Leif Ove AndsnesPiano
Thursday, April 25, 2024 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
About This Performance
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Magazine, the Dover Quartet is one of the most versatile and listened-to groups. “No one who’s heard the brilliant Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in action could be in any doubt about the depth of his musical insights or the range of his interests” (San Francisco Chronicle).
THE SHENSON CHAMBER SERIES
TURINA: La oración del torero (The Bullfighter’s Prayer), Op. 34
DOHNÁNYI: Piano Quintet No. 2 in E-flat Minor, Op. 26 BRAHMS: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34
James R. Meehan
The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy®-nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.
The Dover Quartet’s 2022–23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers, and Haochen Zhang. The group tours Europe twice, including a return to London’s renowned Wigmore Hall and a debut performance in Copenhagen. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines.
In addition to Memoir, the Dover Quartet’s active 2021–22 season included world premiere performances of Marc Neikrug’s Piano Quintet No. 2 with Haochen Zhang, Chris Rogerson’s Dream Sequence with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Mason Bates’s Suite for String Quartet. During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, the Dover Quartet presented more than 25 virtual concerts, recorded and produced at the Curtis Institute of Music. The virtual concerts were presented to audiences across the globe, including the quartet’s first-ever tour to Latin America, which was conducted virtually.
Cedille Records released the third and final volume of the quartet’s recording of the Beethoven Complete String Quartets in 2022. Strad described the highly acclaimed recordings as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.”Their recording of Encores was also released in 2021 on the Brooklyn Classical label. The quartet’s Grammy® nominated recording of The Schumann Quartets was released by Azica Records in 2019. Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal).
The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
The Dover Quartet is the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at Curtis. Their faculty residency integrates teaching and mentorship, a robust international performance career, and a cutting-edge digital presence. Working closely with students in the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program, the resident ensemble will recruit the most promising young string quartets and foster their development in order to nurture a new generation of leading professional chamber ensembles.
“A pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight” (New York Times), Leif Ove Andsnes is “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation” (Wall Street Journal).
With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the celebrated Norwegian pianist has won acclaim worldwide, playing in the world’s leading concert halls and with its foremost orchestras, while building an esteemed and extensive discography. He is the founding director of the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, was co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music for nearly two decades, and has served as music director of California’s Ojai Music Festival. A Gramophone Hall of Fame inductee, he holds honorary doctorates from New York’s Juilliard School of Music and the Universities of Bergen and Oslo. This season, Andsnes performs Dvořák’s unjustly neglected piano cycle Poetic Tone Pictures, both on a new Sony Classical release and on high-profile recital tours of Europe and North America. In concert, he plays Debussy’s Fantaisie with the Cleveland Orchestra; showcases his interpretation of Grieg’s concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, NDR Elbphilharmonie and London Philharmonic Orchestras; and performs Rachmaninov’s Third with ensembles including the Oslo Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Among other 2022–23 highlights, Andsnes gives lieder recitals with baritone Matthias Goerne, with whom he recently received his eleventh Grammy© nomination.
Andsnes also continues his partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on Mozart Momentum 1785/86. A major multi-season project exploring one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career, this sees him lead the ensemble in Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20–24 at key European venues, besides recording them for Sony Classical. The project marks his second artistic partnership with the orchestra, following The Beethoven Journey. An epic four-season focus on the composer’s music for piano and orchestra, this saw Andsnes give more than 230 performances in 108 cities across 27 countries, as chronicled in the documentary Concerto—A Beethoven Journey and captured on an award-winning Sony Classical series.
Leif Ove Andsnes records exclusively for Sony Classical. His previous discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics—solo, chamber, and concerto releases, many of them bestsellers—spanning repertoire from the time of Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for eleven Grammys© and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Awards. Recent releases encompass the Billboard best-selling Sibelius as well as Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes (Sony Classical), an album of Stravinsky’s music for two pianos with Marc-André Hamelin (Hyperion), Schumann’s Liederkreis & Kernerlieder, with Matthias Goerne (Harmonia Mundi), Bent Sørensen’s piano concerto, La Mattina, with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Per Kristian Skalstad (Dacapo) and a disc dedicated to the music of Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef on which Andsnes performs the piano concerto written in 1994 with the Bergen Philharmonic and Edward Gardner (Simax).
Andsnes has received Norway’s distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav as well as the prestigious Peer Gynt Prize. He is also the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award.
Born in Karmøy, Norway in 1970, Leif Ove Andsnes studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory with Jirí Hlinka. He also received invaluable advice from the Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège who, like Hlinka, has greatly influenced his style and philosophy of playing. He is currently an Artistic Adviser for the Prof. Jirí Hlinka Piano Academy in Bergen where he gives annual masterclasses. Andsnes lives in Bergen with his family of three children.