The internationally acclaimed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has been referred to as “an eminently sensual musician, an artist capable of grace and introspection” by the Financial Times whilst the BBC Music Magazine commented on "how hard it is to over-praise the vitality and distinction of this princely pianist."

In addition to giving recitals and playing concertos each season in the world’s leading concert halls and with the all the foremost orchestras, Andsnes is an avid chamber musician who joins select colleagues each summer at Norway’s Risør Festival of Chamber Music, of which he is co-artistic director. The New York Times has placed Risør amongst the top 10 musical events of the year.

Leif Ove Andsnes opened the 2009/2010 season in Copenhagen performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 2 with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard. He went on to perform the same work with the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton and then moved his attention to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 4 which he performs this season with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Stephane Deneve, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel and the Academy of Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano. In May 2010 Andsnes will perform and record Rachmaninov’s fourth concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Antonio Pappano for release by EMI Classics.

Andsnes’ major project this Autumn saw the culmination of several years of planning for a programme centered around Mussorgsky’s epic piano cycle “Pictures at an Exhibition“ which was premiered at New York’s Lincoln Center in November 2009 and toured throughout Europe with performances in Brussels, London, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Oslo, Stavanger, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Naples and Moscow. With sponsorship from Statoil "Pictures Reframed" saw the collaboration of Andsnes and South African artist Robin Rhode who created a video and still imagery installation for a unique programme culminating in Mussorgsky's masterpiece. EMI Classics released “Pictures Reframed” on both CD and DVD and Norwegian TV documented the project on film.

Other highlights of the current season include the world premiere of a new work written by Danish composer Bent Sørensen which Andsnes performed with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in Oslo in October and performances of Mozart Piano Concerto no. 23, K488 with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert over the New Year. In January he performs the same work at the famous Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Vienna Philharmonic and Nicolas Harnoncourt and remains in Salzburg for a chamber music concert of Mozart and Kurtag with Antje Weithaas, Nicolas Alstaedt, Kim Kashkashian and Jorg Widmann before embarking on a recital tour of Spain, Italy and the Netherlands which also includes recitals in London and Warsaw. In March 2010 he will tour Japan and Asia with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra leading concerts of Mozart piano concertos from the piano and he stays in Asia for performances of “Pictures Reframed” in Shanghai, Tokyo and finally Abu Dhabi.

Statoil has a long tradition of supporting musical talent and presented Leif Ove Andsnes with the Statoil Award for musical excellence in 1990. This was the starting point for an ongoing cooperation, and, as part of this relationship, Statoil is proud to be the commissioning sponsor of ”Pictures Reframed”. For more information about Statoil's sponsorships please visit:

As an exclusive EMI Classics artist, Andsnes has recorded over 30 discs spanning repertoire from Bach to the present day, been nominated for seven Grammies and awarded many international prizes including 4 Gramophone Awards to date. In addition to "Pictures Reframed" he released “Shadows of Silence”, features works by the Danish composer Bent Sørensen and the French Marc-André Dalbavie both of which works Leif Ove Andsnes premiered at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Proms respectively. Other repertoire on the disc includes solo works by Kurtag and Lutoslawski’s piano concerto recorded live with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst.

Leif Ove Andsnes has received Norway’s most 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. Andsnes has also received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award, the Gilmore Artist Award, four Gramophone Awards and seven Grammy nominations – including a nomination for this year’s Awards for his latest recording of Mozart piano concertos with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the “Best of the Best” in 2005.

Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway, in 1970 and studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory under the renowned Czech professor Jiri Hlinka. Over the past decade 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. Andsnes cites Dinu Lipatti, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Sviatoslav Richter, and Géza Anda among the pianists who have most inspired him. Andsnes currently lives in Copenhagen and Bergen, and also spends much time at his mountain home in Norway’s western Hardanger area. He is a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, a Visiting Professor at the Royal Music Conservatory of Copenhagen and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

December 2009
This biography was most recently edited by...
BillStensrud - 3 Jan 2010