A new homage to #Beethoven250 at #EnescuOnline with the Emperor concerto, presented by legendary pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Horia Andreescu
Between June 12 and 15, the George Enescu Festival Online continues to pay its homage to Beethoven in his 250th anniversary year, with a memorable performance of the Emperor Piano Concerto No 5, his last concert composed for piano and orchestra, and the last great concerto written in the classical style. Performed by the distinguished pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Horia Andreescu, the concert – presented at the Romanian Athenaeum in the 2019 Festival – is followed by Richard Dünser’s The Waste Land, George Enescu’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, Villageoise and Bolero by Maurice Ravel.
Regarded as one of the most celebrated pianists worldwide for decades now, Elisabeth Leonskaja has graced several times with her presence the scenes of the Enescu Festival. The explanation came up during an interview, where great Russian artist confessed that she has a very special relationship with the Enescu Festival and with Bucharest, as one of the 1964 Enescu Competition laureates. She was only 18 years old back then yet still considers that instance to be a defining moment in the evolution of her musical career. In a world dominated by commercial media, Elisabeth Leonskaja has remained true to herself and her music, in the tradition of great Russian musicians such as David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, and Emil Gilels. Like them, she has always stood for the quintessence of music even under the most difficult political conditions. And like them, she has never been interested in showy appearances. Her already legendary modesty still keeps her somewhat media-shy today. On stage, however, she overwhelms the audience with the power of the music; this has ever been the substance and the goal of her life.
Elisabeth Leonskaja has appeared as a soloist with virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the radio orchestras of Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and many others, under the baton of such leading conductors as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnányi, Kurt Sanderling, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov, Tugan Sokhiev, Jiří Bělohlávek, Iván Fischer, Thomas Dausgaard. Elisabeth Leonskaja is a frequent and welcomed guest at prestigious summer music festivals, like the Wiener Festwochen, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Schubertiade in Hohenems and Schwarzenberg, and she also gives recitals in the world’s major musical centers, from Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and London, to Vienna, Bucharest, and Tokyo. Despite her busy schedule as a soloist, chamber music has always played a prominent role in her creative work, and she frequently appears with the Artemis, Belceas, Borodins, and Emerson Quartets.
Horia Andreescu is Principal Conductor of the George Enescu Philharmonic Bucharest and entertains a special relationship with the most important Romanian musical institution since his debut in 1987. Until 2010, for more than eighteen years, he was the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Romanian Radio Orchestras and Choirs. During the 1980s and 1990s, he was the Permanent Guest Conductor of three leading German orchestras – the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Schwerin. The extensive range of his activities and preoccupations confirms Horia Andreescu’s status as a veritable ambassador of the Romanian musical culture.
photo credit: Cătălina Filip