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31.5.09

In Brief: Graduation Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • With hat tip to Boing Boing, the video embedded at right, showing a virtuosic, four-foot rendition of (part of) Bach's D minor toccata, on the big keyboard at FAO Schwarz. Talk about a great gig for a poor music student! [YouTube]

  • The finalists of the Queen Elisabeth Competition this year all have to perform a new violin concerto. The composer of the work, titled Agens, was just announced, a Korean woman named Eun-Hwa Cho (b. 1973). During a press conference with all of the finalists, Cho responded to a question about being a violinist herself by responding that she "plays violin in her head, but not with her hands," something that made the finalists snicker. Apparently, many of them have described the piece not only as very difficult but as not too "violinistic," not exactly "falling" naturally under the fingers. For the first time in the history of the competition, the finalists were all given a CD of the orchestral part to rehearse with, in advance of a single rehearsal with the orchestra. [La Libre Belgique]

  • This just in -- the winners of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition are Ray Chen (first prize), Lorenzo Gatto (second prize), Ilian Gârnet (third prize), Suyoen Kim (fourth prize), Nikita Borisoglebsky (fifth prize), and Soyoung Yoon (sixth prize). You can watch the final and semifinal performances of the entire competition online, made possible by the sponsorship of Belgacom. [Concours Reine Elisabeth]

  • You can also watch the finals semifinals of the Van Cliburn Competition online. The final performances are today. [Cliburn Competition Webcast]

  • Finally, some sanity in the world. You may recall my little post on how advertisements with tobacco-related imagery were being banned on public transit in Paris. It turns out now that the agency responsible for the ban has allowed a loophole for "cultural advertising," as long as there is no connection to the tobacco industry, which will include the famous pipe of M. Hulot and Audrey Tautou's cigarette in her new film about Coco Chanel. [Le Figaro]

  • Stephen Hough, whose entertaining blog we should mention more often, wrote last week about his conversion to Roman Catholicism and the history of the Catholic-Protestant divide in Great Britain. [Cadenza: Stephen Hough]

1 comment:

jason said...

Charles,

The last day of the *semifinals* of the Cliburn competition are today. The finalists will be announced tonight. Next Sunday will be the last of the finals.