Poland’s culture institute in France says it believes a previously unknown photograph of Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin has probably been found by private researchers. If so, it would be only the second confirmed photographic image of him.
The Polish Institute in Paris said on its website a photo of a daguerreotype image was found by Swiss physicist Alain Kohler, who cooperated with music journalist Gilles Bencimon of Radio France Internationale.
Kohler told The Associated Press Thursday by phone that he found it in the private collection of a musician in Switzerland. He said the daguerreotype was made around 1847 by Paris-based artist Louis-Auguste Bisson, who took the only confirmed photo of Chopin.
Kohler said the original daguerreotype needs to be found to allow experts to confirm whether it is an image of Chopin.
The black-and-white photo shows a distinctive nose, full mouth and thin face which is consistent with the only previously confirmed photograph of Chopin, taken by Bisson. The background also seems alike.
The piano master was born to a Polish mother and a French father in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, in central Poland. At the age of 19 he left Warsaw for Vienna and then for Paris, where he composed, gave concerts and taught. He died in 1849 in Paris.
He is famous for his piano music, largely inspired by Poland’s traditional and folk dances and tunes, such as mazurkas or polonaises.
A Chopin music competition promoting young virtuosos is held in Warsaw every five years, the next one in 2020.
Read more about the new photo of Chopin here.
The International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, announced the findings last month in conjunction with an exhibition of Mozart portraits that opened on Jan. 26 and runs through April 14. One goal, the foundation said, was to burn away idealized conceptions of Mozart — a white-wigged, red-jacketed, romanticized figure — and focus attention on what he might really have looked like.
The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous concert houses in Paris and receives each year over 300,000 spectators and thousands of collaborating artists. A milestone of French 20th century architecture the theatre was in 1953 one of the first modern buildings to receive the rank of the official “Monuments Historiques”.
In 2002, Bruno Monsaingeon, internationally renowned for his films of Glenn Gould and the intriguing documentary Richter, the Enigma, made a film of a piano recital that Grigory Sokolov gave at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Hear the recital: http://www.pianostreet.com/blog/articles/grigori-sokolov-live-at-theatre-des-champs-elysees-5549/
The recent anniversaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010 and Franz Liszt in 2011 inspire us to once again travel back in time and set focus on another tremendously important, yet almost forgotten virtuoso pianist from this golden era of pianism: Sigismond Thalberg.
Sigismond Thalberg was born in midwinter in 1812. Wednesday, 8 January 1812 saw not only the birth of Thalberg but also Wellington’s siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. Barely six months later, Napoleon would begin his ill-fated attempt to conquer Russia and James Madison would sign into law the American declaration of war against Britain. Thalberg was born into a world rife with conflict. The world knows remarkably little about Sigismond Thalberg before his mother brought him to Vienna in 1822 at the age of 10. That same year, Liszt, who was three months older than Thalberg, would also arrive in Vienna. Little did the piano world know that a rivalry would develop that would nearly equal the military conflicts of the day.
Great piano composers’ anniversaries don’t normally take place annually, but since the Chopin & Schumann year 2010 and the Liszt celebrations 2011, time has now come for another immensely important composer.
Today, the 22nd of August 2012 marks the 150 years birthday of the French composer Claude Debussy, by many considered the father of “modern music”.
The Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa is perhaps the most striking example of how the Internet and, more recently, social media has created completely new opportunities for classical artists.
The Albert Hall program was chosen by her internet fans and is therefore, not surprisingly, quite much like a Greatest Hits of classical piano.
Listen to her Royal Albert Hall debut recital here:
Every Wednesday, composer and pianist Bruce Adolphe joins APM:s radio program Performance Today for a classical music game called Piano Puzzler. Bruce takes a familiar tune – a popular song, a children’s tune, a Broadway hit or something from the classical repertoire – and rewrites it in the style of a classical composer, often using direct quotes from famous classical masterworks. After the performance, Bruce and host Fred Child talk to a listener on the phone, whose task it is try to guess both the popular tune that Bruce has hidden and the composer whose style he has imitated. Read more at: