Performance Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 8 PM

Leif Ove Andsnes

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Andsnes takes you through a century of music, from the opening pulse of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” to Schoenberg’s fantastic little pieces—each work a universe of pianistic wonder.


  • Leif Ove Andsnes, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
  • BRAHMS Four Ballades, Op. 10
  • SCHOENBERG Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19
  • BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

  • Encores:
  • GYÖRGY KURTÁG "Scraps of a Colinda Melody – Faintly Recollected" from Játékok
  • CHOPIN Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42
  • SCHUMANN Romance in F-sharp Major, Op. 28, No. 2


  • Leif Ove Andsnes

    With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has won worldwide acclaim. Beyond performing in the world's leading concert halls and with the foremost orchestras, he is also an active recording artist, as well as an avid chamber musician who joins favorite colleagues every summer at Norway's Risør Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Andsnes will serve as Music Director of the 2012 Ojai Music Festival.

    Among the many highlights of Mr. Andsnes's 2010-2011 season are two important residencies: As Artist-in-Residence with the Berliner Philarmoniker, he performs five diverse programs that include chamber music, Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Bernard Haitink, and a solo recital. He also serves as Artist-in-Residence with his hometown orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, where he performs three programs. The season also includes a European tour with the London Philharmonic and Vladimir Jurowski, featuring performances of Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in London, Spain, and Germany. Mr. Andsnes brought his tenure as co-artistic director of the Risør Festival to a festive conclusion with a fall tour that included concerts at Carnegie Hall.

    Mr. Andsnes's concerto performances this season include Mozart's Concerto No. 24 with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Herbert Blomstedt, and a tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons. He also performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi. This month, Mr. Andsnes begins an extensive recital tour with performances in Boston, Chicago, and New York, before returning to Europe for performances in Rome, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Hamburg, and Geneva. In the fall of 2010, EMI Classics released a recording that featured Mr. Andsnes performing Rachmaninoff's Third and Fourth piano concertos, with Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra. Another album will be released later this month, featuring Schumann's complete piano trios with violinist Christian Tetzlaff and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff.

    Mr. Andsnes devoted much of the 2009-2010 season to Pictures Reframed, a major multimedia project with South African artist Robin Rhode. The culmination of years of planning, the project was toured extensively throughout Europe and North America to great acclaim. At the heart of this collaborative work was Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; Mr. Andsnes played the piece while Rhode's illustrations and films, which were inspired by the music, were projected onto a specially designed stage set. EMI Classics released the performance on both CD and DVD, including a catalogue-style hardback book with a wide selection of images from the creation and final performance of the project. The latter won a 2010 Echo Klassik prize.

    In March 2011, Mr. Andsnes signed a new exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical. His first project with the label will feature him performing and directing from the keyboard Beethoven's five piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. His discography of more than 30 discs on the EMI label spans repertoire from Bach to the present day, and has garnered seven Grammy nominations and many international prizes, including four Gramophone Awards. Last season, he released both Pictures Reframed and Shadows of Silence, the latter featuring music by Danish composer Bent Sørensen and French composer Marc-André Dalbavie.

    Mr. Andsnes has received Norway's most distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. In 2007, he received the prestigious Peer Gynt Prize, awarded by members of parliament to honor prominent personalities from Norway for their achievements in politics, sports, and culture. Mr. Andsnes has also received the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award. Saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named him one of the Best of the Best in 2005.

    Mr. Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway, in 1970, and studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory with renowned Czech professor Jiří Hlinka. Over the past decade, he has also received invaluable advice from Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège, who has additionally influenced his piano-playing style and philosophy. He cites Dinu Lipatti, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Sviatoslav Richter, and Géza Anda among the pianists who have most inspired him. Mr. Andsnes currently resides in Copenhagen and Bergen, and also spends much of his time at his mountain home in the Hardanger area of Norway. He is a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, in addition to being an honorary professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In June 2010, he achieved one of his proudest accomplishments to date: He became a father for the first time.
    More Info


Chopin Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Minor Op.4 (III. Larghetto)
Leif Ove Andsnes, Piano
Virgin Classics

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, “Waldstein”
Along with the “Eroica” Symphony and the “Appassionata” Sonata, Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata represents the so-called heroic style of his middle period. The “Waldstein” is especially notable for its unusual musical structure and form.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Four Ballades, Op. 10
Unlike Chopin’s ballades, which were the first of their kind, Brahms’s Op. 10 ballades form a unified set and are meant to be performed together. These early pieces already showcase the rich textures and intricate melodic lines that characterize Brahms’s later works.

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG  Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19
Schoenberg wrote five of the Six Little Piano Pieces in a single day. (The sixth was penned some four months later.) They consolidate the gains of his atonal style and cap off that period of his compositional career. While doing away with conventional tonality by negating the familiar hierarchy of pitches and chords, this collection retains some traditional elements, particularly in terms of form.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111
Beethoven’s Op. 111 Sonata, his final work in the genre, falls in two movements that juxtapose C minor and C major. Unlike the works of his heroic middle period, however, this late sonata does not so much document a triumphant struggle from darkness to light, but rather creates a contrast only to rise above it.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Eighty Eight Keys, Spring Semester Mix, and Keyboard Virtuosos II.