Fans of global piano sensation, Leif Ove Andsnes will only have one opportunity to see him perform in the UK this season, with Perth Concert Hall confirmed as the only UK venue on his 9-city European tour.

Commenting on another coup for the Concert Hall and its audiences, James Waters, Creative Director for Classical Music for Perth Theatre and Concert Hall said:

“Leif Ove Andsnes is quite simply one of today’s very greatest pianists. His performances in the world’s most prestigious concert halls are justly famed for both his pianistic brilliance and his musical thoughtfulness. We have worked for years to bring him to Perth, and it is absolute honour to be able to present him.”

In Schubert and Brahms with Leif Ove Andsnes in Perth Concert Hall on Monday 11 March, the Norwegian pianist will perform Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Minor and Impromptu No 1 in F minor, and Brahms’ Sieben Fantasien, Op 116 as well as a rarely performed work by his compatriot Geirr Tveitt.

The Norwegian pianist has regularly championed little known works, giving rare gems a new lease of life and bringing them to audiences worldwide. Following his 2022 recital tour, which put the spotlight on Dvořák's Poetic Tone Paintings, Andsnes’ latest solo programme features the only surviving piano sonata of his compatriot Geirr Tveitt, juxtaposed with works by Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms. The 9-city tour which runs from 3 – 20 March, also sees Andsnes make his solo debut at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin.

Pianist-composer Geirr Tveitt (1908-81) was something of a cultural recluse, living most of his life on a farm in Hardanger collecting and arranging folk tunes. Often dismissed in his own lifetime for being a nationalist conservative, he was quietly rather more original than he was given credit for. Most of Tveitt’s music was never published and when his studio burned to the ground in 1970, some 80 per cent of his output was irretrievably lost. For Leif Ove Andsnes, who first championed Tveitt’s music on his 2007 EMI recording Long Long Winter Night, the time is ripe to bring his characterful and idiosyncratic music to wider recognition.

Sonata Etere is one of Tveitt’s few large-scale works. Written in the early 1950’s and spanning 3 movements, the 35-minute sonata is a mono-thematic work in the grand style. “Tveitt studied both as pianist and composer in Leipzig, Paris and Vienna, and one can hear these traces in his piano writing, may be most clearly the influence from French piano music”, says Leif Ove Andsnes. “The Sonata is very colourful and he uses the instrument in the most imaginative ways. It`s an epic piece, but the simplicity of folk music runs through it. Tveitt wanted to get to the roots of the folk music, and he was quite obsessed with using different modal scales, which one often finds in folk music from different countries.”

“Invariably, when I’m making a recital programme now, I try to bring something that I’ve never played before,” continues Andsnes. “I’m getting to an age where I’ve played quite a bit in the past, and it’s exciting to bring things back that I haven’t played in a long time. I want to keep some of the repertoire that I have known for a while and also bring new things in. This programme is a typical combination, the Schubert sonata I played when I was 19, and until last year, I hadn’t played it for 25 years.”

Part of Perth Concert Hall’s Classical Stars series, Schubert and Brahms with Leif Ove Andsnes is in Perth Concert Hall on Monday 11 March. For tickets and info click here, or contact the Ticketing team on 01738 621031, or in person at Perth Theatre Box Office (Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00).

23 February 2024