A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

"My favorite kind of pianist is a seasoned interpreter who draws us inside the music’s emotional meaning, as Nelson Freire and Leon Fleisher increasingly did as they matured. Eide falls into the same category and is warmly recommended."

Fanfare Magazine

Hello and welcome to my website! I am a Norwegian concert pianist living in Denmark.

My recordings was released internationally from 2016, and I am thrilled that they have received spectacular reviews that have given me a late breakthrough.

Since my debut concert twenty years ago, I have been living a quiet life with my wife and three daughters. I have been playing recitals every year, though, mostly in Scandinavia, all the time having something to prepare, trying to develop as a musician and getting deeper into the music. I always feel that I can become a better musician; it takes a lifetime to understand music, as Mitsuko Ushida recently stated.

Having a life in music is extremely important to me. I feel that I have a close contact to the music that is only getting deeper by the years.

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to play any piano music I want, and I hope I bring it as much sensitivity as possible. I think now is the right time for me to start working internationally. For the first time I feel ready.

To get in close touch with classical music, it needs full attention, something that is rare in the modern world, but I think it is important for people not to forget to immerse themselves in the arts; modern life is increasingly superficial. If you really get into music, it can give you an experience that enriches your life—and what is more important than that?

You can read more about my life in music in my essay “A Pianist’s Thoughts on Practice, Playing and Recording” that was published in Fanfare Magazine and is available here on my webpage.

Musical background

At the age of 6 I started listening to classical piano music on my father’s record player, and dreamt about playing this music one day. I started to get lessons at 8, and at 10 I was a finalist in my first piano competition.

I studied piano at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Tom Ernst and in the Soloist Class with José Ribera, at the Tchakovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Tatjana Nicolayeva and Naum Starkmann and later with Jiri Hlinka in Oslo.

I have performed with orchestras, participated in music festivals and have given numerous recitals. Following the international release, my recordings are frequently appearing on classical radio channels in Europe and the US.

When playing music, the most important for me is to play from the heart – to express true feelings in a simple way that does’n´t disturb the natural flow and form of the music.

I hope you enjoy my website!

Pål Eide

Photo: Per Dreyer

NEWS

INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH

Pål Eide’s first international album release Grey Clouds has enjoyed spectacular reviews in leading international classical music press and is now turning up on major classical radio channels in more than 15 countries.

PICTURES

My new album Pictures is released on Danacord in October 2019.

The International Piano Magazine article “National Tresure – Pål Eide introduces new Grieg album

The recording of my new solo album was recorded on Grieg’s piano in his home at Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen.

The album Pictures” include Grieg’s Pictures from Folk Life and lyric pieces, music of later Nordic composers and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The sound producer is the two times Grammy Award winning German sound engineer Helmut Burk, who has recorded artists like Krystian Zimmerman and Leonard Bernstein for Deutsche Grammophon.

The Danish film photographer and director Per Dreyer filmed the recording sessions. Dreyer and Eide are producing a music film and documentary on the recording and Grieg’s influence on modern music.

NORDIC-RUSSIAN MUSIC UNION

As the new president of The Nordic-Russian Music Society, Eide wants to develop the cultural community between the Nordic countries and Russia. “Writers and composers in Russia and the Nordic countries has since the 20th Century inspired each other. As a result there is in my opinion a common expressional spontaneity in Russian and Nordic art. In the Nordic-Russian Music Society, we want to present concerts of the highest artistic level combining the greatest Nordic and Russian music.” Pål Eide.

Eide is a new member of the board of Rudersdal Summer Concerts north of Copenhagen, working with the artistic programming of the festival.

TOP REVIEWS

“Eide is a highly intelligent pianist… tremendous, clear in terms of line yet hugely exciting.” International Piano

“Eide is an exceptionally persuasive advocate for the works by Norwegian composers, including Grieg… Eide grapples with the thorny aspects of human existence, creating a dramatic context which inspires me to feel that the music possesses a Shakespearean dimension … with dramatic contrast that I’ve rarely experienced from a pianist on records. I have heard three Russian pianists give excellent accounts of the Mussorgsky in concert: Lazar Berman, Alexander Toradze, and Mark Zeltser. I would place Eide’s version in their league.” Dave Saemann, Fanfare

 “… The fluidity of his phrasing is remarkable… Pål Eide is a unique artist, an extremely refreshing voice in a musical environment that seems to crank out perfectly formed, but not especially distinctive voices by the day. This well assembled recital is an ideal showcase for his special talents.” Peter Burwasser, Fanfare

 “…This is a wonderful account of Pictures, level-headed, eminently musical and, often, revelatory in its intelligence … an important release. So much time and thought has gone into this well-filled disc, and the results are extraordinary.” Colin Clarke

“… his playing of these miniature masterworks is exquisite.”  David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

“… one of the most beautiful and poetic accounts of this work (Mussorgsky) I have ever heard. I’ll always return with gratitude to Sviatoslav Richter’s hair-raising 1958 Sofia concert performance of this work (Philips), but Eide’s rendition made me listen to Mussorgsky’s Pictures in a new and unforgettable way.” Ken Meltzer, Fanfare

“…the “picture” comes alive, and you can see, almost literally, the subject of the painting… He made me fall in love all over again with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.Jerry Dubins

“Agonizing clarity… immense climax… gracious beauty… revealing details not noticed in other performances.” American Record Guide/Alan Becker

“Eide’s pianism takes on an electrifying edge that makes this recording exceptional.” klassiskmusikk.com/Martin Anderson

“I want to hear him play concerts. Big engagements should be waiting for this reflective musician, who is always putting the music before himself, no matter how much the virtuosity, and its emotional meaning before its effects, as spectacular as those may be.” Politiken/Thomas Michelsen

 “…He could play in any musical capital and win the enthusiastic approval of audiences.” Fanfare, Huntley Dent

“He has a way of getting inside the music to elucidate the extra-musical imagery behind the notes” Fanfare, Jerry Dubins

 “What really puts this version up amongst the greats is the “Scarbo,” amongst the most purely musical on disc.” Fanfare, Colin Clarke

 “He makes the piano sound like an orchestra, painting vividly graphic soundscapes on the piano. Clavier Companion/Wei Chen Lin

 “His playing is deeply personal… An exquisite performance…” The Wholenote/Alex Baran

“A tremendously gifted graphic artist who traces his designs on the keyboard of a piano in the medium of music” Fanfare, Jerry Dubins

PERFORMANCES

During 2019 Pål Eide performed at different music festivals, including 25 recitals as “Pianist of the Week” at Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen, Bornholm Music Festival and a solo radio recital from Rued Langgaard Festival transmitted on DR P2. He performed Bach’s Brandenburger Concerto No. 5 and his Piano Concerto No. 5 with the festival orchestra at Chamber Music by Hjarbæk Fjord. He was a soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concertowith Surgut Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norwegian conductor Torodd Wigum. In 2020 he will perform at different venues in Europe and the US with “Pictures”_/ and Beethoven-recitals, along with chamber music with different ensembles. His debut as a solist with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Grieg’s Piano Concerto, scheduled August 2020 was cancelled due to covid 19.

REVIEWS

ARTICLES

Fanfare Magazine, 2020 March/April Issue: Recording on Grieg’s Piano and 6 Reviews

Read article here

RBB Kultur (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) CD der Woche

Read article here

International Piano Magazine, November 2019, National Treasure – Pål Eide introduces new Grieg album

Read article here

Fanfare Magazine: A Pianist’s Thoughts on Practice, Playing and Recording, by Pål Eide. Reviews by Dent, Dubins, Clarke

Read article here

Bergens Tidende, 11.11.2018: “Plays up to a storm on Grieg’s grand piano”, by Erik Fossen (the article is in Norwegian)

Read article here

klassiskmusikk.com: Top Reviews to Pianist Pål Eide, by Mona Levin (the article is in Norwegian)

Read article here

Bergens Tidende, 13.01.2018: The world is now listening to Pål Eide, by Erik Fossen (translation in English further down)

Read article here

Bergens Tidende, 03.04.2019: The Sound of Norway turns 150, by Erik Fossen/Kjetil K. Ullebø (the article is in Norwegian)

Read article here

Recital at Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen/2018

"I felt in deep contact with Grieg's music on his Steinway from 1892"
Pål Eide

INTERVIEW

BERGENS TIDENDE, 13.01.2018, by Erik Fossen
Translation in English:
The world is now listening to Pål Eide

Picture text: Pål Eide didn’t hide from the audience, but only now he feels ready for an international carreer in the world of music.

In loneliness, Pål Eide played the piano until his fingers were bleeding. At 47 he got his breakthrough.

The piano chair can be a lonely place. Bergenborn Pål Eide spent most of his career alone by his piano at his home in Humlebæk, Denmark. Lacking interest from the outside world gave him a lot of time to explore the music, but it also made it difficult to believe in himself.
-When you don’t get recognition, it can be hard to know how well your work is, says Eide.
He doesn’t have to wonder any more. Eide’s first international record release has been so well received that the world is now at the pianist’s feet. Leading magazines write about the pianist’s “blending virtuosity” and a talent that “lies as much in the head and the heart as in the fingers”. For a person who is used to play for himself, these are warming words.
-One gets extra belief in that what one does is good, and wants to do more.

 A fight for a career.
The road to success has been long. Eide started playing the piano at eight, at the same time the family moved from Bergen to Kristiansand in Norway. He never became a child prodigy, spending more time on sports than piano practice. But there was something special about the young musician.
-At 11 I was told that I played like an old man. I think it was meant as a compliment, says Eide.
After studies in Copenhagen and Moscow, Eide settled in Denmark. He describes himself as a shy young man completely without a business talent or any idea of how to get concerts. Small concerts around Scandinavia gave him a small income, but most of the time he spent at home in Humlebæk with his musician wife and three daughters. Instead of becoming a music teacher, giving up his dream of having a concert career, Eide spent his time trying to develop himself in the music he loves, from the romantic period to the modern breakthrough.
-As the years go by and one works a lot, without things happening that one had hoped for, it can be a struggle to continue. But the music is still there pulling, one can’t let it go.

Injured by intensive practice.
Alone at the piano, Eide practiced for example Maurice Ravel’s “Gaspard de la nuit” and Stravinsky’s “Petrushka”, two of the worlds most demanding works. The practice was so intensive, that it caused injury.
-When smashing at the piano keyboard with all force sometimes six to ten hours a day, one may damage nails and fingertips. Small injuries around the nail root can be very painful, and one has to play with adhesive plaster on the fingers. At one occasion I started to bleed in the middle of a concert, but at that time the adrenalin level was so high that I just continued, on a keyboard stained in blood.

The episode reflects Eide’s personality as a musician. He dislikes showing off technical brilliance, but feels the music so strongly that he forgets time and place.
-As a pianist I have a great sensibility, but I try to play unsentimentally. It is important that the interpretation of the music is not distroying the form of the music. One should not take too much time in too many places – the sensibility and emotions of the music is often within some very small nuances. It is about timing and playing from the heart. And one develops the playing over the years.
That Eide is now ready for an international career is not only because the world only now has dicovered him, but it is also because he is now finally ready to take the step.
-I feel a greater musical and personal insight. I have gotten a great calmness in my playing.

Home to play at Griegs home
Recently Eide was included among the exclusive few who are given the opportunity to play a solo recital at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art north of Copenhagen. Now he is looking forward to his Sunday recital at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen. Eide is playing Mussorgsky, Monrad Johansen, Sæverud and Grieg on Grieg’s own Steinway grand piano from 1892.
-I have never played on an intrument that old. Every intrument has its own personality. I often like to play on old instruments that often has more charm than the modern ones, says Eide.
Originally from Bergen himself, Eide has a strong relationship to Grieg’s music. At his long stays in Denmark, the composer from Bergen actually got friendly with Eide’s wife’s grandparents.
-I have a photo of Grieg in my wife’s great grandparents’ living room, where he sits at the piano with a dreaming look with Nina at his side, says Eide.
-Have your family been as supporting?
-Yes, my family is of course proud of me. For them it may be a little surprising that I have such a great talent, they couldn’t have known that before. I don’t feel like a different person myself.

Facts

Pål Eide

  • Born in Bergen, moved to Kristiansand at 8 years of age.
  • Educated at The Danish Royal Academy of Music. Further studies at The Tchaikowsky-Concervatoire in Moscow, and under Jiri Hlinka in Oslo.
  • Concert debut in 1997. Since then, Eide has mainly played solo recitals on smaller stages in Scandinavia.
  • The last couple of years he has caught attention with his first international release “Grey Clouds” where he plays pieces by Liszt, Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky.

At Troldhaugen, Sunday, Eide plays pieces by Grieg, Sæverud, Johansen and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.

AUDIO

Listen here:

1) P2 Concert Teaser(3 Minutes)

 

2) Listen to the full recital transmission here.

Pål Eide live from Louisiana Concert hall, transmitted by Denmark’s Radio P2.

This is an unedited direct transmission, featuring Pål Eide’s recital at Louisiana Concert Hall. Additionally there are comments by the danish radio host Jacob Wivel, who is interviewing Pål Eide in the intermission of the recital. The recital starts at 42:00.

  • Grieg: To the spring – March of the Trolls – Nocturne
  • Sæverud: The Ballad of Revolt
  • Johansen: Pictures from the North. Profile of a Woman, The little Stone God, Reindeers, The Mountains of our Forefathers
  • Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas. The Cowboy’s Dance, The Beautiful Girl’s Dance, The Mysterious Cowboy’s Dance
  • Rachmaninof: 4 Preludes, C Sharp Minor, G Sharp Minor, G Major, G Minor
  • Intermission (Interview with Pål Eide and tracks from CD’s)
  • Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Encore 1: Grieg: Cattle Call, Encore 2: Chopin: Nocture No. 2
  • Extras (in the break and after the recital), tracks from CDs: Debussy: Clair de lune, Reflections in Water, Bach: Prelude from English Suite No. 2.

TELEVISION

Watch here:

1) Grieg: Lyric Pieces, Op. 43, Pål Eide, piano

Click here to watch

 

2) Grieg: Romances and Ballades, Op. 9, Astrid Nordstad, song/Pål Eide, piano

Click here to watch

Pål Eide performing on Grieg’s piano live on Norwegian National Television.

Celebrating Grieg’s 175th birthday, prominent Norwegian musicians performed all Grieg’s music in a 30 hour live performance on Norwegian national television on NRK 2. Pål Eide performed some of Grieg’s most famous pieces for solo piano, Op. 43 and his Romances and Ballades, Op. 9 together with singer Astrid Nordstad.

  • Grieg: Lyric Pieces, Op. 43, Pål Eide
  • Grieg: Romances and Ballades, Op. 9, Astrid Nordstad, song/Pål Eide, piano

VIDEO

Clair de lune

La cathédrale...

Feux d'artifice

Prelude in G

CDs

Read the International Piano Magazine article “National Tresure – Pål Eide introduces new Grieg album” here

Recording on Grieg’s Piano – by Pål Eide

An important moment

My album “Grey Clouds” featuring Liszt, Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky had caught international attention, and I was invited to give a recital on Grieg’s piano at his home located at my birth town of Bergen. A winter storm was raging outside and the temperature was twelve degrees below zero. Grieg’s old house was creaking. I waited downstairs with blankets to keep warm, holding my fingers in hot water every 10th minute. Outside the audience was freezing, impatiently waiting to come inside. My first performance in Bergen for many years felt important, as I was performing for a Norwegian audience for the first time after an unusually late breakthrough. I knew it might have changed people’s way of listening, perhaps being more curious and open minded, and with greater expectations. It was my first time playing the great Norwegian composer’s instrument. Since my childhood, Grieg’s music has been particularly dear to me; no other music touch me like that, within seconds.

In Grieg’s living room the audience sits very close to the piano – there is not much space. It is really cold. You can feel the wind inside. I play the first five tones from “To Spring” extremely softly, as out of nothing. The optimistic sound of singing birds, and then, a beautiful melody. Grieg has a unique ability to bring back moods of a particular memory. He speaks directly to our hearts. Suddenly it does not feel cold anymore. The music fills our minds with pictures of springtime. At this moment I feel closer to Grieg than ever before.

Hill of the Trolls

This experience made me dream of recording my next album, “Pictures”, on Grieg’s 1892 Steinway. Troldhaugen has always been one of my favourite places – the atmosphere is rare. Grieg had the house built in 1885 on a wooden hill by a lake and called it Troldhaugen or, “Hill of the Trolls.” He lived there with his Danish-Norwegian wife Nina for the last 22 summers of their life. The house is Norwegian, with elements of Swiss style and has a certain eccentricity to it, with ornaments and a tower. He built it thinking more about acoustics then keeping warm. Grieg’s furniture is kept in his living room, full of personal items and pictures and drawings, some of them gifts to the famous composer. Into the hill a bigger Concert Hall, “Troldsalen”, was built in the 1980s. I gave some recitals there in my younger years, the first at the 1998 Bergen International Festival. From the audience you can see the lake, and in the foreground, a little red composer cottage where Grieg could work undisturbed. He was easily distracted; a boat sailing on the lake could break his concentration. Outside the concert hall is a full size statue of him. He was a great man of a short stature, only 152 cm of height. The ashes of Edvard and Nina are kept in a little mountain crypt down by the lake. They were among the first people in Norway to be cremated. Grieg was a modern man, and this influenced his music.

Continue reading (booklet PDF)

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REPERTOIRE

GRIEG

  • Piano Concerto, A Minor

SHOSTAKOVITCH

  • Piano Concerto No. 2

BEETHOVEN

  • Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”

RAVEL

  • Piano Concerto, G-Major

DVORAK

  • Piano Concerto

SHOSTAKOVITCH

  • Piano Concerto No. 1

RACHMANINOV

  • Piano Concerto No. 2

MOZART

  • Piano Concerto No. 12

TURINA

  • Rhapsodia Sinfonica

BACH

  • Piano Concerto No. 5

BACH

  • Brandenburger Concerto No. 5

KHACHATURIAN

  • Piano Concerto

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