As Founding Director of Norway’s Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, this summer Leif Ove Andsnes looks forward to building on the success of its inaugural season, which sold out within just a few days of its announcement and received glowing reviews from both the Norwegian and international press. Held over the second weekend of August (Thurs 10–Sun 13), the second festival turns its focus to the chamber music of Mozart, for which the celebrated Norwegian pianist will be joined on stage by guest artists including mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, pianist Francesco Piemontesi, oboist Mizuho Yoshii, clarinetist Martin Fröst, bassoonist Audun Halvorsen, and horn player José Vicente Castelló, as well as his long-time chamber partners, violist Tabea Zimmermann and siblings Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff on violin and cello, with their quartet partners violinist Elisabeth Kufferath and violist Hanna Weinmeister. As in last year’s inaugural season, the 2017 edition will also introduce upcoming young Norwegian artists.

Set in a green valley beneath dramatic mountains, the village of Rosendal may be reached by boat from Norway’s Bergen airport. The Baroniet Rosendal Manor House and Gardens date from 1661, offering visitors a glimpse of Norwegian history in one of the country’s most spectacular natural settings. As The Arts Desk (UK) was moved to declare last summer, “It is a utopian place for utopian musicians.” Andsnes explains:

“Baroniet Rosendal is a very special place and music has been a part of its cultural life for generations. It’s incredible to think that artists and musicians have been crossing the fjord for over 300 years and amongst them were apparently both Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull – our Bergen musical legends. The idea for an intimate festival running over a long weekend grew from my love of Baroniet Rosendal and was made possible by the addition of the new concert hall.

“Despite all the wonderful chamber music Mozart wrote, only a few pieces are regularly performed in chamber music festivals. So I would like 2017 to be an intense Mozart celebration in which we perform not only the really famous works – such as the Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quartet No. 1 – but also show the diversity of Mozart’s extraordinary music. How often does one actually hear his great string quartets and quintets or his piano sonatas in concert, or when did you last hear his pieces for two pianos or his lieder?”

A full listing for the 2017 festival is provided below.

Spring successes

This past spring, when Andsnes joined fellow pianist Marc-André Hamelin for recitals of music for two pianos in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Chicago, the Chicago Tribune pronounced their collaboration “a resounding success.” All told, The Guardian found that their performance “had the irresistible power and momentum of a juggernaut,” and the Washington Post described it as “a meeting of two champions at the top of their game.” At Carnegie Hall, the New York Times singled out their “fearless, incisive and surprisingly alluring account” of Stravinsky’s original two-piano version of The Rite of Spring, which is among the works the duo recorded for release next season on the Hyperion label.

Andsnes’s spring highlights also included performances of Rachmaninoff’s jazz-inflected Fourth Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic. According to the Berliner Morgenpost:

“Andsnes presents himself as a serious architect of sound. His tone breathes classical coolness and clarity, never virtuosity for its own sake. … The soloist and orchestra emerged as equals: partners who listened to one another very precisely.”

Upcoming New York Philharmonic residency

Rachmaninoff’s rarely-programmed Fourth Concerto is also the vehicle for the pianist’s upcoming tour with Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic, which culminates with a return to London’s BBC Proms (Aug 29) and for his first performances as the 2017-18 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic (Oct 12–17). The season-long tenure features three concerto programs, chamber music, and a solo recital, which mark Andsnes’s only New York City appearances over the coming season. He says:

“What I love with these kinds of residencies is that you can engage with musicians and with the audience in a closer way, and you can show the diversity of your musical persona. I decided to revisit some lesser-known pieces that I performed a long time ago. I am particularly looking forward to spending so much time with the New York Philharmonic: I’ve had wonderful experiences on stage with this orchestra. I was 27 the first time I played with them, and, my goodness, it was such a feeling of event for me. I felt tremendous support from the orchestra. There is lyricism to the playing and diversity. And I think New York is my favorite city: I’ve been so welcomed over the years. It’s really an artistic home to me. I love the people and the directness of spirit.”

Click here to see Andsnes discuss the residency’s appeal in a new interview.

To download high-resolution photos of Rosendal, click here.


Leif Ove Andsnes: summer engagements


July 30–Aug 7: European tour with Christian Tetzlaff, violin

MOZART: Sonata for violin and piano in G, K279

SCHUBERT: Three Piano Pieces, D. 946

SHOSTAKOVICH: Sonata for violin and piano in G, Op. 134

JANÁČEK: Sonata for violin and piano

RAVEL: Sonata for violin and piano in G

July 30: Gezeitenkonzerte in Emden, Germany  (JANÁČEK, SCHUBERT, SHOSTAKOVICH)

Aug 1: Salzburg Festival, Austria (JANÁČEK, SCHUBERT, SHOSTAKOVICH)

Aug 2 & 3: Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Germany (MOZART, SHOSTAKOVICH, JANÁČEK, RAVEL)

Aug 4: Gstaad Festival, Switzerland (MOZART, SHOSTAKOVICH, JANÁČEK, RAVEL)

Aug 5: Menton Festival, France (MOZART, SHOSTAKOVICH, JANÁČEK, RAVEL)

Aug 7: Edinburgh Festival, Scotland (MOZART, SHOSTAKOVICH, JANÁČEK, RAVEL)


Aug 10–13

Bergen, Norway

Rosendal Chamber Music Festival (Founding Director)


Aug 10: Program 1

MOZART: Larghetto and Allegro for two pianos in E-flat (Piemontesi & Andsnes, pianos)

MOZART: Piano Quartet in G minor (K478) (Piemontesi, piano; C. Tetzlaff, violin; Zimmermann, viola; T.

Tetzlaff, cello)

MOZART: Fugue in C minor for two pianos (K426) (Piemontesi & Andsnes, pianos)

MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A (K581) (Fröst, clarinet; Tetzlaff Quartet)


Aug 11: Talk

“Mozart’s chamber music”

Jan Swafford in conversation with Andsnes


   Aug 11: Program 2

MOZART: String Quartet in D minor (K421) (Tetzlaff Quartet)

LIGETI: Sonata for viola solo (1991-94) (Zimmermann, viola)

MOZART: Quintet in E-flat (K452) (Fröst, clarinet; Yoshii, oboe; Halvorsen, bassoon; Castelló, French horn;

Andsnes, piano) 


   Aug 11: Program 3

Introduction by Gunnar Danbolt

MESSIAEN: Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941) (Fröst, clarinet; C. Tetzlaff, violin; T. Tetzlaff, cello;

Piemontesi, piano) 


   Aug 12: Program 4

   Pre-concert lecture: Erling Sandmo (in Norwegian)

MOZART: Oboe Quartet in F (K370) (Yoshii, oboe; Kufferath, violin; Weinmeister, viola; T. Tetzlaff, cello)

MOZART: Violin Sonata in G (K379) (C. Tetzlaff, violin; Andsnes, piano)

OLAV BERG: Vertigo (1992) (Halvorsen, bassoon)

MOZART: Piano Sonata No. 10 in C (K330) (Piemontesi, piano)


   Aug 12: Program 5a and 5b

MOZART: Horn Quintet in E-flat (K407) (Castelló, French horn; Welde, violin; Weinmeister, Grolid, violas;

Skaftun, cello)

MOZART: Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-flat (K333) (Bezuidenhout, fortepiano)

MOZART: Piano Trio in E (K542) (Welde, violin; Skaftun, cello; Andsnes, piano)


   Aug 12: Program 6

   Pre-concert lecture: Jan Swafford (in English)

MOZART: Trio in E-flat, “Kegelstatt” (K498) (Fröst, clarinet; Zimmermann, viola; Piemontesi, piano)

BRAHMS: Two Songs, Op. 91 (Von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Zimmermann, viola; Andsnes, piano)

SALONEN: Yta III (1987) (T. Tetzlaff, cello)

MOZART: String Quartet in E-flat (K428) (Tetzlaff Quartet)


   Aug 13: Program 7

   Pre-concert lecture: Erling Sandmo (in Norwegian)

MOZART: Divertimento in F (K138) (Opus 13)

TAKEMITSU: Entre-temps (1986) (Opus 13, Yoshii, oboe)

RAVEL: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G (1923-27) (C. Tetzlaff, violin; Andsnes, piano)

MOZART: String Quintet in G minor (K516) (Opus 13; Zimmermann, viola)


   Aug 13: Program 8

   Pre-concert lecture: Erling Sandmo (in Norwegian)

Von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Bezuidenhout, fortepiano

MOZART: “Komm lieber Zither, Komm” (K351)

MOZART: “Als Luise die Briefe” (K520)

MOZART: “Abendempfindung” (K523)

MOZART: “An Chloe” (K524)

MOZART: Suite in C (K399)

HAYDN: “Arianna a Naxos” (Hob.XXVIb:2)

LINDBLAD: “En sommardag”

LINDBLAD: “Svanvits sang”

LINDBLAD: “En ung flickas morgonbetraktelse”

SCHUBERT: Romanze (“Der Vollmond strahlt”) from Rosamunde (D797)

SCHUBERT: “So lasst mich scheinen”

SCHUBERT: “Die Sterne” (D939)

MOZART: Rondo in A minor (K511)

SCHUBERT: “Der Winterabend” (D938)

SCHUBERT: “Waldesnacht” (D708)


Aug 22-29

Tour with Oslo Philharmonic / Vasily Petrenko

RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40

Aug 23-25: Oslo

Aug 26: Tønsberg, Norway

Aug 29: London (BBC Proms; Royal Albert Hall)



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© 21C Media Group, July 2017