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

                              Click on pictures to enlarge - far superior resolution

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 labour of writing, editing and galvanising a publisher's interest in a somewhat esoteric subject. This work has taken me 5 years so far. The…

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

                    Click on photographs to enlarge - far superior rendition

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’ or 'go into rehab' not far from where Elsner was born in the small S…