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This Fall, Leif Ove Andsnes Plays Schumann with NY Phil (Oct) and Tours Europe with Both Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Nov) and Christian Tetzlaff (Sep)

Leif Ove Andsnes (photo: Helge Hansen for Sony Music Entertainment)

Leif Ove Andsnes, whose Schumann interpretations have already been recognized with multiple Gramophone Awards and Grammy nominations, makes his first U.S. appearances since the start of the pandemic this October, when he plays the composer’s sole Piano Concerto with Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic. The following month, the celebrated Norwegian pianist embarks on the next phase of “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” his second multi-season partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performing concertos from one of the most creative and seminal periods of Mozart’s career on a high-profile European tour. These concerto collaborations highlight a full fall for the pianist, who launches the new season with a duo recital tour with longtime chamber partner Christian Tetzlaff, appearing at key European venues including Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal and London’s Wigmore Hall. “Andsnes has entered an elite circle of pianistic stardom,” writes the New York Times. “When he sits in front of the keyboard … extraordinary things happen.”

Schumann Concerto with New York Philharmonic (Oct 14-16) and others
A frequent collaborator with the New York Philharmonic, Andsnes undertook a year-long tenure as its 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence, during which he showcased a number of little-known works by well-loved composers, giving a “revelatory account” (New York Times) of Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto, displaying “easy virtuosity and panache” (New York Times) in Debussy’s Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, offering “an exhilarating performance” of Britten’s Piano Concerto, and concluding with a solo recital that showed him to be an “exceptional pianist,” ever willing “to take chances and get audiences thinking” (New York Times). Now, he rejoins the orchestra for a Romantic program pairing his solo performance of Clara Schumann’s Romance in A minor with an account of her husband’s sole Piano Concerto, led by Music Director Jaap von Zweden (Oct 14-16).

Schumann’s Piano Concerto is also the vehicle for the season-opening concerts that mark Andsnes’s Orchestre National de Montpellier debut (Oct 7 & 8) and for his returns to Norway’s Stavanger Symphony (Dec 2 & 3) and the Dresden Philharmonic under the baton of Thomas Dausgaard (Dec 18 & 19). The pianist reprises the concerto again next year, first for an extensive European tour with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati (Jan 29–Feb 12), and then for appearances with the Israel Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert (March 9–13).

Made with the Berlin Philharmonic, Andsnes’s benchmark 2004 recording of Schumann’s concerto was honored with a Gramophone Award, a German Record Critics’ Award, a Norwegian Spellemann Prize and a coveted Penguin GuideRosette,” besides being named “Best CD of the Year” by the New York Times, which pronounced his interpretation “exceptional.” The pianist has won similar accolades for his recordings of Schumann’s solo piano works and of the composer’s song cycles Liederkreis and Kernerlieder, made with baritone Matthias Goerne, both of which were recognized with Grammy nominations.

“Mozart Momentum 1785/1786” European tour with MCO (Nov 6–21)
To explore one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career, Andsnes recently launched “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” his second multi-season project as the inaugural Artistic Partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO). For the next phase of their collaboration, he and the MCO embark on a European tour together in November. At concerts in Lisbon (Nov 6), Lugano (Nov 12) and Berlin (Nov 13), he leads the orchestra from the keyboard in performances of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24, which they combine with the composer’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 at mini-residencies in Hamburg (Nov 8–10), Brussels (Nov 19–21) and Vienna (Nov 15–17), where their performances will be recorded for future release.

“Mozart Momentum 1785/1786” sees Andsnes and the ensemble delve into what is not only a high point of the composer’s career, but one of the most remarkable periods in classical music history. In 1785 and 1786, Mozart wrote a series of masterpieces that would forever change the piano concerto. By showcasing the transformative part he played in the genre’s development, Andsnes and the MCO hope to present a rich portrait of the Classical master at the top of his game. MM/1785, the first volume of their ongoing Sony Classical series Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, was released this past May to a chorus of critical acclaim. Citing their “dazzlingly imaginative music making,” BBC Radio 3 named the album its “Record of the Week,” while Gramophone magazine, calling it “a remarkable achievement by all concerned,” chose it as “Recording of the Month.” The pianist’s first collaboration with the MCO was also a resounding success, culminating in the hit Sony Classical series The Beethoven Journey, named one of the “Best of 2014” by the New York Times and recognized with iTunes’ Best Instrumental Album, Belgium’s Prix Caecilia and BBC Music’s “Recording of the Year.” Nevertheless, MM/1785 has arguably succeeded in raising the bar yet higher. As BBC Radio 3’s Record Review observes: “There is an intimacy and intensity of focus that is really attractive. … It’s seriously beautiful music making and a highly effective reflection of a key year in Mozart’s piano writing.” Click here to watch the trailer for “Mozart Momentum 1785.”

Duo recital tour of Europe with Christian Tetzlaff (Sep 15–21)
An avid chamber musician, Andsnes is the founding director of Norway’s Rosendal Chamber Music Festival and has previously served as music director of California’s Ojai Music Festival. One of his most longstanding and fruitful musical partnerships is with German violinist Christian Tetzlaff; finding the two “simply in a class of their own,” The Scotsman’s five-star review of one of their duo performances concluded: “Their truly collaborative musical language was one which spoke with direct humanity to connect with the audience on a seldom experienced, deep, emotional level.” It was with Tetzlaff that Andsnes scored another of his eight Grammy nominations for his recording of Bartók’s Violin Sonatas, and the Hungarian composer’s music is back on the program when the two reunite to launch the new season with a European tour. In duo recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall (Sep 15), Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal (Sep 16), Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Sep 17), Antwerp’s deSingel (Sep 19) and the Moscow State Philharmonic Society (Sep 21), they pair Bartók’s First Violin Sonata with Dvořák’s Sonata in F, completing their program with Lutoslawski’s Partita in London and Berlin, and with Grieg’s Third Violin Sonata elsewhere on the tour.

Next year, Andsnes rejoins another of his most trusted chamber partners, giving two-piano recitals in Vienna (Feb 28) and Amsterdam (May 28) with Marc-André Hamelin. The two pianists’ recording of Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & other works was a recent Grammy nominee, and in live performance their collaboration has been variously hailed as “a keyboard partnership of titans” (The Times of London) and “a meeting of two champions at the top of their game” (Washington Post).

Click here to download high-resolution photos, here to order MM/1785, and here to check out the Mozart Momentum 1785/1786 video series.

Leif Ove Andsnes: 2021-22 engagements
Sep 15–21
European recital tour with Christian Tetzlaff, violin
DVOŘÁK: Sonata for Violin and Piano in F, Op. 57
BARTÓK: Violin Sonata No. 1
LUTOSŁAWSKI: Partita for Violin and Piano (London & Berlin only)
GRIEG: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 (Paris, Antwerp & Moscow only)
Sep 15: London (Wigmore Hall)
Sep 16: Berlin (Pierre Boulez Saal)
Sep 17: Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées)
Sep 19: Antwerp, Belgium (deSingel)
Sep 21: Moscow (Moscow State Philharmonic Society)

Oct 1-3
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen Chamber Music Festival
Oct 1: chamber concert with Marius Neset, saxophone; Andreas Brantelid, cello
Introduction to Prague’s Ballet
Oct 2: solo recital
SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata No. 13 in A, D. 664
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E, Op. 109
DVOŘÁK: Poetic Tone Poems, Op. 85
Oct 3: chamber concert with artists from Crescendo talent program
Program TBA

Oct 7 & 8
Montpellier, France
Orchestre National de Montpellier (debut) / Michael Schønwandt
Opening Night
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Oct 14-16
New York, NY
New York Philharmonic / Jaap von Zweden
CLARA SCHUMANN: Romance in A minor, WoO 28
ROBERT SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Nov 6–21
“Mozart Momentum 1785/86”: European tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488
MOZART: Symphony No. 38 in D, K. 504 “Prague”
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Nov 6: Lisbon (Gulbenkian; concertos only)
Nov 8: Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie)
Nov 9 & 10: Hamburg (Laeiszhalle)
Nov 12: Lugano, Switzerland (concertos only)
Nov 13: Berlin (Philharmonie – Chamber Music Hall; concertos only)
Nov 15–17: Vienna (Musikverein; with live recording)
Nov 19–21: Brussels (Bozar – Palais des Beaux-Arts)

Dec 2 & 3
Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Dec 18 & 19
Dresden, Germany
Dresden Philharmonic / Thomas Dausgaard
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Jan 4-13, 2022
European recital tour with Lise Davidsen, soprano
GRIEG: Six Songs, Op. 48, Nos. 1, 2, 5 & 6; Haugtussa, Op. 67
RICHARD STRAUSS: Four Songs, Op. 27; Five Songs: “Befreit,” Op. 39, No. 4
WAGNER: Wesendonck Lieder
Jan 6: Berlin, Germany
Jan 8: Madrid, Spain (Teatro Real)
Jan 9: Muich, Germany (Cuvillies-Theater)
Jan 11: Vienna, Austria (Mozart Saal-Wiener Konzerthaus)

Jan 29–Feb 12
European tour with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Robin Ticciati
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (all but Cologne)
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482 (Cologne only)
Jan 29 & 30: Berlin
Feb 5: Friedrichshafen
Feb 6: Dortmund
Feb 7: Cologne
Feb 9: Budapest
Feb 10: Eindhoven
Feb 12: Boulogne-Billancourt

Feb 28; May 28
Two-piano recitals with Marc-André Hamelin
JOHN ADAMS: Hallelujah Junction
SCHUMANN: Six Canonic Etudes, Op. 56
DEBUSSY: En blanc et noir
STRAVINSKY: Le sacre du printemps
Feb 28: Vienna (Konzerthaus)
May 28: Amsterdam (Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ)

March 9-13
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Gilbert
DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet in A, Op 81
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

April 1 & 3
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
BRITTEN: Piano Concerto, Op. 13

June 15-19
Oslo, Norway
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22, K. 482

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© 21C Media Group, August 2021

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