Martynas Levickis graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and also won Lithuania’s Got Talent and the CIA Coupe Mondiale Accordion Competition for piano accordion. On Sunday 24th of February as reward for winning the Martin Music Scholarship Fund Levickis took to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall in a concert before the main event of the evening which featured Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra playing Britten Quatre chansons francaises, Mozart Piano Concerto No.21 and Mahler Symphony No4. An accordionist at the Royal Festival Hall is still quite a rare event even if it’s happening a little more often nowadays but he was neither daunted by the fact that he was the face of the accordion for a packed hall of around 2500 people most of which will have never heard the accordion played in this way nor by the illustrious company of musicians waiting in wings for the next concert.
Levickis played Podgaits Sonata no1, J.S. Bach Fantasia and fugue in A minor and Franck Pastorale op. 19 as a soloist and then welcomed violinist Abe McWilliams for two pieces from his new album Bohemian Rhapsodies which is due to come out in May and will be released by Decca Classics. Then came a lighter moment with Hava Nagila and Hungarian Dance improvisations which he did this standing up without ever losing any control over his perfectly crafted sound and phrasing! This in turn brought the audience to its feet. What a marvellous achievement for one so young and as promising as Martynas Levickis. He is just what the accordion in the UK and in the wider world needs – a young energetic and talented player who most importantly wins over new audiences for the accordion.Romano Viazzani