Leif Ove Andsnes has triumphed at this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards with his disc of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 4. The Norwegian pianist, 45, won both the Concerto and Recording of the Year prizes with performances described by the jury as a ‘true heart-and-mind musical journey’.
Andsnes picked up his two trophies at the magazine’s Awards ceremony in Kings Place, London, on 7 April. Thorhild Widvey, the Norwegian Minister of Culture, flew in to present him with his Concerto Award, while conductor Sir Antonio Pappano awarded him the coveted Recording of the Year prize. Andsnes treated the audience to a performance of Beethoven’s Bagatelles Op. 119 No. 8 in C and Op. 33 No. 7 in A flat.
His award-winning disc was the second in his set of the complete Beethoven piano concertos. Andsnes completed his ‘Beethoven Journey’ last year. Talking to the magazine for the May issue’s cover feature, Andsnes described how events in his personal life – the premature birth of his twins – moved him to take stock of his relationship with Beethoven: ‘My emotions are more raw, and this gives intensity to my playing and also a new musical freedom. Beethoven goes deeper in me than before. I’m so touched by his idealism now; I think we need it.’