wed 20/08/2014

piano

Simon Trpčeski, Wigmore Hall

No man is a prophet in his own land – except possibly the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski. In the UK he shot to fame upon winning the London International Piano Competition in 2001 and at home he has become a national hero, his efforts rebooting...

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The Dream/Connectome/The Concert, Royal Ballet

The Dream has at its heart a great partnership. Not just the original, magical pairing of Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley, for whom Frederick Ashton created the ballet fifty years ago (thereby launching one of the top couples in ballet history...

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John Ogdon: Living with Genius / You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story, BBC Four

It's something of a cliche to regard concert pianists as mad geniuses or nutty professors, and John Ogdon fitted the formula only too well. Born in Nottinghamshire in 1937, he displayed absurdly precocious musical brilliance as a child, and in due...

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Khatia Buniatishvili, Queen Elizabeth Hall

A voluptuous dream in sequined silver, the nearly-27-year-old Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili sat down at the keyboard and instantly transcendentalised her mermaid look as Ravel’s Ondine. Even Brahms took to the life aquatic of her recital’s...

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Lugansky, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Am I alone in a readiness to sacrifice all four Rachmaninov piano concertos – though maybe not the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – in favour of the second sets of Preludes and Études-Tableaux? Probably not, after last night, when Nikolay Lugansky...

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Tippett Retrospective, Osborne, Heath Quartet, Wigmore Hall

For those of us who’d held fast to the generalisation that Michael Tippett went awry after 1962, it seemed emblematic that pianist Steven Osborne and the Heath Quartet were never to meet in a concert of two halves. After all, didn’t Tippett’s music...

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Vogt, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jansons, Barbican

Can there be a conductor with a clearer and more affirming beat than Mariss Jansons with the Concertgebouw Orchestra when they're at their best? The listener can just marvel at his capacity to work in partnership with this fine orchestra, to...

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It's All About Piano!, Institut Français

With tickets only a couple of pounds more than screenings in the Ciné Lumière, back-to-back – sometimes overlapping - concerts by world-class pianists of all ages, and a lively roster of weekend events around the recitals, what more could you ask...

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Gabriela Montero, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Gabriela Montero stands out as different. She is an American-based improvising classical pianist of real quality. She has a courageous civil rights message to convey about the tragedy of unseen arrests and murders in her native Venezuela, but is...

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Gerstein, LPO, Petrenko, RFH

Vasily Petrenko used his baton like a piratical rapier to galvanise the London Philharmonic violins in their flourishes of derring-do at the start of Berlioz’s Overture Le Corsaire. And the brilliance was in the quicksilver contrasts, the lightness...

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Pires, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

This is more an excuse for celebration than a review. Six years after the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1974 – the birth year we were marking last night – I rolled up in a foggy Edinburgh one February day and chose it as my alma mater on...

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Christian Zacharias, Wigmore Hall

It's a considerable irony that a musician as dedicated and as serious as pianist/conductor Christian Zacharias should suddenly, at the age of 63, gain bragging rights on Youtube (see next page). There wasn't really that much he could do about it. It...

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