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Showing posts from July, 2015

The Path to Val Sinestra. An Account of My Recent Extraordinary Summer Holiday Hiking in the Wild Lower Engadine Region of Eastern Switzerland, the Canton of Graubünden, known for its Breathtaking Alpine Scenery

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                              Click on pictures to enlarge - far superior resolution You take that path you silly boy... The remote Hotel/Kurhaus Val Sinestra which I used as an adventure base I have only just returned to my desk in Warsaw after what has been the final and certainly most exciting of all the research trips associated with my recently completed biography of  my great uncle, the glamorous concert pianist Edward Cahill (1885-1975).  One of his Swiss patrons, Helen Sieger, used to come to this place then known as Arsenheilbad Val Sinestra from their residence in Monaco for 'a cure' in the 1960s and I believe 'Uncle Eddie' may well have  also  visited it  once.  I was the first Australian ever to stay there as a guest.  The great thing about writing books, particularly biographies, is the long  process of exploration and discovery  as one travels whilst physically and intellectually assembling the chosen subject. Then follows the la

70th International Chopin Piano Festival, 7 August - 15 August 2015, Duszniki Zdroj, Poland

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                    Click on photographs to enlarge - far superior rendition The Dworek Chopina where the piano recitals take place Welcome to the 70th International Chopin Festival at the lovely Polish town of Duszniki Zdrój, a charming spa in Silesia on the mountainous Czech-Polish border not far from Wrocław. In this 70th year of the festival, the artistic director Piotr Paleczny has assembled a quite remarkable array of famous, musically outstanding and charismatic pianists. Most of the greatest pianists playing on the international stage today have appeared at Duszniki Zdroj, many at the very beginnings of their pianistic careers or shortly after winning major international competitions. This is also the case this year of  Eric Lu, performing on 11 August, the 1st prize winner at the 2015 US National Chopin Piano Competition.  A modicum of 'ancient' history first. Part of the way through his studies Joseph Elsner recommended that Chopin ‘take the waters’ o