Showing posts with label Ida Haendel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ida Haendel. Show all posts

Thursday, March 08, 2012

International Women's Day - a little listening

As you know, it's International Women's Day - a concept I'm not all that mad about, since it implies that the men get the other 364, and this time 365 because it's a leap year.

Nevertheless, it's a great opportunity to note that great musicianship transcends all those issues. There's a major and ongoing problem with the bimbo-isation, if you'll pardon the term, of young musicians in particular: nobody has any illusions any more that young women have to be selected by agents, record companies and so on for their musicianship above their looks. The standout ones, however, can still win through. Here are an initial selection of just ten of my favourite musicians at the top today: solo instrumentalists at different stages of life whose artistry is exceptional. Please note that no particular order of ranking is implied in this selection - and I could easily have added another ten at the very least. Tomorrow: composers!

Meanwhile, at the Southbank Centre, the festival Women of the World is underway - more details here.

Now, prepare to be wowed...




The Sibelius Violin Concerto. Embedding has been disabled - please click through for this amazing 1981 performance.








Friday, November 30, 2007

In London on 9 December? Get down the Wigmore Hall, fast

Calling all music-lovers in London, but especially violin-lovers: at very short notice, Ida Haendel is to appear with the Razumovsky Academy at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday 9 December. The inimitable Oleg Kogan has pulled her into the Razumovsky fold; she's reportedly very enthusiastic about everything this remarkable organisation is trying to achieve with regard to providing top-level teaching for exceptionally gifted youngsters. She agreed to give masterclasses for them at another venue, but it turned out that a piano recital cancellation had left the Wigmore free that day, so the event has been moved straight into it. Masterclass is at 3pm and the student concert, in which Haendel will perform as well, is at 7pm. And thanks to the Razumovsky Trust, which is sponsoring the whole thing, admission is free. Tickets required, though - box office 020 7935 2141.

Ida Haendel is perhaps the last Golden Age violinist left on stage today.

Please spread the word! Notice has been so short that publicity in official media is going to be very difficult.

Here is Haendel playing Vivaldi's Concerto for 4 Violins with Isaac Stern, Ivry Gitlis and Shlomo Mintz, conducted by Zubin Mehta. I've heard of line-ups, but this takes some cakes.

Coincidentally, Haendel was my first-ever interviewee, back in 1986. (Talk about jumping in the deep end.) She was very keen to find out how old I was, but wouldn't reciprocate with equivalent info about herself! I last heard her in Verbier about three years ago, when she played the socks off everyone else in town with an unaccompanied violin solo drawn from Swan Lake. I utterly revere her. What more need one say? Here is my article from The Strad, December 1986.