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, while building an esteemed and extensive discography. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding director of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, was co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music for nearly two decades, and served as music director of California’s Ojai Music Festival in 2012. He 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.

Andsnes is currently partnering with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) on “Mozart Momentum 1785/86.” A major multi-season project exploring one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career, this sees the pianist lead the ensemble from the keyboard in accounts of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20–24 at key European venues, as well as recording them for Sony Classical. When it was released in May 2021, the project’s first album, MM/1785, was named “Record of the Week” by BBC Radio 3 and “Recording of the Month” by Gramophone magazine, which pronounced it “a remarkable achievement by all concerned.” “Mozart Momentum 1785/86” marks Andsnes’s second artistic partnership with the MCO, following the success of “The Beethoven Journey.” An epic four-season focus on the composer’s music for piano and orchestra, this took the pianist to 108 cities in 27 countries for more than 230 live performances, and is perhaps his most ambitious achievement to date. He led the MCO from the keyboard in complete Beethoven concerto cycles at high-profile residencies in Bonn, Hamburg, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bodø and London, besides collaborating with such leading international ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic and Munich Philharmonic. The project was chronicled in the documentary Concerto – A Beethoven Journey (2016), and Andsnes’s partnership with the MCO was captured on the hit Sony Classical three-volume series The Beethoven Journey. The first volume was named iTunes’ Best Instrumental Album of 2012 and awarded Belgium’s Prix Caecilia, the second recognized with BBC Music’s coveted “2015 Recording of the Year Award,” and the complete series chosen as one of the “Best of 2014” by the New York Times.

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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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