The celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes gives his first U.S. performance of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck on November 25 and 27, followed soon after by a performance of the work with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Roger Norrington (Nov 30 and Dec 1). Early in 2012 he plays it again with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman (Jan 12–14, 17), before turning to the Third Concerto, which he performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt (Jan 19-21). Beethoven’s music figures prominently throughout Andsnes’s 2011-12 season and beyond, with numerous concerto performances and recitals across Europe, North America, and Japan, along with his debut recording for Sony Classical.
“Preparing myself for my first performance of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto this past summer, when I performed it with La Scala Philharmonic and Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, I came to understand why the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter called it his favorite concerto. It’s an astonishing piece – quite long at 36 minutes, and demonstrating all the breadth and vision we associate with Beethoven’s music. The First Concerto is the last of the composer’s five piano concertos that I’ve come to play, and I’m thrilled to be playing it this season with such wonderful conductors and orchestras. - Leif Ove Andsnes
Last month, Andsnes played Beethoven’s Third Concerto with Jirí Belohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London and on tour in Spain, and the First Concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein. Throughout the season, he performs concertos – conducting from the piano – with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. His May 2012 tour with the latter ensemble includes performances of the First and Third Concertos on tour in Italy, Dresden, Prague and Bergen. The Prague concerts will be recorded live by Sony Classical; they represent the first part of a multi-year project entitled “Beethoven – A Journey,” which will present Andsnes playing and recording all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos