Photo credit: Fran Kaufman
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"Artists and organizations hoping to revitalize classical music should look to Mr. Hamelin"
~ New York Times
"Hamelin's legend will grow - right now there is no one like him"
~ Alex Ross, The New Yorker
"Marc-André Hamelin ranks among the small handful of performers in every generation whose abilities defy the imagination."
~ John Terauds, Toronto Star
"One of the most adventurous and certainly the most courageous pianists of recent times."
~ International Piano Quarterly
The Art of MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
As pianist MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN wraps yet another acclaimed season, he looks forward to a 2013/2014 notable for world-wide series celebrating his artistry and collaborations:
-- He is the 2013/2014 Artist-in-Residence at Wigmore Hall; the residency will feature Hamelin in a five-concert series including solo recitals; a trio performance with violinist Anthony Marwood and clarinetist Martin Fröst; and in concerts with the Takacs and Pacifica quartets.
-- He will curate and perform in a three-concert series "The Art of the Piano" for Boston Celebrity Series (including a duo recital with Emanuel Ax.)
-- He will be presented in three concerts by San Francisco Performances, including a solo recital, dates with Marwood and Fröst and with the Pacifica Quartet.
-- He will be presented in a full series by deSingel International Arts Campus in Antwerp that includes performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, as a one-man orchestra in a solo recital and in chamber music with kindred spirits.
These international series are of course complemented by a full season of recitals (for Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, and for WPAS in Washington, DC, among others) and subscription weeks with the New York Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, and the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's new piano concerto with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic (with the run-out to deSingel.)
As you soak all of that up, we will leave you with a bit of trancendence: video of Hamelin playing Gaspard de la Nuit last month in Moscow. (May 2013)
CSO, Washington DC and more with MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
It's been quite a spring for the incomparable MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN. He opened the season -- the official Spring season, that is -- with the Chicago Symphony, playing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kirill Petrenko, and winning praise across the board: (April 2012)
"The concerto's cut-glass brilliance and mordant wit were made to order for a virtuoso such as Marc-Andre Hamelin. Making his subscription series debut, the pianist brought incisive attack, fastidious fingers and cool objectivity to the outer movements, where he and CSO principal trumpet Christopher Martin mirrored each other's dexterity." - March 23, 2012, John von Rhein for THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Hamelin’s ingenious idea to offer as an encore — one demanded by repeated curtain calls from the cheering, standing audience — the first movement of Mozart’s deceptively challenging 'simple' C Major Sonata, K. 545, makes one eager to hear him in his own pieces in May in the CSO’s 'Keys to the City Piano Festival.' He should be a frequent guest on future CSO programs." - March 24, 2012 Andrew Patner for THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
As Mr. Patner mentions, Hamelin returns to Chicago on May 27 for the Keys to the City Piano Festival (at the invitation of curator Emanuel Ax) where he will perform selections from his own works on the official "Chicago Piano Day."
His Chicago Symphony concerts were preceded by a Far East tour, including performances with the Singapore Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and were followed by a recital tour, taking him to Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.
"Virtuoso pianists tend to be divided into two groups: those of supreme technical ability and those with a profound aptitude for expression. These two groups are often treated as if they were mutually exclusive, and critics are fond of exclaiming when a member of one group shows himself able to travel into the terrain of the other.
The Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin is a prime example of this kind of crossover artist. His technical facility is breathtaking: The piano quivers and trembles under his thunderous assault. But his sensitivity is also superb. In a recital of the music of Chopin and Charles-Valentin Alkan that was never less than engaging, he linked two composers — one familiar, one not — by underlining their similarities, not to say their operatic sides." -- April 3, 2012 Anne Midgette for THE WASHINGTON POST
Next up is a recital tour in Germany -- Dusseldorf, Munich and Schwetzingen -- and then a return to Carnegie Hall in May for Spring for Music. Hamelin joins Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony for a much buzzed about program, featuring the extraordinary Busoni Piano Concerto.
And this month opened with the announcement from the Canadian Recording Arts Society that Hamelin's Liszt Piano Sonata disc was awarded the Juno for Best Classical Album (Solo or Chamber.) Congratulations to Mr. Hamelin!
Sample the third release in Hamelin’s much-praised series of Haydn’s piano sonatas
And, just to follow up the lovely news about the Juno Award for Hamelin's Liszt Sonata disc, we look forward to the next Hamelin/Hyperion recording: the third installment of the (soon to be complete) Haydn Piano Sonatas from Hamelin, out in June 2012.
Click here to preview tracks from the album, and to learn more about the disc. (April 2012)
MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN with Berlin Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony
This fall pianist MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN has performed Liszt's Totentanz and Wanderer Fantasy with Dennis Russell Davies and the Sinfonieorchester Basel; Szymanowski Symphony No. 4 with Pablo Heras-Casado and the Berlin Philharmonic (a concert you can check out via the Berlin Phil's excellent Digital Concert Hall archives); and Fauré's Ballade and the Franck Variations Symphoniques with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony, among other orchestral dates.
Hamelin began the month offering the world premiere of his "Cathy's Variations" and the US premiere of his Paganini Variations in recital for San Francisco Performances, alongside the Berg Op. 1 and Liszt's Sonata in B Minor:
"Hamelin luxuriated in a sonata that is often treated as a speed competition...In the most intimate parts of the work, he let the soft, resonant whispers speak fully. It was an exquisite example of how important silence is in music." - San Francisco Classical Voice, Nov. 3, 2011
This week he plays a program of Haydn, Wolpe, Schumann, Fauré and Liszt at the Lucerne Festival.
Other upcoming dates include the Seattle Symphony (Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with Ludovic Morlot,) the Danish Radio Symphony, (Schubert Wanderer Fantasy, Liszt Totentanz,) a Wigmore Hall recital, and an Asian tour, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (the Franck Variations Symphoniques and Strauss Burlesque, and also a solo recital,) and a Korean recital for the Seongnam Arts Center. (November 2011)
Marc-André Hamelin live with the Berlin Philharmonic, and on Performance Today
Join Marc-André Hamelin live this Saturday, October 22
This Saturday, October 22, you have TWO opportunities to hear Marc-André Hamelin in live performance.
Watch him in instant transmission from the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall, playing Szymanowski's Symphony No. 4, and hear him through American Public Media's broadcast of an all-Liszt recital program, live from the Fraser Studio, on the master's 200th Birthday.
Celebrating LISZT's 200th Birthday with APM
As most of you know, this Saturday, October 22, is the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth.
In celebration of the birth-bicentennial, American Public Media welcomed Hamelin into the Fraser Studio at WGBH-Boston last month for all-Liszt program, which concludes with the composer’s crowning masterwork for piano, the Sonata in B Minor. (Check out Hamelin's acclaimed 2011 Liszt album for Hyperion here.)
Hosted by APM’s Fred Child, the hourlong special will air throughout the United States tomorrow, Saturday, October 22, 2011, at 6pm Eastern.
Listen online at American Public Media, on WGBH-Boston, on Minnesota Public Radio or on APM affiliates throughout the US.
And, if you simply cannot wait to hear the B Minor Sonata, listen now to the second hour of today's Performance Today broadcast.
LIVE with the Berlin Philharmonic
Even if you are not in Berlin this weekend (like those of us at Colbert,) you can hear Marc-André Hamelin live tomorrow, October 22, playing Szymanowski's Symphony No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra, with Pablo Heras-Casado and the Berlin Philharmonic, via the Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall.
For 9.90 € (approx. $13 USD,) you can purchase a 48-hour ticket, which will allow you to watch the concert on Saturday October 22 (8pm in Berlin, 2pm Eastern time). The program also includes Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3, and Luciano Berio's Quatre dédicaces for orchestra.
Learn more about the Digital Concert Hall and purchase your ticket here. (October 2011)
Marc-André Hamelin on BBC Radio 3, YouTube, WGBH and more
Last week BBC Radio 3 offered a broadcast of MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN's March 10 peformance of the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 with Tomás Netopil and London's Philharmonia Orchestra.
If you missed that broadcast, we now offer you a different Hamelin Liszt performance: Sonata in B Minor, recorded live in the studio at Boston's WGBH.
Speaking of Liszt, Hamelin has two new studio albums out on Hyperion next month: The Liszt B Minor Sonata and Venezia e Napoli Variations (and more,) and the Reger Piano Concerto and Strauss Burleske, recorded with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
And, although it was not broadcast, you can now watch and listen to a YouTube video from December 2010's Concert for the Cure in Boston. Sir Simon Rattle joined an orchestra of Boston-based musicians (gathered together by fundraiser and flutist Julie Scolnick) for a gala fundraising performance, featuring Hamelin at the keyboard, playing Mozart's Piano Concerto in G Major, K.453.
"This was the first Hamelin-Rattle collaboration anywhere, and they seemed in perfect sympathy. Hamelin eschewed superficial charm and mined the score for its many harmonic subtleties" - The Boston Globe, December 8, 2010 (April 2011)
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin in orchestral dates this spring
“A one-of-a-kind concert artist…He just played the notes, but his rhythms were so exacting and his touch so subtle that each note seemed to have a life of its own.” – Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 16, 2009
Dates this spring include: (April 2010)
April 13, 15, 16, 17 • BOSTON SYMPHONY • Shostakovich 1
April 21, 22, 23, 24 • SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY • Mendelssohn 1
May 7, 8 • INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY • Saint-Saëns Africa Fantasy, Liszt 2
May 20, 21, 22 • MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA • Strauss Burlesque, Ravel Left-Hand
June 11, 12 • EDMONTON SYMPHONY • Strauss Burlesque, Shostakovich 1
~ ~ ~
“The Hamelin technique is far more than digital speed. It encompasses voicing chords, playing fortissimos that aren’t labored and pianissimos that don’t disappear…Hamelin found deep wells of expression in single notes, if only because he gave them thoughtful gradations of color at any level of the volume spectrum.”
- David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 15, 2010
Henry Fogel on Hamelin, ON THE RECORD, May 22, 2009:
"The accuracy, speed and rhythmic precision of Hamelin's playing were something to behold. Even in today's era of great technical accomplishment, there are few pianists who can equal Hamelin's clarity and fireworks. But while that is an important part of his musical arsenal, it is not what makes him so special. What knocked me over about his performances was the beauty of the slow music -- played with incredibly subtle dynamic shading, phrasing of remarkable suppleness and imagination, and an ability to draw 2,000 listeners right into the music, each with the feeling that he was playing 'just for me'."
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin on tour
“A one-of-a-kind concert artist…He just played the notes, but his rhythms were so exacting and his touch so subtle that each note seemed to have a life of its own.”
- Mark Swed for THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, December 16, 2009
RECENT and UPCOMING Orchestras include:
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at Lincoln Center
BBC Scottish Symphony
Les Violons du Roy
New Jersey Symphony
New York Philharmonic
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI
Orquesta Sinfonica de Valencia
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Saint Louis Symphony
San Francisco Symphony
In repertoire including concerti by:
Beethoven • Brahms • Haydn • Liszt • Mozart
Ravel • Saint-Saëns • Shostakovich • Strauss
"The Hamelin technique is far more than digital speed. It encompasses voicing chords, playing fortissimos that aren't labored and pianissimos that don't disappear. Particularly as the sonata wound down, Hamelin found deep wells of expression in single notes, if only because he gives them thoughtful gradations of color at any level of the volume spectrum." - David Patrick Stearns, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, Jan.15, 2010
Click here to read the GRAMOPHONE September 2009 "Diary" interview with Hamelin. (January 2010)
Marc-André Hamelin tours Australia, Europe, plays in Mexico and the US
After beginning the fall on tour in Australia, pianist Marc-André Hamelin
joined the Montreal Symphony for Liszt Concerto No. 2 in Montreal and at the International Festival de Cervantino in Mexico, where he played a recital as well.
Hamelin then headed home to Boston, joining the BSO’s Chamber Players for a performance of Brahms Piano Quartet No. 2 (he joins the orchestra next spring for Shostakovich 1). He played a recital at the Club Musicale de Quebec, and this month tours Europe, playing recitals in Portugal, Milan, Bergamo, Stuttgart, at London’s Wigmore Hall; the Strauss Burlesque with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; and Saint-Saens 4 with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Valencia in Spain.
In December Hamelin plays recitals at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, at San Francisco Performances, and for La Jolla Music Society. (November 2009)
Talking with Marc-André Hamelin, Gramophone
In this piece from the September 2009 edition of Gramophone, Marc-André speaks about his passion for collecting scores and discovering uncharted musical territory. Click here to download the PDF. (September 2009)
Keys to the City, The Boston Globe, June 12, 2009
In this interview, published June 12, 2009, Marc-André Hamelin speaks with Geoff Edgers about his rising profile, his prolific recordings, and what he aims to achieve in performance. Click here to read more from the Boston Globe or download the PDF. (June 2009)
Marc-André Hamelin on tour with Takács Quartet
This spring Marc-André Hamelin tours with the Takács Quartet, playing the Schumann Piano Quintet at the University of Chicago, at the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and elsewhere. They record the work for Hyperion next month. Last week he made a last-minute recital appearance at the Strathmore Center for the Washington Performing Arts Society, playing Haydn, Schumann, Fauré and Debussy:
"Hamelin is no second-rate consolation prize, but a major pianist, with a devoted following who prize him for his voracious musical appetite, intellectual control and fine technique. It was a stroke of good luck that the WPAS was able to secure him so quickly. And his performance was fascinating, nourishing and provocative." THE WASHINGTON POST, April 10, 2009
Hamelin now plays Liszt (Totentanz and the Schubert/Liszt Wanderer Fantasy) with the Seattle Symphony, and next joins the St. Louis Symphony for Saint-Saens 2 in May.
Other upcoming dates include recitals at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, returns to Aspen, Orford, and Ravinia, and an engagement with the New York Philharmonic for Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and "I've Got Rhythm" Variations. In Europe, he appears at the Salzburg and Aldeburgh festivals.
Last month heard Hamelin playing Shostakovich 1 with the North Carolina Symphony, and in a week honoring his artistry at the Pro Musica Society of Montreal, with chamber music, solo recital and concerto performances (Haydn D Major, Beethoven 3) with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy. (April 2009)
Marc-André Hamelin receives 8th Grammy Nomination
Pianist MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN wraps up 2008 with a GRAMMY Nomination - his eighth! - for "Marc-André Hamelin in a state of jazz" (Hyperion CDA67656.)
"Played with such astounding agility and aplomb that you end up mesmerised by virtually every bar. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that no other pianist could approach Hamelin in such music. Notes pour and cascade like diamonds from his fingers and he has an inborn flair for the music's wild, free-wheeling melodies and rhythms, for its glittering whimsy and caprice..." - Gramophone Magazine (December 2008)
This month Hamelin completed a Far East tour, performing Mendelssohn 1 with Günther Herbig in Singapore, Brahms 2 with the Malaysian Phil and Osmo Vänskä, the Strauss Burlesque with Melbourne Symphony and Oleg Caetani and a pair of recitals in Hong Kong. Next month sees his newest Hyperion recording, Chopin Sonatas 2 and 3.
Pianist MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN plays recitals in Chicago, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, at the Gilmore Festival - and has a new disc for Hyperion
It's a big spring for pianist MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN, with recitals at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, at Denver Friends of Chamber Music, at the Portland Piano Festival, for Chicago Symphony Presents, and completing a three-year series of concerts for San Francisco Performances. April marked the release of his latest recording for Hyperion, "Marc-André Hamelin in a State of Jazz". The disc, with works by Friederich Gulda, Nikolai Kapustin, Alexis Weissenberg and George Antheil, was an Editor's Choice in Gramophone: "Played with such astounding agility and aplomb that you end up mesmerised by virtually every bar...Superbly presented and recorded, this is a special addition to Hamelin's towering and unique discography." GRAMOPHONE April 2008.
This week Mr. Hamelin heads to Canada, joining the National Arts Centre Orchestra for Gershwin, then on to the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for Schnittke, and to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Messiaen and Mozart. He spends June in Europe, performing recitals in Copenhagen, Bonn, and joining the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, where he'll perform with Leif Ove Andsnes (a two-handed arrangement of Rite of Spring!), Christian Tetzlaff, Thomas Quastoff and others. US summer dates include recitals at Aspen, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and his annual appearance at the Mannes International Keyboard Institute & Festival. (June 2008)
Marc-André Hamelin - Wit, intelligence and sparkling technique
Renowned artist Marc-André Hamelin performs his vast repertoire
parts wit, intelligence and sparkling technique. He has already
chock-full season, with performances of the massive Busoni
Winnepeg, the Brahms No. 2 in Ottawa, and recital appearances of
Albéniz: Iberia (also recorded on Hyperion,) in between. Mr.
heads south for a recital tour, and looks forward to
performances with the
Edmonton Symphony and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival later
this summer. (April 2006)
Marc-André Hamelin wows audiences in Texas
Virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin made notable appearances in Texas this February, wowing audiences with his "total, cool, impressive control" and "exquisitely shaped music-making" (Houston Chronicle). He performed the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Dallas Symphony, led by Andrew Litton and recorded for Hyperion, before making his Houston debut with the Performing Arts Society at the Cullen Theater, and appearing in recital at Baylor University.
A busy March brings Mr. Hamelin the colossal Busoni Piano Concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony led by James Paul, both Shostakovich Piano Concerti with the New West Symphony in L.A., and the Brahms No. 2 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Stefan Sanderling, followed by a chamber concert with musicians from the NAC. In addition, Mr. Hamelin brings his acclaimed interpretation of Albeniz's Iberia in recital to the Cleveland Museum of Art. (March 2006)
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin gives jaw-dropping debut with the New York Philharmonic.
Following pianist Marc-André Hamelin's jaw-dropping debut with the New York Philharmonic on June 30 and July 1, 2005, Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times wrote: "The virtuosic Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin, making his Philharmonic debut, delivered an intense, rhapsodic and ferociously brilliant account of Liszt's "Totentanz" for piano and orchestra."
A few days later, as a result of two releases: his highly acclaimed two-disc set of Albéniz's kaleidoscopic Spanish portrait Ibéria in May, and a riveting recording of Ives' Concord Sonata and Barber's Piano Sonata in September 2004, Gramophone Magazine announced the nomination of Mr. Hamelin for 2005 Artist of the Year - exclaiming, "Is there nothing this man can't play?"
You can cast your vote for Marc-André Hamelin for Gramophone's 2005 Artist of the Year at the link below until August 3, 2005:
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/vote.asp (August 2005)
Ole!! Hamelin Turns up the Heat with Iberia!
May 10 marked the US release of pianist MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN's new 2 Disc CD of the Albeniz masterpiece IBERIA on Hyperion. Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle calls the disc, "compulsively listenable", remarking Hamelin "is just the musician to illuminate the work's diverse strands" and "the result is a superb performance.."
Hamelin preceded the release with highly acclaimed performances of the work in San Francisco (April 29) and Tallahassee (April 24). The Tallahassee Democrat stated, "his technique truly is amazing," while praising "the incredible beauty ad sensitivity Hamelin drew from the piano..."
Click here to check out IBERIA! (May 2005)
MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN's latest CD, Shostakovich/Shchedrin on Hyperion:
"I am going to take his staggering
virtuosity for granted--the incredibly clean finger work at the close of the
First Concerto, or the outer movements of the Second--and speak instead of
Hamelin's gorgeous tone in the Adagio of the former, his witty phrasing in the
finale of the latter, his range of color throughout both concertos and his
sensitively calibrated but wide dynamic range...it's difficult to imagine the
piece better performed than it is here. The orchestral part, more fully scored
than either Shostakovich work, allows Litton and the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra a chance to strut their considerable stuff as well. Excellently
balanced sonics complete an ideal marriage of soloist, conductor, orchestra, and
repertoire. Certainly this is the new reference recording for the Shostakovich
concertos. Bravo!" (ClassicsToday.com) (January 2005)
SERIOUS FUN was had by all when pianist MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN
and conductor Keith Lockhart got together for the first time in concerts of
Rachmaninov 2 at the Edmonton Symphony... "Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin
gave a ravishing, nuanced performance of Rachmaninoff's beloved Second
Piano Concerto. Hamelin is a virtuoso second to none, but he's also a thinker
and a poet, and his performance had everything." - Edmonton Sun (May 2004)
Pianist MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN has received yet another Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance
(without Orchestra) for his album
available from Hyperion Records. The winners are announced on Sunday, February
23 at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards. This album has already won the Gramophone
Critics Choice award, the Sunday Times Record of the Year, the 10 De Repertoire
(France), and the Cannes Classique Award. A recent review of Mr. Hamelin speaks
for itself. "At the Wigmore Hall on 31 October Marc-Andre Hamelin gave a piano
recital of consummate artistry. A large audience was held enthralled by a blend
of virtuosity and musicianship, which proclaimed the unique qualities of the
piano as an instrument capable of embracing a vast range of styles whilst
presenting them in terms of scintillating colours and wide-ranging dynamics.
Schubert's poignant yet technically demanding A major Sonata D664 was given a
deeply affecting reading and the pair of marches arranged by Liszt from
Schubert's vast score of treasures were models of rhythmic colour. Chopin's
captivating little explanation of Paganini, which he called a Souvenir, was
deftly presented, while the evening's tour de force was provided by a
sequence of Liszt's Grandes Etudes. Here was thrilling mastery in which technical
brilliance, poetic perception and structural insight evoked sheer wonder" (Musical Opinion). (February 2003)