Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes Takes Us on The Beethoven Journey With Piano Concertos No. 1 & 3

First Recording In His New Beethoven Series Available September 11, 2012

Sep 05, 2012, 08:02 ET from Sony Classical

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the next four seasons, the celebrated Norwegian pianist and new exclusive Sony Classical artist Leif Ove Andsnes will devote the majority of his performing and recording activities to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. At the heart of The Beethoven Journey is the pianist's commitment to perform and record Beethoven's five piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO). The Beethoven Journey began this year with a concert series at the Prague Spring Festival, with Andsnes performing and directing the orchestra from the keyboard. Now, Andsnes releases his first Beethoven recording ever.  Available on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Piano Concertos No. 1 & 3 is the first recording in his Beethoven Journey series.

In Spring 2013 and 2014, Andsnes and the MCO will tour extensively before returning to Prague for additional concerts and recordings. Sony Classical will issue individual releases of Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 in Fall 2013 and Concerto No. 5, "Emperor" and the Choral Fantasy, in Fall 2014. The project culminates in the 2014-15 season when Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra reunite for major residencies in North America, Europe and Asia where they will perform the complete Beethoven concerto cycles in leading music centers such as Bonn, Vienna, Lucerne, London, Paris and New York.

Andsnes inspiration behind The Beethoven Journey partly came about in an unlikely way. While giving concerts in Sao Paulo Brazil a few years ago, he was staying in a hotel that had Beethoven's 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos playing on a loop in the elevators. "I was staying there for a week, and at first I thought I'd go mad hearing these works over and over again, but the more I listened, the more I loved the experience. I loved hearing short fragments of these pieces each time I entered the elevator, fragments of pieces that are so familiar that we so often take them for granted. I found myself again and again getting surprised and overjoyed, and fell in love again with this music."

Although Andsnes has an extensive discography, spanning repertoire from Bach to the present day, the new release will be the first Beethoven recording in his distinguished catalog.

Born in 1970 in Karmoy, Norway, Andsnes studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory under the renowned Czech professor Jiri Hlinka and has been performing internationally since he was 19 years old. He gives recitals and plays concertos each season in the world's leading concert halls and with the foremost orchestras and in served as Music Director of the 2012 Ojai Music Festival in California. He has been nominated for eight Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including five Gramophone Awards.

Andsnes currently lives in Copenhagen and Bergen, and also spends much time at his mountain home in Norway's western Hardanger area. He is a Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Music Conservatory of Copenhagen, and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

In 2012 he takes to the road once more for a Summer Festival recital tour featuring Beethoven and Chopin before opening the new season with a return to Beethoven Piano Concertos and performances in New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Berlin and London. He reunites with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in November for a Beethoven tour encompassing Perugia, Cologne, Birmingham and Brussels.

For more information and an updated tour schedule, visit: http://www.andsnes.com/


Leif Ove Andsnes
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Recorded at Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic on 22nd and 23rd of May 2012
Recording Producer: John Fraser

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Concertos No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
1.    I Allegro con brio
2.    II Largo
3.    III Rondo. Allegro 

Piano Concertos No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
4.    I Allegro con brio
5.    II Largo
6.    III Rondo. Allegro

U.S. Performance Dates:

Sept. 19, 20, 21, 22: Avery Fisher Hall – NYC
NY Philharmonic: Alan Gilbert, conductor
Repertoire: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3

Oct. 4, 5, 6, 7: Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Philharmonic: Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Repertoire: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 & 3

June 13, 14, 15, 18: Orchestra Hall - Chicago, IL
Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Riccardo Muti, conductor
Repertoire: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4

SOURCE Sony Classical