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Showing posts from December, 2019

Olga Tokarczuk - Nobel Prize for Literature 2018

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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....


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 and experiences during periods of mobility disconnection from everyday predictable routine and habit. The sequences are of different lengths yet discrete, stories and pe…

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

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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 elimination will not change,…

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

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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 it. Such a miraculous phenomenon went far beyon…