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Leif Ove Andsnes Plays Schumann, Bartók and Janáček in Solo Recitals at Carnegie Hall and Other Stops on North American Tour (Jan 18-27)

Leif Ove Andsnes – “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight” (New York Times) – returns to North America in the New Year for a solo recital tour. With a colorful new program of Schumann’s Three Romances and Carnaval, Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, and Bartók’s Three Burlesques, this takes him to Boston (Jan 18), La Jolla (Jan 20), San Francisco (Jan 22), Montreal (Jan 26), Chicago (Jan 27), and New York’s Carnegie Hall (Jan 24). The tour follows the success of Andsnes’s fall release, Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, which has just been named one of the “Best Classical Albums of 2018” (WQXR) and nominated for an International Classical Music Award. Furthermore, his  two-piano Stravinsky recording with Marc-André Hamelin, released this past February, has just scored the celebrated Norwegian pianist his ninth Grammy nomination.

Before his American tour, Andsnes gives December recitals in Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Florence, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other key European cities, all with the same program of Schumann, Janáček, and Bartók. He explains:

“The biggest piece is Schumann’s Carnaval, which I’ve loved since I was little, but this is the first time I have really studied it. It’s his Opus 9, written when he was in his twenties. The ‘carnaval’ of imaginary figures that he created was so crazy and so new at the time. It was the big Schumann piece for older generations of pianists, but now I find that one doesn’t hear it so often. You are more likely to hear the Fantasie or Kreisleriana. I find it amazing to study Carnaval now, it is so full of wild wonderful ideas.”

The upcoming Carnegie Hall concert marks the pianist’s first appearance in New York since completing his season-long tenure as Artist-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic, when he “he resurrected rarities and dazzled audiences with revelatory interpretations of Rachmaninoff, Britten and more” (New York Times). To conclude the residency, he gave a solo recital at David Geffen Hall that once again showed him to be an “exceptional pianist,” ever willing “to take chances and get audiences thinking” (New York Times).

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Andsnes kicked off the present season with the release of Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes on Sony Classical. His first recording of the Romantic master composer’s music in more than a decade, the new album intersperses Chopin’s Four Ballades with three of his nocturnes. The disc has already been nominated for an International Classical Music Award by a jury comprising 18 of Europe’s leading classical music media, and the critical response has been phenomenal. WQXR named the recording one of “The Best Classical Albums of 2018.” Germany’s Bavarian Radio pronounced the album “breathtaking.”

In a five-star review, Classical Source found Andsnes’s performance to have a “magnetic quality, drawing you into a veiled world, one that blossoms from moonlight into greater dimensions and intensity, achieved with seamless and natural artistry.”

In a five-star “Editor’s Choice” review, BBC Music magazine admired his “myriad beauties of tone and understanding,” before declaring the album: “A delectable disc.”

For France’s ResMusica, the recording represents the “quintessence of the pianistic art and the poetic approach of the great interpreter.” As the review concluded, Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes is, “no doubt, one of the great piano discs of this year or even this decade!


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Leif Ove Andsnes: North American solo recital tour

Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 28
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path, Part 1
Bartók: Three Burlesques, Op. 8c, Sz. 47
Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9 

Jan 18
Boston, MA
Celebrity Series

Jan 20
La Jolla, CA

Jan 22
San Francisco, CA
Davies Symphony Hall

Jan 24
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall

Jan 26
Montreal, Canada

Jan 27
Chicago, IL
Chicago Symphony Center

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© 21C Media Group, December 2018

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