Yoav Levanon (14): "To be a good pianist you have to be a good person"
It is not easy to grow up with the label of "child prodigy", but the last genius of Israeli music lives his brilliant career with total normality.
At just 14 years old, Yoav Levanon is building a solid career as a pianist with milestones such as having made his solo debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York when he was seven, after winning an international competition. Far from being an isolated success to that performance have followed prestigious festivals, top-level orchestras and successes that tell us about an artist with a special ability, such as planting the "no tickets" poster at the Teatro Verdi in Salerno. weeks for a solo concert.
This very week the very young Yoav has made his debut in Madrid , in a concert with the Virtuosos of the Philharmonic of Israel, the prestigious orchestra that the great Zubin Mehta has been directing for five decades and from which he will retire in 2019 and which has not been for many years. I visited Spain.
The concert, which was a success and filled the capacity and despite the presence of the members of a prestigious orchestra the focus was especially for Yoav, the child prodigy, who the day after his success met with a group of Spanish journalists with a proud Israeli ambassador acting as host.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about seeing Yoav offstage is that he transmits exactly the same sense of tranquility and control as sitting in front of the piano -and that they can enjoy the many accessible performances on YouTube- , something especially shocking when, at last and Corporal, you're in front of a child. But yes: a child who is able to say - and with a sincerity and astonishing simplicity, as something that actually falls by its own weight -, that "to be a good pianist you not only have to be a good interpreter, you have that to be a good person and that you like to share the art with the others ".
Interestingly, the moment in which Yoav is most proud is when he tells us that, although his life is obviously focused on music, he also does other things among which is "build drones and one of them flies 100 kilometers away. hour, which is really fast. “
Next to Yoav is almost always his father, a middle-aged man who tries to carry some of the weight of the conversation to unload his son as much as possible. Shai Levanon, that's the name of it, tells us about how, even as a baby, he showed a special inclination for music. For Shai, who sees his role as "a doorman" who must help select which commitments he accepts and which he does not, the talent of his son is, above all, "a great responsibility" . In any case, seeing them together, it would be said that he is not the typical father who pushes his son along a path that he does not want to advance, but rather on the contrary: "I've never felt this," says Yoav, referring to his musical career. - As something my parents have taken me, I am the one who chose it and they support me. "
"You have to rehearse what you need"
Focusing more on musical aspects, Yoav explains that in his repertoire he tries to unite pieces of different styles and different composers - "there are many that I like, each one gives me a different thing" - and he says he admires and learns from many current pianists and from other times: "I prefer not to mention any because I'm sure I would forget a name and I do not like it," he says with a smile.
His smile is still greater in the face of "the question that makes me the most", which is how much time he spends to rehearse: "I do not rehearse a specific time, I do not look at the clock, you have to rehearse what you need every day ". His father explains a little more: "He works for goals, wants to get something with a piece and rehearses until he succeeds," he tells us.
Yoav also tells us that he really likes Madrid and that he loved the recital he had given the night before and the atmosphere in the room - "the audience was incredible" - although he admits that for him all the audiences he has found have been good : "The only thing I ask you is to be silent," he says again with a broad smile.
Probably Yoav will be one of the most important pianists in the world in just a few years, however, he sees everything with the same calm perspective with which he gently and softly plays piano keys: "I suppose that in a while I will be a musician, but what is certain is that I will be dedicating myself to something that I am passionate about ".