Andsnes and Friends

In preparing for this year’s 66th Festival I’ve had two long conversations with Leif Ove Andsnes and each time, it seems, he is most interested in talking about his partners and collaborators. This is not just a question of generosity and good manners, but a genuine admiration for fellow musicians – what they know, what they can do, and, above all, what they can teach him about music. Andsnes is full of awe, for instance, for the range of repertory his friend Marc Andre Hamelin has mastered, the corners of the song literature Christianne Stotijn has explored, and Martin Fröst’s stylistic assurance in music new and old. These musicians share his passion for music and their collaboration is one of unspoken trust and rapport. “When I work with another artist,” Andsnes once said, “I believe in a kind of musical offering that isn’t merely the result of exchanges of words and ideas, but rather of an inquisitive attitude fed by musical intuition.”

It is clear that Andnes loves giving – and attending concerts. He is an avid listener and you can be sure he’ll be in the audience of Hamelin’s reading of the Ives’ Concord Sonata, which he calls one of the great musical experiences of his life. At the same time he loves programs that mix solo and chamber works, creating a partnership among equals with no fuss about “billing.” And in this equation he includes the audience, from whom he hopes to draw that same degree of absorbed concentration that characterizes his own engagement with music.

– Christopher Hailey

PS – Watch the video of Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-Andre Hamelin discussing pianos, Stravinsky and music. Click here>