Austrian composer and pianist Friedrich Gulda has died (27 January 2000,
Weissenbach, western Austria), aged 69. Gulda, who performed at Carnegie
Hall when he was 20, is known for his performances of Bach, Beethoven and
Mozart. He became increasingly interested in jazz, performing at the Newport
Jazz Festival, and was known to the public for his harsh language, mocking
Austria's musical establishment, and for his eccentric concert dress. In
March 1999, Gulda fooled the Austrian press, circulating notice of his own
death, in order to observe the reaction, followed a few days later by a
'resurrection party'. This time around the notices (Reuters, ORF) appear
to be for real.
The UK globetrotting concert organist, Kevin Bowyer, whose musical stock
is exceptionally high, has diversified his activities by establishing a
catalogue of unusual and rare organ music under the imprint Sphinx. From
the Bach family, Alkan, and Bowers-Broadbent, the first list is very promising
and without duplication elsewhere. Details from SphinxMus@aol.com.
Just a year since its formation in January 1999, the Mallorca-based Serafino Trio has announced
the internet release of its first CD, Debut, which features the music
of Dmitri Shostakovich (the trio no 2 in E minor) and the first of two trios
(Op 5 in C minor) by American composer Arthur Foote [listen].
M&V contributor John Bell Young, commenting on the group's performance
of Foote's trio, writes '...the group brings to mind, to an astounding degree,
one of the more celebrated ensembles of the 20th century: Heifetz, Piatigorsky
and Rubinstein'. John praises the ensemble for the 'vivacity of their rhythm,
the wealth of affective nuance they find in every compositional corner'
and their 'passionate, intense and radiant' interpretation of this little-known
Jennifer Peck, violin, David Runnion, cello and Suzanne Bradbury, piano,
described as having 'an international background with strong American roots',
have recorded and produced the CD themselves, making it available for purchase
at mp3.com (where
further samples can also be heard).
The Boosey & Hawkes
Youth Orchestra Award for 1999 was won by the Cardiff County and Vale of
Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for a performance of Michael Torke's Javelin.
This was the final Award after the allotted five-year span and worth 1000
Performing Arts Management claims to have perfected the art of gathering
thousands of people in the grounds of stately homes for an evening of popular
classics to an accompaniment of fireworks. Nicholas Smith conducts the Performing
Arts Symphony Orchestra, which appears to be the only profitable symphony
orchestra in the UK. New venues this year include Castle Howard and Stoneleigh
Abbey. Info from +44 (0)1625 575681.
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