Leif Ove Andsnes
The New York Times calls Leif Ove Andsnes “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight,” and the Wall Street Journal names him “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation.” With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the celebrated Norwegian pianist has won international acclaim, playing concertos and recitals in the world’s leading concert halls and with its foremost orchestras, while building an esteemed and extensive discography. He is the founding director of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, was co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music, and has served as music director of California’s Ojai Music Festival. A Gramophone Hall of Fame inductee, he received honorary doctorates from Norway’s University of Bergen and New York’s Juilliard School.
Andsnes launched the season with the release on Sony Classical of Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, his first recording of the composer’s music in more than a decade. In concert, he played Brahms’s First Piano Concerto with London’s Philharmonia and the Staatskapelle Dresden, and looks forward to reprising it with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Italy and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB) in Asia. He rejoins the RSB for Mozart, whose concertos also take him to the Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with which he tours Germany, France, and Portugal. The tour marks the launch of “Mozart Momentum 1785/86,” a major new multi-season project that sees him and the orchestra explore one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career.
In recital this season, Andsnes debuted a colorful solo program of Schumann, Bartók and Janáček with dates in Paris, Frankfurt, and Florence He also joins baritone Matthias Goerne for Schubert lieder in Paris, Essen, and Barcelona, and returns to Norway for his fourth summer at the helm of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival.
Perhaps Andsnes’s most ambitious achievement to date is “The Beethoven Journey,” his epic four-season focus on the composer’s music for piano and orchestra, with more than 230 live performances in 108 cities across 27 countries. The project was chronicled in the documentary Concerto – A Beethoven Journey and captured on the Sony Classical series The Beethoven Journey. The first volume was named iTunes’ Best Instrumental Album of 2012 and awarded Belgium’s Prix Caecilia, the second recognized with BBC Music’s coveted “2015 Recording of the Year Award,” and the complete series chosen as one of the “Best of 2014” by the New York Times.
Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical, having previously recorded more than 30 titles, many of them bestsellers, for EMI Classics. He recently received his ninth Grammy nomination, for Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & other works for two pianos four hands, recorded with Marc-André Hamelin for Hyperion. His many other international prizes include six Gramophone Awards, and two of his albums were named “Best CD of the Year” by the New York Times and awarded coveted Penguin Guide “Rosettes.”
Andsnes has received two of Norway’s top tributes: Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and the Peer Gynt Prize. He has been honored as a New York Philharmonic’ Artist-in-Residence, as the first Scandinavian to curate Carnegie Hall’s “Perspectives” series, and as been the subject of a London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait Series. The recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award, he was named one of Vanity Fair’s “Best of the Best” in 2005.
Leif Ove Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway in 1970, and studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory. He is currently an Artistic Adviser for the Prof. Jirí Hlinka Piano Academy in Bergen, where he lives with his partner and their three children.