If life wasn’t such an unpredictable affair, I would have been performing two Medtner sonatas tonight in a lecture recital at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf, together with my dear colleague Frank Zabel who would have played Scriabin. Goodness, was I looking forward to this event, and still regret that it had to be cancelled. As a little compensation I edited my recording from a private concert in September where I presented the first movement of Medtner‘s Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27. Here it is—I’m confident that the technical and acoustical deficiencies of this document won’t impair the pleasure of listening all too much. Have a wonderful evening!
Dear devotees and scholars of Russian music: this is an invitation to my forthcoming musicological lecture on Thursday, January 30, 3 pm, which will see me delving into biographical studies for the first time. In the framework of a conference on Eastern European émigré culture at Zentrum für Musikwissenschaft Leipzig, I will be presenting an English-language paper titled »Decision, Hope, and Resignation«, examining Nikolai Medtner‘s stay in Berlin (1921–24) and the personal and artistic implications associated to that period. Admission is free, so please stop by if you are around! The conference will also cover aspects of emigration from Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Hungary. — Full schedule available here.
Glad to be part of the music theatre education project YOUR_Street.Scene of Theater Magdeburg which is loosely based on Kurt Weill‘s opera Street Scene. During the next months I will be conducting a creative workshop with a class of 11th-graders at International Gymnasium Pierre Trudeau Barleben, resulting in a musical and choreographic performance which will be presented inside and outside the Magdeburg opera house in July 2020. Today has been the first session—the students show a promising level of musical understanding and vocal and instrumental skills, and I look forward to developing ideas for their collective improvisations and compositions. Thanks to the resourceful Matthias Brandt for initiating this collaboration!
Happy holiday season to all of you, regardless of what you celebrate these days, and a pleasant end of the year! Here is a little thing that I wanted to share with you: a live recording of the most recent performance of my music. Petra Vidmar and Erazem Grafenauer of Duo Xylocorda appear in the duo suite At the Forest Verge for guitar and marimba, forming part of a concert in Ljubljana Town Hall, Slovenia, in October 2019. Hope you listen with as much delight as I did. So long—see you in 2020!
Yesterday I attended the farewell party of the former Chamber Choir of the Berlin University of the Arts in which I participated and performed during the last fourteen years. It was an affectionate and communicative gathering of the most recent choir members. My contribution was to present Max Reger‘s Nachtlied, Op. 138 No. 3, in my own piano transcription (please find the sheet music of my version here, as well as the choir’s recording of the original piece). This composition, one of my all-time favourites in the choral repertoire, represents some unforgettable memories related to music-making which I am grateful to share with my dear colleagues.