Leif Ove Andsnes is a 38 year-old Norwegian pianist, and one of the "must-see" concert performers anytime he comes through town.
Catch him on the classical concert stage, and you get *part* of his personality -- thoughtful, lyrical playing of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms or Grieg. But you don't get to see his playful sense of drama.
How many pianists have helicoptered a piano to the top of a cliff?
Andsnes did a documentary about Edvard Grieg for Norwegian TV -- whaddaya think, not a bad location for a shoot? (Photo courtesy of NRK)
Because of rights issues, I can't plunk the video in the middle of this blog, but it's worth the effort to follow this link to an amazing five-minute excerpt from the documentary, with footage of a chopper carrying the piano, and Andsnes calmly playing Grieg at the top of the cliff.
(btw...Andsnes later said the piano was awful, he wanted to push it over the edge.)
The mountain-top piano was last year. For next year, Andsnes is developing an intriguing performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." He'll play the piano while South African artist Robin Rhode creates an installation on stage, during the music. The project is still in the works, it will premiere in November 2009 in New York. No details yet, but here's a look at the irreverent collaborative spirit of Andsnes and Rhode.