Does Mikhail Pletnev know ‘Happy Birthday’?

His Russian National Orchestra gave him the big 60th birthday greeting in Bogota, Colombia, a few hours ago. But the Russian pianist and conductor did not show a trace of emotion or recognition.

Does he know the tune? Is he playing poker?

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  • He is a master pianist and master conductor – but unlike a Rostropovich he rarely if ever smiles. I have been in his presence when he has laughed heartily, though! Perhaps in Bogota he just felt the tempo was way too slow and took up too much of he rehearsal time!

  • Another famous Russian musician didn’t know Happy Birthday. By the name of Igor Stravinsky. He was so taken with it he later wrote the Greeting Prelude.

  • Spot on David Boxwell. He told me earlier this week that he did not want to celebrate his jubilee. Though it may not show from the video he really appreciated this gesture from his orchestra and it touched him. This was done at the rehearsal before an exhilarating final concert of the Festival Internacional de Música Clásica de Bogotá with the “birthday boy” in top form. This marvellous festival in the week before Easter has once again been an enriching experience for the many listeners and performers alike. http://www.festivalmusicaclasicadebogota.org/artistas/

  • I do not care. When he was at EIF he delivered-along with the awful Charles Dutoit-some of the worst concerts I have been to.

      • Forgive the delay in responding as I had blocked the horrendous performances from my memory . I think the best way to describe it was cynical and shallow. Everything was done for effect-if he could whip things up he would if he could slow things down he did.
        A veneer of gloss paint over everything but no substance underneath.

        • Thanks for that. I’ve never had the chance to see him conduct and only know his work from a couple of CDs from a long time ago and was curious.

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