The Edinburgh International Harp Festival (EIHF) proudly unveils the harping gems for its 2010 festival at the Merchiston Castle Campus in Edinburgh.
Live Music in Edinburgh
English folk musician Kate Rusby, who won a Mercury prize nomination with her 1999 album Sleepless, headlines the eighth Ceilidh Culture, Edinburgh's festival of traditional music and culture, which runs 26 March to 18 April. Rusby, reckoned to be one of the most talented contemporary folkies around, plays at the recently re-opened Usher Hall (18 April).
Berlioz has a reputation for grandiose pieces, involving a multitude of musicians, but L’Enfance du Christ is different. Written in 1853/54 for a chamber orchestra and small chorus it is an expose of exquisite musical minimalism.
The U.K. premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Deus ex Machina was cannily placed between two firm favourites, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5. Previously unheard music is not a crowd-puller. But Daugherty is a well respected American composer, describing himself as originally a lounge bar pianist, who was born in 1954.
We welcomed to the podium Sir Andrew Davis who, for the past nine years, has been the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago, but much of his career has been with symphony orchestras around the world. Indeed, it began as an assistant conductor in Glasgow.
Familiarity breeds contentment! When nearly everybody in your audience not only remembers the ending, but nearly every scene, then the director and cast have to be at their best to meet expectations. This production of The Sound of Music rises to that challenge, and exceeds it.
This was an evening of French music and the full house included our bejewelled Lord Provost and his entourage.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra concert at the Queen's Hall was led by renowned Australian conductor Sir Charles Mackerras. The orchestra and he work particularly well together - last May they were awarded the Critics' Award at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards for their recording of Mozart's Symphonies 38 - 42 and last night's concert began with another Mozart Symphony, No 35 in D major, the Haffner Symphony.
This year in Vienna their Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated the New Year under the baton of a distinguished elderly French conductor. Whilst we in Edinburgh had the good fortune to have a young Austrian conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. David Danzmayr is in his third year as the RSNO’s assistant conductor.