Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chamber Music Connects the World

....well, the continental plate which holds Asia and Europe together, at least. It's the festival that takes place at Kronberg Academy in Germany each couple of years, involving Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman and Irena Grafenauer. They then play with young 'uns, it's all on TV and so on.

Of this year's crop of young 'uns, I have heard (or heard of) the violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley (who participated in a very fine re-premiere of a Stamitz concerto for violin and viola last year), Nils Moenkemeyer who I am sure has won a prize or two with his viola playing, and the pianists Ksenia Bashmet and Khatia Buniatishvili, whose concert in Tbilisi last year I reviewed here. As far as Ms Bashmet is concerned, for all that she is a lovely lovely person, I have also heard her piano playing. Maybe she has developed in the last four years since I heard her (twice; her reliability as a partner is faultless, but her playing lacks soul) - somehow this smells of outrageous nepotism. You would not expect anything less of Russian musicians, though.