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Leif Ove Andsnes: “I’m Lucky to Play an Instrument Where There Is Unlimited Music to Choose From”


This interview with the acclaimed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes delves into the artist’s continual pursuit of artistic development, highlighting his expansive repertoire, from Bach to contemporary music. Andsnes emphasizes the challenge of selecting pieces to perform, underscoring the richness of Dvořák’s piano music, which he finds particularly exciting to present despite its lesser-known status. The musician also discusses the balance between traditional and modern elements in his career, advocating for a communication of classical music that resonates with contemporary audiences.

Andsnes reflects on his extensive career, detailing its evolution and the challenges faced during different phases. He recounts his early years, the rapid ascent to an international career, and the subsequent need for a more measured approach to maintain a sense of home and balance. The interview touches upon the pianist’s advocacy for both well-known and lesser-known works, emphasizing the importance of curiosity in fostering appreciation for diverse musical genres.

The conversation also explores the intricacies of planning Andsnes’s schedule, with a focus on programming and the challenges of presenting experimental projects to audiences. Notably, the interview delves into a controversial project in 2009, “Pictures Reframed,” highlighting the varied audience reactions to this fusion of visual arts and classical music. The interview concludes with Andsnes discussing the impact of the pandemic on his career, the challenges faced, and his anticipation for a return to the intensity of live performances. Additionally, Andsnes touches on his commitment to teaching through annual masterclasses, emphasizing the importance of sharing knowledge with the next generation of musicians.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music