Performance Monday, January 27, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Marc-André Hamelin

Zankel Hall
Marc-André Hamelin is one of the smartest pianists playing today. If this description conjures up the image of a pedantic professorial type, think again: Hamelin has established himself as the thinking man’s virtuoso, and virtuosity is his main hallmark.” His performances are “filled with breathtaking energy, like a child plummeting into a swimming pool” (The Washington Post). Hear for yourself when the talented pianist returns to Carnegie Hall for another spellbinding performance.


  • Marc-André Hamelin, Piano


  • MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN Barcarolle (NY Premiere)
  • MEDTNER Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 25, No. 2, "Night Wind"
  • SCHUBERT Four Impromptus, D. 935

  • Encores:
  • DEBUSSY CLAUDE DEBUSSY “Reflets dans l’eau” from Images, Book I
  • MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN “Minute Waltz in Seconds”
  • DE LA SCHLÖZER Etude in A-flat, Op. 1, No. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Marc-André Hamelin

    Four different multi-concert series celebrate pianist Marc-André Hamelin's artistry worldwide during the 2013-2014 season: the Celebrity Series of Boston, San Francisco Performances, Wigmore Hall in London, and deSingel in Antwerp. Highlighting his diverse repertoire and interests, he will perform in solo recitals and collaborate with guest artists, including the Pacifica and Takács quartets, violinist Anthony Marwood, clarinetist Martin Fröst, and pianist Emanuel Ax.

    Additional recital highlights include performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Washington Performing Arts Society, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Herkulessaal in Munich, and the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam.

    This season, Mr. Hamelin performs the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Piano Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He also performs with the New York Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis, Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Labadie, London Symphony Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln with Andris Nelsons, Danish National Symphony Orchestra with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and a European tour with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano.

    Mr. Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His most recent release features late piano works of Busoni, which follows an acclaimed disc of Haydn concertos with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie. Other recent releases include three double-disc sets of Haydn sonatas; a solo disc of works by Liszt; and an album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics' Award Association. The Hamelin etudes are published by Edition Peters. His complete Hyperion discography includes concertos and works for solo piano by such composers as Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann.

    Born in Montreal and a resident of Boston, Mr. Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critics' Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l'Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

    More Info


Medtner's Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 25, No. 2, "Night Wind" (Finale: Allegro)
Marc-André Hamelin, Piano

At a Glance


Marc-André Hamelin’s piece belongs to a long line of barcarolles in concert-hall music by composers as diverse as Schubert, Rossini, Chopin, Offenbach, Bartók, Poulenc, and Bernstein. Distantly related to the traditional songs associated with Venetian gondoliers, the barcarolle is distinguished by its lilting 6/8 rhythm, evocative of the motion of the boatmen’s oars.

NICOLAS MEDTNER  Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 25, No. 2,“Night Wind”

Despite such champions as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Gilels, and Istomin, Nicolas Medtner is not a household name even in his native Russia. Marc-André Hamelin has performed and recorded all 14 of Medtner’s fiendishly difficult piano sonatas. The “Night Wind” takes its name from a poem by the Russian Romantic poet Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev. Medtner’s contemporary, composer Nikolai Myaskovsky, considered the sonata “a masterpiece, one of the most substantial and outstanding compositions of the present time.”

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Four Impromptus, D. 935

As their name implies, these four impromptus, composed less than a year before Schubert’s untimely death, share a spontaneous, improvisatory quality. Yet so deliberately did he lay the set out that it has often been likened to a four-movement sonata. “A sonata is such a mark of honor in a composer’s work that I would like to credit him one more,” wrote Robert Schumann, one of Schubert’s posthumous champions. The lyrical theme-and-variations Impromptu No. 3 evokes the intimate, singing tone that contemporaries admired in the composer’s piano playing.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos III: Keynotes.