The ascent of Gustavo Dudamel from the streets of Caracas to the heights of maestro fame has been both musical fairy-tale and a case of flawless image management. The fairy-tale continues, but the first blip has just appeared on his hitherto immaculate record.

A Deutsche Grammophon release of three Tchaikovsky Shakespeare suites with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra is one of those productions that adds no value at all – not to Tchaikovsky, nor to Shakespeare, nor to the musicians and their conductor.
The performances are sharp and snazzy as you’d expect, but Hamlet’s torment is barely felt, the Tempest is no more than a summer squall and Romeo and Juliet as among the least romantic accounts I have endured.
Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare
Why this should be so is not immediately clear. The recording was made in Caracas last February by a DG team with three named producers. That may have been two too many. Somebody needed to take responsibility, to stand up and tell the Dude to deliver – more passions, more penetration, more value. At 65 minutes long, the record could have been saved by an encore firework.
Sadly, it goes down as a dud.
Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare

The ascent of Gustavo Dudamel from the streets of Caracas to the heights of maestro fame has been both musical fairy-tale and a case of flawless image management. The fairy-tale continues, but the first blip has just appeared on his hitherto immaculate record.

A Deutsche Grammophon release of three Tchaikovsky Shakespeare suites with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra is one of those productions that adds no value at all – not to Tchaikovsky, nor to Shakespeare, nor to the musicians and their conductor.
The performances are sharp and snazzy as you’d expect, but Hamlet’s torment is barely felt, the Tempest is no more than a summer squall and Romeo and Juliet as among the least romantic accounts I have endured.
Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare
Why this should be so is not immediately clear. The recording was made in Caracas last February by a DG team with three named producers. That may have been two too many. Somebody needed to take responsibility, to stand up and tell the Dude to deliver – more passions, more penetration, more value. At 65 minutes long, the record could have been saved by an encore firework.
Sadly, it goes down as a dud.
Gustavo Dudamel: Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare

The London auction house Bromptons has just announced a program of free classical downloads of pedigree soloists, including Casals in the Elgar concerto, Menuhin in the Beethoven and Heifetz in the Tchakovsky.

The underlying aim is to grab a bigger share of the lucrative instrument auction trade, presently dominated by Christies and Sothebys. Fiddle fans, however need not hesitate. If there is such a thing as a free lunch, this is it.
Press release follows:

  


Brompton’s
Auctioneers makes available free downloads of classic recordings from the
greats, including Menuhin, Heifetz and Oistrakh

 

Auction house’s
plans to bring specialist information and recordings to the
public

 

Brompton’s, the
esteemed auction house, and the only one in the country to specialise
exclusively in the sale of fine musical instruments, has made available for free
download a large number of classic recordings by the undisputed greats of the
string world.

 

Reading like a
‘who’s who’ of the definitive string players of the 20th Century, over a day’s
worth of high quality, re-mastered recordings from the likes of David Oistrakh,
Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Kreisler, Pablo Casals and Jascha Heifetz are all now
available to download and keep from www.bromptons.co/music-library.html

 

Repertoire
highlights include the Elgar Cello Concerto performed by Casals, the Beethoven
Violin Concerto recorded by Menuhin, and the Paganini Violin Concerto No.1
performed by Kreisler. Providing a genuine resource for everyone from
music-lovers and amateur musicians to professional performers, listeners have
the opportunity to compare classic recordings from the masters; two recordings
by Jascha Heifetz of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto are available from opposite
ends of the artist’s performing career, while performances of the Elgar violin
concerto are available by various artists, including Albert Sammons, as
conducted by the composer himself. The website is also branching out beyond the
string world by featuring classic recordings from major artists including Alfred
Cortot with the complete Chopin Ballades.

 

Despite being
founded only four years ago, Brompton’s has already broken
multiple world records for sales and is the country’s number one auction house
for string instruments, selling more than Sotheby’s and Bonham’s in terms of
volume and value. It is now the
 first and only auction house to make
recordings available via its website, a move which represents an important step
in its plans to share specialist information and knowledge with its growing
audience. Brompton’s recently made available via its website the ‘Reference
Library,’ an exceptional and comprehensive tool to research instrument sale
prices from over 26,000 auction results, compare and examine instrument
photographs in high detail, and explore the wealth of information found in its
online library of books, biographies and articles. Visitor numbers to the
website have already increased tenfold.

 

James Buchanan of
Brompton’s, comments, “We’re very excited to be entering into this next phase in
the evolution of Brompton’s. As well as being the leading auction house for stringed
instruments, we are democratising information and resources by offering
recordings to music fans and opening up our extensive reference library – all
for free. This transparency allows us to forge a close relationship with our
existing as well as future clients.”

 

– Ends –

 

 

About
Brompton’s:

Brompton’s, located within
The Royal Institution of Great Britain,
 is the only auction house in the country to
specialise exclusively in the sale of fine musical instruments. It is the
number one auction house for string instruments, selling more than Sotheby’s and
Bonham’s in terms of volume and value, and has broken world records for auction
sales every year since its launch over four years ago.

 For more
information please visit www.bromptons.co

 

 

 

For all enquiries
please contact Samantha Holderness at Albion Media

020 3077 4943 samantha@albion-media.com

www.albion-media.com

 

 

 

 

 

As my novel The Song of Names goes into pre-production with a violinist hero – role yet to be announced – thrilling news breaks of a bold career move for super soloist Philippe Quint.


Russian born and Juilliard trained, Philippe stars in a real-life story of a Russian musician who comes to New York and joins the roughhouse downtown scene.
Downtown Express is produced by Michael Hausman, the force behind Brokeback Mountain, and is directed by David Grubin. Philippe tours the US this month with the Capetown Philharmonic, playing the concertos by Tchaikovsky and, his signature piece, Korngold.
Press release follows.
photo: Danny Bright

Violinist Philippe Quint

Stars in upcoming independent film Downtown Express

Co-starring singer-songwriter Nellie McKay
Directed by David Grubin
Produced by Michael Hausman

“power, breadth of tone, and passion” – The New York Times on Philippe Quint

Philippe Quint online: www.philippequint.com
Downtown Expresswww.downtownexpressfilm.com & www.imdb.com/title/tt1798143

New York, NY– Violinist Philippe Quint stars with singer-songwriter Nellie McKay in Downtown Express, a new film from multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director David Grubin, produced byMichael Hausman (Brokeback MountainGangs of New YorkAmadeus). Though there is a long tradition of performers appearing on the big screen as themselves or famous violinists of the past, Quint’s role in Downtown Express marks the first time that a classical musician has been featured as the lead in an American independent film. To prepare for the role and further his understanding of film and theatre, Quint spent three years training intensely with legendary producer and acting instructor Sondra Lee.

Downtown Express, shot in the summer of 2010 on location in New York, chronicles the life of Russian classical violinist Sasha (Quint) who has recently come to New York to study at Juilliard, and who, defying his cellist father (played by Michael Cumpsty), becomes part of the experimental and raucous Downtown music scene of the city. Sparks fly when Sasha meets and begins performing with Ramona (McKay), a multi-talented singer-songwriter.

Inspired by real-life narratives, Downtown Express is an authentic musical love story turning on a conflict between a father and son, dramatizing the struggle to be a creative artist as well as an immigrant in a time of economic and political uncertainty – a story where the stakes are high and music becomes an expression of freedom. The film’s score features original music by Michael Bacon, McKay, Quint, as well as Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and the street musicians of New York City.

“I was instantly swept away by this story because it mirrored my life in so many ways,” says the Russian-born Quint, who defected to the U.S. as a teenager, in part to avoid army service in Russia, in part to study with The Juilliard School’s renowned teacher Dorothy DeLay and take instruction from such luminaries as Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman.

For Quint, until now, acting has played “second fiddle” to…the fiddle. A two-time Grammy Award nominee, Quint has emerged in recent years as one of the few soloists to combine a remarkable degree of lyricism, poetry and impeccable virtuosity. He has gripped the eyes and ears of audiences in Asia, Australia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the U.S. with what The Times (London) describes as his “bravura technique, and unflagging energy.”

Quint’s big break came with his 2001 debut album, a recording of William Schuman’s Violin Concerto (Naxos), which was singled out as an Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and garnered two Grammy nominations. The disc catapulted Quint into the top tier of soloists, in demand worldwide. Moreover, it thoroughly established his unique identity as a champion of American composers. Since then, he has appear
ed with major orchestras und
er the batons of such noted conductors as Kurt Masur, Carl St. Clair, Marin Alsop, Andrew Litton, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Sloane, Marco Parisotto, and Daniel Hege.

Quint’s incredible musicianship and romantic bent may be part of his DNA. According to family lore, his great-great-great grandfather was an Italian officer (his original name was Quinto) serving in Napoleon’s army. Wounded, he fell in love with the Russian Jewish woman who nursed him back to health. Quint’s mother, Lora Kvint is a popular and prolific composer, who wrote Russia’s first pop/rock opera, “Giordano Bruno,” and is often compared to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Quint’s admirers need not worry that he will abandon the concert stage for the screen. Recent and upcoming highlights of his 2010-2011 season include performances with the Berlin Komische Oper Orchestra for their New Year’s concerts with Carl St. Clair, Chicago Symphony, San Diego Symphony with Bramwell Tovey, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus with Steven Sloane, a tour of Germany with Nordwestdeutsche Symphoniker, and an 18-concert U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic.

Quint plays the 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society®.

More about Philippe Quint: Quint studied at Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski’s Concerto No. 2. After emigrating to the United States, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, and Felix Galimir. He also studied and participated in masterclasses with Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Arnold Steinhardt.

The Chicago Times proclaimed, “Here is a fiddle virtuoso whose many awards are fully justified by the brilliance of his playing.” Among his many honors, Quint has amassed top prizes at the Juilliard Competition (’98), Spain’s Pablo de Sarasate International Violin Competition (’97), where he also received the Special Audience Prize, and the Salon de Virtuosi Award (’97). He has been a Career Grant recipient of the Bagby Foundation since 2002.

In addition to his recording of the Schumann Concerto, Quint’s formidable discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. His recording of Korngold’s Violin Concerto (2009), which was ranked in the top 20 on Billboard’s Classical Chart in its first week of sales, was also nominated for two Grammy Awards. Other critically acclaimed recordings include the world premiere recording of John Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprices, Ned Rorem’s Concerto, Miklos Rozsa’s Complete Works for Violin and Piano with William Wolfram, Bernstein’s Serenade, and De Beriot’s Concertos. His most recent release from August 2010 is a unique compilation of works by Paganini arranged by Fritz Kreisler, which BBC Music Magazine called “truly phenomenal.”

Quint’s recordings have received multiple “Editor’s Choice” selections in GramophoneThe StradStrings, and the Daily Telegraph. His live performances and interviews have been broadcast on CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC, NBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, as well as multiple appearances on NPR, WNYC and WQXR.

Quint has been consistently re-engaged both domestically and internationally; recent performances include appearances as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Minnesota, Bournemouth, Houston, the Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestra Cote du Basque, Orchestra de Pamplona, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals and chamber music performances at the Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Ravinia, Aspen, Lincoln Center, and Chautauqua festivals, at Lukas Foss’s Hamptons Music Festival, at the Kravis Center, UC Davis Presents, Rome Chamber Festival and at the National Gallery in Washington. In 2004, Quint was the featured soloist at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in the world premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Concerto No. 1, which was written for him and dedicated to him.

In addition to his work as a soloist, Quint is Founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival in Mexico City, and recently formed the Quint Quintet – a group dedicated to exploring music of Astor Piazzolla and Argentine Tango.

Philippe Quint’s Concert Schedule:

January 27 & 28, 2011
Bochum, Germany; Bochumer Symphoniker
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor

February 1 & 3, 2011
Cape Town, South Africa; Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor

February 12 – March 6, 2011
U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor
February 12 – Daytona Beach, FL; Daytona Beach Symphonic Society, Peabody Auditorium
February 13 – Sarasota, FL; Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
February 14– Avon Park, FL; South Florida Community College
February 15– Vero Beach, FL; Indiana River Symphonic Associations
February 16– Palm Beach, FL; Society of the Four Arts
February 17– Fort Lauderdale, FL; Broward Center for the Performing Arts
February 19– Gainesville, FL; University of Florida,
February 20– St. Augustine, FL; Emma Concert Association/Flagler College
February 21 – Clemson, SC; Clemson University
February 23– Platteville, WI; University of Wisconsin
February 25– Kansas City, MO; William Jewell College, F

olly Theatre
February 27 – Ames, IA; Iowa State University
March 1– Worcester, MA; Music Worcester
March 3 – Lancaster, PA; Lancaster Community Concerts
March 4– Lewisburg, PA; Bucknell University
March 5 – Landsdale, PA; Lansdale Community Concerts
March 6– Geneva, NY; Geneva Concerts

March 12 & 13, 2011
Wichita, KS; Wichita Symphony
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Chaconne & Ravel’s Tzigane; Daniel Hege conductor

March 18 – 26, 2011
Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival, Mexico City; Philippe Quint, Artistic Director

April 10, 2011
Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig Radio Symphony at the Gewandhaus
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor

April 16, 2011
Peoria, IL; Peoria Symphony
Korngold’s Concerto

April 22 & 23, 2011
El Paso, TX; El Paso Pro Musica
With the Quint Quintet, featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla

May 5 – 7, 2011
Costa Mesa, CA; Pacific Symphony
Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s “Carmen” Fantasy; Carlos Miguel Prieto conductor

July 1 – 8, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

July 9, 2011
Minneapolis, MN; Minnesota Orchestra
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto; Andrew Litton, conductor

July 17 – 22, 2011
Durango, Colorado; Music in the Mountains Festival

July 23 – August 1, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

August 3 – 9, 2011
Mexico City, Mexico; Mineria Symphony Orchestra
Brahms’ Double Concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein

August 14 – 21, 2011
Moritzburg, Germany; Moritzburg Chamber Festival

 

As my novel The Song of Names goes into pre-production with a violinist hero – role yet to be announced – thrilling news breaks of a bold career move for super soloist Philippe Quint.


Russian born and Juilliard trained, Philippe stars in a real-life story of a Russian musician who comes to New York and joins the roughhouse downtown scene.
Downtown Express is produced by Michael Hausman, the force behind Brokeback Mountain, and is directed by David Grubin. Philippe tours the US this month with the Capetown Philharmonic, playing the concertos by Tchaikovsky and, his signature piece, Korngold.
Press release follows.
photo: Danny Bright

Violinist Philippe Quint

Stars in upcoming independent film Downtown Express

Co-starring singer-songwriter Nellie McKay
Directed by David Grubin
Produced by Michael Hausman

“power, breadth of tone, and passion” – The New York Times on Philippe Quint

Philippe Quint online: www.philippequint.com
Downtown Expresswww.downtownexpressfilm.com & www.imdb.com/title/tt1798143

New York, NY– Violinist Philippe Quint stars with singer-songwriter Nellie McKay in Downtown Express, a new film from multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director David Grubin, produced byMichael Hausman (Brokeback MountainGangs of New YorkAmadeus). Though there is a long tradition of performers appearing on the big screen as themselves or famous violinists of the past, Quint’s role in Downtown Express marks the first time that a classical musician has been featured as the lead in an American independent film. To prepare for the role and further his understanding of film and theatre, Quint spent three years training intensely with legendary producer and acting instructor Sondra Lee.

Downtown Express, shot in the summer of 2010 on location in New York, chronicles the life of Russian classical violinist Sasha (Quint) who has recently come to New York to study at Juilliard, and who, defying his cellist father (played by Michael Cumpsty), becomes part of the experimental and raucous Downtown music scene of the city. Sparks fly when Sasha meets and begins performing with Ramona (McKay), a multi-talented singer-songwriter.

Inspired by real-life narratives, Downtown Express is an authentic musical love story turning on a conflict between a father and son, dramatizing the struggle to be a creative artist as well as an immigrant in a time of economic and political uncertainty – a story where the stakes are high and music becomes an expression of freedom. The film’s score features original music by Michael Bacon, McKay, Quint, as well as Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and the street musicians of New York City.

“I was instantly swept away by this story because it mirrored my life in so many ways,” says the Russian-born Quint, who defected to the U.S. as a teenager, in part to avoid army service in Russia, in part to study with The Juilliard School’s renowned teacher Dorothy DeLay and take instruction from such luminaries as Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman.

For Quint, until now, acting has played “second fiddle” to…the fiddle. A two-time Grammy Award nominee, Quint has emerged in recent years as one of the few soloists to combine a remarkable degree of lyricism, poetry and impeccable virtuosity. He has gripped the eyes and ears of audiences in Asia, Australia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the U.S. with what The Times (London) describes as his “bravura technique, and unflagging energy.”

Quint’s big break came with his 2001 debut album, a recording of William Schuman’s Violin Concerto (Naxos), which was singled out as an Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and garnered two Grammy nominations. The disc catapulted Quint into the top tier of soloists, in demand worldwide. Moreover, it thoroughly established his unique identity as a champion of American composers. Since then, he has appear
ed with major orchestras und
er the batons of such noted conductors as Kurt Masur, Carl St. Clair, Marin Alsop, Andrew Litton, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Sloane, Marco Parisotto, and Daniel Hege.

Quint’s incredible musicianship and romantic bent may be part of his DNA. According to family lore, his great-great-great grandfather was an Italian officer (his original name was Quinto) serving in Napoleon’s army. Wounded, he fell in love with the Russian Jewish woman who nursed him back to health. Quint’s mother, Lora Kvint is a popular and prolific composer, who wrote Russia’s first pop/rock opera, “Giordano Bruno,” and is often compared to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Quint’s admirers need not worry that he will abandon the concert stage for the screen. Recent and upcoming highlights of his 2010-2011 season include performances with the Berlin Komische Oper Orchestra for their New Year’s concerts with Carl St. Clair, Chicago Symphony, San Diego Symphony with Bramwell Tovey, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus with Steven Sloane, a tour of Germany with Nordwestdeutsche Symphoniker, and an 18-concert U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic.

Quint plays the 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society®.

More about Philippe Quint: Quint studied at Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski’s Concerto No. 2. After emigrating to the United States, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, and Felix Galimir. He also studied and participated in masterclasses with Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Arnold Steinhardt.

The Chicago Times proclaimed, “Here is a fiddle virtuoso whose many awards are fully justified by the brilliance of his playing.” Among his many honors, Quint has amassed top prizes at the Juilliard Competition (’98), Spain’s Pablo de Sarasate International Violin Competition (’97), where he also received the Special Audience Prize, and the Salon de Virtuosi Award (’97). He has been a Career Grant recipient of the Bagby Foundation since 2002.

In addition to his recording of the Schumann Concerto, Quint’s formidable discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. His recording of Korngold’s Violin Concerto (2009), which was ranked in the top 20 on Billboard’s Classical Chart in its first week of sales, was also nominated for two Grammy Awards. Other critically acclaimed recordings include the world premiere recording of John Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprices, Ned Rorem’s Concerto, Miklos Rozsa’s Complete Works for Violin and Piano with William Wolfram, Bernstein’s Serenade, and De Beriot’s Concertos. His most recent release from August 2010 is a unique compilation of works by Paganini arranged by Fritz Kreisler, which BBC Music Magazine called “truly phenomenal.”

Quint’s recordings have received multiple “Editor’s Choice” selections in GramophoneThe StradStrings, and the Daily Telegraph. His live performances and interviews have been broadcast on CBS, CNN, ABC, BBC, NBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, as well as multiple appearances on NPR, WNYC and WQXR.

Quint has been consistently re-engaged both domestically and internationally; recent performances include appearances as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Minnesota, Bournemouth, Houston, the Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestra Cote du Basque, Orchestra de Pamplona, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals and chamber music performances at the Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Ravinia, Aspen, Lincoln Center, and Chautauqua festivals, at Lukas Foss’s Hamptons Music Festival, at the Kravis Center, UC Davis Presents, Rome Chamber Festival and at the National Gallery in Washington. In 2004, Quint was the featured soloist at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in the world premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Concerto No. 1, which was written for him and dedicated to him.

In addition to his work as a soloist, Quint is Founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival in Mexico City, and recently formed the Quint Quintet – a group dedicated to exploring music of Astor Piazzolla and Argentine Tango.

Philippe Quint’s Concert Schedule:

January 27 & 28, 2011
Bochum, Germany; Bochumer Symphoniker
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor

February 1 & 3, 2011
Cape Town, South Africa; Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor

February 12 – March 6, 2011
U.S. tour with the Cape Town Philharmonic
Korngold Concerto / Tchaikovsky Concerto; Martin Panteleev conductor
February 12 – Daytona Beach, FL; Daytona Beach Symphonic Society, Peabody Auditorium
February 13 – Sarasota, FL; Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
February 14– Avon Park, FL; South Florida Community College
February 15– Vero Beach, FL; Indiana River Symphonic Associations
February 16– Palm Beach, FL; Society of the Four Arts
February 17– Fort Lauderdale, FL; Broward Center for the Performing Arts
February 19– Gainesville, FL; University of Florida,
February 20– St. Augustine, FL; Emma Concert Association/Flagler College
February 21 – Clemson, SC; Clemson University
February 23– Platteville, WI; University of Wisconsin
February 25– Kansas City, MO; William Jewell College, F

olly Theatre
February 27 – Ames, IA; Iowa State University
March 1– Worcester, MA; Music Worcester
March 3 – Lancaster, PA; Lancaster Community Concerts
March 4– Lewisburg, PA; Bucknell University
March 5 – Landsdale, PA; Lansdale Community Concerts
March 6– Geneva, NY; Geneva Concerts

March 12 & 13, 2011
Wichita, KS; Wichita Symphony
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Chaconne & Ravel’s Tzigane; Daniel Hege conductor

March 18 – 26, 2011
Chamber Music Series at Mexico Festival, Mexico City; Philippe Quint, Artistic Director

April 10, 2011
Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig Radio Symphony at the Gewandhaus
John Corigliano’s “Red Violin” Concerto; Steven Sloane, conductor

April 16, 2011
Peoria, IL; Peoria Symphony
Korngold’s Concerto

April 22 & 23, 2011
El Paso, TX; El Paso Pro Musica
With the Quint Quintet, featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla

May 5 – 7, 2011
Costa Mesa, CA; Pacific Symphony
Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s “Carmen” Fantasy; Carlos Miguel Prieto conductor

July 1 – 8, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

July 9, 2011
Minneapolis, MN; Minnesota Orchestra
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto; Andrew Litton, conductor

July 17 – 22, 2011
Durango, Colorado; Music in the Mountains Festival

July 23 – August 1, 2011
Tour with Youth Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico; Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

August 3 – 9, 2011
Mexico City, Mexico; Mineria Symphony Orchestra
Brahms’ Double Concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein

August 14 – 21, 2011
Moritzburg, Germany; Moritzburg Chamber Festival

 

I have received a short memoir of the great Soviet pianist from the Israeli conductor, Uri Segal. Unlike his great rival, Sviatoslav Richter, little is known of Gilels (1916-85) outside of the official version – that he was a loyal servant of the system. Segal adds a personal dimension:

It was in 1982, in Helsingborg, Sweden that I had the great fortune of collaborating with Emil Gilels, conducting Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto Nº1 in Bb minor  for him. This encounter which turned to be a memorable one for me in more then one way, was a  “miracle” in itself: At that time no Soviet musician was allowed by the Soviet régime to perform with Israeli colleagues, and so the collaboration between Mr. Gilels and myself should have been forbidden. Anyway, to my great amazement it was allowed to happen.

After the first rehearsal with the Helsingborg Symphony Mr. Gilels asked me to join him for lunch at the hotel bistro and a conversation ensued between us (Gilels’ wife Lala, was not feeling very well and preferred to rest in the room upstairs).

 

Gilel: “Have you ever been to Russia”?

Segal: “No”.

Gilels: “Have you ever been to a communist country”?

Segal: “Yes. I have been to Poland (touring the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra in 1972)

Gilels: “And what was your impression”?

Segal: ” Well, it was mixed. However, when I took my seat on the plane back to the West I felt a great relief”.

Gilels: “I want to show you something”.

 

At that point Gilels drew out of his purse a piece of yellow newspaper cutting in which a few words were underlined in red. It was a cutting of the New York Times from 1962 describing the press reception given to Stravinsky on his returne back to the US from his visit to Russia, his first visit in 48 years. To the question by the press was there anything he liked about the USSR Strvinsky replied there were indeed two things he did like about it, namely “the vodka and the exit visa” (Stravinsky was regarded as an “émigré traitor to the Motherland” by the Soviet régime).

 I was touched to the core of my heart. Gilels was keeping this piece of newspaper all those years in his purse as a kind of “secret motto” and at a tremendous risk to himself, and what’s more, he trusted me enough to unravel it to me (at a time the harsh Brezhnev régime is still raging).

That evening I was invited by the Gilels to their room for tea and Mr. Gilels was very interested to hear my view on Schoenberg. He was very happy and proud about a recent trip to Vienna where he played and recorded Mozart Double Concerto with his daughter Elena and the Vienna Phiharmonic under Karl Böhm. He said there was nothing better in life.

 The evening of the concert Gilels and I were supposed to meet at a certain time in the hotel lobby to be driven to the concert-hall together. I came down at the appointed time and Gilels was not there. I waited and waited and then tried to call his room but the phone was constantly busy.

Finally he came down. He looked pale and  extremely shaken, trembling all over he said “They are killing me. Look, my hands are shaking. How do they want me to play a concert now”. It was the KGB harassing him. It was pretty awful.

emil-gilels

No-one who saw Radu Mihaileanu’s delightful rom-com The Concert will be startled to learn that the Bolshoi Theatre has a new music director. In the film, it is the office cleaner who grabs the baton and takes the orchestra to Paris.

In real life, the lucky loser, announced today in Moscow, is Vasily Sinaisky, a highly proficient conductor who has worked with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, making several records for Chandos, and recently conducted the Shostakovich opera, A Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, in Berlin.

Sinaisky, 63, worked with the Bolshoi Opera in Dresden six weeks ago in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, after which his accession was rubber-stamped by the powers-that-be, though no-one knows if they will still be there next week, such is the chaos that prevails in Russia’s leading cultural icons.

Mihaileanu’s film tells more of the truth than today’s formal press release. It exposes a Russia where a gas oligarch decides who plays what and where, a gangster state where music is an occasional ornament to organised banditry. It is nothing short of amazing that music survives at all in such conditions, and everyone will be praying that Sinaisky can survive the dreadful conditions and transform them.

Seeing the film again on a large screen, as distinct from the cramped DVD I was shown for review, I was forcefully struck by the power of Sarah Nemtanu’s playing in the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. Some record label ought to get her into studio fast. She has a real feel for the piece and a highly personal expression. Maybe Sinaisky should conduct, bringing the life-art imitation to full fruition. 

No-one who saw Radu Mihaileanu’s delightful rom-com The Concert will be startled to learn that the Bolshoi Theatre has a new music director. In the film, it is the office cleaner who grabs the baton and takes the orchestra to Paris.

In real life, the lucky loser, announced today in Moscow, is Vasily Sinaisky, a highly proficient conductor who has worked with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, making several records for Chandos, and recently conducted the Shostakovich opera, A Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, in Berlin.

Sinaisky, 63, worked with the Bolshoi Opera in Dresden six weeks ago in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, after which his accession was rubber-stamped by the powers-that-be, though no-one knows if they will still be there next week, such is the chaos that prevails in Russia’s leading cultural icons.

Mihaileanu’s film tells more of the truth than today’s formal press release. It exposes a Russia where a gas oligarch decides who plays what and where, a gangster state where music is an occasional ornament to organised banditry. It is nothing short of amazing that music survives at all in such conditions, and everyone will be praying that Sinaisky can survive the dreadful conditions and transform them.

Seeing the film again on a large screen, as distinct from the cramped DVD I was shown for review, I was forcefully struck by the power of Sarah Nemtanu’s playing in the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. Some record label ought to get her into studio fast. She has a real feel for the piece and a highly personal expression. Maybe Sinaisky should conduct, bringing the life-art imitation to full fruition.