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Leif Ove Andsnes: Pittsburgh Sym, Philly Orch & Dover Quartet tour this spring

Leif Ove Andsnes (photo: Helge Hansen for Sony Classical)

(March 2024) — This spring, celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes – “a pianist
of magisterial elegance, power, and insight” (New York Times) – returns to North America
for performances of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh
Symphony (April 19 & 21) and Philadelphia Orchestra (May 2–4), as well as a five-city
North American tour with the Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet (April 23–30).
Bookended by dates at D.C.’s Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall, the tour
showcases their interpretations of piano quintets by Dohnányi and Brahms. These
engagements follow the success of Leif Ove Andsnes: The Complete Warner Classics Edition
1990-2010. Released internationally last fall, the 36-CD retrospective was recently named
“among 2023’s most rewarding releases” by the Wall Street Journal. Watch Andsnes talk
about the set here.

Rachmaninov’s Third in Pittsburgh (April 19 & 21) & Philadelphia (May 2–4)

Andsnes has long made his mark on the music of Rachmaninov. Recorded with the Berlin
Philharmonic, his interpretation of the Russian composer’s first two piano concertos was
nominated for a Grammy and recognized with both Gramophone and Classical Brit Awards,
while in recent months his live accounts of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto have
inspired glowing praise. With the Orchestre de Paris, his performance of the work was
pronounced “a triumph” (Bachtrack) that succeeded in “electrify[ing] the Philharmonie”
(Diapason), and his reading of the concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra drew
a five-star review from the Times of London, which marveled:

“Andsnes is one of classical music’s most in-demand performers for his brilliant
technique and terrific musicianship , yet he doesn’t have an ostentatious bone in his
body. That’s why this performance, as marvellous to watch as to hear, was simultaneously
so poetic and so gripping. In a pianistic masterclass, Andsnes took the concerto’s
ferocious demands completely in his stride without seeming so much as to break sweat. He
played Rachmaninov’ s lines with bell-like clarity and intense focus but with a line of
poetry running through like a golden thread. Even when the orchestra melted away and
he played solo cadenzas that would make most pianists lose sleep, his playing was beautiful
rather than showy, infused with lyrical legato. His presence raised the orchestra to the level
of greatness.”

Next month, Andsnes revisits the concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony and its Music
Director, Manfred Honeck (April 19 & 21). Recalling previous collaborations with the
Grammy-winning Austrian conductor, Andsnes reflects:

“I have always been so intrigued with the string sounds that Manfred Honeck has been able
to bring out of an orchestra. He’s able to get a unique surging quality and flexibility in
phrasing from the strings. He is a great musician and I’m really happy to join him in
Pittsburgh where he has built a very strong orchestra.”

Andsnes then reprises the concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra in performances that
mark his first under the baton of Dalia Stasevska, who holds positions as Chief Conductor
of Finland’s Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the International Sibelius
Festival and Principal Guest Conductor of Britain’s BBC Symphony Orchestra (May 2–4).

North American tour with Dover Quartet (April 23–30)

Andsnes’s concerto dates bookend his five-city North American tour with the two-time
Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet, arguably “one of the greatest quartets of the last 100
years” (BBC Music magazine). Having first performed with the American group at Norway’s
Rosendal International Chamber Festival, of which he is the founding director, the pianist

“I’m very excited to work with the Dover Quartet again. They are a fabulous quartet that
made a great impression in 2018 at my Rosendal Festival. I was so very impressed with
them! They returned to the festival last year, but this is our first tour together.”

For their first collaboration at Rosendal, Andsnes and the Dovers played Dohnányi’s
Second Piano Quintet, which they now pair with Brahms’s sole Piano Quintet on the
upcoming tour. Flanked by dates at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (April 23) and
Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York City (April 30), this takes them to San Francisco
(April 25), Toronto (April 28) and Aliso Viejo, CA, where Andsnes also performs
selections from Brahms’s Seven Fantasies for solo piano (April 26).

European spring highlights

Andsnes’s North American engagements punctuate a full European spring, featuring
performances of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto on a French tour with the Orchestre
national des Pays de la Loire (April 2–7) and with the Bavarian Radio Symphony (June
13–15); a solo recital tour with a program of Schubert, Brahms and Geirr Tveitt (March
15–20; April 11); and four-hands recitals of Schubert and Kurtág with fellow pianist
Bertrand Chamayou at Norway’s Bergen Festival (May 30), Austria’s Schubertiade (June
20) and Germany’s Ruhr Piano Festival (June 26).

2024 Rosendal Chamber Music Festival

To crown the season, summer brings “Contrasts,” the 2024 Rosendal Chamber Music
Festival. Drawing inspiration from Bartók’s Contrasts, this year’s edition juxtaposes a
celebration of Hungary’s rich musical heritage with a focus on the music of Bach,
presenting works by Liszt, Bartók, Kodály, Kurtág and others alongside such Baroque
masterpieces as the St. John Passion. Founded by Andsnes in 2016, the annual chamber
festival is held in the idyllic Norwegian village of Rosendal, which may be reached by boat
from Bergen airport. Set in a green valley beneath dramatic mountains, the Baroniet
Rosendal Manor House and Gardens date from 1665, offering visitors a glimpse of
Norwegian history in one of the country’s most spectacular natural settings. As the UK’s
Arts Desk put it, “It is a utopian place for utopian musicians.” France’s Diapason
magazine adds:

“Andsnes has found a winning formula. … In addition to the intelligence of its
programming and the high level of its performers, the festival benefits from what is often
lacking in the most exclusive of locations: authenticity and atmosphere – truly magical.”

See the 2024 festival program here and the festival announcement here.

Success of new 36-CD retrospective

Andsnes is a prolific recording artist, whose extensive discography has been recognized
with eleven Grammy nominations and seven Gramophone Awards to date. Before recording
exclusively, as he does now, for Sony Classical, he signed with Virgin Classics in 1990 and
with EMI Classics nine years later. Having acquired both catalogs in 2013, last fall Warner
Music Group issued Leif Ove Andsnes: The Complete Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010.
The 36-CD set chronicles a 20-year partnership that yielded a rich seam of treasures –
multiple bestsellers and Gramophone Award-winners among them – and its release drew
widespread praise. International Piano magazine hailed the collection as a trove of “early
recordings … that showcase a young pianist of consummate artistry, sincerity and
humanity.” Gratified to see “a great pianist celebrated,” the UK’s Arts Desk observed:

“You’d happily acquire this box for Andsnes’ performances of mainstream 19th and 20th
century repertoire. … In amongst the blockbusters, there are some intriguing detours … and
a selection of encores entitled Horizons is a delight, Andsnes’ startling stylistic range on
display. … These are compelling performances, each one a winning blend of grace and

Indeed, in his end-of-year round-up for the Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein named
the set “among 2023’s most rewarding releases.” Download the complete booklet here
and additional details here.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

Leif Ove Andsnes: upcoming engagements

March 15–20; April 11: European solo recital tour
March 15: Amsterdam (Muziekgebouw)
March 16: Ghent, Belgium
March 18: Lyon, France
March 20: Berlin, Germany (Boulez Saal)
April 11: Vienna, Austria (Musikverein)
SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata in A minor
Geirr TVEITT: Piano Sonata No. 29, “Sonata Etere”
SCHUBERT: Impromptu D.935, No. 1
BRAHMS: Seven Fantasies, Op. 116

April 2–7: French tour with Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire
April 2: Nantes, France
April 4: Angers, France
April 6: Cholet, France
April 7: Angers, France
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

April 19 & 21
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 3

April 23–30: U.S. tour with Dover Quartet
April 23: Washington, DC (Kennedy Center)
April 25: San Francisco, CA
April 26: Aliso Viejo, CA
April 28: Toronto, Canada
April 30: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall: Zankel Hall)
DOHNÁNYI: Piano Quintet No. 2
BRAHMS: Piano Quintet
BRAHMS: Selections from Seven Fantasies, Op. 116 for solo piano (April 26 only)

May 2–4
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra / Dalia Stasevska
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 3

May 30 & 31
Bergen, Norway
Bergen Festival
May 30: recital with Bertrand Chamayou, piano
SCHUBERT: late works for piano four-hands
György KURTÁG: selections from Játékok for solo piano and piano four-hands
May 31: masterclass

June 6
Trondheim, Norway
Trondheim Symphony Orchestra / Magnus Fryklund
DEBUSSY: Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra
FRANCK: Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra

June 12
Munich, Germany
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra “Watch This Space” chamber concert
DOHNÁNYI: Piano Quintet No. 2 (with Key Märkl & Lorenz Chen, violins; Emiko Yuasa, viola; Uta
Zenke-Vogelmann, cello)

June 13–15: concerts with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Franz Welser-Möst
June 13 & 14: Munich, Germany
June 15: Vienna, Austria
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

June 20 & 22
Hohenems, Austria
Schubertiade Festival
June 20: recital with Bertrand Chamayou, piano (to be recorded by ORF Sound Radio)
SCHUBERT: late works for piano four-hands
György KURTÁG: selections from Játékok for solo piano and piano four-hands
June 22: recital with Matthias Goerne, baritone
SCHUBERT: selected lieder

June 26
Düsseldorf, Germany
Ruhr Piano Festival
Recital with Bertrand Chamayou, piano
SCHUBERT: late works for piano four-hands
György KURTÁG: selections from Játékok for solo piano and piano four-hands

July 8–10
Lofoten, Norway
Lofoten Festival
(With Arvid Engegård & Liza Ferschtman, violins; Juliet Jopling, viola; Martin Fröst, clarinet; Paul
Lewis, piano;)

Aug 7–11
Rosendal, Norway
Rosendal Chamber Music Festival (Founder and Artistic Director)
Aug 7: Opening Concert
BARTÓK: Violin Sonata No. 1 (with Vilde Frang, violin)
Aug 8
György KURTÁG: Ligatura – Message to Frances-Marie (the Answered Unanswered Question)
(with Adrien Jurkovic & Thomas Descamps, violins; Tanja Tetzlaff & Simon Iachemet, cellos)
SCHUMANN: Fantasiestücke (with Wenzel Fuchs, clarinet)
György KURTÁG: Selections from Játékok (with Antoine Tamestit, viola)
György KURTÁG: Jelek, játékok és üzenetek (with Antoine Tamestit, viola)
György KURTÁG: Homage to R. Schumann (with Wenzel Fuchs, clarinet; Antoine Tamestit, viola)
Aug 10
LISZT: Consolations Nos. 2, 3 & 6
LISZT: Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (Elegie) (with Florian Donderer, violin),
LISZT: Romance oubliée (with Antoine Tamestit, viola)
Aug 11
LISZT: Via Crucis (with Norwegian Soloists’ Choir)

Aug 17
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne Festival
Lucerne Festival Orchestra / Klaus Mäkelä
GRIEG: Piano Concerto

Aug 22 & 24: concerts with Oslo Philharmonic / Klaus Mäkelä
Aug 22: Oslo, Norway
Aug 24: Bodø, Norway
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5

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© 21C Media Group, March 2024

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