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.