One summer evening in 2011 Christian Ihle Hadland and his agile fingers were negotiating their way around a sonata by Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach in front of a sizeable audience at the Johanneskirken in Bergen. Norwegian audiences are notoriously quiet and attentive, so when two unrecognised men got up to try and get a better view, the pianist probably guessed they weren’t locals. When the same two men skulked at the back of the rehearsal room the next day as Hadland and friends prepared a Brahms piano quintet, he might have suspected something was afoot.
Introduction by Compton Mackenzie ( December 1926 )
The Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS), the UK's oldest concert society, turns 200 on January 24, 2013. Bicentenary celebrations take place throughout 2013 on both sides of the Atlantic, including new commissions from leading and emerging composers; live performances, debates, exhibitions and broadcasts; a new website; a new app dedicated to the Society’s most famous commission, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; and digitisation of the RPS Archive at the British Library.
BBC Radio 3 and the National Trust will present six live concerts and fully-staged drama, The Misanthrope (English Touring Theatre Company and Liverpool Everyman Playhouse), from March 3 to 31, 2013, placing Baroque performance in its historical context. Audiences will be given the opportunity to experience the music of the 17th and 18th centuries in National Trust properties, each with their own links to the period.
Just over 125 years after its initial run, Gilbert and Sullivan's most successful operetta, The Mikado , is currently being staged at English National Opera in Jonathan Miller's much-loved production, first premiered at the London Coliseum in 1986. Conducted by David Parry, the cast includes Richard Suart, who celebrates his 25th anniversary playing the role of Ko-Ko, Robert Murray as Nanki-Poo, Mary Bevan as Yum-Yum and Donald Maxwell as Pooh-Bah.
Introduction Grieg’s music is Norway in just the same way that Elgar and Vaughan Williams are England. It is full of the idioms of Norwegian folk music synthesised with the German Romantic tradition. Like Chopin, Grieg was more comfortable in miniatures than large forms (his early symphony was not a success), used the piano for the vast bulk of his musical expression and fed off a proud nationalism. Read the full biography .
As regularly as the earth orbits the sun, the Viennese New Year's Concert comes along to usher in the New Year, its subsequent progress to CD and DVD smartly tuned. This year’s conductor is Franz Welser-Möst, returning two years after an acclaimed debut at the event. Others may have more charisma but he brings to the tradition the instinctive grace of a native Austrian.