Thursday, March 30, 2017
Music director Andris Nelsons has four weeks of concerts coming up, four weeks of the highest talent. Mitsuko Uchida plays a Mozart concerto as prelude to a Bruckner symphony. Radu Lupu makes one of his rare appearances. Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Tchaikovsky and Takemitsu. Kristine Opolais features in Mahler 4, in a concert that also features Leif Ove Andsnes. When did the NY Phil last have a music director or manager who could summon such a concentration of talent and such a focus of content?
Genrikh Neuhaus was the outstanding piano teacher in Soviet Russia. His pupils included Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Yakov Zak, Tikhon Khrennikov, Alexei Lubimov, Radu Lupu and… Lidia Fikhtengoltz. Still going strong. Her last reported concert was in Moscow, three years ago.
HarrisonParrott has announced the death of Terry Harrison, its co-founder. Terry formed the agency in 1969 with Jasper Parrott and a batch of young artists, mostly drawn from their former employer Ibbs&Tillett. Terry broke out in 1988 to start his own agency with Radu Lupu, Sir Andras Schiff and a few others s clients. He shut the agency two years ago. Where Jasper was brash, Terry was convivial and amusing. He leaves behind fond memories.
The Russian-Israeli US-based virtuoso, in a candid video interview with Zsolt Bognar, confesses to constant attacks of nerves, accompanied by the need for approbation by other pianists. ‘I get very nervous… before a concert it’s a struggle to go on stage…. you have many fears,’ he confesses. ‘But then (you find that) everybody is in the same boat.’ ‘I always wanted to have advice from others. I played a lot for Barenboim. I played for Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia… I always have the necessity to learn more.’ ‘It’s a fascinating life, but achievement is not something I am proud of.’ Watch. photo: Todd Rosenberg from Philip Roth’s novel The Human Stain, pp. 209-210: Then Bronfman appears. Bronfman the brontosaur! Mr. Fortissimo! Enter Bronfman to play Prokofiev at such a pace and with such bravado as to knock my morbidity clear out of the ring. He is conspicuously massive through the upper torso, a force of nature camouflaged in a sweatshirt, somebody who has strolled into the music shed out of a circus where he is the strongman and who takes on the piano as a ridiculous challenge to the gargantuan strength he revels in. Yefim Bronfman looks less like the person who is going to play the piano than like the guy who should be moving it. I had never before seen anybody go at a piano like this sturdy little barrel of an unshaven Russian Jew. When he’s finished, I thought, They’ll have to throw the thing out. He crushes it. He doesn’t let that piano conceal a thing. Whatever’s in there is going to come out, and come out with its hands in the air. And when it does, everything there out in the open, the last of the last pulsation, he himself gets up and goes, leaving behind him our redemption. With a jaunty wave, he is suddenly gone, and though he takes all his fire off with him like no less a force than Prometheus, our own lives now seem inextinguishable. Nobody is dying, NOBODY — not if Bronfman has anything to say about it!
We report with regret the death of Vico Chamla, a photographer who chronicled classical music in Milan for three decades, especially early music. He was a close friend of many artists, among them Gustav Leonhardt. Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Radu Lupu, Yuri Bashmet, Jordi Savall and Andras Schiff. Of French and Greek origin, he would invest huge amounts of time in capturing the moment. He once spent two days with Riccardo Muti and came away without a single exposure. He was about 66 years old.
Grand-scale Faurée, the intimacy of the Kurtágs, du Pré’s Elgar and Radu Lupu’s Schubert - the cellist on his musical passionsHow do you mostly listen to music?I find myself listening to recorded music most often through the tiny speakers of my clapped-out computer. The quality of recorded sound doesn’t really bother me that much; actually, I think that for many musicians, hifi is not that important – we can eke out the sounds in our heads. Continue reading...