World famous organist from Paris dies at 86. RIP Marie-Claire Alain

World famous French organist Marie-Claire Alain died on February 26, 2013, at the age of 86. Long ago I’ve heard her live several times and in particular immensely enjoyed her Bach-playing. Here the brilliant organist from Paris plays one of (imo) Bach’s most beautiful organ pieces.


Marie-Claire Alain, RIP.

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Eric Ericson, vermaard Zweeds koordirigent, overleden op 94-jarige leeftijd

Op zaterdag 16 februari 2013 overleed op 94-jarige leeftijd een van de beroemdste koordirigenten van de afgelopen decennia, meest vermaard om zijn dirigentschap van het Zweeds Radiokoor in de periode 1951-1981. In de clip hieronder is hij, op gevorderde leeftijd, prachtig op dreef met The Real Group, een ander Zweeds topkoor uit Stockholm. Gezongen worden En vänlig grönskas rika dräkt en Och Jungfrun hon går i dansen. Beide opnamen zijn ook te vinden op het Real Group album Stämning uit 2003.


RIP Eric Ericson (1918-2013)

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De jonge pianist Evgeny Bozhanov: bijzondere interpretaties, grote muzikale persoonlijkheid

De jonge Bulgaarse pianist Evgeni Bozhanov (geb. 1984) speelt prachtig. Velen, waaronder ikzelf, leerden hem kennen dankzij z’n wondermooie spel tijdens prestigieuze pianoconcoursen. In 2010 toonde hij z’n topkwaliteiten met het behalen van de tweede prijs op de Koningin Elisabeth Wedstrijd en op het Chopin Concours in Warschau werd hij zeer verdienstelijk vierde. Z’n interpretaties zijn heel bijzonder en tonen z’n grote muzikale persoonlijkheid.


Evgeny Bozhanov speelt Sonetto del Petrarca van Franz Liszt

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Music by accident – Gabriela Montero’s ‘Piece for Ruth’

Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is known for her musical multitalent. She’s an internationally renowned classical pianist and equally famous as a brilliant improviser on the keyboard. Add to that her talent as a composer. Proof of this is A Piece for Ruth, her first composition for piano and violin. The title of the composition refers to Ruth Palmer, one of Britain’s finest young violinists, who was hit six years ago in London’s Fleet Street by a motorbike driven by… the younger brother of Gabriela’s boyfriend. This accident – you can read more about it here – inspired the writing of the music for Ruth, who’s now a good friend of Gabriela. On Friday December 7th 2012 A Piece for Ruth premiered in the Caspary Auditorium of New York’s Rockefeller University – see the video below – with Gabriela Montero on piano and Ruth Palmer on violin. Wonderful music and performance. Lovin’ it! 🙂

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Valentina Lisitsa’s Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 with LSO released by Decca


On 3 December 2012 another piece of Valentina Lisitsa’s long awaited Rachmaninoff recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra was released by Decca: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3. Earlier on, in October 2012, Decca released Piano Concerto No.2. In January/February 2013 Decca will release Lisitsa’s recordings of Piano Concerti No.1 and No.4 and also the Paganini Variations. The four concerti and the variations are initially released separately and online in mp3-quality. Around March 2013 the complete set will be boxed and released on CD. Below a few videos concerning the Rach#3 concerto as played by Valentina Lisitsa, some of them material from the above mentioned and now being released 2009-2010 Rachmaninoff Project. Two of the videos below show some of my own footage.


Decca-promo on Valentina Lisitsa’s channel


Hey, I also did a short promo 🙂


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 1st movement (with ossia Cadenza )


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 2nd movement


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 3rd movement


Valentina Lisitsa / Solotake Recordings Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3, filmed by me at Abbey Road Studios

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Kala Ramnath plays her own violin concerto with The Residence Orchestra/The Hague Philharmonic

As part of the Holland-India Festivals The Hague world famous ragaviolinist Kala Ramnath from Mumbai visits The Netherlands to play her own violin concerto, titled The seasons of India, accompanied by The Residence Orchestra/The Hague Philharmonic. The concert will be held at the Conservatory of The Hague on Saturday 10 November 2012. I wonder how Kala’s bending of notes and colourful ragaplaying style combine with the sounds of a symphony orchestra.
I found a clip on YouTube that might give a clue. It shows Kala playing with the London Symphony Strings.


Kala playing with the London Symphony Strings

I portrayed Kala for Radio Netherlands and for the Concertzender. To listen to my radio-portrayal of Kala in 2008, click here.


Excerpt of my video-recording of Kala’s concert at RASA in Utrecht, April 2006

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On Sunday 28 October 2012: free LIVE-stream Valentina Lisitsa concert Rachmaninoff PC#3

Here’s a reminder of a free live-webstream that’s not to be missed, as it involves a perfect musical combination: composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and pianist Valentina Lisitsa.

On Sunday 28 October 2012, at 2:15pm CET, Valentina Lisitsa performs the Rachmaninoff No.3 Piano Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in De Doelen in Rotterdam. I’ll be in the Rotterdam audience, but for evryone who can’t be there in Rotterdam, the live-stream – via this link – offers a unique opportunity to witness and enjoy exceptional Rachmaninoff performer Valentina Lisitsa live in concert. Not-to-be-missed!

To give a taste of her exquisite Rachmaninoff #3-playing, the two videos below show some of Valentina’s ‘minus orchestra’-rehearsing, filmed by me in December 2009 in London’s Abbey Road Studios.

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Violin icons of East & West meet up: Kala Ramnath and Hilary Hahn

A meeting up of world famous violin players from different classical traditions is not an evryday phenomenon. Recently it happened to Hindustani classical (raga) performer Kala Ramnath and Western classical player Hilary Hahn. Kala wrote a piece for Hilary and in this video she explains a few basics of raga music and about the piece she’s done for Hilary.

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