International star pianist Marc-André Hamelin comes to Symphony Nova Scotia

Canadian virtuoso to perform Brahms’ massive Piano Concerto no. 2

Halifax, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia joins forces with megastar pianist Marc-André Hamelin for a rare Halifax performance of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto on Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1 at 7:30 pm at Halifax’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

The Canadian-born Hamelin is one of the world’s great piano virtuosos, with a tireless international touring schedule and rave reviews from across the globe.

He’s been called “an international treasure” (New York Times) and “a paragon of virtuosic refinement” (Boston Globe), with “legendary technique” (Gramophone) and “supernatural control” (The Telegraph).

“I have been to Nova Scotia many times, and am really looking forward to performing with this wonderful orchestra again – especially the Brahms Second Concerto, which is very much at the top of my list of concertos to play,” says Hamelin.

“It will be a really special experience performing this endlessly rewarding piece with Maestro Gueller and Symphony Nova Scotia.”

Hamelin has an extensive discography of over 50 CDs, some of which feature his own critically acclaimed piano compositions. He is a ten-time Grammy nominee, a member of the Gramophone Hall of Fame, and the winner of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics’ Association.

Acclaim for Hamelin includes:

  • “Hamelin’s legend will grow – right now there is no one like him.” –The New Yorker
  • “Marc-André Hamelin ranks among the small handful of performers in every generation whose abilities defy the imagination.” –The Toronto Star
  • “One of the most adventurous and certainly the most courageous pianists of recent times.” –International Piano Quarterly
  • “Is it possible for a pianist to be too good? If anyone faces jeopardy with that question, it’s Marc-André Hamelin… Outwardly miraculous, beneath the surface it felt as if each note’s every possibility had been considered in advance, then ensconced in a pianism of total authority.” –The New York Times
  • “Besides phenomenal artistry, bravery is a hallmark of Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin. He is a 21st-century embodiment of the great rock-star pianist-composer of a century ago… And itʼs hard to imagine anyone doing it better than Hamelin.” –The Star

In this performance, Hamelin will perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2, a thundering, massive work that’s been a favourite in the classical repertoire since its premiere in 1881. Under the direction of Maestro Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia will also perform Brahms’ Symphony no. 3, beloved for its drama, subtlety, and musical depth.

The full concert program includes:

  • Brahms: Symphony no. 3
  • Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 2

For the Brahms Piano Concerto, Hamelin will be performing on a world-class Steinway Model D Concert Grand piano, generously provided courtesy of Doctor Piano.

Both concerts will feature a pre-concert chat at 6:45 pm in the Sculpture Court (just outside the audience) with local music lecturer and former CBC host Adrian Hoffman. After the concerts, the audience is invited to stay in the auditorium and meet Hamelin and Maestro Gueller in a free post-concert Q&A.

Tickets are available now! Prices start at $30 (HST included), or you can pick up a ticket package and save up to 30%. Plus, under-30s pay only $16 per ticket with the TD Under-30 Access Pass (available free of charge at the box office). Call 902.494.3820 or visit our website at

Mar-Andre-776x400-2About Marc-André Hamelin
Marc-André Hamelin is ranked among the elite of world pianists for his unrivaled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the neglected music of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Hamelin opened 2015/16 performing the Ravel Concerto for Left Hand at the BBC Proms and went on to perform with the London Philharmonic and Vladimir Jurowski at the Alte Oper Frankfurt (Liszt Totentanz and Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations) and again later in the season at the Royal Festival Hall for performances and recording of Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 3 and Medtner Concerto no. 2. He has toured North America with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer to Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Maison symphonique de Montréal. He has a three part residency at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, and debuts at the Teatro alla Scala with La Scala Orchestra led by Jakob Hrusa.

Recent orchestral appearances in North America include the Toronto, Los Angeles Chamber, Manitoba, National Arts Centre, Quebec, San Diego, and Edmonton symphony orchestras. In addition to the London Philharmonic, in Europe Hamelin appears with the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Hallé, the Lucerne Symphony, and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in repertoire ranging from Mozart to Brahms, Ravel, and Messiaen.

Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records with a discography of over 50 recordings. He recently received his tenth Grammy nomination for the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takacs Quartet. Other recent recordings include a double disc of Mozart Sonatas, Debussy Images and Préludes Book II, Haydn concertos with Les Violons du Roy, three double-disc sets of Haydn sonatas, and an album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy nomination and a first prize from the German Record Critics’ Association. The Hamelin études are published by Edition Peters.

Born in Montreal and a resident of Boston, Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critic’s Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!


For more information, please contact:
Heidi MacPhee
Director of Communications and Marketing, Symphony Nova Scotia