Martynas Levickis

accordion
biography

“The amazingly talented Martynas Levickis, the man who is single-handedly reinventing the accordion” The Independent

“The 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

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 is a dedicated ambassador for his instrument, widely admired for his virtuosic performances in classical and contemporary genres.

Encouraged by his family, at the age of just three Martynas 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, later continuing his undergraduate studies with Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of Music and postgraduate studies with Iñaki Alberdi at Spain’s Musikene. Martynas 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 John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, Debussy’s Residence in Paris, Gangdong Arts Centre South Korea, and at festivals such as Bath, Dartington, Dresden, Edinburgh Jazz, Gaida, Henley, Leigo Lake, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Plush, Spitalfields and St Magnus. Over the years Martynas 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, St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Geneva Camerata and Manchester Camerata. He has directed the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and his own ensemble Mikroorkéstra. Masterclasses and teaching form an important part of Martynas’ work, recently leading two residential courses at Dartington International Summer School.

Martynas curated the Christopher Festival Accordion Week 2012-14. He is Artistic Director of Palendriai International Composers’ Course & Festival, the 9-day event he founded in 2014 with the objective to create and premiere new music for accordion with chamber ensemble, and of Vilnius Accordion Music Week.

Forthcoming highlights include concert tours in Germany and South Korea; concerts at the Grand Hall of St Petersburg Philharmonic, Kings Place, Seoul Arts Center, St John’s Smith Square; directing his ensemble Mikroorkéstra in various projects including a Christmas tour of their Classic Live Show; performances with SIGNUM saxophone quartet and Manchester Camerata; collaboration on a tango project with Adriano Adewale, Adrian Brendel, Joanna MacGregor and Thomas Gould.

Martynas 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 plays a classical accordion Pigini Nova, thanks to the generous support of The Lady R Foundation.


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Reviews
 The Independent,
"The amazingly talented Martynas Levickis, the man who is single-handedly reinventing the accordion "
(Bob Riley, Chief Executive at Manchester Camerata)
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 Classic FM,
"The brilliant young Lithuanian accordionist is making the music world sit up and reevaluate his instrument as one capable of great expression and emotion "
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 The Times,
"Martynas' mastery of an instrument once dismissed as a squeezebox has been revealed..."
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 Concert Review,
"Here is someone who walks among the angels and the accordion gives him wings"
(William Cosby)
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 Review of The Sequel with Manchester Camerata,
"Energy levels rose with the Piazzolla Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, the orchestral pyrotechnics augmented by the virtuoso accordion playing of the young Martynas Levickis… his versatility, vigour and precision raised the stakes"
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 Music Export Fund,
"I tried to watch how the audience responded to the music, and it was magnificent to watch how other people were drawn in so deeply. It's a talent to make people dream, and Martynas surely has that talent"
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 Concert Review,
"Levickis transcends all limitations and makes music that has the potential to attract and influence a younger generation of music fans"
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