Founded in 2016 by pianist and Artistic Director Leif Ove Andsnes, the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival has established itself as one of the most interesting and unique festivals of its kind. Exploring a different theme each year centred around a particular composer or musical period, Rosendal has made its international mark as “a small but big festival in the wilds of Norway” (El Pais), “rich and precious for the quality of the performers and for the depth of its themed programmes” (La Repubblica).
This summer Leif Ove Andsnes focuses on Johannes Brahms whose rich and varied chamber music resulted in some of the genre’s most pivotal works. Over four days from 10 – 13 August, Andsnes will be joined by twenty-five guest artists for a packed programme of talks and concerts, exploring Brahms’s iconic works and the gypsy music which inspired him. This year’s festival also pays tribute to György Ligeti in the centenary of his birth, with performances of several works including the trio for violin, horn and piano, directly influenced by Brahms’s own trio for the same instruments.
Joining Andsnes on stage in August are guest artists and speakers Bertrand Chamayou, Roland Pöntinen and Yeol Eum Son (piano), James Ehnes and Guro Kleven Hagen (violin) Ida Bryhn and Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Julia Hagen and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Sharon Kam (clarinet), David Guerrier (horn), Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Matthias Goerne (baritone), Henrik Mestad (actor), Gunnar Danbolt (art historian) and Erling E. Guldbrandsen (lecturer). The festival is also delighted to welcome back the Dover Quartet and to introduce Zum Roten Igel, (Red Hedgehog), the brilliant ensemble named after the Vienna tavern where Brahms famously enjoyed both goulash and gypsy music.
Introducing this year’s festival, Leif Ove Andsnes said “Brahms’s music does not explode in the same ways as Schumann, Richard Strauss or Wagner. Rather it implodes with subtle but deep passion. I hope that in this year’s programme we will experience the diversity of Brahms’s chamber music; the drama of the piano quintet, the joy of the C major piano trio or the Magelone songs, the profound sadness of his clarinet quintet – one of the most touching chamber music works I know.“
”As there is often an autumnal quality in Brahms’s music, we tend to talk about its dark and sombre character.Yet it also contains so much joy and inner ecstasy. I like the words of the violinist Isaac Stern: «Whether reflecting sunlight or storm, a happily lived moment or a sadly remembered moment, underneath it all is a basic optimism. If Beethoven was craggy mountains, extraordinary peaks and valleys of manic depressiveness, Brahms is like the ocean: always there and forever nurturing.»“
The Rosendal Chamber Music Festival extends deep thanks to the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, whose meaningful financial support has made the festival’s ambitious artistic goals attainable.