Saturday, February 14, 2009

This is what I was really looking for...

...when I found the Muppets and got distracted. Now for something completely different - after all, we can't have Valentine's Day 09 on JDCMB without some serious Gypsy violin playing! What follows is the real thing.

When I give talks about Hungarian Dances, people often ask me if it's based on a true story or stories. The answer is: mostly no, but some of the stories have turned out to be true! Another FAQ is: would this be possible? That the grandparent could be a Gypsy violinist, then marry out of the Roma community and have a grandchild who'd become a classical musician?

Here is a fabulous example of a grandfather and grandson who have gone down exactly that path. First here is the renowned 'primas' (violinist bandleader) Pali Pertis (Pertis Pali in Hungarian), serenading a very Valentiny scene with the actor Jávor Pál.

Now, meet his grandson: the young Hungarian violin star Barnabas Kelemen, here performing a stunning Leclair duo with his wife, Katalin Kokas.

Lots more information about Barnabas and examples of his playing on his website, here.