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Leif Ove Andsnes plays back-to-back U.S. concerto dates this month (Nov 14–24)
Source: 21C
05/11/2019

Leif Ove Andsnes returns to the States for a pair of major, back-to-back orchestral collaborations this month. With Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony, first at the orchestra’s home (Nov 14–16) and then at New York’s Carnegie Hall (Nov 18), he reprises the “definitive performance” (Chicago Sun-Times) of Grieg’s Piano Concertowith which he recently reaffirmed his place “among the finest keyboardists of our time” (Classical Review). He then joins the San Francisco Symphony under Manfred Honeck for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat (Nov 22-24), one of the works featured most prominently in the celebrated Norwegian pianist’s ongoing, multi-season “Mozart Momentum 1785/86” project.
 
Andsnes has long been recognized as one of the leading exponents of the music of Edvard Grieg. Made with the Berlin Philharmonic, his 2004 recording of the Norwegian composer’s Piano Concerto was not only named “Best CD of the Year” by the New York Times and awarded a coveted “Rosette” by the Penguin Guide, but also – like the pianist’s album of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces – scored him one of his six Gramophone Awards. This fall, in season-opening concerts with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony, Andsnes’s “thrillingly fresh interpretation” (WTTW, PBS Chicago) of the concerto impressed the Chicago Tribune with its “quicksilver passagework, impeccable articulation and a singing, beautifully sculpted tone.” Similarly, his recent European tour of the concerto with Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic was a bona fide triumph. “Andsnes is an exceptional pianist. The Norwegian is not only a master of powerful, full-bodied, virtuoso piano playing, but also of subtle nuances and intimate sensitivity,” marveled Austria’s Der Kurier. “He brings to Grieg an ideal approach, through a gripping and poetic performance. This Grieg sounds like a Nordic Brahms,” agreed Germany’s Die Welt. As The Guardian put it, after the London concert:
The Grieg was glorious. Leif Ove Andsnes was the soloist in a performance that got shot of the accretions of sentimentality that have clung to the work, allowing us to hear it as if new minted. Andsnes’s sweeping treatment of the famous opening phrases ushered in an interpretation at once unusually grand in scale and absolutely direct in expression. The first movement bristled with dramatic tension. The adagio was poised, beautiful and coolly reflective; the finale superbly articulated and tremendous in its weight and sheer elan.”
Andsnes is no less highly esteemed in the music of Mozart. The New York Times admires his “revelatory Mozart recordings,” Gramophonecredits him with “the mark of a great pianist: always allowing Mozart his own voice,” and, after concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Austria’s DrehPunktKultur hailed him as “a first-class Mozart interpreter.” The vehicle for his upcoming return to the San Francisco Symphony is the composer’s Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, which is one of those the pianist looks forward to recording with the Mahler Chamber Orchestranext May, as part of “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” their exploration of one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career.

Leif Ove Andsnes: upcoming U.S. engagements

Nov 14-16
Boston, MA
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
 
Nov 18
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
 
Nov 22-24
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Symphony / Manfred Honeck
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482
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