The University of South Florida’s School of Music is in the midst of the fourth annual Robert Helps International Composition Competition and Festival. Each year, this event pays homage to Robert Helps (1928-2001), composer/pianist, who was a faculty member at USF and one of the key promoters of new music during the second half of the twentieth century. His music is best described as belonging to New Romanticism and he had a particular fondness for piano pieces. Each year there is a $10 000 prize awarded to the most promising composition by a young composer, as well as a performance of the winning work (this year’s winner was Lyudmila German, whose Piano Sonata No. 1 we heard played excellently by USF faculty member Svetozar Ivanov as the second half of tonight’s program).
I cannot deprive you, dear readers, of the transformative experience that I had earlier on today while listening to Wilhelm Kempff’s interpretation of Beethoven’s piano sonata op. 27, no. 2. I do not know when this video was filmed, but I suspect that Kempff, who was born in 1895, must have been well into his eighties at the time of this recording.
This season, the Konzerthaus Berlin has put up some intriguing programs celebrating the 100th birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich. Among these concerts were performances by the Jerusalem Quartet (all string quartets), the Konzerthausorchester (Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra), as well as the Berlin Sinfonietta (Chamber Symphony). In an engaging performance on Thursday night, Alexei [...]
This promises to be an exciting evening at the Konzerthaus in Berlin: Alexei Lubimov, piano Galina Ustvolskaya Sonata No. 5 Dmitri Shostakovich Five Preludes for Piano (1919-20) Sergey Prokofjew Sonata No. 7 op. 83 Alexander Skryabin Five Preludes op. 74 Andrej Volkonsky “Musica stricta” Dmitri Shostakovich Sonata No. 2 op. 64 November 16, 2006. Konzerthaus [...]
Walking around in my neighbourhood today I came across the old C. Bechstein piano manufactury in Ohlauer Strasse. This is virtually around the corner from where I live but I had no idea it existed! It was a nice coincidence that I had my camera with me to take this shot of the C. Bechstein [...]
After weeks of abstinence I finally bought new CDs, scores, and books yesterday. For those of you who live in Berlin, check out the Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann. It has a huge collection of classical music CDs in the basement. Here is what I bought: 1) The Camerata Salzburg conducted by Sandor Vegh with Bartok’s Divertimento for [...]