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For interest sake!


Watch, read, listen to music related news that is or has been of interest to me 

and that I hope will be of interest to you as well. 

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"I would compare paintings to music." | Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson 


“People are drawn to music or not. It’s either-or.” Meet Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson in this joy- and thoughtful interview, where he also reveals why the piano became his fate even before he was born. 


“I think the way to differentiate between the good and the great, the fine and the outstanding, is really the same in all the art forms. It’s really that question of originality and whether you see and hear the world from your own perspective as opposed to copying other people’s sensations.” 


Ólafsson argues that music should not be put into categories like classical or contemporary. Music, he says, is like any other art form a playground of ideas. “We must keep that freshness. If you read a book, you bring yourself into it eventually. I often feel that Johann Sebastian Bach is the most modern composer. This idea that we have to recreate the old as it was created 200 or 300 years ago is ridiculous. It’s a crazy idea, it’s a lazy idea. It’s creatively lazy and it lacks courage.” 


Ólafsson tells that he identifies notes with specific colours. And that he sees a lot of similarities between different forms of art. “Maybe I would compare paintings to music. It’s this play with architecture, structure and fantasy, with colour, space and dimension. It’s the same subjects a painter is dealing with or an architect, a composer or an author. It’s more or less the same subjects in all the arts.” 



Anita Lasker-Wallfisch in conversation with Norbert Meyn 

In this interview the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch discusses her childhood in Breslau, studying cello with Leo Rostal in Berlin, being imprisoned for trying to escape to France, playing cello in the camp orchestra in Auschwitz, being liberated in Bergen-Belsen, arriving in Britain in 1946, starting to work as a musician in London, becoming a founder member of the English Chamber Orchestra and being part of a community of musical émigrés in London. She also speaks about her husband Peter Wallfisch, his career as a concert pianist and his time as a professor at the Royal College of Music, and about other émigrés including the violinist Maria Lidka and the pianist Alice Herz-Sommer.

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Maurizio Pollini: A Musical Profile

The latest major project of director Bruno Monsaingeon is a portrait of the brilliant, yet notoriously reclusive Italian pianist, Maurizio Pollini.

Sviatoslav Richter - The Enigma 

This biography of Sviatoslav Richter, the great Russian pianist who dedicated his life to music and had little regard for fame in the West, shines a light on his formative years and places him against the backdrop of often tumultuous Soviet history. As the film shows, his contemporaries include the great composers of his time, and Richter rises to prominence performing alongside Russia's most celebrated virtuosos while his personal musical tastes stand in opposition to Stalin's regime.

Close up Shostakovich - A Portrait of the Russian Composer 

Humour, sarcasm, grotesqueness - and not least an overriding pessimism - are characteristics not only found in Shostakovich himself but also in his music. The film intends to be as authentic as possible in portraying the composer, neither denouncing him as an opportunist nor praising him as a dissident. The seven chapters rather try to reconstruct how the young star composer, who renouncing the traditional was known for his grotesque distortions, became the stiff state composer most of whose life is still shrouded in mystery.
A film by Oliver Becker and Katharina Bruner
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Glenn Gould: Off the Record

Documentary of Glenn Gould in New York for a recoding session, Gould jokes with a cab driver, banters with sound engineers, and tapes Bach's Italian Concerto.


Longplayer Conversation: David Graeber & Brian Eno 


The Longplayer Conversation between Brian Eno and David Graeber took place 7pm, Tuesday 7 October 2014 at the Royal Geographical Society, London SW7, 2014

Longplayer is a thousand-year long musical composition conceived and composed by Jem Finer. The Longlayer Conversations began with a meeting in 2005 between New York artist and musician Laurie Anderson and Nobel prize-winning author Doris Lessing; they continue to take place in the context of this project.



Tiring but replenishing: one pianist's commitment to the community


Pianist Clare Hammond describes how engaging with her community, through work in prisons and schools, helped her recovery from mental illness.

Read article


UK Conservatories ranked second and third in World rankings


n the QS World University Rankings for Performing Arts, the Royal College of Music comes in at second, while the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland comes third.

Read article


In an Astounding New Book, a Neuroscientist Reveals the Profound and Science-Backed Benefits Art Has on Our Health.


Neuroscientist Pierre Lemarquis explains how we need "medicine that’s a little artistic."

Read article published in Artnet, March 2, 2021 

András Schiff Beethoven Lecture-Recitals

András Schiff last performed the complete Beethoven piano sonatas at Wigmore Hall from 2004–6 to overwhelming critical acclaim, with the editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, describing one particular performance as ‘a riveting mixture of erudition, analysis, passion, wit and memory’.

Listen to Wigmore Hall lecture-recital
Berlin Philharmonic Appoints New First Violinist

Turkish musician Hande Kueden passed the required trial period that started in September of 2019

Read article
Fight for survival: John Gilhooly talks COVID and classical

Ahead of the Ivors Composer Awards tonight (1 December), we asked John Gilhooly OBE, artistic and executive director of Wigmore Hall, to talk us through the impact that COVID-19 has had on the classical sector.

Read article
Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the COE

Short film about the very special relationship between the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, including archive footage as well as interview with the COE players (credit: Stanton Media and Styriarte)

The Role of Music in Life, Daniel Barenboim (2015)

In 1999 Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said founded The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, bringing together young musicians from Palestine, Israel and surrounding Arab countries. The orchestra projects a possible Middle Eastern future based on coexistence, equality and shared creativity. In 2002, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said were awarded the Príncipe de Asturias Prize in the Spanish town of Oviedo for their peace efforts.

Watch also a conversation between Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim
Part 1
Part 2
Remarkable Pianist: Franz Liszt Hands

For pianists and admirers of famous piano players, the question often arises about
hand size and shape.
Read article
Conducting Mahler

How to conduct Mahler? Ranging from Abbado to Muti, Rattle, Haitink and Chailly,
five conductors share their secrets.

How to Fix Democracy | Leon Botstein

Leon Botstein, music director and conductor, scholar, and president of Bard College in upstate New York, had once thought that the Berlin Wall would never come down. And he found the revolutions surrounding 1989 “frightening” because they could lead to the ascent of unregulated capitalism and the release of suppressed nationalism. Botstein explains that democracy “is harder than people expected” and worries that we are spending too much time staring at our smartphones and “mesmerized by nothing” rather than finding meaning and value by our own activity.

Interview with Alice Sommer: A Surviving Jewish Pianist

Alice Sommer Herz is the central figure from the film "We Want the Light". She explains that she is convinced that music kept her alive during the very hard times she went through. As a woman of exceptional wisdom, she has been a profound source of inspiration to many people. Her interview ends with Evgeny Kissin playing the slow movement of Brahms's F minor piano sonata.

Watch also interview on Web of Stories
Christopher Hogwood - Schubert's Trout Quintet in A, D.667 

A lecture and performance of Franz Schubert's Quintet in A, D.667, commonly known as the 'Trout' Quintet. Christopher Hogwood, Gresham Professor of Music, was joined by performers from the Royal Academy of Music:

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