Classical Airs

Classical concerts and conversations by author, broadcaster, conductor Paul E. Robinson

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  • CLASSICAL CONVERSATIONS

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    Paul in conversation with RICHARD BUCKLEY (PART THREE), principal conductor, Austin Lyric Opera, (Austin, Texas, March 2011)

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    Paul in conversation with RICHARD BUCKLEY (PART TWO), principal conductor, Austin Lyric Opera, (Austin, Texas, March 2011)

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    Paul in conversation with RICHARD BUCKLEY (PART ONE), principal conductor, Austin Lyric Opera, (Austin, Texas, March 2011)

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    Paul in conversation with ROBERT OPPELT (PART ONE), principal bouble bass, National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington, D.C., (November 19, 2010)

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    Paul in conversation with ROBERT OPPELT (PART TWO), principal bouble bass, National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington. D.C., (November 19, 2010)

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    Paul in conversation with STEVEN HENDRICKSON (PART ONE), principal trumpet, National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington, D.C., (November 19, 2010)

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    Paul in conversation with STEVEN HENDRICKSON (PART TWO), principal trumpet, National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington, D.C., (November 19, 2010)

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    Paul in conversation with MAESTRO CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH (PART ONE), newly appointed Music Director of the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. (November 19, 2010)

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    Paul in conversation with MAESTRO CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH (PART TWO)

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    Paul in conversation with MAESTRO JAAP VAN ZWEDEN (Dallas Symphony Orchestra) at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, (Colorado, 2010)

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  • CLASSICAL TRAVELS

    Round Top, Texas: 2010 ROUND TOP TEXAS SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL featuring the Texas Festival Orchestra conducted by Christoph Campestrini, with soloists Federico Agostini (violin) and Emilio Colón (cello) performing Brahms' Double Concerto.

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CONVERSATIONS: Paul Robinson with pianist Jorge Bolet (Part 2: Music of Liszt program)

Posted by theartoftheconductor on November 7th, 2010

Bolet was born in Havana, and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he himself taught from 1939 to 1942. His teachers included Leopold Godowsky, Josef Hofmann, David Saperton, Moriz Rosenthal and Fritz Reiner.[1]

In 1937, he won the Naumburg Competition, and gave his debut recital.[2] In 1942 Bolet joined the US Army. He was sent to Japan as part of the Army of Occupation. While there, he conducted the Japanese premiere of The Mikado.[1] He made his first recordings for Remington.

In 1960 Bolet provided the piano soundtrack for a film about Franz Liszt, Song Without End. His playing, though, was condemned by American critics for decades, as being too focused on romantic virtuosity[3], so his recordings in the 1960s were confined to fairly small and hard-to-find labels. Only in 1974 did he come to national prominence, with a stupendous recital in that year at Carnegie Hall, which sealed his reputation.[4]

Later Bolet became Head of Piano at the Curtis Institute, succeeding Rudolf Serkin, but he resigned from this to concentrate once again on his performing career. A measure of Bolet's stature can be given by the fact that the dean of American music critics, Harold C. Schonberg, considered him "a kind of latter-day Josef Lhévinne".[5].

In 1984, the A&E Network broadcast a series of three programs entitled Bolet Meets Rachmaninoff, in which the pianist was shown giving masterclasses on the subject of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. These masterclasses were followed on the series by a complete performance of Bolet playing the concerto.

The Decca/London record company put him under contract in 1978, giving the 64-year-old Bolet his first systematic exposure to life at a major international label. Recordings of key sections of his repertoire were made from 1978 up to his death, but there are also tapes of many live concerts from this time, which were never commercially released but can be found in archives, principally the International Piano Archive at Maryland. Such performances include a specialty of his, Leopold

Godowsky's "Concert Paraphrase on Themes from Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus", which he studied with Godowsky during his student years.

Bolet's health began to decline in 1988, and in 1989 he underwent a brain operation from which he never fully recovered. It was reported in the media that he died from heart failure in October 1990, at his home in Mountain View, California.[6] However, Gregor Benko states that Bolet in fact died of complications from AIDS.[7]

(EXCERPTED FROM WIKIPEDIA)

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