Ann Arbor listeners will also find out how good Andsnes is as a director when he appears at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, January 14, with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 1977, the NCE lists Terje Tnnesen as its "artistic director" and Andsnes as its "principal guest leader." In practice, this means pianist Andsnes will direct from the keyboard Mozart's elegant E-flat Major Concerto no. 14 and driven D Minor Concerto no. 20, while violinist Tnnesen will direct from the concertmaster's chair in the works without piano — Mozart's enchanting Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Beethoven's otherworldly final string quartet in Tnnesen's arrangement for chamber orchestra. How this will work out in practice can be partially predicted by the excellence of the recordings Andsnes and the NCE have made. As Neil Young always says, however, "Live music is best," and anyone who cares about great music should be there.
[Review published January 2006]