Paula Zahn in conversation with world-renowned and celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.

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ARTS I AM PAULA'. ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAM A CONVERSATION WITH THE CELEBRATED NORWEGIAN PIANIST LIEF OVE ANDSNES.

NEW YORK TIMES HAS CALLED HIM A PIANIST OF MAGISTERIAL ELEGANCE, POWER AND INSIGHT.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL NAMED HIM ONE OF THE MOST GIFTED MUSICIANS OF HIS GENERATION.

KNOWN FOR HIS COMMANDING TECHNIQUE AND SEARCHING INTERPRETATIONS, HE HAS WON A CLAIM WORLDWIDE, PERFORMING RECITALS AND CONCERTOS WITH THE WORLD'S FOR MOST ORCHESTRAS.

AND AS A CHAMBER MUSICIAN, HE IS ALSO THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE ROSENDAHL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL IN HIS NATIVE NORWAY.

MUSICIAN, AT THE TIME, AND FIRST SCANDINAVIAN, TO CURE CARNEGIE HALL'S PERSPECTIVE SERIES.

IN 2017-2018, HE WAS ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WITH THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC.

HE IS THE WINNER OF SIX GRAMOPHONE AWARDS FOR RECORDINGS OF CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERTOS AND WORKS.

HIS AMBITIOUS BEETHOVEN JOURNEY SPANNED FOUR YEARS AND MORE THAN 230 PERFORMANCES IN 27 COUNTRIES.

THIS SEASON, HE IS EMBARKING ON A NEW, MULTIYEAR PROJECT WITH THE MUELLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA.

I HAD THE CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH HIM IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS VERY BUSY SEASON WHICH INCLUDED A RECENT APPEARANCE AT CARNEGIE HALL.

WELCOME TO NEW YORK.

UNDERSTAND THIS HAPPEN.

ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CITIES?

I FEEL SO GRATEFUL FOR SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES HERE I PLAYED 30 YEARS AGO MY FIRST RECITAL AND I PLAYED MY FIRST RECITAL IN THE BIG CALL 20 YEARS AGO AND SINCE THEN SO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPENED TO ME HERE.

THE INTENSITY OF PLAYING IN THAT HALL AND THE BEAUTY OF SOUND, THE MAGIC OF 2800 PEOPLE LISTENING TO ONE PIANO AND FEELING THERE CAN BE INTIMACY IN SUCH A LARGE SPACE.

AND THE DIVERSITY, EVERYTHING THE CITY HAS TO OFFER .

I THINK NEW YORK AUDIENCES DO HAVE VERY HIGH STANDARDS.

I'M CURIOUS, IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE AS YOU TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD?

A CERTAIN CONCENTRATION, SILENCE IN THE AUDIENCE SOMETIMES.

THEY RESPOND IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

IF YOU ARE AT A CONCERT YOU WONDER IF THERE IS SOMEBODY THERE.

OF COURSE IF I AM PLAYING VIENNA, SO MANY OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS ACTUALLY LIVE THERE.

THEY FEEL OWNERSHIP TO THE MUSIC WHICH IS VERY SPECIAL.

ULTIMATELY, I FEEL THE MUSIC IS SO UNIVERSAL.

THAT IS A WONDERFUL THING.

I CAN PLAY MY CONCERTO IN VENEZUELA OR CHINA OR NORTHERN NORWAY OR NEW YORK AND PEOPLE WILL REACT TO IT.

THERE IS SOMETHING IN US BEING TOUCHED DEEPLY .

I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF HEARING YOU REHEARSED THE GREAT CONCERTO WHICH WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE.

IS IT A PIECE YOU FEEL VERY DEEPLY?

I DO.

I ALSO FELT THIS WAS BEING TOO CLOSELY CONNECTED TO ME.

I AM NORWEGIAN IT WAS MY GREAT, TRUE PEACE SO MANY PLACES EARLY IN MY CAREER.

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BEING A YOUNG, NORWEGIAN PIANIST HAVING THIS GREAT PIECE WRITTEN BY THE YOUNG GREAT, 25 WHEN HE WROTE IT, SO FULL OF PASSION OF A YOUNG MAN WANTING TO CONQUER THE WORLD AND AT THE SAME TIME IT HAS THIS INNOCENT BEAUTY, CHILDLIKE BEAUTY.

ABILITIES THAT COMES WITH THE FOLK SONG TRADITION THE SPEAK DIRECTLY TO OUR HEARTS AND VERY INTIMATE.

INTIMATE AND EXTRAORDINARY AT THE SAME TIME.

VERY POTENT CONCERT PIECE I LOVE PLAYING.

YOU HAVE TRAVELED MANY, MANY THOUSANDS OF MILES, MUSICALLY AND PHYSICALLY SINCE YOUR EARLY TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE EARLY ROOTS OF YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC?

BOTH OF YOUR PARENTS WERE MUSIC TEACHERS?

THEY WERE MUSIC TEACHERS.

I AM FROM A SMALL COMMUNITY, AN ISLAND ON THE WESTERN PART OF NORWAY.

I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE PARENTS WHO HAVE CONNECTION TO MUSIC.

THERE WAS A PIANO IN OUR HOME AND THEY WERE ACTUALLY TEACHING A FEW CHILDREN IN OUR HOME.

THAT'S WHY I ASKED ONE IS FOR HIS OLD MY PARENTS CAN I ALSO PLAY?

LIKE THIS.

WHEN DID IT BECOME CLEAR TO YOU THAT YOU DID HAVE A TALENT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD AND BECOME A PROFESSIONAL PIANIST?

I THINK AROUND THE AGE OF 30, 14.

I SUDDENLY REALIZED THERE WAS NO WAY BACK.

THIS WAS MY LIFE.

THIS WAS REALLY MY LANGUAGE.

I REMEMBER SITTING AROUND THE PIANO BEING SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE PIECES MAYBE AND NOT TURN, CHOPIN, MOZART, FEELING A SENSE OF WONDER AND A SENSE OF, SENSATION THIS WAS MY SPACE, THIS IS MY VOCABULARY, THIS IS MY LANGUAGE.

THIS IS HOW I CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THE WORLD.

IT WAS VERY STRONG FROM EARLY ON .

YOU HAVE SPENT THE BETTER HALF OF THE LAST DECADE AND A HALF DOING DEEP DIVES INTO DIFFERENT COMPOSERS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT CHOPIN FOR A MOMENT.

WHAT DREW YOU TO THE BALLADS AND NOCTURNES.

WHEN I HEARD THE CHOPIN BALLADS, THE FULL BALLADS WHEN I WAS 11, I THINK, SMALL CASSETTES, I LISTENED TO IT DAY AND NIGHT AND I THOUGHT I HAD NEVER HEARD SUCH BEAUTIFUL MUSIC.

I STILL THINK, IT GOES SO DEEP INTO MY HEART, IT IS THE PEAK OF ROMANTIC PIANO MUSIC.

THE DIVERSITY OF EMOTION.

IT IS EVER CHANGING.

SO MANY TRANSITIONS.

YOU HAVE A MOMENT OF SOLO AND PASSAGES THAT ARE VERY ENTERTAINING.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW HE WAS CREATING THESE CONVERSATIONS BECAUSE IT SEEMS SO IMPROVISED AND AT THE SAME TIME --AND THESE ARE FOUR VERY INTENSE MASTERPIECES.

I THOUGHT I NEEDED TO HAVE A BIT OF BREATHING SPACE SO I PUT SOME NOCTURNES IN BETWEEN THEM.

ALSO INTENDS PIECES BUT A LITTLE BIT CALMER.

THAT IS MY PORTRAIT OF CHOPIN.

. STORYTELLING AND CONTRASTS.

YOU FEEL THAT BEETHOVEN KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS, ALMOST A GOAL OF THE MIND TAKES YOU BY THE NECK IT SAYS LISTEN TO MAY I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO TELL YOU.

I CAME OUT OF IT FEELING HIS MUSIC IS ABOUT FREEDOM AND IN THE LAST PERFORMANCES WE DID , LAST YEAR IN THE PERFORMANCES I FELT A SPONTANEITY AND FREEDOM WHICH I RARELY FELT .

OFTEN WITH THE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AREN'T YOU CONDUCTING FROM THE PIANO?

I HESITATE TO CALL IT CONDUCTING BUT I'M LEADING I'M NOT THE CONDUCTOR BUT YES, SOMEBODY HAS TO CONDUCT AND LEAD IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CONDUCTOR.

WHAT IS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR YOU?

CHALLENGING BUT I DO LOVE IT.

NOT HAVING A LID ON THE PIANO, SITTING INSIDE THE ORCHESTRA WITH THE BACK TO THE AUDIENCE, WITH SUCH GREAT CONTACT WITH THE MUSICIAN.

I'M WONDERING IF THE EXPERIENCE OF CONDUCTING FROM THE PIANO HAS CHANGED THE WAY YOU WORK WITH A CONDUCTOR WHEN YOU ARE A SOLOIST?

I HAVE MAYBE BECOME MORE CONSCIOUS OF THE WHOLE STORYTELLING.

KNOWING HE WAS A SOLOIST WITH THE CONDUCTOR IT CAN BE A BIT OF NOW IS MY TIME AND NOW IS YOUR TURN AND THE WONDERFUL THING IS WHEN I AM LEADING THE GENERAL ORCHESTRA AND IN THE NARRATIVE, THE STORYTELLING ALL THE TIME.

AND IT IS WONDERFUL WHEN YOU PLAY A PIECE BY MOZART OR BEETHOVEN THERE IS SO MUCH CONVERSATION, SO MUCH DIALOGUE.

THE ORCHESTRA AND ME.

BACK IN 2006 I HAD THE HONOR OF HOSTING THE OPENING NIGHT AT CARNEGIE HALL.

I BELIEVE YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROJECT TO RECORD SEVERAL MOZART CONCERTO.

THAT'S RIGHT.

ARE YOU STILL IS CAPTIVATED BY MOZART AS YOU WERE BACK THEN?

AS A MATTER OF FACT I'M JUST STARTING A MOZART PROJECT, BIG WIN TOGETHER WITH A CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AND IT IS CALLED MOMENTUM 1785-1786.

WAS HER SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT HAPPENED IN THAT SHORT PERIOD OF TIME?

I THINK SO.

HE WROTE 27 PIANO CONCERTOS IN A 1785 HE WRITES NUMBER 20 IN D MINOR THE FIRST ONE A MINOR KEY IT HAS A DARKER SIDE TO IT.

THE SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL HAPPENS, HE STARTED SEPARATING THE SOLOIST FROM THE ORCHESTRA.

THE HEROIC PIANO CONCERTOS FROM THE 19th CENTURY YOU HAVE A FEELING THE SOLOIST IS BEING GLADIATOR STAGE . SO MUCH ABOUT CONVERSATION WITH THE ORCHESTRA, DIALOGUE AND REACTING TO EACH OTHER BUT IN 1785 IT IS LIKE HE THINKS I CAN CREATE A VERY INTERESTING STORY MAKING THE SOLOIST AN INDIVIDUAL, DIFFERENT FROM THE ORCHESTRA AND HE CHANGED THE GENRE OF PIANO CONCERTO BY DOING THAT.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THIS MUSICAL JOURNEY FOR YOU?

ULTIMATELY IT IS ABOUT SHARING SO PASSIONATE ABOUT SOMETHING WHEN YOU LOVE SOMETHING SO MUCH AND YOU ARE ABLE TO SHARE IT SOMETIMES SOME TOWN IN 2000 PEOPLE IN CARNEGIE HALL THAT'S THE GREATEST GIFT.

I CANNOT LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT THAT SHARING MUSIC WITH OTHERS.

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