Lucas & Arthur Jussen

Phenomenal play by a very young pianist

22 02 2013

Phenomenal play by a very young pianist

Emder Zeitung, February 18th, 2013 – by Ina Wagner
The Noord Nederlands Orkest from Groningen excited the audience in Emden
(…)
Because with a CD recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 played by the 19-year-old Lucas Jussen, one may very well expect artistic perfection and depth of expression. But the fact that Jussen succeeded to perform this complex work live in such a light, fresh and unpretentious manner delighted the audience. His fellow musicians and the conductor applauded the young Dutchman as well.
There are times when talents appear on the scene that make you speechless. It is a beautiful thing that such a talent, who is yet at the very beginning of his career, gave a performance in Emden. (…)

Brilliance and genius

21 02 2013

Brilliance and genius

Lucas Jussen has already won numerous awards. Performing at the Neues Theater in Emden, his audience was at times left in breathless amazement.

By Werner Zwarte
Ostfriesen Zeitung – February 18th, 2013

EMDEN – The classical music concert series in Emden has provided yet another jewel. On Saturday, the 80-member strong Noord Nederlands Orkest Groningen gave a concert performance at the Neues Theater in Emden, in which musical vigor was mixed with the brilliance and genius of a 19-year-old “wunderkind” at the piano. Approximately 500 listeners enjoyed an evening worthy of larger venues in major cities. (…)
Multiple award-winning pianist Lucas Jussen is only 19 years old and he plays as if he was born with a piano. With long blond hair, lanky and in tails, the young man not only displayed technical perfection in Emden, but, accompanied by the powerful orchestra, played with a sensitivity that at times elicited breathless amazement in the audience. Like an ad-lib introduction, seeming to be an improvisation, the sounds of the piano merged with the orchestra playing the main theme, with a beautifully soft accompaniment by the horns. It featured sound groups in juxtaposition with each other, leading to an effect of choirs within the orchestra. And always the theme by the piano, at times sounding playful, at other times dominant, finally flowing into the festive rondo. It was a more than masterful presentation. The audience was swept away and even before the intermission the applause was rewarded with an encore by the artist. (…)

Concert for Queen Beatrix’s 75th birthday

05 02 2013

Concert for Queen Beatrix’s 75th birthday

There was a big Friday night party at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht. Queen Beatrix is celebrating her 75th birthday there with almost the entire family and staff. The birthday guests were treated to a wonderful show in the theatre by the ballet company Introdans, and Arthur and Lucas gave a concert. They played works by Ravel, Liszt and Chopin separately, and pieces for four hands including the Maria Isabella Waltz and the Polka by Berio. It was a very special evening!

“The Adagio from Concerto Number Five is just breathtakingly beautiful.  It’s so beautiful that while I was studying the imposing, super-virtuoso opening movement, I would sometimes think, when can I get to that Adagio?”

29 01 2013

“The Adagio from Concerto Number Five is just breathtakingly beautiful. It’s so beautiful that while I was studying the imposing, super-virtuoso opening movement, I would sometimes think, when can I get to that Adagio?”

28 January 2013
Interview with Lucas Jussen by Michiel Cleij
Beethoven with the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (NNO)

Beethoven’s fifth and last piano concerto has been a challenge for many a piano star for over two centuries. It is an imposing, expressive work, with a virtuoso solo part. Lucas Jussen (19) has his own reasons for challenging the piece. In February he is performing it with the NNO – for which he will come back from America ‘for a bit’.

Lucas Jussen mentions that he is ‘just in the Netherlands for a bit’ – the type of remark that you could expect from the greatest stage celebrities. But Lucas says it without any trace of boastfulness. He has been pursuing his piano studies in Bloomington, USA since last summer, and he comes over for concerts almost every month. He does his homework on the plane. His American teacher is no less a person than Menahem Pressler, founding member and permanent pianist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio. How did he come to meet such an éminence grise?
“Through Maria João Pires. Yes, I know. You might have noticed by now that I mention her name in every interview, but she played such a decisive role in my and Arthur’s career. We both took lessons from her, and she was the perfect teacher – so much so that it is difficult to imagine that you could ever click with another teacher. But when you are young you can’t become too attached to one patron; perhaps she understood that better than I did. She knows Menahem Pressler, and she arranged a meeting when he was in Europe on tour. I played for him in Germany, and he was willing to teach me if I would come to his institute in Bloomington.”

“I’m learning a lot from Pressler. Sometimes it is difficult to make a selection from everything he says. You learn the most from his immense wisdom. As someone in his eighties, of course he has vast knowledge, and definitely a rich inner life. This enables him to really penetrate a piece of music: he is very sharp if you are not true to the score. I think he understands better than anyone what the composer meant in a certain piece, or a particular passage. He says that I interpret too much sometimes, which means that I am playing something that the score doesn’t say, without realising it myself. He can’t stand that. But of course he knows that there is more to making music than slavishly following the score – you always have to add something of yourself. Pressler is immensely helpful in finding the right balance in this.”

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Masterly and fascinating

08 11 2012

Masterly and fascinating

Eindhovens Dagblad
Lucas and Arthur Jussen piano recital.
Performed in Eindhoven, Muziekgebouw, 6 November.
by Cornélie Hoendervanger

From an early age, the prodigies Lucas (b. 1993) and Arthur (b. 1996) Jussen from Hilversum were put on the great stages. But they still managed remained ‘normal’ lads, who also loved football and pop music. Arthur is still in school and Lucas is studying with the American pianist Menahem Pressler. They are now entering the real pianists’ circuit, and on Tuesday they gave a recital in the ‘Pour le Piano’ series at the Eindhoven Muziekgebouw.
The brothers have superlative skills and played with unadorned musicality and natural ease. Lucas played a beautiful and flowing interpretation of Schumann’s Abegg variations. His Appassionata by Beethoven still lacks dramatic maturity, but his intense concentration was remarkable. Arthur played exceptionally poetic Papillons by Schumann, finely elaborated Rachmaninoff preludes, and exciting Balkan Dances by Tajčević. They were masterly and fascinating.
The brothers began and ended the concert at the grand piano together, side by side on one bench. Their duet performance revealed a dazzlingly high level. The wildly enthusiastic listeners, including noticeably many young people, went practically crazy.
The Jussens are in a good position to create a bridge to the youth. They are ‘cool’ and have a charismatic stage presence. Their performances could spread like ‘classical wildfire’ among the young. Once the older folks in the concert hall have departed, a new generation of piano lovers will be ready to take their place.

Debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

05 11 2012

Debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

On 31 October and 1 and 4 November 2012, Arthur and Lucas debuted with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam with Mozart’s Concerto for 2 pianos. Listen here to the AVRO – Zondagmiddagconcert (Sunday Afternoon Concert), recorded and broadcast on 4 November. Arthur and Lucas can be heard in Mozart from 17’00”. As an encore, they played the Waltz from the Suite for 2 pianos op.15 by Anton Arensky, which can be listened from approx. 45’00”, followed by a short interview with Lucas and Arthur from the Concertgebouw.

Youthful Jussens have gone beyond being just cute

04 11 2012

Youthful Jussens have gone beyond being just cute

Trouw – 3 November 2012
Mozart/Handel
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
****
by Peter van der Lint

In the world of piano duos the laurelled French sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque are world famous. The Turkish Güher and Süher Pekinel – identical twins – have made a successful international career. And in the Netherlands we have Lucas and Arthur Jussen. They are no twins, but one would almost say they are, with their similar blonde haircut and identical dress suit. This is how the youthful Jussens ran down the stairs of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw for their debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on Wednesday evening – a debut as a duo, to be more precise.
Individually, Lucas (19) and Arthur (16) have performed this season with various Dutch orchestras. But as a duo they perfectly complemented each other this Wednesday evening. Their performance of Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos beautifully reflected the influence of their Portuguese coach Maria João Pires. Pires’ Mozart play has widely been praised for its unelaborated brightness, and that exactly was what one heard with the Jussen brothers. In service of the music, not at all surprising and completely well matched and left to each other. It was clear that the two young pianists are maturing musically as well and fortunately their cuteness is getting less important now. It was a magnificent debut with the country’s best orchestra playfully and lightly accompanying them, under the direction of Jan Willem de Vriend.
(…)

The Jussen brothers are getting on the move

02 11 2012

The Jussen brothers are getting on the move

De Telegraaf – 2 November 2012
by Eddie Vetter
****

That afternoon they beautifully and four-handed played the piano at Joop Stokkermans’ funeral service in Laren, in the evening they debuted with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The career of Arthur (16) and Lucas (19) Jussen has got on the move. With the greatest of ease they conquered the overcrowded Main Hall.
Because of the unusual cast, one does not often hear Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos and orchestra KV 36. One really needs such a homogeneous duo to realise even the finest details of the exciting play of give and take. The brothers selected a piece that is in their genes, as it were. In a natural way they catch the simplicity that marks the true one. Two minds with a single thought.
It is really amazing how they keep in pace with risky accelerations, stimulated by the orchestra under the direction of Jan Willem de Vriend. And the enthusiastic audience were given an encore: the Waltz from the First suite for two pianos op.15 by Anton Arensky, full of examples of a stunning ensemble.
(…)

The Jussens: it is slowly getting serious

02 11 2012

The Jussens: it is slowly getting serious

De Volkskrant – 2 November 2012
Mozart and Handel. Lucas and Arthur Jussen (piano), Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend. Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, 31/10.
by Guido van Oorschot

Some boys’ books are written while the main characters are still boys themselves – such as the Hilversum piano brothers Lucas (19) and Arthur (16) Jussen. Their agenda said 31 October was the day of their debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. However, before they could frolic up to the Amsterdam stage, they unexpectedly had to go to perform in Laren. At Joop Stokkermans’ funeral service they premiered his last notes… which the composer had actually written on their request.
Should the brothers have wrestled with any sad feelings, one did not notice it in the way they played Mozart that evening. On the contrary, warm and poetic the Concerto for two pianos KV 365 flowed through the hall. And during the encore, a Waltz by Arenski, amazing veils of notes drifted by.
By now, their career is becoming more and more serious, despite the fact that one is working hard to finish his pre-university education and the other still has to do many years of piano study in the United States. By the way, the Jussens are not always operating as brothers; they are very busy building their lives as individual musicians. This season they play piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven with various regional orchestras – individually, as a soloist.
Today, it is hard to tell what direction the Jussen brothers’ career will take. What struck in particular, in Amsterdam, was the nonchalant ease with which they moved through Mozart. One did not hear a couple of rebellions who were going to turn the world of pianists around. The duo hooks on to a tradition which rather strokes the music from the keys than tortures them. Under their hands two pianos make up one single salving instrument, in which Arthur, the youngest one, has the mildest touch.
(…)

Jussen brothers succeed with the RCO

01 11 2012

Jussen brothers succeed with the RCO

NRC Handelsblad – 1 November 2012
Arthur and Lucas Jussen with RCOA, conductor Jan Willem de Vriend. 31/10 Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
****
by Floris Don

This Wednesday, the piano brothers Arthur (1996) and Lucas Jussen (1993) made their debut for a full audience with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra playing Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos K365. Just as from a distance they seem to be twins, their play is so closely related. The musical internalisation of their coach Maria João Pires clearly reflects in the way they play Mozart, although one can say that, compared to Lucas’ bright touch, Arthur intonates somewhat darker and more muffled.
It is comforting that the brothers keep developing as musical personalities and can do without a cuteness factor.
(…)

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