The Great Composer Series
CONCERTO: A BEETHOVEN JOURNEY
Directed by Phil Grabsky
Filmed over the course of four years, award-winning director Phil Grabsky follows leading concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes as he travels the world playing sell-out concerts with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in an attempt to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of piano works for piano ever written: Beethoven’s five piano concertos.
Considered one of the top pianists of the age, Leif Ove Andsnes offers a rare insight into the world of a world-class pianist but, more importantly, against the backdrop of Leif Ove and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra playing these five pieces, the film attempts to peel back the many myths of Beethoven’s life to explore how this prodigious talent from Bonn became one of the world’s greatest composers by the time he wrote the fifth concerto. Perhaps, above all, it is the fresh new biography of Beethoven that is most revealing.
This film screens with the short film Concerto: The Odd Couple by Daniel Jernazian
E – Exempt from Classification
“As an exploration of the nuts and bolts of Beethoven it is excellent” – San Diego Reader
“The intimate camera work during the music segments brings us into the performance. During these scenes there is a feeling of being inside the music with Beethoven and the musicians. They are brilliant” – San Diego Reader
“Beautiful and Stirring” – Pasatiempo
“Enchanting” – Evening Standard
“You’ll hear Beethoven as if for the first time” – The Guardian
“High class and wonderful, Concerto demands to be seen” – Gramophone
“The intimacy was felt in every note” – The Times from the BBC Proms
The New York Times has called Leif Ove Andsnes “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight.” With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the celebrated Norwegian pianist has won acclaim worldwide; the Wall Street Journal named him “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation.” Andsnes gives recitals and plays concertos in the world’s leading concert halls and with its foremost orchestras, besides being an active recording artist. An avid chamber musician, he served as co-artistic director of the Risor Festival of Chamber Music for nearly two decades, and was music director of California’s 2012 Ojai Music Festival. He was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in July 2013.
Leif Ove Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway in 1970, and studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory under the renowned Czech professor Jirí Hlinka. He has 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 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.
Andsnes now 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 eight Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Awards. His recordings of the music of his compatriot Edvard Grieg have been especially celebrated: the New York Times named Andsnes’s 2004 recording of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Mariss Jansons and the Berlin Philharmonic a “Best CD of the Year,” the Penguin Guide awarded it a coveted “Rosette,” and both that album and his disc of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces won Gramophone Awards. His recording of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 18 was another New York Times “Best of the Year” and Penguin Guide “Rosette” honoree. He won yet another Gramophone Award for Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 with Antonio Pappano and the Berlin Philharmonic. A series of recordings of Schubert’s late sonatas, paired with lieder sung by Ian Bostridge, inspired lavish praise, as did the pianist’s world-premiere recordings of Marc-André Dalbavie’s Piano Concerto and Bent Sorensen’s The Shadows of Silence, both of which were written for him.
Andsnes has received 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. He is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award, and, saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the “Best of the Best” in 2005.