Maestro Riccardo Frizza in Conversation

Maestro Riccardo Frizza is an Italian conductor and a charming, pleasant human being. But don’t take my word for it, read the interview he gave me here or click on his photo and judge for yourself.  Find out why he thinks “music is an exchange of effort and energy” and a lot, lot more. Enjoy!

Photo of Riccardo Frizza by Joan Tomás, courtesy of Karen Kriendler Nelson (Maestro Frizza’s Publicist)

Russell Thomas, tenor – In Conversation

African-American tenor Russell Thomas is the owner of an extraordinary voice and an interesting, intelligent, articulate and friendly personality. Interviewing him was a pleasure that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you will too.

Read here or click on the photo.

Photo of Mr Thomas by Fay Fox, courtesy of Karen Kriendler Nelson (KKN Enterprises) – Mr Thomas’s Personal Press Representative

Last Night of the Proms 2017 – Stylish and Great!

I was lucky enough to be asked to review The Last Night of the Proms last Saturday 09 September 2017, as a colleague was unable to make it. It was a wonderful concert for all the usual celebrations but also for a peerless Nina Stemme in a varied repertoire plus an entertaining Sakari Oramo conducting the fabulous BBC Singers, BBC Symphomy Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra. My review is here if anyone would like to read all about it.

The photo of the Royal Albert Hall on the Last Night is my own and taken shortly before the performance started.

Perahia’s Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto – a Treasure!

Murray Perahia turns 70 years old this April but his electrifying, extraordinary performances are not getting old. They are as fresh today as they were when he won the International Leeds Piano Competition in 1972. I was privileged to be at the Barbican Hall on Fri 07 April to see and hear his performance of Beethoven’s masterful Piano Concerto No. 5, known as “Emperor” in English-speaking countries. Perahia’s rendition, supported by the excellent Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, was simply magnificent and received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. Read my review HERE or click on one of the pictures.

 

Too Many Notes, my dear Mozart…!

After the premiere of Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio or Harem), it is said that Emperor Joseph II told the composer something around these lines: “Too beautiful for our ears, my dear Mozart, and an awful lot of notes.” To which Mozart replied: “Exactly as many as are necessary, Your Majesty.” It isn’t certain if this episode ever took place but if the Emperor really said that, Mozart’s reply was in line with his personality and with the fact he knew the quality of his music. As a composer Mozart was far ahead of his time and aware of it.

Prom 39_CR_BBC_Chris Christodoulou_1Robin Ticciati and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the BBC Proms on Fri 14 Aug 2015

“Too many notes” doesn’t refer only to the exotic Turkish elements Mozart introduced in the opera which are in line with the location where the plot takes place, Mozart’s music also describes the characters as well as words or, to my mind, even better, displaying his great sense of the dramatic. This wasn’t happening in opera until Mozart came along.

A semi-staging of Glyndebourne Festival’s production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail was presented at the BBC Proms last Friday, 14th Aug at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a lovely evening of music with the cast in costume and the fabulous Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, led by Robin Ticciati, giving an authentic, energetic and beautiful performance of Mozart’s great opera. I had the pleasure of reviewing it.

Prom 39_CR_BBC_Chris Christodoulou_2Prom 39_CR_BBC_Chris Christodoulou_3Tenor Edgaras Montvidas as Belmonte (left) and Soprano Sally Matthews as Konstanze (right) at the Proms performance of Glyndebourne’s production of Die Entführung on Fri 14 Aug 2015

All photos by Chris Christodoulou, courtesy of the BBC Proms Press Office –

Except feature photo above “Seascape of Normandy” courtesy of Malcolm Bull

Leonard Elschenbroich: Cellist – The Natural

I had the great pleasure of interviewing German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich on Sat 21st Feb 2015. Intelligent, kind, articulate, he was one of the most interesting people I have ever interviewed.

Elschenbroich plays on loan a Gofriller cello from 1693 and is passionate about the instrument and about music. He lives in London with his girlfriend, violinist Nicola Benedetti.

The full interview is long but well worth the effort of reading it. You will seldom find a person as fascinating and Elschenbroich. Enjoy.

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Photo of Leonard Elschenbroich by Felix Broede, courtesy of Mr Elschenbroich’s management

The Albanian Tenor

TRAVIATA_MET_3199a from Ken

On Saturday 4th October I went to the Royal Opera House where I interviewed young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu.

Intelligent, committed to his art, professional and with a good sense of humour, he was a very interesting subject to interview. You can read it here.

Photo of Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata, New York, by Ken Howard – courtesy of Mr Pirgu’s PR Karen Kriendler Nelson of KKN Enterprises