Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Speaking of Movies

A new piano concerto from a well-known British film composer.

Nigel Hess, who has composed music for more than 100 television programmes and films, has met with Prince Charles to discuss the piano concerto, which will be premiered next month at a concert dedicated to his grandmother

Get Well Wishes

Let's hope all is well for pianist Helene Grimaud.

A recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall by French pianist Hélène Grimaud ended abruptly Sunday evening when an ailing Grimaud walked offstage after only the third piece on her program.

Speaking of Career Changes

OK. So we have "janitor-to-pianist" in the news, but there's also this charming "pianist to microbrewer" story.

"TAKE a classical pianist - Simon Walkenhorst. Put him on honeymoon with his opera singer wife, Beth Williams, through Britain's finest beer country, and you've got a recipe for career change."

Piano. Great ale. What else is there?

That other lady from Argentina

Move over Martha! This great news as Fliter is an absolutely stunning talent.

Ingrid Fliter, the fast-rising 33-year-old Argentine pianist, has signed an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics. Her first disc for the label, an all-Chopin recital, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2008


Poor Billy Joel

The grand piano BILLY JOEL used on his early eighties Nylon Curtain tour has failed to fetch the $10,000 (GBP5,000) asking price on auction site eBay.


Perhaps things will go better for Fats Domino's piano auction. Details.

From Janitor to Concert Pianist

The sort of thing you imagine happening in a movie (at least a Lifeline movie).

A Polish janitor at Glasgow University is set to launch a career as a concert pianist - after he was caught tickling the ivories on the university's chapel piano when he thought no-one was listening.

Aleksander Kudajczyk, 28, who cleans the law department every day at 6am, became the talk of the campus after he played Chopin on the chapel's grand.


Good stuff!

Did I call it or what? "A university janitor's secret life as a virtuoso pianist was discovered in a Good Will Hunting-style moment" link

Friday, June 15, 2007

Meet Sir George

English jazz pianist George Shearing is now a Sir after accepting a knighthood from British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The veteran musician, who has been blind all his life, brought his wife Lady Eleanor to the ceremony at the Queen's London residence Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

Strauss' Heirs told to Pay Up

A court has ordered heirs of German composer Richard Strauss to share royalties with the heirs of librettist and poet Hugo von Hoffmansthal for nine collaborations, including the popular operas Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra.
Seems fair to me. Link.

And even more on the pop music front

Seems Freddy Mecury's piano is sale. A lovely looking upright.

photo and details found here.

Anton Kuerti: Political commentary

Pianit Kuerti serves up some political commentary at the University of Western Ontario.


...delivering a wide-ranging speech on the uses and abuses of confidence, Kuerti talked of the ability to command the piano, the fearlessness of Mohawk steelworkers and the dangers of over- confidence in foreign affairs -- including the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

A Rare Print of Beethoven found?

Details here.

A little west of Moscow

You'll find the "International Russian Music Piano Competition", another spot on the competition circuit I had noticed before, tucked away in "Silicon Valley".

You can read all about it here.

General musing: Competitions. Not just for fun. It's a full-time job (sans pay) for some.

And on the popular music front

a very different video of rocker Tommy Lee has appeared on the net
MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee playing the song "Brandon" on the piano in the lobby of his hotel in Brussels, Belgium following the band's performance at Ancienne Belgique on June 8, 2007 has been posted at YouTube.


Dog Days of Summer

Still on Vacation. Blogging still continues to be light.

Get your bloggy-fix by visiting the WTB's "Blogs of Distinction" (RH column).

Monday, June 04, 2007

Double Shots of Walt Whitman

Blogilicious bookends

here and here.

Holy Cow! Now You Can Own a bit of Beethoven

Beethoven's hair, or at least some of it, is now for sale on ebay.

Link here.

Thanks to "Soho the Dog" for pointing the way.

Cliburn 2007: And the Winners Are !

Mad props and kudos to the winners of this year's "Van Cliburn 2007 Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs".

1st Prize: Dr. Drew Mays, Alabama, Ophthalmologist

2nd Prize: Mr. Mark Fuller, Arizona, Lawyer

3rd Prize: Mr. Clark Griffith, Texas, Composer/Retired Internet Technology Administrator

Audience Award: Dr. Drew Mays, Alabama, Ophthalmologist

Press Jury Award: Mr. Mark Fuller, Arizona, Lawyer

You can watch performances on the uber-hip YouTube here.

Good stuff all around!