Tuesday, January 01, 2008


The wonderful young cellist Giorgi Kharadze (I blogged about him here, and in other places) has won the Beethoven-Ring of the City of Bonn. This is a prize that has been awarded only three times before (it's a new prize...) to Gustavo Dudamel, and the violinists Julia Fischer and Lisa Batiashvili (also a Georgian). Not sure what the prize entails, but congratulations! Both Kharadze and Batiashvili grew up and therefore trained abroad, one in France, the other in Germany, though they now both live in Germany.

Another (3rd) prizewinner of the Aeolus competition in Dusseldorf, Germany is the Hungarian horn player Zoltán Mácsay; his fellow countryman Balazs Toth won the first prize with his trumpet (and he shares his name with a footballer, which is a bit of a shame when you google him). Zoltan used to play with the amateur orchestra I played in in Hungary, organised by a German organisation together with an expatriate Hungarian. We always needed support in the winds - if you get together a lot of unauditioned amateurs it may be ok in the strings, but it can be tricky in the soloistic winds. One time there was that oboist who always tuned flat....(only himself, which made it worse). So Zoltan and his other student colleagues did much to hold us together, despite also having a very good time at night..... One time he played a horn concerto (Haydn?) with us. He's a great horn player and I'm glad he's moving on in the world. The Aeolus competition also seems to be a new competition (this year it will be for flute, oboe, and trombone) - it's great that interest seems to be developing again in classical music.