Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Wednesday 13 March
Piano Sonata No. 14 in A minor, D 784
Piano Sonata No. 29, Op. 129 Sonata Etere
Impromptu No. 1 in F minor, D 935
7 Fantasien, Op. 116
One only has to meet Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes (born in 1970) to realise that his personality perfectly aligns with his musical expression. He is not concerned with the surface but concentrates on his inner truth, which he conveys through his music. His best concerts are like a breath of fresh air, reminiscent of the crisp, invigorating atmosphere of the Norwegian fjords.
When he was four years old, he asked to take piano lessons from his parents, both music teachers. Three years later, he began attending the state school in his small community in Norway, where anyone who wished could take lessons, regardless of economic status. After making his debut at the age of seventeen in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Karmøy, he went on to win second place in the Eurovision Contest.
Norway has remained close to his heart, as he proves time and time again by performing Grieg's Piano Concerto, one of his flagships abroad, and by choosing to include works by compatriots such as Geirr Tveitt in his programmes.
Andsnes explains: "It's simple: I have no choice but to make music. I love music so much; it's so utterly a part of me that I simply have to play. Music drives me from within: it's a fundamental connection that I feel I have to share with others at concerts. I couldn't imagine another life. I don't know if music makes us better people. But maybe it makes us humans a little happier and more emotionally balanced.