Acclaimed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes inspires his Philadelphia audience

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
On Saturday evening, May 4, 2024, famed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op.30. He was miraculously accompanied by The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Dalia Stasevska. Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra completed the evening.
Leif Ove Andsnes, born April 7, 1970, in Norway, has played concerts and recitals around the world, as well as recording a wide variety of music. Mr. Andsnes has eleven Grammy Award Nominations, and seven Grammy Awards. In addition to tonight’s appearance, he will play the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with the Pittsburgh and Danish National symphonies, and the Orchestre de Paris. He will also have a busy schedule performing other works during the season. He has a new boxed set with 36 CDs surveying the last twenty years of his recordings. 
It will come as no surprise that he is an artist much in demand in the world, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world’s great orchestras, shone in their evening together. 
Conductor Dalia Stasevska made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut March 2023. She has conducted many other prestigious orchestras around the world. She has also conducted at Glyndebourne, Finnish National Opera, Norwegian National Opera, and the Royal Swedish Opera. Since February 2022, she has actively supported war-torn Ukraine, raising funds and supplies for that country. 
Sergei Rachmaninoff (born 1873, died 1943) had Tchaikovsky as his hero. He was one of the most celebrated composers and pianists of his time. He composed this concerto in 1909. 
The Philadelphia Orchestra played magnificently for Ms. Stasevska, following her every nuance of interpretation, as she also sensitively partnered with Mr. Andsnes, who played beautifully. His climaxes were thrilling, while his whispered passages were soul-stirring. He needed to dab his perspiration off his brow several times during pauses in the performance. No doubt he is used to the chill Norwegian climate, which Verizon Hall was not anywhere near. 
When the concerto ended, a vast wave of cheers rose from every corner of the packed house. Mr. Andsnes was recalled several times back to the stage, prompting an encore. The concert master had to march his orchestra off the stage to quell the acclaim. 
You may opine that the magical Leif Ove Andsnes so excited the Sun with his Philadelphia visit, that it burst forth titanic flares from its surface only days later, bringing the Northern Lights far south of Scandinavia, to London, and even Puerto Rico. Who can doubt it? It sounds perfectly reasonable to me. 
The concerto for Orchestra (1943) by Bela Bartok (1881-1945), concluded the program. Perhaps it was the atmosphere, perhaps it was solar radiation, or mischievous imps working their magic, but as lively and at times bombastic as the piece was, A few in the audience nodded off occasionally during the Bartok. Nevertheless, this Land of Nod dissipated after its brief visit, and the majority of the piece was as inventive and modern as one could wish. Blame it on the Sun’s solar flares.
Bravo to The Philadelphia Orchestra, Ensemble Arts, and the musicians for an unforgettable live performance at Verizon Hall. 
The Philadelphia Orchestra continues its season with appearances by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mitsuko Uchida, and La Boheme opera performances. For information, visit …

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