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After Solo South American Tour, Leif Ove Andsnes Collaborates with Marc-André Hamelin, Matthias Goerne, Berlin & Vienna Philharmonics, and Boston Symphony in 2016-17

By way of an upbeat to the 2016-17 season, later this month Leif Ove Andsnes embarks on his first solo tour of South America. Performances in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina will showcase the same “thoughtfully varied recital program” (New York Times) of Sibelius, Beethoven, Debussy, and Chopin that drew raves in Europe and North America, prompting the Washington Post to name him “one of the finest musicians working today.” In the coming season, he reprises a similar program at dates in Japan and South Korea; joins fellow pianist Marc-André Hamelin for an extensive U.S. and European recital tour of music for two pianos; and reunites with baritone Matthias Goerne for complete trios of Schubert song cycles in Paris and Brussels. The celebrated Norwegian pianist also looks forward to a number of high-profile concerto collaborations, performing Rachmaninoff’s Fourth with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and Boston Symphony; Schumann’s Concerto with Japan’s NHK Symphony; and Mozart’s 20th with the Vienna Philharmonic and others, pairing it with Mozart’s 22nd on a European tour with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. The winner of six Gramophone Awards and BBC Music’s coveted 2015 “Recording of the Year,” he heads back into the studio to record two new albums, both due for release in 2017-18: a Stravinsky two-piano disc with Hamelin for Hyperion, and a solo Sibelius collection for Sony Classical. Finally, as Founding Director of Norway’s Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, next summer Andsnes looks forward to building on the success of its inaugural year, which sold out within just a few days of its announcement and received glowing reviews from both the Norwegian and international press.

Solo recital tours of South America and Asia
Having devoted several recent seasons to “The Beethoven Journey,” his hugely successful immersion in the master composer’s piano concertos, Andsnes’s South American recital program features Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 18, “The Hunt,” alongside works by Debussy, Chopin, and Sibelius. He explains:

“I will be championing the music of Sibelius this year. I’m really passionate about his piano music, which is so beautiful and haunting. I will be the first to admit that his piano music is uneven in quality, but he wrote an enormous amount of it and if you select carefully you can make great groups of pieces.”

With engagements in Rio de Janeiro (Aug 22), São Paulo (Aug 23 & 24), Frutillar, Chile (Aug 27), and Buenos Aires (Sep 5 & 6), the trip holds personal appeal for the pianist too. He adds:

“I’ll be bringing my mother with me for two and a half weeks to some South American countries I haven’t been to before, such as Chile and Peru. We’ll have some time for sightseeing on this trip, and will be going to Machu Picchu, which I’m so looking forward to.”

With a similar program of music by Sibelius, Chopin, and Debussy, now paired with Schubert’s Three Piano Pieces, he also embarks this fall on an Asian solo recital tour that launches in Japan, with dates in Nagoya (Nov 22), Saitama (Nov 23), Tokyo (Nov 25), and Hyogo (Nov 26), before culminating with a South Korean appearance in Seoul (Nov 27).

European and U.S. tours with Marc-André Hamelin, piano

When comparing Andsnes’s recording of Haydn’s keyboard concertos with that of Marc-André Hamelin, Gramophone magazine was forced to conclude:

“Both bring different, valuable and irresistibly delicious attributes to Haydn’s music. So I’m left like a child having to choose between sweets or chocolate – and in this case, it’s hardly piggy to want both.”

Audiences will be spared this dilemma on the pianists’ upcoming tour, when they join forces for two-piano recitals of Mozart’s Larghetto and Allegro in E-flat, Debussy’s En blanc et noir, and Stravinsky’s Concerto for Two Pianos and The Rite of Spring, first in Europe (March 28–April 4), and then the United States (April 24–May 1). Andsnes is particularly excited about the prospect of playing The Rite of Spring together, saying of Stravinsky’s modernist masterpiece:

“We have had so much fun with this piece. One hears a different aspect of the piece than with the orchestration. One hears this skeleton – the rhythms and even the harmonies are so clear. With the orchestration you are so bowled over by the orchestral colors that some of the intrinsic workmanship is almost lost.”

In Europe, he and Hamelin give performances in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Ireland, and the UK, where they appear at London’s Wigmore Hall (March 30), while in the U.S. they make stops in Seattle (April 24), San Francisco (April 25), Los Angeles (April 26), Chicago (April 30), and Washington, DC (May 1), crowned by a main-stage appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall (April 28).

Schubert song cycles with baritone Matthias Goerne

After a previous Carnegie Hall appearance with his longtime recital partner, baritone Matthias Goerne, the New York Times found theirs to be “an exemplary confluence of material and executants, reaching heavenly heights.” For his second recital collaboration of the season, Andsnes rejoins Goerne for performances of all three Schubert song cycles at BOZAR in Brussels (Feb 1, 3 & 4) and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Feb 6, 8 & 10), besides giving an account of Winterreise at Switzerland’s Sommets musicaux de Gstaad (Jan 30). Andsnes reflects:

“As a pianist who loves to do songs as well, particularly the Lieder of Schubert, it is a dream come true to do them with my favorite singer.”

Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Mozart in concert with top orchestras

In concert, meanwhile, Andsnes continues to prove himself a member of “an elite circle of pianistic stardom” (New York Times). The coming season showcases his interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto, of which his 2010 recording scored a five-star review in the UK’s Telegraph and prompted the Guardian to marvel: “The passion burns from within in this incendiary account.” The jazz-inflected concerto is the vehicle for his upcoming appearances with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony (May 4–6), as well as with the Berlin Philharmonic (May 18–20), Barcelona Symphony (Sep 30–Oct 2), and Russia’s State Academic Symphony Orchestra in Vienna (Oct 17) and Nuremberg (Oct 18).

Andsnes also plays Schumann’s Concerto with the NHK Symphony (Nov 19-20), and continues his renewed focus on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. It was in that concerto, which was the first he ever performed professionally, that the New York Times found him “typically excellent, playing with immaculate touch and a restrained theatricality of his own,” at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival this past summer. In the coming season, he reprises the piece with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Mozartwoche (Jan 28), with the Brussels Philharmonic under Stéphane Denève (Jan 14), and with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and Andris Nelsons in Munich (Jan 25). For his upcoming concerts at home and on tours of Switzerland, France, and the UK with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (March 6-18), he pairs the concerto with Mozart’s 22nd, of which he explains:

“I’ll also be doing a new Mozart concerto this season – K. 482, the E-flat concerto, No. 22, which has been on the list as one of my ‘top five’ for a long time.”

Highlights of 2015-16 season

These upcoming engagements follow on the heels of another full and triumphant season for the pianist. Andsnes played Mozart with the Chicago Symphony and Schumann with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and gave North American solo recitals at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, after which the Washington Post observed: “Great artists, like Andsnes, make nanoseconds indelibly memorable.” His “Beethoven Journey” project, which was named one of the “Best of 2015” by both the New York Times and the Guardian, was documented in Concerto – A Beethoven Journey, a new documentary from award-winning British director and filmmaker Phil Grabsky. Described as “a wonderfully uplifting and rewarding experience” that “demands to be seen” (Gramophone), this premiered at screenings around the world, and was shown at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, where Moore introduced the film to a packed theater, and Andsnes joined director Grabsky for a post-screening Q & A. With Tabea Zimmermann, Clemens Hagen, and James Ehnes, who stepped in for new father Christian Tetzlaff, he played Brahms piano quartet cycles on both sides of the Atlantic, including in a Carnegie Hall concert that the New York Times declared “a triumph.” As the subject of his second prestigious LSO Artist Profile series, his residency comprised solo and chamber recitals as well as two concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, which he directed from the keyboard in a “nuanced and alive” (Guardian) account of Mozart’s 20th. And this past summer, in addition to his Mostly Mozart and Rosendal Chamber Music Festival successes, Andsnes received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from New York’s Juilliard School, in a live-streamed ceremony at the school’s 2016 commencement.

To download high-resolution photos, click here.


Leif Ove Andsnes: 2016-17 engagements

Aug 22–Sep 6
South American tour
Aug 22: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro)
Aug 23 & 24: São Paulo, Brazil (Sala São Paulo – Praça)
Aug 27: Frutillar, Chile (Teatro del Lago)
Sept 5 & 6: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Teatro Colón – Cerrito)

Sep 10
Bergen, Norway
International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition
Final round

Sep 21
Malmö, Sweden
Malmö Chamber Music Festival
SCHUBERT: Fantasy in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940

Sep 30–Oct 2
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona Symphony / Kazushi Ono
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 4

Oct 17
Vienna, Austria
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia / Vladimir Jurowski
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 4

Oct 18
Nuremberg, Germany
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia / Vladimir Jurowski
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 4

Nov 19 & 20
Tokyo, Japan
NHK Symphony Orchestra / David Zinman
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Nov 22–27
Recital tour of Japan and South Korea
SCHUBERT: Three piano pieces, D. 946
SIBELIUS: Selected works for solo piano
DEBUSSY: Estampes (“Pagodes,” “La soirée dans Grenade,” “Jardins sous la pluie”)
CHOPIN: Ballade No. 2 in F, Op. 38
CHOPIN: Nocturne in F, Op. 15, No. 1
CHOPIN: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
Nov 22: Nagoya, Japan (Denki Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall)
Nov 23: Saitama, Japan (Tokorozawa Civic Cultural Center MUSE)
Nov 25: Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall)
Nov 26: Hyogo, Japan (Hyogo Performing Arts Centre)
Nov 27: Seoul, South Korea (Lotte Concert Hall Seoul)

Jan 14
Brussels, Belgium
Brussels Philharmonic / Stéphane Denève
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466

Jan 25
Munich, Germany
Philharmonia Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466

Jan 28
Salzburg, Austria
Vienna Philharmonic / Thomas Hengelbrock
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466

Jan 30
Gstaad, Switzerland
Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad
SCHUBERT: Winterreise, D. 911 (with Matthias Goerne, baritone)

Feb 1, 3 & 4
Brussels, Belgium
BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts
SCHUBERT: song cycles (with Matthias Goerne, baritone)
Feb 1: Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795
  Feb 3: Winterreise, D. 911
Feb 4: Schwanengesang, D. 957

Feb 6, 8 & 10
Paris, France
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
SCHUBERT: song cycles (with Matthias Goerne, baritone)
Feb 6: Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795
Feb 8: Winterreise, D. 911
Feb 10: Schwanengesang, D. 957

Feb 23, 24 (& 25 TBC)
Kristiansand, Norway
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

March 6–18
In Oslo and on tours of Switzerland, France, and UK with Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
March 6 & 7: Oslo, Norway (Oslo University Aula)
March 10: Geneva, Switzerland
March 11: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
March 12: Lucerne, Switzerland
March 13: Basel, Switzerland
March 15: Lyon (TBC), France
March 16: Amiens (TBC), France
March 17: London, UK
March 18: Leeds, UK

March 28–May 1
Two-piano recital tours of Europe and U.S. with Marc-André Hamelin, piano
MOZART: Larghetto and Allegro in E-flat
STRAVINSKY: Concerto for Two Pianos
DEBUSSY: En blanc et noir
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring
March 28–April 4: Europe
March 28: Rotterdam, Netherlands
March 29: Dortmund, Germany
March 30: London, UK (Wigmore Hall)
April 1: Dublin, Ireland
April 2: Chiasso, Switzerland
April 3: Florence, Italy
April 4: Eindhoven, Netherlands

April 24–May 1: U.S.
April 24: Seattle
April 25: San Francisco
April 26: Los Angeles
April 28: New York (Carnegie Hall)
April 30: Chicago (Symphony Center)
May 1: Washington, D.C.

May 4–6
Boston, MA
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 4

May 7
Boston, MA
SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Trio in E minor (with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra)

May 18–20
Berlin, Germany
Berlin Philharmonic / Andrés Orozco-Estrada
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 4

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© 21C Media Group, August 2016

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