“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
“Come and hear the past, reinvented” Manchester Camerata
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. As one of the world’s leading exponents of the accordion, his virtuosity and versatility in the classical and contemporary repertoire has transformed the way we hear the instrument.
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 began to learn formally at the S. Sondeckis School of the Arts in his hometown of Šiauliai, before going on to study with Prof. Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of Music in London, followed by postgraduate studies with Prof. Iñaki Alberdi at Musikene in Spain. Martynas has taken masterclasses with Claudio Jacomucci, Friedrich Lips, Masimiliano Pitocco and Matti Rantenen. He is the recipient of over 30 international awards, including winner of the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships. The first accordionist to be signed to Universal Music 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, Shanghai Concert Hall, Waldbühne Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, the Seoul Arts Center, St Petersburg Grand Philharmonic Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, and at festivals such as Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Dresden, Bremen, Thüringer Bachwochen, MDR Musiksommer, Kissinger Sommer, the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Bath, Dartington, Edinburgh Jazz, Gaida, Henley, Leigo Lake, March Music Days, Petworth, Plush, Spitalfields and St Magnus.
Over the years, Martynas has appeared with various orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Concerto engagements have included performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, the Seoripul Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Symphony, Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, London Contemporary Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Geneva Camerata, The Geneva Chamber Orchestra and St Christopher Chamber Orchestra. He has directed the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Manchester Camerata, the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.
In 2015, Martynas founded the Mikroorkéstra chamber orchestra, bringing together outstanding young musicians from across Lithuania. As Artistic Director, he has created a number of touring projects with the Mikroorkéstra, directing from the accordion or as conductor. These have included appearances in Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea and China.
Martynas has enjoyed recent collaborations with Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Anu Tali, Adrian Brendel, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Thomas Gould, Harriet Krijgh, Joanna MacGregor, Avi Avital, David Garrett, SIGNUM saxophone quartet.
Masterclasses and teaching form another important part of Martynas’ work, and in recent years Martynas has led residential courses at Dartington International Summer School and Ruse International March Music Days.
Martynas is the Artistic Director of Vilnius Accordion Music Week and the annual Composers+Summer Academy, which he founded in 2014 to create and premiere new music for accordion with chamber ensemble.
In addition, Martynas continually commissions new musical works. The latest of these, “Savęsp”, was composed for accordion and string quartet by Rūta Vitkauskaitė, and was presented in 2018 as a part of a special programme to mark the centenary of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania.
Forthcoming highlights of Martynas’ touring programme include performances in Israel, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Austria, with concerts at the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival, Buxton Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and as part of the Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg’s concert season. Upcoming concerto engagements include debuts with Baiba Skride, Harriet Krijgh and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Triple Concerto under the guidance of conductor Dima Slobodeniouk. He will also perform a programme including Mikołaj Majkusiak’s ‘Concerto Classico’ and Ástor Piazzolla’s Suite ‘Punta del Este’ with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra – and is set to appear with the Manchester Camerata as part of their UpClose concert series, in a unique performance that traces the history of dance music from Bach to Beyoncé, Donna Summer to Bulgarian folk.
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 plays a Pigini NÒVA classical accordion, thanks to the generous support of The Lady R Foundation.