YEVGENY SUDBIN: On recording Beethoven’s piano concertos – a personal diary

The pianist reveals what it was like to play Beethoven with Osmo Vänskä in Minnesota for the first time.

A strong feeling of trepidation has always accompanied my arrival in the twin cities of Minnesota.

I still remember experiencing it the very first time I was invited to work with the Minnesota Orchestra back in 2007. My record company, BIS has a habit of surprising me – usually with good news, and this time was no exception: 'No pressure, but we’d like you to record all the Beethoven concertos, should Osmo like you'. The last part seemed particularly nebulous and slightly frightening. In fact, after the orchestra finished recording the cycle of Beethoven symphonies to huge critical acclaim, they were indeed looking for a pianist to record all the Beethoven piano concertos.

Meeting Osmo for the first time left a distinct impression. For a soloist, the outcome of collaborations with conductors of great stature – while excellent for CVs – can also be good for the financial welfare of your shrink, as such highly unpredictable events ........

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