Glad to report that the Fiddles on Fire Festival - this year, two bonanzas of the hottest global violin playing from Klezmer to Karnatic, first in Gateshead, then in London - is to be the scene of some special Hungarian Dances: Concert of the Novel events in April!
It was all their idea, too. When I went up to The Sage in September, I read from the book, then popped on a sneak preview of Hejre Kati from Philippe's CD. Collectively my audience shot towards the ceiling. The Sage being a wonderful, upbeat, go-ahead arts centre where managers actually speak to one another, someone then looked at my website, saw that there'd been a concert...and an invitation to go live followed soon afterwards.
This is going to be very different from the Kensington event last summer - I have repointed the script to concentrate the action on the story of Mimi Racz. For Fiddles on Fire, we're creating a special programme of 75 minutes, to perform on the two Saturday evenings of the two festival wings, each at 6pm. I've managed to reduce the 130,000-word novel to about 6 pages and with violin music including our beloved Dohnanyi and Bartok, plus Ravel, Debussy, Brahms and, of course, Monti and Hubay, we hope that you'll love the result.
The Sage, Gateshead, event is on Saturday 11 April and I'm hugely grateful to Bradley Creswick, the leader of the Northern Sinfonia, for joining me in this since Philippe has a prior engagement on the other side of the planet.
The London event will be at Kings Place on Saturday 18 April, starring Philippe Graffin and friends. Intriguingly, KP has developed a 'dynamic' ticket system (perhaps inspired by the nearby trains?) in which the earlier you book, the cheaper the tickets are, so...