To the New World and Back

Every two years a Yorkshire-based Lieder association holds a festival in the autumn. Each Leeds Lieder+ Festival has a different artistic director, which have included world renowned collaborative pianists Malcolm Martineau, Iain Burnside, Roger Vignoles and Julius Drake. At such a festival a group of outstanding singers of international repute and legendary status are assembled (Dame Felicity Lott, Dame Janet …

Annual Review link

Following my article of yesterday I thought that readers might find it interesting to have a look at the complete 2011 ABRSM Annual Review. By following the link, readers will be able to electronically download the complete review.

Concerts in the West

This week sees the last preparations for Sebastian Müller and my upcoming performances at the Concerts in the West series. We shall be performing a programme of sonatas by Beethoven, Mozart and Franck. Following Sebastian and my performance in the Somerset area in the intimate setting of the Old Chapels in Parbrook, Glastonbury last season, we are indeed looking forward …

Composers Need Not Apply

The BBC recently reported on an experiment regarding the evolution of music at Imperial College London.  Originating from two loops, the sounds were left to “breed”, creating generations of sound creations. Adding rating choices to these creations ranging from “love to indifference to hatred” created a Darwinian context in which tunes either survived or became extinct. No harm in such an …

Commedia dell’arte

I am currently doing some research on the Commedia dell’arte movement and its development from sixteenth century Italy, which over time spread across Europe. With its gradual diaspora it developed within each region, altering certain details to be relevant to their own cultures. John Rudlin’s Commedia dell’arte: an actor’s handbook goes into the minutest detail of each character, its history, development …

But is it art…

As the Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as the intellectual activity of formulating judgments on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres, it is astounding that the top player of the opera world is so against it, that a leading opera magazine has decided not to review this house’s …

Mourning

Every day we see the turning of the circle of life with new beginnings and the end of seasons.  Some tragedies are as small as the world of one person and other tragedies have an impact on societies, whole civilisations or the whole of earth’s inhabitants.  The large scale tragedies cause us to remember exactly where we were and what …

Circles Completed

This past week saw the culmination of a project, a continuation of a collaboration and a return to my roots. The performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy on 28 April was a special event since I had the opportunity to work alongside an orchestra and choir as concerto soloist. The performance was the result of weeks of focused work towards memorising …