Monday, September 22, 2008

Hava nawarda

A press release in the in-box today brought us this photo of a truly great pianist being given a prize by a truly great violinist. At the Jewish Cultural Awards, held in central London yesterday in aid of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, Murray Perahia (left) was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Maxim Vengerov.

Now all we need is a) for Murray to make his more-than-welcome return to the piano permanent and healthy, as represented to huge acclaim at the Proms the other week; and b) for someone to please, please, please wave a magic wand and make Maxim play his violin again? Of course, after a quarter-century at the grindstone after which he's only an early-thirtysomething, he deserves a bit of a break. But we fiddle fanatics miss him badly.

At the same ceremony, I'm delighted to say that the Music Award went to Anne Sofie von Otter for her Terezin CD, which is still top of the list of my Greatest Ever Recordings.

I am also pleased to see Vengerov credited with the following excellent statement: "Being here tonight is so important to me because the work of the London Jewish Cultural Centre is really indispensible, binding Jewish people together regardless of their religious or political bias...and tonight is a celebration of what can be achieved and what there is still to strive for, in keeping Jewish culture alive in a modern changing multicultural society." Now, will you please pick up that Strad and play the damn thing?

(photo credit: Ed Robinson)