Showing posts from February, 2023

Fryderyk Chopin 213th Birthday Concerts 1st.March 2023 - Birthplace at Żelazowa Wola and the Warsaw Philharmonic - Szymon Nehring and Yulianna Avdeeva

Memorial to Chopin in Cuba  Why Cuba ? Julian Fontana, his close friend, composer, copyist and editor of the posthumous edition of Chopin's works left for Cuba in the spring of 1844 and settled in Havana. He was artistically successful there, introduced the music of Chopin to the Caribbean and wrote many works influenced by its folklore. He had an illicit 'love of my life' relationship with the 26 year old Cuban woman Camila Dalcour and wrote his marvelous fantasy La Havanne on the island . The love was impossible to bring to fruition in Cuba at that time and in despair Fontana left in 1848 for New York.  Destiny fortuitously arranged another meeting and they finally married in 1851 and returned to France. Camila, whilst pregnant, died in 1855 from a common cold and Fontana's life continued increasingly tragically. His inheritance from Camila was misappropriated by her family, he went profoundly deaf and ultimately committed suicide just before Christmas 1869. (For more

Joe Biden in Warsaw February 2023 - Podcast on the book 'A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland' (London 2008) - George Miller of 'Podularity' in discussion with the author Michael Moran

The Royal Castle in Warsaw offered a spectacular backdrop to President Joe Biden and the Polish President Andrzej Duda who addressed thousands of Poles in the castle gardens on the Vistula River (Associated Press) U.S. President Joe Biden stands onstage with children waving flags after he delivered remarks ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, outside the Royal Castle, in Warsaw, Poland, February 21, 2023 ( Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters ) This remarkable visit was of great symbolic significance to me as I have watched this valiant nation once again implement their immortal Polish battle cry though the ages 'For your freedom and ours!' The distinguished publisher  Granta released my literary travel book on Poland in 2008. It covered my period working and my cultural explorations in Warsaw and further afield during the period of transition from  the Soviet hegemony   t o the so-called market economy  in the early 1990s, following  the fall of the Berlin