Behind the scenes

 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Alfred Brendel and Paul Lewis Playing Schubert with no Middleman

Famously, Paul Lewis grew up in a home in Liverpool where the most sophisticated musical device was a small electronic organ. Both parents had little interest in music, only “occasionally, my dad would play one of his John Denver record.” [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 3rd, 2017
 
Finding a New Light Source: Funding Lumen de Lumine

How do you get a record of new choral music made? In these days of austerity and penny-pinching, you need to be innovative. At the same time, in these days of social media and the power of networking, new avenues [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 26th, 2017
 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Alfred Brendel and Imogen Cooper Demonic Intensity

Imogen Cooper proudly announced at the age of 5 that she wanted to be a pianist. Her father, the noted musicologist Martin Cooper, warned her about the perils of becoming a performing artist. “I had no idea what it all [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 26th, 2017
 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice He set the Piano Stool on Fire! Alfred Brendel and Kit Armstrong

On rare occasions, musical aptitude strikes without warning. I am pretty sure that’s what the British-Taiwanese parents of Kit Armstrong must have been thinking when their son, age 5, and without access to a piano, taught himself musical composition by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 19th, 2017
 
The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Lang Guoren: Ordering his son to commit suicide

Lang Lang is arguably the most famous Chinese pianist of all time. He certainly is a cultural icon with the popularity and charisma of many leading rock musicians. Yet the path to this kind of superstardom came at a steep [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 17th, 2017
 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Hu Weimin and Ning Feng Overcoming the “Pinkie” rejection

Audiences and critics are usually ecstatic when Ning Feng picks up the 1721 Stradivari violin known as “MacMillan.” Born in Chengdu and currently residing in Berlin, Feng has “developed a reputation as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 12th, 2017
 
Edward Elgar: Dreaming of Blue Knickers

It’s always been fashionable to emphasizing artistic greatness at the expense of some more down-to earth-human qualities. Mozart wrote exceptional music but he also wrote scatological letters to his cousin. Wagner gave us the Artwork of the Future and a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 11th, 2017
 
The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Antonio Paganini: Musical Father from Hell

Niccolò Paganini left an irrefutable mark on the history of instrumental music and 19th century social life. Born in Genoa on 27 October 1782 he was the third of six children of Antonio and Teresa Paganini. Antonio Paganini was a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 10th, 2017