August 9, 2017
This fall, Ludovico Einaudi – the most streamed classical composer in the world, with more followers on Spotify than Mozart – takes his “Essential Einaudi” tour to the U.S. and Canada. Beginning with a west coast swing from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and including stops at Massey Hall in Toronto, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and New York’s storied Beacon Theatre, the tour includes material from the Italian pianist and composer’s ninth album, Elements, the first classical release in 23 years to break the Top 15 on Britain’s mainstream charts, as well as music from his hit film scores for Intouchables and Mommy, and much more.
When Einaudi released Elements in 2015, it topped classical charts in 42 countries across the globe; upon reaching No. 12 in the UK, it became the highest-charting modern classical album since Henryk Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs hit No. 6 in 1992. With what veteran music journalist Paul Morley calls his “total confidence that pretty can be profound,” Einaudi’s compositions have echoes of minimalist, ambient, world, and pop music, resulting in a style born to break genre barriers. He was the first classical act to play the iTunes Festival, on a line-up which included pop diva Lady Gaga and Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar.
As Einaudi said in a recent interview with the New York Times:
“I never feel at ease when they try to categorize my work. Also I think labels are in a way restricting. You can put the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the same category, but the types of music, the colors each band evokes, are completely different. It’s the same with Mozart and Beethoven – they express two very different aspects of music. Today when they ask me if my music is minimal, is classical, is contemporary – I can say yes or no, but it doesn’t make sense of what I am doing.”
In keeping with his belief in music as a source of spiritual elevation in a troubled world, Einaudi is also a passionate advocate for environmental causes, including the preservation of the shrinking Arctic. In June 2016 he took an expedition on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, which carried messages from eight million people around the globe calling for governments to save the Arctic from threats such as oil drilling and destructive fishing. Upon the ship’s arrival in an Arctic bay, Einaudi debuted Elegy for the Arctic, written for the occasion, alone with a Steinway on a pontoon raft while massive glaciers calved in the background. The video for Elegy for the Arctic is available here, and the newly released behind the scenes footage can be found here.
Einaudi was born in Turin, Italy in 1955. His grandfather Luigi was the first post-war President of a newly democratic country, and his father Giulio founded what is still one of the most prominent publishing houses in Italy. Ludovico was introduced to the piano at the age of six by his mother, a pianist and music lover, and his older sister introduced him to Hendrix, Dylan and the Stones. As Einaudi puts it: “Music was where we went to be free of my father’s overpowering world.” At 16 he was studying classical composition, and by the late 1970s he was studying under and then assisting avant-garde composer Luciano Berio whom he met at a concert in Paris. Elements was originally conceived as an homage to Einaudi’s influential mentor.
As Paul Morley writes of Einaudi’s time with Berio:
“It wasn’t so much musical technique or style that Einaudi learnt as general broad-minded curiosity that could take in the Beatles as much as Schoenberg, folk and fable as much as academia and historic research. What Berio taught Einaudi was the idea that there is music everywhere, in buildings, animals, dreams, colours, instincts, emotions, voice, newspapers, language, time, fear, movement, rain, waiting to be transformed into organised sound and a new order, a new dream-like realism.”
To download high-resolution photos of Einaudi, click here.
Ludovico Einaudi: “Essential Einaudi” in the U.S. and Canada
The Moore Theatre
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Costa Mesa, CA
Sergerstrom Center for the Arts
San Francisco, CA
Oct 19 & 20
Los Angeles, CA
UCLA – Royce Hall
Adrienne Arsht Center – Knight Concert Hall
Toronto, ON, Canada
Berklee Performance Center
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – Merriam Theater
New York, NY
Montreal, QC, Canada
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier – PdA
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© 21C Media Group, August 2017