How many conductors play 4-hand as an encore?

How many conductors play 4-hand as an encore?


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2018

Apart from Barenboim?

This is Sir Antonio Pappano with Kirill Gerstein in Munich this week, knocking off a Rachmaninov waltz.





  • anon says:

    Just because they can doesn’t mean it’s meaningful. I saw Barenboim do a duet encore with Argerich, live (many of them are posted on youtube). Well, you’d think it was a meeting of the Titans, an event for the ages. But they were just sight reading a piece together. Cute. Touching even, for these 2 legends to be playing together, sitting next to each other. But if they honestly had something to say artistically or intellectually, they would’ve programmed a concert together for 4 hands. Well, like I said, their encores now live on youtube for posterity, so everyone is happy.

    • barry guerrero says:

      Oh please, stop complaining about every minute thing that ever happens. Enough. Enjoy the show or go home.

    • nimitta says:

      Anon: “But if they honestly had something to say artistically or intellectually, they would’ve programmed a concert together for 4 hands.”

      Argerich & Barenboim have programmed several concerts for duo piano, and recorded a couple. Satisfied?

      No, I didn’t think so.

    • Manfred says:

      Lahav Shani played a Debussy sonata in between the concerto and orchestra program with Renaud Capuçon, who was soloist at Radio France Hall in Paris – and at the end encore…

  • Joel stein says:

    I heard Levine play a four hand concert with Kissin,

  • Joel stein says:

    And a pappano played an encore with Argerich during the US tour of the St Cecilia orchestra last year

  • Stuart says:

    Philippe Jordan joined Jean-Yves Thibaudet in the final movement from Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye at the Proms a few years ago. In that vast hall, you could have heard the proverbial pin. Magic.

  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    Yannick plays encores with soloists; A Brahms waltz with Manny Ax in Paris a few years ago, among others.

    • Ben says:

      Yannick also played excerpts from Ma mère l’Oye with Manny @ Philadelphia a few years ago, during the “snow-in” concert.

  • Solophilosophicus says:

    Pinnock has done it together with Pires.

  • Novagerio says:

    Here you have 8 “serious” conductor hands at work:

    By the way, R.I.P. Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He would always play four-hands with his wife Viktoria Postnikova – at home.

    • Mark says:

      When did Rozhdestvensky die ??

        • M2N2K says:

          That article includes some significant errors.
          First, Leningrad Phil was never “his” (GR’s) orchestra. He performed with it many times but was never its principal conductor. In 1971 it was still Mravinsky’s orchestra.
          Second, when GR conducted The Nose by Shostakovich in 1974, that was not its “Soviet premiere”. The opera was premiered in 1930 in Leningrad and in fact was performed there more than a dozen times before being indeed banned in the Soviet Union for over 40 years. Nevertheless, GR certainly deserves credit for contributing to its revival in Moscow while the composer was still alive and could enjoy it.

      • esfir ross says:

        G.Rojdestvensky died yesterday in Moscow at age 87. RIP

    • esfir ross says:

      G.Rojdestvensky and V.Postnikova recorded Brahms 4-hand repertoire and I own it. GR’s alive and performing.

    • barry guerrero says:

      . . . which is 9 conductors too many.

  • Rob McAlear says:

    Keith Lockhart played a 4-hand encore with Marc-Andre Hamelin (joined by the orchestra’s principal trumpet) in Edmonton many years ago (Rachmaninoff’s Italian Polka). William Eddins played 4-hand encores following Edmonton Symphony performances with Angela Cheng (a Brahms Hungarian Dance), Sarah Davis Buechner (Busoni’s Duettino Concertante) and Marc-Andre Hamelin (Italian Polka again, with a different principal trumpet). Rei Hotoda joined forces with Angela Cheng for the third movement of Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto after a second piano was wheeled out during applause. Audiences were all delighted …

  • Suzanne says:

    Lahav Shani played a 4-hand encore with Kirill last year – overture to Barber of Seville in a four-hand version arranged by Arnold Schönberg the same year he composed Pelleas and Melisande – which followed after the interval. It takes a soloist with a very generous spirit to share the encore with the conductor, kudos to Gerstein for making a habit of it.

  • Rob says:

    Rozhdestvensky has left us. Sad day

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Back in February 2006, in Boston, Barenboim was joined by Levine for a Mozart four-hand encore in the middle of an all-Mozart program with the Berlin Staatskapelle. A total surprise, musically delightful. But to me it seemed a bit odd: Levine was not part of the program.

  • Dave says:

    I was at the Munich concert and thouroghly enjoyed the encore!

  • Sue says:

    Barenboim and Bronfman played 4 hand encore at Musikverein in 2011.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    To add to the list…

    I recall Dallas Symphony conductor Andrew Litton doing a 4-hand encore with the soloist (whose name I don’t recall at the moment) of the just-completed piano concerto at a concert in the 90s.

    I believe it was the Brahms Hungarian Dance #5, performed with all the theatrical and melodramatic gusto the work deserves.

    • Donald Hansen says:

      I think, if I remember correctly, Michael Tilson Thomas has done it in San Francisco with Yuja Wang.

  • Stuart says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the Prom a few years ago, when Philippe Jordan joined Jean-Yves Thibaudet for an account of the last part of Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye. In the vast RAH you could hear the proverbial pin. Pure magic.

  • Carl Maria von Schnaps says:


  • Eyal Braun says:

    I would add: Tilson- Thomas (with Yuja Wang) in a LSO concert last year.

  • Skidegodt says:

    I just love the fact that Tony is still conducting even when he is playing four hand piano – you can take the conductor away from the podium but you can’t take the podium …….

  • Paul Davis says:

    In Montpellier, (France), after two concertos (MacMillan and best-ever Prok2), Vadim Repin was joined by the conductor Joseph Swenson for a movement of Prokofiev’s sonata for 2violins, fantastic lyricism and intensity, much appreciote by audience and orchestra, (Ensemble Orchestral de Paris) alike.

    Montpellier must have something of the duo spirit as Simon Trpceski, after an outstanding Prok3 annonced he would like to encore with the 1st cellist (of the Orchestre National de Lille, Gregorio Robino)…the second movement of Shostakovich cello sonata….it was marvellous, and exactly in the spirit of what we’d just heard.

    I don’t normally like encores by the soloist after concertos; so many are ill-judged, (J-Y Thibaudet: Ravel Pavane, with the horn looking on longingly at something he would play much better….. and our current subject K Gerstein plonking Bach-Busoni (in g-minor), after a radiant F# finish to an appallingly badly played Skriabin Concerto…(Skriabin detested german classics…Ugh!)…but when there’s true collaboration, and the music is in harmony and spirit with what went before, it adds a delicious personal touch. Bravo Sir AP, and KG for this one, but why were the last chords cut off? Did KG make one of his characteristic cock-ups at the last moment?

    • Paul Davis says:

      Sorry, i “O”-ver did it…..Joseph Swensen!

      • Paul Davis says:

        Ye gods! Lack of concentration: apologies to KG for my confused memory; the ghastly unwanted Bach-Bus encore after Skriabin was the equally incompetent Igor Levit. KG provided the loudest and most wrong notes ever in another unwanted encore, (Liszt etude “Eroica”), after a blunderous Tchaik 1 at Proms.

        All this to underline that if post-concerto encores must be suffered, better they be duos, etc, at least that’s more fun, (usually).

  • BillG says:

    So what?

  • Carlos Prado says:

    Marcelo Lehninger played Rachmaninoff with his mother, pianist Sonia Goulart after a performance of Brahms’s 2nd Piano Concerto:

  • dave ferre says:

    Then in a concert in Australia, piano soloist Andre Tchaikowsky switched places with conductor Chris Seaman, and finished a Mozart piano concerto together in that arrangement. Andre whispered to the orchestra, “pay no attention to me.”