations, Piano Quartet No. 1 (orchestration by A. Schoenberg), A German Requiem, Gesang der Parzen, Alto Rhapsody, Song of Destiny, Serenade No. 2


Benjamin Britten:
Sinfonia da Requiem, Four Sea Interludes


Max Bruch:
Violin Concerto No. 1


Anton Bruckner:
Symphonies Nos. 1 (Linz), 2 (1892), 3 (1889), 4 (1888), 5, 6 (1899), 7, 8 (Nowak), 9, Te Deum


Ferruccio Busoni:
Fantasia Contrappuntistica (orchestration by Ira Levin), Turandot Suite, Die Brautwahl Suite, Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, Indian Fantasy, Berceuse élégiaque, Sarabande & Cortege, Geharnischte Suíte, Nocturne Symphonique


Ernest Chausson:
Poeme de L’Amour et de la Mer, Poeme


Carlos Chavez:


Frédéric Chopin:
Piano Concertos 1, 2


Michael Colina:
Los Caprichos, Violin Concerto, Guitar Concerto, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Baba Yaga Fantasy


John Corigliano:
Piano Concerto


Claude Debussy:
La Mer, Nocturnes, Iberia, Prélude a l’apres midi d’un faune


Alphons Diepenbrock:
Elektra Suite


Paul Dukas:
L’apprenti sorcier


Henri Dutilleux:
Violin Concerto


Antonin Dvorak:
Symphonies Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, Carnival Overture Scherzo Capriccioso, Symphonic Variations, The Wild Dove, Slavonic Dances op. 46 Piano, Violin and Cello Concertos


Edward Elgar:
Symphony No. 1, Enigma Variations,  Cello Concerto, Falstaff


George Enescu:
Suite No. 1 Romanian Rhapsody No. 1


De Falla:
El Amor Brujo, The Three Cornered Hat suite


Cesar Franck:   
Symphony in f-minor (orchestration of the Piano Quintet by Ira Levin), Symphony, Le Chasseur Maudit, Symphonic Variations, Psyche and Eros


George Gershwin:
Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, Cuban Overture, An American in Paris, Catfish Row, (Porgy and Bess suíte)


Camargo Guarnieri:
Abertura Festiva, Abertura Concertante, Piano Concerto No. 2, Choro for cello, Three Dances


Edvard Grieg:
Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1, 2, Piano Concerto


Georg Friedrich Handel:
Royal Fireworks Music, Water Music


Joseph Haydn:
The Creation, The Seasons, Nelson Mass, Harmonie Mass, Seven Last Words
(orchestral version), Symphonies Nos. 31, 44, 45, 48, 49, 60, 68, 82, 83, 86, 88, 90, 92, 93-104, Piano and Cello Concertos


Karl Amadeus Hartmann:
Gesangsszene, Symphony No. 6


Paul Hindemith:
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Weber, Mathis der Maler Symphony, Nobilissima Visione, Symphony in Eb, Concert Music for Strings and Brass, Concerto for Orchestra


Gustav Holst:
The Planets


Jacques Ibert:
Flute Concerto


Vincent d’Indy:


Andre Jolivet:
Piano Concerto, Basson Concerto


Leoš Janácek:
Sinfonietta, Glagolitic Mass


Aram Khachaturian:
Violin Concerto


Zoltan Kodaly:
Dances of Galanta


Eduardo Lalo:
Cello Concerto


Franz Liszt:
Faust Symphony, Fantasia and Fugue on BACH (orchestration by Ira Levin), Orpheus, Tasso, Les Preludes, Heroide Funebre, Piano Concertos & Totentanz


Witold Lutoslawski:
Concerto for Orchestra


Gustav Mahler:
Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9,10 (Cooke), Kindertotenlieder, Rückert Lieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Das Lied von der Erde


Frank Martin:
Jedermann Monologue


Bohuslav Martinu:
Double Concerto, Violin Concerto No. 2, Memorial for Lidice, The Parables


Felix Mendelssohn:
Symphonies Nos. 3, 4, 5, Overtures –The Fair Melusine, Hebrides, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Rob Roy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream –complete incidental music, Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Piano & Violin Concertos


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Concertos Nos. 9, 14 – 27, Symphonies Nos. 25, 26, 28, 29, 33-41, Mass c-minor, Violin and Wind Concertos, Serenades & Divertimentos, Masonic Funeral Music


Carl Nielsen:
Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Maskarade overture


Marlos Nobre:
Convergencias, Concerto Breve, Divertimento


Almeida Prado:
Variations for orchestra


Sergei Prokofiev:
Scythian Suite Romeo and Juliet-Suites Nos. 1 & 2,  Complete Concertos, Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 & 5, Lieutenant Kije-Suite, Symphonie Concertante


Serge Rachmaninoff:
Complete Piano Concertos and Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, Isle of the Dead, Symphony No. 2, Symphonic Dances


Maurice Ravel:
Rapsodie Espagnole, La Valse, Mother Goose suite, Daphnis and Chloë Suite No. 2, Piano Concerto for the left hand, Piano Concerto in G


Max Reger:
Psalm No. 100, Serenade in G major, Symphonic Prologue to a Tragedy, Hiller Variations


Ottorino Respighi:
Pini di Roma, Feste Romane


Joaquin Rodrigo
Concierto Madrigal


Gioacchino Rossini
Overtures – Semiramide, Guglielmo Tell, La gazza ladra, La Cenerentola, Il barbiere di Siviglia


Miklos Rozsa:
Sinfonia Concertante for violin and cello


Albert Roussel:
Bacchus ed Ariane Suite No.


Camille Saint-Saëns:
Symphony No. 3, Complete Piano Concertos, Violin Concerto No. 3


Claudio Santoro:
Symphony No. 9, Ponteio


Florent Schmitt:
Le Tragedie de Salome


Alfred Schnittke:
Viola Concerto, Cello Concerto No. 1, Concerto grosso No. 1


Arnold Schönberg:
Pelleas und Melisande, Chamber Symphony No. 1 (version for full orchestra), Verklärte Nacht, Five Orchestra Pieces, Survivor from Warsaw


Franz Schreker:
Prelude to a Drama


Franz Schubert:
Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, 5, 8 & 9, Symphony in C “Grand Duo” orchestrated by Joachim


Robert Schumann:
Complete Symphonies Piano & Cello Concertos, Overtures – Manfred, Genoveva, Scenes from Faust


Alexander Scriabin:
Le Poeme de l’Extase


Dimitri Shostakovich:
Symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6, 9,10 & 15, Violin Concertos Nos.1 and 2, Cello Concerto No. 1


Jean Sibelius:
Kullervo Symphony, Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7, Pohjolas Daughter, The Tempest Suites, Violin concerto, Lemminkäinen Legends opus 22, Oceanides, Rakastava, Luonnotar


Bedrich Smetana:
Ma Vlast (complete)


Karol Szymanowski:
Symphony No. 4


Johann Strauss Jr.:
Die Fledermaus Overture, Waltzes, Polkas and Marches


Richard Strauss:
Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegel, Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben, Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Die Frau ohne Schatten Suite, Bürger als Edelmann Suite, Four Last Songs


Igor Stravinsky:
The Firebird Suite (1919), Petrushka (1947), Le Sacre du Printemps, Pulcinella (complete), Jeu de Cartes, Symphony in Three Movements


Josef Suk:
Asrael, A Fairy Tale


Sergei Taneyev:
Symphony No. 4


Peter Tchaikowsky:
Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5,& 6, Manfred Symphony, Francesca da Rimini, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Hamlet, Voyevoda, Suite No. 3, Complete Concertos, Nutcracker (complete), Swan Lake (complete), Sleeping Beauty (complete)


Ralph Vaughan-Williams:
Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, Fantasia on Themes by Thomas Tallis


Giuseppe Verdi:
Requiem, Te Deum Overtures – La Forza del Destino, Luisa Miller, I Vespri Siciliani


Jan Vorisek:


Heitor Villa-Lobos:
Uirapuru, Amazonas, Bachianas Brasileiras Nos. 2, 4, 5& 7, Choros Nos. 6, 10, Guitar Concerto


Richard Wagner:
Overtures and orchestral exerpts from: Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Ring, Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde, Meistersinger, Rienzi, Faust Overture


Carl Maria von Weber:
Symphony No. 1, Overtures – Der Freischütz, Euryanthe, Oberon, Ruler of the Spirits


Anton Webern:


Hugo Wolf:
Penthesilea, Prometheus, Harfenspieler 1-3


Marco Aurelio Yano:
Oboe Concerto