Posted inOpinion

A Piano Down a Mine

Is classical music funny? The Witty Ditty Industry, made up of (mostly) white men in their 30s, would probably reply singing “Of course not!” Their retort would be snappily harmonized, with enough panache to make whoever questioned their authority look a bit silly; but not quite enough commitment to suggest this retort is entirely ironic. […]

Posted inInterview

Aural Histories

In his essay “The Paradoxical Theory of Change,” Gestalt psychiatrist Arnold Beisser wrote that “change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not.… It does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is.”  I quote this line a lot, but […]

Posted inInterview

Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy

For female opera singers, singing a male role is nothing out of the ordinary. Stephanie Blythe, however, thrives in the out-of-the-ordinary. That’s not to discount the majority of her career: Blythe has sung the coloratura lines of Handel and Rossini with whip-smart technique and brought a rioja-hued boldness to more orotund roles like Fricka in […]

Posted inPlaylist

A “Divine Comedy” Playlist

One of the more morbid traditions of classical music is its focus on death anniversaries: 1991 was a big year for Mozart (particularly in the business of Requiems). The cancellation of so many #Beethoven250 concerts in 2020 was half–but only half–jokingly bright-sided by the fact that all of the programs could be resurrected for 2027.  […]

Posted inInterview

Walking the Path

In 2016, pianist Martin Helmchen took a step which many threaten but few follow through on: He left Berlin for the surrounding countryside of Brandenburg, his four daughters in tow. His new home is close to the town of Luckau, between the German capital and Dresden, where his wife, cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, is a professor […]

Middle East Classical Music Academy Takes Off in Dubai

The Middle East Classical Music Academy (MECMA), organised by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) and SAMIT Event Group, has officially launched, with the first masterclasses taking place on 4th September at the 5-star Jumeirah Zabeel Saray resort in Dubai. Running until the 26th of the month, the MECMA will comprise three weeks […]

Round Two of Dubai’s Classic Piano Competition Draws to a Close

Yesterday marked the end of the second round of the prestigious Classic Piano International Competition, a Dubai-based venture jointly held between the Malta-based European Foundation for Support of Culture and SAMIT Event Group. The hotly-anticipated event — this year celebrating its second iteration — welcomes prodigious young pianists from around the world to the UAE’s […]