Leif Ove Andsnes

Piano

Managed in association with Enticott Music Management

Biography

The New York Times calls Leif Ove Andsnes “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight,” and the Wall Street Journal names him “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation.” With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the celebrated Norwegian pianist has won acclaim worldwide, playing concertos and recitals in the world’s leading concert halls and with its foremost orchestras. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding director of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival which takes place over four days each August, in the idyllic setting of West Norway.

Andsnes opened the 2019 / 20 season by returning to a work which he performed often at the beginning of his career but has seldom played in the last decade. Grieg’s piano concerto was the central work in a programme with Concerto Copenhagen – the city where the concerto was premiered 150 years ago. The concerto also featured on tour with the Oslo Philharmonic and in the opening programme of his season as Artist in Residence with the Gothenburg Symphony. From Scandinavia Andsnes travelled to the States, to perform Grieg again, first with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, followed by performances in both Boston and New York’s Carnegie Hall with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestras. He returned to Grieg in June 2020 for a particularly memorable performance with Ed Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic, celebrating Norway’s first public concert after lockdown.

Following the success of their “Beethoven Journey” collaboration, Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra partner once more for the start of another major multi year project titled “Mozart Momentum 1785/86,” that sees them explore one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career. This season, they tour throughout Europe and record Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20-24 together with chamber music for release on Sony Classical.  Andsnes also performs Mozart with the Munich Philharmonic and orchestras across Scandinavia, including the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Other planned highlights of the 2020 / 21 season are recital tours of Asia in December, and North America in January, culminating in a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall with a programme of  Schumann, Janáček, and Bartok.  In the USA Andsnes also performs the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, with the Houston Symphony and St Louis Symphony Orchestra and returns to Washington for the National Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda’s closing season performances of Brahms Piano Concerto No.1.

Leif Ove Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical. His previous discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics – solo, chamber, and concerto releases, many of them bestsellers – spanning repertoire from the time of Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for eleven Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Awards.  Recent releases encompass the Billboard best-selling Sibelius as well as Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes (Sony Classical), an album of Stravinsky’s music for two pianos with Marc-André Hamelin (Hyperion), Schumann’s Liederkreis & Kernerlieder, with Matthias Goerne (Harmonia Mundi), Bent Sørensen’s piano concerto, La Mattina, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård (Dacapo) and a disc dedicated to the music of Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef with the Bergen Philharmonic (Simax).

Andsnes has received Norway’s distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, and in 2007, was awarded the prestigious Peer Gynt Prize. He is also the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award, was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in July 2013, and received honorary doctorates from New York’s Juilliard School and Norway’s University of Bergen in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the “Best of the Best” in 2005.

Born in Karmøy, Norway in 1970, Leif Ove Andsnes studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory under the renowned Czech professor Jirí Hlinka. He has also received invaluable advice from the Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège who, like Hlinka, has greatly influenced his style and philosophy of playing.  He is currently an Artistic Adviser for the Prof. Jirí Hlinka Piano Academy in Bergen where he gives regular masterclasses to participating students. Andsnes lives in Bergen with his partner and their three children.

Recent News

Reviews

“Andsnes has entered an elite circle of pianistic stardom. … When he sits in front of the keyboard …, extraordinary things happen.”

Jeremy Eichler

New York Times

“In the first movement of his Second Piano Concerto, Beethoven interrupts the lively giddy mood for a few bars to pause briefly with a dreamy melody. Nothing big, just a pretty interlude, one would think. But, as Leif Ove Andsnes hinted, there with a trill, a slight voltage hesitation and, as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO), dipped the sound the passage suddenly gave off a very special magic. Such small miracles – and there were several – showed the exceptional level of the evening, in the sold-out Laeiszhalle giving the Elbe Philharmonic concerts a brilliant start to the season. Normally the repertoire of orchestras and their guests allows too little time for detailed work. Andsnes and the multinational elite group of the MCO have been working for years on the intricacies of their Beethoven-image. The blind understanding between the soloist and his partner could be felt in every bar of the piano concertos … The pianist brings Beethoven down from the base of the “Titans” and provides him with both feet on the ground, where we can see him through the eyes of the soul. People rarely have the chance to come this close to Beethoven “

Hamburger Abendblatt

More Reviews

“Things got more refined with the appearance of pianist Leif Ove Andsnes to perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 4 in G minor, the least well-known of the four. After emigrating from Russia after the October Revolution in 1917 and enjoying great success in the USA, the Fourth, whilst already started, was not finished until 1926. Appearing after a compositional lull, it was different enough to be scathingly received. Gone are the sweeping, eternal lines, memorable melodies and thick scoring. The Fourth is varied and subtle and more thinly scored than the Second or Third, shifting from idea to idea so quickly that it was condemned as trivial and salon-like by his critics. A New York Evening Telegramcritic clearly saw it not as progressive, but diminutive, writing that “Mme Cécile Chaminade might safely have perpetrated it on her third glass of vodka”. Andnes mastered the virtuosic work with remarkable ease. His attention to sound was beautiful and varied, and he filled the corners of each tone regardless of dynamic level or style of attack. It was a pleasure to listen to him, particularly within the introspective second movement, which was a dream. At the close of his performance one could have heard a pin drop, and Andnes was called to the stage repeatedly, graciously offering a Sibelius Romance as an encore.”

Chanda VanderHart, Bachtrack 

“… Leif Ove Andsnes performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 4 – with its complex melody and intricate solo part – displaying both an immaculate technique and virtuosic empathy for the music.”

Walter Dobner, Die Presse 

“Andsnes’s pianistic skill in sustaining all but orchestral accompaniments was formidable.”

The Times 

“Most recitalists treat programme-making as a secondary art: a bit of light and dark, fast and slow, to point up contrasts, modulate a theme and display a variety of skills. Matthias Goerne and Leif Ove Andsnes are made of sterner stuff. For their collaboration on Tuesday they chose a monothematic programme on the subject of death, comprising music by just two composers. Morbid? No, exquisite.”

The Financial Times 

“Andsnes evidently took as much care with the musical line of Shostakovich’s Night as he would have done with a solo work. He brought out the all-too-obvious ‘quirkiness’ of Immortality, and there could be no faulting strength or starkness in the performance from either artists of Death.”

Seen and Heard International 

“The great pleasure of the evening came from Andsnes… wonderfully penumbral in the Shostakovich, he picked out Mahler’s counterpoint with exquisite, Bach-like lucidity.”

The Guardian 

“A pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight.”

New York Times 

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