classical piano

I’m afraid I have to start by telling my dear readers about a recent loss in the Hungarian (and world) music life: Zoltán Kocsis, one of the best pianists in the world, a professor at the Hungarian Academy of Music, teacher, conductor, music director of the Hungarian National Philharmonics, died on 6th November.

I heard him last just a few years ago at a concert, but the last couple of years he struggled with his health. As I practically grew up with him and several budding geniuses of my childhood years, I feel a part of my has gone.

In honour of his memory, an interesting concert takes place at 19:30 in the National Concert Hall (MUPA) in Budapest on 18th November. Beside Brahms’ Second Symphony, the really interesting piece to be performed is going to be F. Busoni’s Piano Concerto Op. 39 in the rendering of Kun Woo Paik, a Korean pianist living in Paris, who was born 6 years before Kocsis. I’ve just met him as a pianist listening to this same piece on YouTube and I liked it very much. In actual fact, although I don’t like the Busoni concert as much as Dohnanyi  or Bortkiewicz (see my earlier posts about Piano Concertos Almost Forgotten), I’d love to listen to anyone willing to play such a rare piece at such an important event.

The other interesting concert takes place at the same venue just a day later, at 20:00 on 19th November. At that concert, Ravi Shankar’s famous second daughter, Anoushka Shankar plays Indian sitar music of her latest album, Land of Gold. A very refined musician with an open mind to various musical worlds, I’m sure those able to get to her concert this coming Saturday will be treated to a very emotional evening as this material is about a lot of human tragedies. Brace yourself for catharsis.

Those who can’t make it to Budapest, could still buy tickets to her concerts of the following days in Innsbruck, Zurich or Geneve under the last link.

by P.S.

kholodenko.0Vadim Kholodenko, winner of the 2013 Van Cliburn competition, is giving a concert in the Great Hall of the Budapest Academy of Music tomorrow, 9th February at 19:30. Prices from 10 to about 25 €.

A native of Kiev, Kholodenko was born in 1986. Since age 15, he’s collected a number of international prizes, like one at the Budapest Liszt Piano Competition, but the first prize from Fort Worth really established him as one of the leading pianists of our time.

He is reputed to be comparable to the greatest Russian predecessors, Richter and Emil Gilels, so I’d love to be there to listen. If you are anywhere near Budapest and a fan of excellent piano concerts, here’s one for you. Don’t miss it, and please write about it here afterwards.

The programme:

Schumann: Nachtstücke, op. 23
Schumann: Humoresque, op. 20
Skryabin: 24 preludes, op. 11
Skryabin: Phantasy, op. 10

by P.S.