Recent Concerts You've Enjoyed

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,328
210
63
Far Hills, NJ
Saw Billy Joel last night again at MSG in NYC. His 66th show there! It's such a joy to see so many happy and rockin' folks in one place. But it was almost spoiled when Billy announced that his friends Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the audience. The cameras immediately put them on the big screen to a howl of cheers and sadly, a lot of boos. I say sadly because it just seemed a rude gesture. I admit I'm not a fan of their politics, but really, can't we be nice enough to show enough respect just to leave them alone and let them enjoy their evening. If you don't want to clap politely, then just shut the hell up. We have become so damn polarized and numb we can;t even accord a former President a modicum of respect at a concert, for goodness sake. That said, Billy was his usual great self.
 
May 25, 2010
948
204
43
SF Bay Area
In our recent London sojourn, we focused on concerts during our first 10 days, since we were being joined by our grandkids (first London visit for them) and their parents after that. We did eight concerts in 10 days.

Started on June 1 going to Oxford with Ed Pong and his wife (Ed of Ultra Analogue Tapes) to hear one of Ed's artists, Alena Baeva (winner of the Wieniawski Competition in 2001 at the tender age of 16). Alena played the rarely heard and quite difficult Schumann Violin Concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic (who also played the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra).

June 2 (also with the Pongs) we heard the London Symphony with the great Danill Trifonov playing the Beethoven Emperor Concerto with our local conductor from San Francisco Michael Tilson Thomas conducting (as he often does with the LSO this time of year). They played at the Barbican in London.

June 3 was a chamber music concert (final concert with the Pongs who returned to Canada after this concert) at the wonderful Wigmore Hall. We heard the Doric Quartet with pianist Jonathan Biss playing one of my favorites, the Brahms piano quintet, along with a Dvorak piano quartet.

June 5 was a special treat. We were invited to a private concert at the French School near South Kensington Station, with the young violinist Bomsori Kim, who recently was signed to a Deutsche Gramophone contract and released her first album earlier this year. We met with Bomsori after the concert and she gifted me with a copy of her album. She played the great Franck Sonata along with other pieces.

June 6 was back to the Barbican where we heard the LSO once more, this time with guest conductor Elim Chan. We had met Elim three years ago when she guest conducted the Berkeley Symphony. This time it was excerpts from Scheherazade along with some special guest musicians.

June 7 was the Royal Ballet, for a matinee concert at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. There were three shorter ballets, including the Stravinsky Firebird with the original choreography of Folkine from the Ballets Russe of 1910.

June 8 was a trip out to Glyndebourne, a beautiful estate south of London, where the owner of the estate has constructed an opera house on the property. We have attended operas over the years there and people are encouraged to dress up. So like most of the males, I wore my tux and the ladies were also wearing fancy dress. The operas there are first rate and they have a long interval (intermission) of 90 minutes where dinner is served in restaurants on the property or people eat on the lawn bringing or buying fancy picnic baskets. We heard Massenet's Cendrillon (Cinderella) with the lady of the manor, the great Australian/American soprano Danielle DeNiese , singing the title role. This is the first time we had heard DeNiese who can both sing and act (and dance) wonderfully.

June 9, our final concert of this run was at the Royal Festival Hall with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in a program featuring composers from the Vienna of the beginning of the 20th century (Berg, Schoenberg and Kurt Weill). Salonen will be joining our local orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony next year, succeeding Tilson-Thomas who is retiring after 25 years as Music Director.

We snuck in a couple of additional concerts, but that is enough for now.

Larry
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,427
1,368
113
London
In our recent London sojourn, we focused on concerts during our first 10 days, since we were being joined by our grandkids (first London visit for them) and their parents after that. We did eight concerts in 10 days.

Started on June 1 going to Oxford with Ed Pong and his wife (Ed of Ultra Analogue Tapes) to hear one of Ed's artists, Alena Baeva (winner of the Wieniawski Competition in 2001 at the tender age of 16). Alena played the rarely heard and quite difficult Schumann Violin Concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic (who also played the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra).

June 2 (also with the Pongs) we heard the London Symphony with the great Danill Trifonov playing the Beethoven Emperor Concerto with our local conductor from San Francisco Michael Tilson Thomas conducting (as he often does with the LSO this time of year). They played at the Barbican in London.

June 3 was a chamber music concert (final concert with the Pongs who returned to Canada after this concert) at the wonderful Wigmore Hall. We heard the Doric Quartet with pianist Jonathan Biss playing one of my favorites, the Brahms piano quintet, along with a Dvorak piano quartet.

June 5 was a special treat. We were invited to a private concert at the French School near South Kensington Station, with the young violinist Bomsori Kim, who recently was signed to a Deutsche Gramophone contract and released her first album earlier this year. We met with Bomsori after the concert and she gifted me with a copy of her album. She played the great Franck Sonata along with other pieces.

June 6 was back to the Barbican where we heard the LSO once more, this time with guest conductor Elim Chan. We had met Elim three years ago when she guest conducted the Berkeley Symphony. This time it was excerpts from Scheherazade along with some special guest musicians.

June 7 was the Royal Ballet, for a matinee concert at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. There were three shorter ballets, including the Stravinsky Firebird with the original choreography of Folkine from the Ballets Russe of 1910.

June 8 was a trip out to Glyndebourne, a beautiful estate south of London, where the owner of the estate has constructed an opera house on the property. We have attended operas over the years there and people are encouraged to dress up. So like most of the males, I wore my tux and the ladies were also wearing fancy dress. The operas there are first rate and they have a long interval (intermission) of 90 minutes where dinner is served in restaurants on the property or people eat on the lawn bringing or buying fancy picnic baskets. We heard Massenet's Cendrillon (Cinderella) with the lady of the manor, the great Australian/American soprano Danielle DeNiese , singing the title role. This is the first time we had heard DeNiese who can both sing and act (and dance) wonderfully.

June 9, our final concert of this run was at the Royal Festival Hall with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in a program featuring composers from the Vienna of the beginning of the 20th century (Berg, Schoenberg and Kurt Weill). Salonen will be joining our local orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony next year, succeeding Tilson-Thomas who is retiring after 25 years as Music Director.

We snuck in a couple of additional concerts, but that is enough for now.

Larry
I was there at the same Daniil Trifonov. The previous day saw Julia Fischer there. I saw Elim Chan do Scheherazade the following Monday (three days after you watched it) but it was not good at all. The next week or so saw both Isabelle Faust and Viktoria Mullova do a double bill at Wigmore.
 
May 25, 2010
948
204
43
SF Bay Area
I was there at the same Daniil Trifonov. The previous day saw Julia Fischer there. I saw Elim Chan do Scheherazade the following Monday (three days after you watched it) but it was not good at all. The next week or so saw both Isabelle Faust and Viktoria Mullova do a double bill at Wigmore.
London has the richest offerings of classical music anywhere in the world. The day we heard Trifonov, Nicola Benedetti was playing across town at Royal Festival Hall at exactly the same time. Would have loved to see and hear her also.

We had one more extraordinary treat. We were invited to a very private demonstration and concert (about 8 guests) at the famed violin shop J and A Beare, near Wigmore Hall. The young British violinist Jennifer Pike gave us a demo of four great violins, three Strads and one Guanari del Gesu. She then played a recital with two of the violins.

One of the other Strads is owned by the great violinist Ida Haendel (who is now in her 90's and no longer can play it). We heard her play that instrument a decade ago when she played the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Academy of St. Martin's in the Field with Neville Marriner conducting.

The four violins are worth about $50M (US) with the two she used in her recital worth most of that (a golden age Strad and the del Gesu). Here you can see Jennifer playing the Strad (with accompanist) and alone playing the del Gesu.

Among the attendees were some Russians. Beare has created a foundation which lends these instruments to young talented musicians around the world, since musicians can no longer afford to buy such an instrument themselves. Wealthy patrons (and buy the instruments and then Beare identifies musicians to which the instruments can be lent. For Strads the starting price is currently around 5M GBP (6+M US), more for a del Gesu. Upper end is approaching $20M US. The patron buys the instrument for potential appreciation and to see and hear the instrument played. The artist is required to buy the insurance (or in the case of very expensive instruments to help pay for the insurance). Contracts are for a year, renewable with mutual agreement. You can buy a lesser instrument for under $5M, but over $1M which would qualify for the program.

Larry

IMG_4023.JPG IMG_4026.JPG
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,427
1,368
113
London
Yes I actually had a ticket to the Benedetti concert and at the last moment decided to go to Trifonov, because I prefer the emperor to the bruch. Also when Julia Fischer played, Hilary Hahn was playing at wigmore
 

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