Concert Concat 2024

This post is one in a sequence which lists (mostly) live music I have heard, as best memory allows. I write to have a record of my musical experiences and these entries are intended as postcards from me to my future self. Other posts in this collection can be found here.

  • London Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda performing Prokofiev’s 7th Symphony, at the Barbican, London, on Wednesday 19 June 2024.
  • The Elias Quartet in a concert of Felix Mendelssohn’s chamber music, including the Octet (with the Heath Quartet), at Wigmore Hall, London, Tuesday 18 June 2024. The programme:
    • String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44 No. 2 (1837)
    • String Quintet No. 1 in A, Op. 18 (1826, rev. 1832) (with Gary Pomery, viola)
    • Interval
    • Octet in E flat, Op, 20 (1825)

    This was an outstanding performance to a hall about three-quarters full. The Octet was one of the most joyous performances I have heard of this work: it is clear that the performers were having great fun playing it together.

  • The London Orlando Orchestra under Claudia Jablonski with soloists Alexander Doronin (piano) and Volodymyr Bykhun (trumpet) in a concert in St Cyprian’s Church, Clarence Gate, London on Sunday 16 June 2024. The programme:
    • Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano and Trumpet
    • Schubert: Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”

    About 60 people attended this free concert in the beautiful St Cyprian’s Anglican church, near to Regent’s Park. The Church has a compact Brentwood grand piano. The Orlando Orchestra comprises mostly student musicians and I understand was only founded by Ms Jablonski last year. The performance was absolutely stunning, and both works filled the church. The Schubert was superb, tightly played and serious, and profoundly moving. Ms Jablonski is a conductor to watch out for.

    I have not ever heard the Shostakovich better played than this, and indeed this sublime performance joins my short list of transcendent musical experiences, one for the ages. The performances by the soloists, Mr Doronin and Mr Bykhun, were both very confident and assured. There is a lot of fun in this concerto and that feeling was evident here: everyone was enjoying themselves immensely. The ending is a humorous race to the finish, and even includes some honky-tonk piano and two glissandos. What a joyous and uplifting experience this was.

    This performance was in great contrast to a very dour version of the same concerto that I heard once at the Barbican back in 2013.

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Concert Concat 2

This post is one in a sequence which lists live music I have heard, as best my memory allows, from the Pandemic onwards. I will update this as time permits. In some cases, I am also motivated to write about what I heard.

Other posts in this collection can be found here.

  • Ariel Lanyi – piano recital at the Wigmore Hall, London, 27 December 2023. The program was:
    • Beethoven: Sonata #2 in A, Op 2 No 2 (1794-5)
    • Franck: Prelude, Aria et Final (1887)
    • R. Schumann: Etudes Symphoniques Op 13 (with posthumous etudes) (1834-7)

    A very refined performance to a house about 3/4 full. Many people seemed to know each other. I was not able to stay for the Schumann.

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Recent Reading 20

The latest in a sequence of lists of recently-read books, listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Susan Tomes [2014]: Women and the Piano: A History in 50 Lives. Yale University Press. A fascinating series of accounts of women pianists, mostly classical musicians. Of course, there are hundreds or even thousands of others, too many to include in a single book, for example, Australian swing-band leader of the 1930s and 1940s, Miss Dot Crowe.
  • Patricia Boccadoro [2023]: Rudolf Nureyev: As I remember him. The Book Guild.
  • Gershom Scholem [2012]: Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship. New York Review Books Classics. Lee Sigel (Introduction) and Harry Zohn (Translator). This is a fascinating account of the profound friendship Scholem had with Walter Benjamin, when both were in the teens/twenties. The account is detailed but mainly about the content of their reading and discussions, only rarely touching on personal topics. I am not sure if this omission is due to them not ever talking very much about personal matters at the time or the author’s later reticence when writing the book. What comes across very strongly is how exciting it was to be a young Jewish adult interested in ideas in Germany between 1900 and 1930.
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Concert Halls

Herewith a list of concert halls and music performance venues in which I have been fortunate to experience musical performances (excluding working Churches).

  • The Barbican Concert Hall, London
  • Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane
  • Cadogan Hall, London
  • Casino Civic Hall, Casino, NSW
  • City Recital Hall, Sydney
  • Performance Space, College Building, City University of London, UK
  • Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Ballroom, Corinthia Hotel, London
  • Salle de Flagey, Brussels
  • Salle Gaveau, Paris
  • Hamburgische Staatsoper, Hamburg
  • Hamer Concert Hall, Melbourne
  • Ipswich Civic Hall, Ipswich, Queensland
  • King’s Place, London
  • Leggate Theatre, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
  • Leighton House, Holland Park, London
  • City Hall, Lismore, NSW
  • Llewellyn Hall, Canberra School of Music, Canberra, ACT
  • LSO St Luke’s, London
  • Auditorium, Maison de la Radio et de la Musique, Paris
  • Melba Hall, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne
  • Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music, London
  • Old Museum Concert Hall, Brisbane
  • Auditorium, St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Nudgee, Brisbane
  • Pamoja Concert Hall, Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, Kent UK
  • Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London
  • Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London
  • Regent Hall (Salvation Army Centre), Oxford Street, London
  • Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London
  • Royal Albert Hall, London
  • Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, London
  • Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music, London
  • Performance Hall, Royal College of Music, London
  • Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London
  • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
  • Concert Hall, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
  • Golden Concert Room, St George’s Hall, Liverpool
  • Recital Hall, Seoul Arts Centre, Seoul
  • Seymour Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney
  • State Theatre, Sydney
  • Steinway Hall, London
  • Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
  • Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Town Hall, Sydney
  • Tanglewood, MA
  • Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris
  • Tyalgum Literary Institute Hall, Tyalgum, NSW
  • Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney
  • West Road Concert Hall, Department of Music, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Wigmore Hall, London

Recent Reading 15

The latest in a sequence of lists of recently-read books, listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Michael Ovitz [2018]: Who is Michael Ovitz? A Memoir. USA: WH Allen.  This is a fascinating and well-written autiobiography by the co-founder and driving force behind Creative Artists Agency. CAA grew from nothing to dominate the agency business in movies and TV, and then entered M&A consultancy and advertising.  I always admired the chutzpah of this strategy and marveled at its success.  The book explains how CAA’s creative bundling of the products of its writers, actors, musicians, directors and producers enabled it to grow as an agency, and also enabled the diversification:  the expertise gained in strategizing and financially evaluating creative bundles was used to value Hollywood studios (with their back catalogues) as potential acquisition targets. Likewise, the creativity in bundling and the access to diverse talent was used to design successful advertisements.  What surprised me reading this book was that the diversification ended after just two acquisition assignments and one advertising project (Coca Cola’s polar bears).  The key reason for this seems to have been the opposition of Mr Ovitz’s partners and colleagues at CAA, despite the handsome and arguably unearnt rewards his efforts brought many of them.  No good deed ever goes unpunished, it seems.  // The book also presents his experiences as President at Disney.  Although of course we only hear his side of that story, he does seem to have been undermined from before he even began work there. // Overall, the writing is articulate and reflective, and he seems to have grown personally through his career and his apparent failures.  I greatly admire his continued desire and willingness to learn new things – new skills, new businesses, new industries, new cultures, new hobbies.  Doing this requires rare, personal courage.  Few people in American business were as willing as he was to immerse themselves in Japanese culture when doing business in Japan, for instance.  One characteristic Mr Ovitz does not ever display is smugness, and this absence is admirable.
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Recent Reading 13

The latest in a sequence of lists of recently-read books. The books are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recently-read book at the top.

  • Dan Shanahan [2017]: Camelot Eclipsed: Connecting the Dots.  Independently published.
  • China Mieville [2017]:  October: The Story of the Russian Revolution. UK:  Verso.
  • Joshua Rubenstein (Editor) [2007]: The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov. USA:  Yale University Press.
  • Henry Hemming [2017]: M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster.  UK:  Preface Publishing.
  • Evelyn Waugh [1935]:  Edmund Campion, Jesuit and Martyr. UK:  Longmans.
  • Alison Barrett [2015]:  View from my Tower: Letters from Prague, March 1985 – May 1988.   A fascinating series of letters from wife of the British Ambassador to members of her family about her time in Prague, in the period of stasis just before the Velvet Revolution.
  • John O Koehler [2008]:  Stasi:  The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police.  USA:  Basic Books.
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Central London churches

A list of some central London churches and their denominations, updated as I visit them:

  • All Hallows by the Tower, Tower Hill / Anglican
  • All Saints Cathedral, Camden / Greek Orthodox, originally Anglican
  • Chapel of King’s College London / Anglican
  • Chapel of Hospital of St John and St. Elizabeth, St John’s Wood / Roman Catholic
  • Chapel of St. Thomas’ Hospital, Lambeth / Anglican
  • Christ Church, Spitalfields / Anglican
  • Christ-the-King, Gordon Square / Catholic Apostolic
  • Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden / Roman Catholic
  • St Cyprian’s Church, Clarence Gate / High Church Anglican
  • Emmanuel Temple, Westminster / Evangelical Christian
  • Finchley Quaker Meeting House / Society of Friends
  • Friends House, Euston / Society of Friends
  • St George’s, Hanover Square / Anglican
  • Holy Trinity, Marylebone / Anglican
  • Holy Trinity, Sloane Square / Anglican
  • The Little Oratory Chapel, Kensington / Roman Catholic
  • Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy / Anglican
  • St Andrew Undershaft, St Mary Axe / Anglican
  • St Anselm and St Cecilia, Holborn / Roman Catholic
  • St Bride’s, Fleet Street (the Journalists’ Church) / Anglican
  • St Clement Danes / Anglican (the home church of the RAF)
  • St Clement’s Eastcheap / Anglican
  • St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street / Anglican and Romanian Orthodox
  • St Etheldreda’s, Ely Place, Holborn / Roman Catholic
  • St Giles Cripplegate, Barbican / Anglican
  • St Giles-in-the-Fields / Anglican
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, Mayfair / Jesuit, Roman Catholic
  • St James, Piccadilly / Anglican
  • St John’s, Smith Square / formerly Anglican
  • St John’s, Waterloo /Anglican
  • St John’s Wood Church / Anglican
  • St Katherine Cree, Leadenhall / Anglican
  • St Luke’s, Old Street / formerly Anglican
  • St Magnus the Martyr, Monument / Anglican
  • St Margaret, Lothbury / Anglican
  • St Margaret’s Putney / Anglican
  • St Martin, Ludgate (the Guild Church of St Martin-within-Ludgate) / Anglican
  • St Mary Aldermary / Anglican
  • St Mary, Finchley East / Roman Catholic
  • St Mary-le-Bow / Anglican
  • St Mary-le-Strand / Anglican
  • St Mary Moorfields / Roman Catholic
  • St Mary Woolnoth / Anglican
  • St Pancras New Church, Euston / Anglican
  • St Pancras Old Church, Somers Town / Anglican
  • St Paul’s, Hammersmith / Anglican
  • St Paul’s Cathedral / Anglican
  • St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden (the Actors’ Church) / Anglican
  • St Peter’s Church on Eaton Square / Anglican
  • St Peter’s Italian Church, Holborn / Roman Catholic
  • St Sepulchre-without-Newgate / Anglican
  • St Stephen’s Church, Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead / formerly Anglican
  • St Stephen Walbrook / Anglican
  • Temple Church / Anglican
  • Wesley’s Chapel, Finsbury / Methodist
  • Westminster Cathedral / Roman Catholic
  • Westminster Quaker Meeting House / Society of Friends

Musical Instrument Museums

For reasons of record, here is a list of musical instrument museums, ordered by their location:

  • Athens, Greece: Museum of Popular Musical Instruments
  • Berlin, Germany: Musikinstrumenten Museum
  • Brussels, Belgium: Musical Instrument Museum
  • Monte Estoril, Portugal: Museum of Portuguese Music, Casa Verdades de Faria
  • New York, NY, USA: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Phoenix, AZ, USA: Musical Instrument Museum
  • Rome, Italy: Museo di Strumenti Musicali dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
  • Vermillion, SD, USA: National Music Museum, University of South Dakota
  • Vienna, Austria: Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Recent Reading 10

The latest in a sequence of lists of recently-read books.
David Eagleman [2010]: Sum: Tales from the Afterlives.  (London, UK:  Canongate).  A superb collection of very short stories, each premised on the assumption that something (our bodies, our souls, our names, our molecules, etc) lives beyond death. Superbly fascinating.  One will blow your mind!  (HT: WPN).
A. C. Grayling [2013]:  Friendship.  (New Haven, CT and London, UK:  Yale University Press).
Andrew Sullivan [1998]:  Love Undetectable:  Reflections on Friendship, Sex and Survival.  (London, UK: Vintage, 1999).
Michael Blakemore [2013]: Stage Blood. (London, UK: Faber & Faber).  A riveting account of Blakemore’s time at the National Theatre in London.
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Theatre

Having created lists of concerts I have attended, bands I have heard, galleries I have visited, etc, I overlooked theatre and dance productions I have seen.  Herewith a list, sometimes annotated, to be updated as and when I remember additional events.

  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore, at the Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, London, August 2018.  Martin McDonagh’s very funny satire on the IRA and the INLA, in a well-acted production.  The production was somewhat gory for my tastes.
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