Beethoven with Jan Lisiecki
19 June - 30 July
The COE is very much looking forward to working for the second time with the Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki after their first project together with Yannick Nézet-Séguin back in 2015. This series of concerts was postponed from June 2020 when we were going to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle in a number of German cities and festivals. This series of concerts will be split in two parts, firstly at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Wuppertal and Dortmund, also in Ludwigsburg at the end of June, then at the Rheingau Musik Festival in Wiesbaden where they will perform the entire cycle in two concerts at the end of July. The programme will also include Beethoven’s Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus.
It was above all Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto that became a career accelerator for Jan Lisiecki, one of the shooting stars among young pianists who signed an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon at the tender age of 15. In 2012, he stepped in at short notice in Bologna with the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado after Martha Argerich had cancelled. Four years later, the Canadian made his Carnegie Hall debut with this work, and finally, in a guest appearance at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, he directed an orchestra from the piano for the first time. “Concentration and tension form a special challenge in this concerto,” says Lisiecki. In the meantime, he had already performed the cycle several times and has all five concertos firmly in his repertoire.
Jan Lisiecki’s interpretations and technique speak to a maturity beyond his age. At 27, the Canadian performs over a hundred yearly concerts worldwide, and has worked closely with conductors such as Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, and Claudio Abbado (†).
In 2021/2022, Lisiecki presents a new recital programme featuring Chopins Nocturnes and Études in more than 30 cities all around the globe. Recent return invitations include Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for performances at Carnegie Hall and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Lisiecki recently performed a Beethoven Lieder cycle with baritone Matthias Goerne, among others at the Salzburg Festival, and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony and London Symphony Orchestra.
At the age of fifteen, Lisiecki signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The label launched its celebrations of the Beethoven Year 2020 with the release of a live recording of all five Beethoven concertos from Konzerthaus Berlin, with Lisiecki leading the Academy of St Martin in the Fields from the piano. His Beethoven Lieder cycle with Matthias Goerne, released shortly after, was awarded the Diapason d’Or. Lisiecki’s eighth recording for the prestigious label, a double album of Frédéric Chopin’s Complete Nocturnes which he also showcases in his current recital programme, appeared in August 2021 and in February 2022 on vinyl, immediately topping the classical charts in North America and Europe. Most recently, his previous solo programme Night Music, featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Schumann and Paderewski, was released as a digital album. His recordings have been awarded with the JUNO and ECHO Klassik. At eighteen, Lisiecki became both the youngest ever recipient of Gramophone’s Young Artist Award and received the Leonard Bernstein Award. He was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada in 2012.