Pictures Reframed’s International Tour
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Pictures Reframed’s International Tour

A drowned piano will be making its way across North America and Europe this fall during the
international tour of Pictures
Reframed
, a collaborative performance by Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and visual
artist Robin Rhode. Debuting at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on November 13 (then
traveling to 16 cities, from Houston to Moscow), it’s their interpretation of
Mussogorsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition—a 19th-century programmatic showpiece
for piano, which Andsnes performs surrounded by videos and imagery created by Rhode.
“It’s always been in evolution,” Andsnes says of Mussogorsky’s piece, which
was originally inspired by the composer’s visit to a show of works by his late friend, the
Russian painter Victor Hartmann. Everyone from Maurice Ravel to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer has had a
go at it. “It’s one of these very great visions,” he adds, “but it’s
also a very open work of art.” For Rhode, who grew up in South Africa listening to jazz,
soul, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop, the inundated ivories, which appear onscreen at the climax of
this new version, represent both a sacrifice and an homage. “It’s almost as if the
piano becomes a lost treasure,” he explains by phone from his current home in Berlin,
“which carries the burden of history.”

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