Every era has had a few performers whose unimaginable virtuosity places them in a category unto themselves. Described as a “super virtuoso” by Harold Schonberg in The New York Times, Marc-André Hamelin is such a performer. His incredible mastery, infused with an impression of spontaneity, makes Hamelin one of the stand-out pianists of the present day.
“Hamelin’s performance was unassumingly formidable, profound, superbly paced, the melodic line not just effectively distinct from the eddies of accompaniment, but seeming to well up from within… Hamelin’s pianism is deep enough to let the strongest currents course under the surface.” The Boston Globe
Alban Berg: Piano Sonata, Op.1
Gabriel Fauré: Impromptu No. 2 in F minor and Barcarolle No. 3 in G-flat major, Op. 42
Claude Debussy: Images, Book I and L’Isle joyeuse
Marc-André Hamelin: Variations on a theme by Paganini (2011)
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 (1931 version)
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s unique blend of musicianship and virtuosity brings forth interpretations remarkable for their freedom, originality, and prodigious mastery of the piano’s resources. A musician of broad musical interests and curiosity, Hamelin is renowned in equal measure for his fresh readings of the established repertoire and for his exploration of lesser known works of the 19th and 20th century, both in the recording studio and in the concert hall.
This season Mr. Hamelin performs Haydn piano concerti with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie in a performance that will be recorded for release on Hyperion. He also performs Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and David Zinman, with the Atlanta Symphony and Hugh Wolff, and with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Ainars Rubikis. He joins the National Philharmonic of Russia and Vladimir Spivakov for concerti by Rubinstein and Medtner and appears with the San Francisco Symphony with David Robertson in the Ravel Left Hand Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, as was well as the Columbus Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Hamelin tours the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takacs String Quartet to Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Royal Conservatory of Music – Toronto, the Library of Congress, Celebrity Series of Boston, San Francisco Performances, the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Chamber Music Societies, and the University of Florida.
He will appear in recital at the 92nd Street Y for the New York premiere of his Variations on a Theme by Paganini, and is presented in recital by the Chicago Symphony. Other recital engagements include Baltimore’s Shriver Hall, Detroit Chamber Music Society, Music Toronto, Vancouver Recital Society, Edmonton Chamber Music Society, Portland Ovations (Maine) and Portland Piano (Oregon), Wigmore Hall, Berlin Piano Festival, and in Libson, Munich, Stuttgart, Moscow, and Antwerp.
During the summer of 2012 Mr. Hamelin appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, opened the Aspen Music Festival season with Robert Spano leading the orchestra in Gershwin’s Rhapsody and Blue and returned in recital. He joined the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the International Keyboard Festival, a recital and Mozart concerto the the Sao Paolo Symphony, recitals for the Montreal Symphony as part of their day long music marathon, Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Athéron in Aix-en-Provence, and the Helsingborg Piano Festival. In coordination with serving on the jury of the Edvard Grieg Piano Competition, he performed a recital at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen.
In 2011/2012, Hamelin opened the season at the BBC Proms with a late night recital of Liszt works and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini. He debuted with Berliner Philharmoniker in performances of Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4, and appeared with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Helsingborg Symphony. In North America, he performed with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Montreal, Quebec and Seattle; he also performs the epic Busoni Piano Concerto throughout the season, in dates with the Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the Orchestra Symphonique de Trois-Rivieres, and the New Jersey Symphony and Jacques Lacombe at Carnegie Hall for the Spring for Music Festival.
He also performed in recital throughout North America and internationally at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Lucerne Piano Festival, and in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Sweden. Hamelin returned to Asia for appearances with the Singapore Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and recitals in Hong Kong and Seoul.
In recent seasons, Hamelin has performed with orchestra and in solo recital at New York City’s Lincoln Center; in recital and in chamber music on the various stages of Carnegie Hall; and on an international tour of the Schumann Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet. The Pro Musica Society of Montreal paid tribute to Hamelin with a six-concert series, “The Art of Marc-André Hamelin.”
Marc-André Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His most recent releases include Reger and Strauss concerti with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and a solo disc of works by Liszt that was selected by Bryce Morrison for Gramophone’s 2011 “Critic’s Choice” feature. An album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Ètudes, received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critic’s Association; the works are published by Edition Peters. His complete Hyperion discography includes concertos and works for solo piano by composers such as Alkan, Busoni, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Haydn, Liszt and Schumann.
A resident of Boston, Marc-André Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critic’s Association, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.