Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.


<<  -- 3 --  Howard Smith    PIVOTAL OCCASION


In the luxury of his Hyatt Regency hotel suite Bisengaliev received constant attention. Between times he tinkered delightedly with a quality laptop; on its screen Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli. Periodically he tried out snatches of the forthcoming programme. Then Khadisha, his Kazakh manager, massaged away the effects of the long overnight flight.

Marat Bisengaliev rehearsing in his hotel room. Photo: Howard Smith

For this unprecedented event fifteen or twenty unsmiling Group 4 security staff prowled suspiciously around The Palace of the Republic; monitoring all entrances, exits and corridors; for all the world like extras from a third rate American 'Cold War' made-for-television movie.

To gain final admittance I carried a hand-written note in Russian, written by the star performer. 'If you don't get in,' he joked -- 'we don't start.' I had visions of holding up both the RPO, an auditorium of music lovers, and Almaty's intelligensia.

Almaty. Photo: Howard Smith


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Copyright © 23 June 2002 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand





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