BBC news meets Leif Ove in rehearsal in London as he prepares for the final prom
“For Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, his appearance at the BBC Proms on Sunday will mark the end of a “musical pilgrimage” which has seen him perform Beethoven exclusively for the past four years.
He has worked on the project with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, directing the ensemble himself – without a conductor – from the piano stool.
“His “Beethoven journey” began in 2011 with the idea to focus on the work of a single composer. And while the three Proms concerts that will host his final performances of Beethoven’s five piano concertos were planned from the beginning of the project, the Beethoven seed was planted in Andsnes much earlier.
“Beethoven’s music has been growing in me since I was a child,” he says, “and when I was a student I felt the revolutionary character of the music”.
Later it was the “human aspect” of Beethoven’s music, the search for “answers to the big questions”, that touched the pianist.
And despite Beethoven’s image as a serious and often grumpy character, Andsnes has found the piano concertos to be “full of happiness” and surprises.”
Read the full interview on the BBC website