“Johann Sebastian Bach is my favourite figure in all of history: the master of masters, the big wig in the sky. But he’s also one of the most misunderstood. In my new show on Radio 3 I will be finding new ways to approach his music, as well as challenging some of the myths that have arisen about him. These are some of the keys to his life and work.” – Mahan Esfahani
“A Happy Excursion” had a fitting companion in Tchaikovsky’s emotive “Pathétique” Symphony. The [New York] Philharmonic musicians can probably play this overprogrammed piece in their sleep; in the past, it has occasionally felt as if they were doing just that. But under Mr. Yu’s baton, they summoned surprising extremes, leavened occasionally with the brisk lightness of a Tchaikovsky ballet.
Interview by Christian Lloyd
A brace of traditional songs from Japan bring back fond memories and inspire a wealth of interpretations for the American violinist.
“My grandmother’s favourite piece of music in the world was a Japanese song called Kōjō no Tsuki. I first heard it when I was a teenager and I understood straight away why she loved it so much; it’s a hauntingly beautiful, nostalgic piece that has an infinite amount of soulfulness and poetry within it.
I’ve always associated it with memories of my grandmother; when she heard me playing it in the house, or in my hotel room while I was touring, it would always move her to tears – and when I hear it now I find it very hard not to cry as well.”
Read more of the interview here.
San Francisco Chronicle
Anne Akiko Meyers joins the Symphony Silicon Valley
March 2-3, 2019
California Theatre, San Jose, CA
Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto is one of those artistic creations for which the backstory is almost as interesting as the music itself. It’s a tangled tale of disputes among the composer, the intended soloist and the soap magnate who commissioned it, in which charges and countercharges flew.
If the truth behind the dispute is murky, the results are clear enough. This is a concerto in which the first two movements hew close to Barber’s familiar style – a blend of ingratiating lyricism and formal sturdiness – before a virtuoso finale comes on with an entirely different musical demeanor.
If anyone can make the parts cohere, it’s the brilliant and resourceful violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who joins conductor Tito Muñoz and the Symphony Silicon Valley as soloist. Also on the program is a new work by the young American composer Adam Schoenberg, along with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.
More details here.
Nicolas Namoradze is a pianist with a lot to say. And he likes to say it softly.
The top-prize winner of the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Alberta, made an impressive New York recital debut Sunday night at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with an unconventional program of (in this order) Scriabin, Bach, Schumann, and his own compositions.
Renowned Russian-American pianist Olga Kern, 2001 winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, is coming to Southern California for a series of concerts starting with Friday at SOKA Performing Arts Centre, Broad Stage in Santa Monica this Saturday, and two performances on Saturday, February 16 with the Pasadena Symphony. Recently John Van Driel had a chance to talk to Ms. Kern about her busy performing and teaching schedule.
Fresh off winning Canada’s 2018 Honens International Piano Competition, New York-based pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze will be making his Carnegie Hall debut Feb 10. Concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, and other international venues are also upcoming, along with recordings on the Honens and Hyperion labels.
More and more women are breaking barriers in all aspects of the music industry. J. Jill has brought together an eclectic group of artists including Anne Akiko Meyers, Olga Kern, and Patricia Price —the trailblazers, the firsts, the remarkable and revered to learn what they love about music and being on stage (or backstage or behind the lens), what inspires their day to day, and what they won’t go on tour without.