Showing posts from 2019

Olga Tokarczuk - Nobel Prize for Literature 2018

Diary entries: March 23  2018 Last night I attended an interview/lecture Olga Tokarczuk gave at the British Library in London. Thought provoking in the extreme. I suggest you buy this book ( 'Flights' or  'Bieguni'  in Polish)  published quite some time ago now (2007) but recently long-listed for the International Booker Prize. It will sell out after she wins! My prediction.... Interview with the English writer Adam Mars-Jones and a translator at the British Library on 22 March 2018 May 1st 2018 Am at present reading the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk's 'Flights' . 'Bieguni' in Polish. A brilliant and unique vision and formal experiment in composition. Formal experiment so rarely happens in English books - publishers with their eye on sales dare not but will publish translations that experiment of course! The book is based upon the idea of self contained sequences that concern travelling, human anatomy

18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition 2-23 October 2020

18th Chopin Competition Warsaw Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eighteenth edition of the Chopin Competition  has been postponed for a year. The competition will now take place from October 2-23, 2021 at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The decision to transfer the Competition was made by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński, in agreement with the director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Dr Artur Szklener. The decision was preceded by consultations with the health ministry and the main sanitary inspector. "We would like to assure all interested parties that we are making every effort to ensure that the eighteenth edition of the Chopin Competition is exactly as we expected it to be held i the wonderful tradition of this event, built over decades. At the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, intensive work is currently underway to transfer the Competition to 2021 "       Director Artur Szklener The list of pianists admitted for e

Grigory Sokolov - Warsaw Recital - 1 December 2019 - Songs of Innocence and Experience

Grigory Sokolov  © Mary Sklepkova, DG In Warsaw last night, Grigory Sokolov hypnotized the entire audience of a fully packed hall into complete silence with his conception and recreation of the joyful innocence of Mozart and the profound seriousness of Brahms. Pure music of the greatest integrity and truth reigned supreme here, quite beyond the medium of the performer and the instrument, both becoming merely a conduit to the spirit of man laid out before us, man an atom in the spinning firmament.  Innumerable hidden details were revealed by his consummate technique and by his profound philosophical and musical penetration. I was reminded of a comment made by Arthur Rubinstein when he observed that in live performance in a concert hall in the presence of a great artist, one is affected by their 'electromagnetic vibrations' that fill the space, electrical connections that cannot be captured on a recording, the way the artist plays directly on your soul and takes hold of

The 11th International Paderewski Piano Competition 10-24 November 2019 - Bydgoszcz, Poland

THE 11th INTERNATIONAL PADEREWSKI PIANO COMPETITION BYDGOSZCZ 10-24 November 2019 I shall be reviewing the performances of all participants in this competition  *  * N.B. Please  only  use the link below for comprehensive competition details and reviews *  *  *  *  *  *  * For the 10th International Paderewski Piano Competition  November 2016 For the 9th International Paderewski Piano Competition November 2013

Szymon Nehring at the VI Arthur Rubinstein Piano Festival, Łódź , Poland 14-19 October 2019

I am here for only the last two days of this festival. How I regret not coming for the entire unique event! Considering the world eminence of the pianist and his pre-eminence in his matchless interpretation of t he music of Chopin, the neglect of this festival is scarcely understandable. This impressive event, the ballet and the concurrent exhibitions in  Łódź  associated with it is held every two years. It has been single-handedly, imaginatively and indefatigably assembled since its inception by the Festival Director Mr. Wojciech Grochowalski. The event is held under the auspices of the organizer, the Culture and Business Foundation in co-operation with the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Foundation. Introductory remarks on the evening were given by the host and Polish Radio presenter, and musicologist Adam Rozlach. Official Website :,1 The highly cultured and legendary Arthur Rubinstein  was born in  Łódź in 1887.  This great