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If You Were on the Jury, Whom Would You Choose as Winner of the 18th Chopin Piano Competition?
This was the most frequently posed question among my friends and colleagues at the conclusion of the Chopin Piano Competition in 2021. I suspect that it did not come from those who approved of the jury’s official verdict, but probably
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The Best Performances
“Una Voce Poco Fa” by Rossini
Gioachino Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville” is one of the most fun operas in the entire repertoire. It’s full of humour and romantic encounters, and for a change, nobody dies. The story is set in Sevilla, Spain during the
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Making It Easier for Audiences
As concert life begins to return to something resembling “normal” after months of silence – the result of government restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic – venues, promoters and indeed the performers themselves can do a great deal to
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The Best Performances
“Ombra mai fù” by Handel
George Frideric Handel premiered his opera Serse on 15 April 1738 at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket in London. The composer had decided on a semi-historical plot involving the hot-blooded Persian tyrant Xerxes. It is a rather complicated plot, typical of
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What Authenticity Really Is
I often explain how many — if not all — artists create; in my opinion, the saying that good artists copy and great artists steal should be admitted as common truth. While it is often well-hidden and sometimes resembles a
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Classical Mercury: Freddie and the Bohemian Rhapsody
We don’t think of the late Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) in the realm of classical music except for his duets with Montserrat Caballée. Secretly though, the world of classical music has been looking at the music of Freddie Mercury and dragging
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Starker Tales: The Great Cellist Was Human
Perhaps some of you don’t know that the great cellist and pedagogue János Starker began his illustrious career as an orchestral musician. He played in Broadway orchestras too. Born in Budapest July 5, 1924, as a wunderkind, Starker performed all
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Charles Ives’ Approach to Music
The American composer Charles Ives has often been associated with experimental music, or rather advanced music. One does not simply immerse himself in the academic music world through him. Indeed, his works include polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatory elements and
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