Sir Maestro comes first at the Wigmore Hall

A quiz question: which music director of the Royal Opera House has played a recital at the Wigmore Hall?

Think back.

Not Bernard Haitink; never seen at a keyboard.

Not Colin Davis; he played clarinet.

Not Solti (we think)…. though he did revert to the piano late in life, playing four-hand Mozart with Murray Perahia.

Not Rafael Kubelik or Karl Rankl.

In that case…. drum roll… Sir Antonio Pappano will be the first serving chief at Covent Garden to play the Wigmore when he opens the new season with …. second drum roll…. Dame Joyce DiDonato (the damehood is in the mail).

Nice one, Tony.

In other news, tickets for the Wigmore’s new seasons, released this morning, are selling at 1,000 an hour.

pappano didonato

Season highlights include:

 

Joyce DiDonato and Sir Antonio Pappano in the opening concert

 

Maria João Pires Portrait Series

 

The Mozart Odyssey

 

Henry Purcell: A Retrospective celebrates the ‘British Orpheus’

 

Paul Lewis: A Celebration

 

Pavel Haas Quartet Bohemia

 

Introducing Igor Levit

 

Florian Boesch Residency

 

Composer Focus – Wolfgang Rihm

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  • Well Thomas Beecham made his London debut there in 1905 (when it was still the Bechstein Hall) but admittedly he was conducting and not playing the piano. (And if he was never named Music Director of the ROH he effectively carried out that post between the wars.)

  • that’s bit unfair to write “he did revert to the piano late in life” about Solti. He was always quite the excellent pianist, and even Toscanini was impressed with Solti’s playing.

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