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With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has won acclaim worldwide. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding director of Norway's Rosendal Chamber Music Festival. This season, Mr. Andsnes performs in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra. He also gives solo recitals across South America and Japan, and joins Matthias Goerne for Schubert lieder projects.
Following the enormous success of his recent three-volume Beethoven Journey on Sony Classical, Mr. Andsnes returns to the studio to make two new recordings, both for release during the 2017-2018 season: a Stravinsky two-piano album with Marc-André Hamelin for Hyperion, and a solo Sibelius collection for Sony Classical. His discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics-including solo, chamber, and concerto releases, many of them bestsellers-that span the repertoire from Bach to the present day.
Mr. Andsnes is the recipient of Norway's 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 Norwegians for their achievements in politics, sports, and culture. This spring, Mr. Andsnes received an honorary doctorate from The Juilliard School. He is also the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist of the Year award and the Gilmore Artist Award, and was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in 2013. 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 Conservatory under renowned Czech professor Jiři Hlinka. He has also received invaluable advice from Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège, who has greatly influenced Mr. Andsnes's style and philosophy of playing. He is currently an artistic adviser for the Prof. Jiři Hlinka Piano Academy in Bergen, where he gives an annual master class for participating students. Mr. Andsnes currently lives in Bergen, and in June 2010, achieved one of his proudest accomplishments to date: becoming a father for the first time. His family expanded in May 2013 with the welcome arrival of twins.
Marc-André Hamelin is ranked among the elite of world pianists for his unrivaled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the neglected music of the 19th and 20th centuries. He began the 2016-2017 season with appearances at the Schubertiade, Verbier, Lofoten, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Domaine Forget, Aspen, and La Jolla festivals. In addition, the La Jolla Music Society commissioned Mr. Hamelin to write a piano and cello sonata for himself and cellist Hai-Ye Ni.
Mr. Hamelin's orchestral engagements this season include performances with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Kirill Petrenko, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, among others. He appears in recital at Vienna's Konzerthaus, Berlin's Philharmonie, The Gilmore festival, and 92nd Street Y, as well as in Cleveland, Chicago, and Toronto, performing the concertos of Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff. Mr. Hamelin also made his China debut this season, with two recitals in the legendary Shanghai Concert Hall in November.
Mr. Hamelin tours in Europe and North America this season for duo recitals with Mr. Andsnes, as well as with the Pacifica Quartet for the world premiere of his own Piano Quintet, commissioned by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California. He concludes the season as a juror at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, for which he has been commissioned to write the compulsory solo work for the contestants.
Mr. Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His discography of more than 50 recordings 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, Schumann, and Shostakovich. His most recent releases are the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet and a solo disc of Mozart sonatas. He was recognized as the 2014 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of Year, and his three-disc Busoni: Late Piano Music was named Disc of the Year by Diapason and Classica magazines.
He has recently recorded Debussy's Images and Preludes, Book II; Haydn concertos with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie; three double-disc sets of Haydn sonatas; and an album of his own compositions, Marc-André Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics' Award Association.
Born in Montreal and a resident of Boston, Mr. Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics' Award Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.