Concertos by Grieg and Mozart figure prominently in Leif Ove Andsnes’s programming this season. As 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony, the celebrated Norwegian pianist launches the orchestra’s season with performances of Grieg’s Piano Concerto, before reprising the iconic work with the Chicago SymphonyBoston SymphonyBergen PhilharmonicOslo PhilharmonicSt. Petersburg Philharmonic, and NDR Elbphilharmonie at some of the foremost venues on three continents, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Hamburg’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival. Following the success of his “Beethoven Journey” collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the pianist rejoins the ensemble for “Mozart Momentum 1785/86,” their second major multi-season partnership. Over the coming months, this sees them tour Europe, first with a program of the composer’s chamber music, and then with his Piano Concertos Nos. 20-22, which they also record for future release by Sony Classical. The same three concertos are the vehicle for Andsnes’s returns to the San Francisco SymphonySt. Paul Chamber OrchestraOslo Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic, besides being a focal point of his Gothenburg Symphony residency. Andsnes rounds out the season with an all-Schumann lieder evening at Milan’s La Scala in the company of his regular recital partner, bass-baritone Matthias Goerne, and a colorful solo program of Dvořák, Bartók, and Schumann that takes him back to the Vienna Konzerthaus, as well as to London’s Wigmore Hall and other key destinations in Europe.

Grieg concerto in 14 countries

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 Timesand 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. As Gramophone magazine put it, “However many times he’s performed the Grieg, Andsnes retains a freshness and expressiveness that always sound spontaneous.

These qualities speak to the pianist’s deep understanding of his compatriot’s work. In a Gramophonefeature about the Grieg concerto, Andsnes explained:

“Grieg is … a force of nature. His is a grand statement from a young man who really wants to conquer the world. … After the Schumann-influenced beginning, the piece becomes more Norwegian. … The piece is full of contrasts between this huge passion and the simplicity of folk melodies.”

This season, Andsnes performs the concerto in season-opening concerts that inaugurate his multi-faceted appointment as 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of Sweden’s national orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, under the baton of Chief Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali (Sep 4–6). He goes on to revisit the work with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony (Sep 19–21); Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony, first in Boston (Nov 14–16) and then at New York’s Carnegie Hall (Nov 18); Alan Gilbert and Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie, at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival (July 4 & 5); the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (Dec 14); Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic on a tour of China and South Korea (June 10-25); and Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic, at the orchestra’s Anniversary Gala (Sep 27 & 28), at Bucharest’s George Enescu International Festival (Sep 13), and on a nine-city, seven-country European tour that takes in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Vienna Konzerthaus, before culminating at London’s Barbican Hall (Oct 10-22).

Three seminal Mozart concertos on both sides of the Atlantic

Andsnes became the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO)’s inaugural Artistic Partne rfor the “Beethoven Journey.” This monumental four-year focus on the composer’s music for piano and orchestra was highlighted by complete Beethoven concerto cycles with the MCO at live residencies in New York, London, Vienna, Paris, Lucerne, Bodø, Bonn, Hamburg, Shanghai and Tokyo, and on an award-winning recording series for Sony Classical. Their outstanding musical rapport was such that Gramophonemarveled: “There’s so much more to this partnership than just exceptional playing; there’s a palpable sense of discovery.” As The Guardian put it: “You’d be hard put to find a pianist and orchestra better matched.”

Now, with “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” Andsnes and the ensemble explore what is not only one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career, but also one of the most remarkable periods in classical history. In 1785 and 1786, Mozart wrote a series of masterpieces that would forever change the piano concerto, re-examining the roles of the soloist and orchestra, and discovering new possibilities for communication and dialogue between them. By showcasing the transformative part Mozart 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.

This season, besides joining members of the orchestra for a program of Mozart’s chamber music on tour in GermanyBelgium, the Netherlands, and at London’s Wigmore Hall (Feb 14-25), the pianist gives high-profile performances on both sides of the Atlantic of the three Mozart concertos he looks forward to recording with the MCO next May. He performs Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, both with the San Francisco Symphony under Manfred Honeck (Nov 22–24) and with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt in Berlin (Jan 16–18) and Baden-Baden (April 12). He couples the same concerto with No. 21 in C in concerts with Minnesota’s St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (Feb 7–9), before pairing No. 21 with No. 20 in D minor with the Oslo Philharmonic in Bergen and Bodø in Norway, where he also takes part in a performance of Mozart’s First Piano Quartet (June 3 & 4). Finally, he plays all three concertos, on tour with the MCO in CroatiaItalyBelgiumAustria and the Czech Republic (May 16–27), and over the course of two programs with Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony, this time under the leadership of Klaus Mäkelä, newly appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic (Jan 10–11; April 22–24).

Solo recital tour and Schumann lieder with Matthias Goerne

In solo recital, Andsnes has consistently proven himself to be “one of the finest musicians working today” (Washington Post). This season, on a European tou rthat combines returns to Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Gothenburg with dates in Lisbon, Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Copenhagen and Norway’s Spitsbergen and Oslo, he performs a solo program of Bartók’s Three BurlesquesDvořák’s Poetic Tone Poems,and Schumann’s Carnaval( March 9–April 2). Of the latter,he explains:

“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 thebig 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 Fantasieor Kreisleriana. I find it amazing to study Carnavalnow, it is so full of wild wonderful ideas.”

Schumann is also the focus of Andsnes’s current collaborations with longtime recital partner Matthias Goerne. This fall, he reunites with the baritone for an all-Schumann lieder recital at Milan’s La Scalathat features Liederkreis (Dec 3), one of the two song cycles heard on their acclaimed recent Harmonia Mundi release, which shows them to be “artists who are performing together in complete harmony” (Sunday Times, UK).

The recording marks the most recent addition to Andsnes’s distinguished discography. This has been already been recognized with numerous international honors, including six Gramophone Awards. His most recent solo release, Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, was named one of the “Best Classical Albums of 2018” (WQXR) and nominated for an International Classical Music Award, while his two-piano Stravinsky recording with Marc-André Hamelin, released this past February, scored the Norwegian pianisthis ninthGrammy nomination.

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The pianist’s upcoming engagements come on the heels of a full summer. Having made his Proms debut with Britten’s Piano Concerto back in 1992, he returned to London’s Royal Albert Hall for an account of the same work with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, demonstrating his “technical command and heart-stopping lyricism” (Classical Source) in “a performance … better – more persuasive and impressive – than the work itself” (The Arts Desk, UK). As Founding Director of Norway’s annual Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, Andsnes also curated and performed at the festival’s fourth edition. With nine concerts, a two-part exhibition, and multiple lectures and pre-concert talks dedicatedto Shostakovich, this took place in the idyllic village of Rosendal, where he was joined on stage by a stellar roster of guest artists, including pianist Marc-André Hamelin, baritone Andrei Bondarenko, clarinetist Anthony McGill, violist Tabea Zimmermann,cellist Clemens Hagen, and the Quatuor Danel and Ensemble Allegria.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

 

Leif Ove Andsnes, 2019-20 engagements

 

Sep 4-6

Gothenburg, Sweden 

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Season-opening concerts

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

Sep 13

Bucharest, Romania

George Enescu International Festival

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

Sep 19-21

Chicago, IL

Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Riccardo Muti

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

Sep 27-28

Oslo, Norway

Oslo Philharmonic Anniversary Gala / Vasily Petrenko

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

Oct 10-22: European tour with Oslo Philharmonic / Vasily Petrenko

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Oct 10-11: Oslo, Norway

Oct 13: Cologne, Germany (Philharmonie)

Oct 14: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Concertgebouw)

Oct 15: Hamburg, Germany (Elbphilharmonie)

Oct 16: Vienna, Austria (Vienna Konzerthaus)

Oct 18: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Oct 19: Udine, Italy

Oct 20: Turin, Italy

Oct 22: London, UK (Barbican Hall)

 

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

 

Dec 3

Milan, Italy

La Scala

Recital with Matthias Goerne

SCHUMANN: Three Songs after poems by Heinrich Heine

SCHUMANN: Liederkreis, Op. 24

SCHUMANN: Zwölf Lieder nach Justinus Kerner, Op. 35

 

Dec 14

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg Philharmonic

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

Jan 10-11

Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / Klaus Mäkelä

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

 

Jan 16-18

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Philharmonic / Herbert Blomstedt

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

 

Jan 24

Bergen, Norway

Haugesund Church Recital

 

Jan 26

Bergen, Norway

Lofoten Cathedral Recital

 

Feb 7-9

St. Paul, MN

Ordway Center for the Arts

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 KV467

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

 

Feb 14-25: European tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra

MOZART: chamber music

Feb 15 & 16: Elmau, Germany

Feb 18: Eindhoven, Netherlands

Feb 19: Antwerp, Belgium

Feb 20: London, UK (Wigmore Hall)

Feb 23: Bremen, Germany

 

March 9– April 2: European solo recital tour

DVOŘÁK: Poetic Tone Poems, Op. 85

BARTÓK: Three Burlesques, Op. 8 (Sz.47) 

SCHUMANN: Carnaval, Op. 9

March 9: Spitsbergen, Norway

March 11: Gothenburg, Sweden

March 12: Vienna, Austria (Vienna Konzerthaus)

March 14: Oslo, Norway (University Aula)

March 21: Copenhagen, Denmark (Konservatoriets Koncertsal)

March 24: Heidelberg, Germany (Heidelberger Frühling)

March 27: Amsterdam, Netherlands

March 29: Lisbon, Portugal (Gulbenkian Music)

April 1 & 2: London, UK (Wigmore Hall)

 

April 12

Baden-Baden, Germany

Berlin Philharmonic / Herbert Blomstedt

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

 

April 22–24

Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 KV466

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 KV467

 

May 16–27

European tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 KV466

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 KV467

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482

May 16: Rijeka, Croatia

May 18: Reggio Emilia, Italy

May 19: Perugia, Italy

May 20: Antwerp, Belgium

May 24: Neumarkt, Austria

May 26 & 27: Prague, Czech Republic

 

June 3 & 4

Bergen, Norway (June 3) 

Bodø, Norway (June 4)

Oslo Philharmonic

MOZART: Piano Quartet K478

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 KV466

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 KV467

 

June 10-25: Bergen and Asian tour with Bergen Philharmonic / Edward Gardner

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

June 10: Bergen, Norway

June 15-17: South Korea

June 19: Macao

June 21: Shanghai (Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre)

June 22: Regional China, TBC

June 24 & 25: Beijing (National Centre for the Performing Arts)

 

July 4 & 5

Hamburg, Germany

Schleswig-Holstein Festival

NDR Elbphilharmonie / Alan Gilbert

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

 

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