Feb 09

February Anniversaries 2016 for Music, Literature and the Arts

This February is rich in memories of composers, writers, poets, dancers and artists.

Feb AnniversariesClockwise from left: György Kurtàg © Andrea Felvégi, Erykah Badu in 2006 © Stephanie Methven, Dynamo Ice Rink by Pyotr Konchalovsky © culture-images

 

17 February – 90th birthday of Friedrich Cerha, Austrian composer and conductor

17 February – 160th birth anniversary of Heinrich Heine, German poet

19 February – 90th birthday of György Kurtàg, Hungarian composer

19 February – 75th death anniversary of Hamilton Harty, Irish composer and organist

19 February – 65th death anniversary of Andre Gide, French writer and Nobel laureate

21 February – 25th death anniversary of Margot Fonteyn, British ballet dancer

21 February – 140th birth anniversary of Pyotr Konchalovsky, Russian painter

24 February – 250th birth anniversary of Samuel Wesley, English organist

25 February – 175th birth anniversary of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter

26 February – 45th birthday of Erykah Badu, American singer

28 February – 100th death anniversary of Henry James, American author

28 February – 150th birth anniversary of Vyacheslav Ivanov, Russian Symbolist poet

 

Feb 05

Denise Duval has Passed Away, 25 January 2016

Denise Duval was a French soprano who was best known for her interpretations of 20th century French music. She was the muse of composer Francis Poulenc, who discovered her when she was a cabaret singer at the Folies Bergère. She created the roles of Elle in his opera La voix humaine, and of Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias, and remained closely associated with him throughout her life. She was also noted for her performances in works by Debussy, Massenet, Roussel, Ravel and Milhaud.

23 October 1921 – 25 January 2016

Denise Duval and Francis Poulenc at the time

Denise Duval and Francis Poulenc at the time Duval performed in Poulenc’s ‘La Voix Humaine’ in Milan 14th February 1959 © Rue des Archives

 

Feb 05

The Magic Flute – New Production Opening at ENO Tonight, 5th February 2016

The production stars Alan Clayton as Tamino, Lucy Crowe as Pamina, Ambur Braid as the Queen of the Night and Peter Coleman-Wright as Papageno

Director – Simon McBurney
Music Director – Mark Wigglesworth
Set Designer – Michael Levine
Costume Designer – Nicky Gillibrand
Lighting Designer – Jean Kalman.

All photos © Tom Bowles. Click here for more images.

The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera Lucy Crowe and Ambur Braid as the Queen of the Night and Pamina

The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera Ambur Braid as the Queen of the NightThe Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera Conductor Mark Wigglesworth The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera Louis Lodder, Jayden Tejuso and Fabian Tindale Geere as the three child spirits

The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera The Magic Flute performed by the English National Opera

Feb 03

War And Peace – The 1812 Invasion

In anticipation of the final episode of the BBC’s adaption of War and Peace, airing this Sunday, we have been taking a look at the history behind Tolstoy’s most famous work.

Battle of Borodino (september 7, 1812)Battle of Borodino, 1812, oil painting by Eugène Charpentier © Tarker

 

In last week’s episode we saw the battle of Borodino, the bloodiest battle in the whole of the French invasion, with as many as 70,000 casualties and both sides losing almost half their forces. Kutuzov’s army has retreated, leaving the road to Moscow open.

Heros of the War in 1812 M. Kutusov, G. Platov und G. Witgenstein (Lubok)Russian Heros of the War in 1812 – Kutuzov, Platov and Wittgenstein © culture-images

 

However, Borodino was not a decisive victory for the French, and became a turning point for the whole campaign. When Napoleon’s troops went on to capture Moscow, the Russians did not surrender the city or try to negotiate peace. Instead, Moscow’s governor, Feodor Rostopchin, ordered the evacuation of the city, leaving a small detachment with instructions to burn it to the ground. The Grande Armée entered an almost entirely deserted Moscow, stripped of its food and resources, with fires breaking out across the city and no administrative means of control. With depleted troops and no prospect of a Russian surrender, Napoleon was forced to withdraw.

Fire of Moscow on 15th September 1812Fire of Moscow, 15th September 1812, painting by A. F. Smirnov © culture-images

 

The events of the 1812 invasion are of huge significance in Russian history. Their cultural impact can be seen not only in Tolstoy’s novel, but also in Lermontov’s romanticised poem Borodino, and in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The Battle of Borodino is also re-enacted every year in Russia on the 1st of September.

Re-enactors of the Battle of BorodinoRussian re-enactors of the Battle of Borodino on the 200th anniversary in 2012 © Sputnik

 

Jan 27

Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards Announced 25 January

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2015 were presented on Monday 25th January 2016 at a ceremony in London, hosted by Arlene Phillips.

Among the recipients of the awards were Sylvie Guillem who was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2015 to recognise her unique achievements over the past year.

Sylvie Guiilem

Sylvie Guillem dancing in ‘Marguerite and Armand’, Royal Ballet production, 2000 © Laurie Lewis

 

The NDA Committee for 2015 awarded a high commendation for exceptional artistry to two great contemporary flamenco artists, Israel Galván and Rocío Molina.

Israel Galvan in La Edad de Oro  313729_

Israel Galvan in La Edad de Oro at Sadler’s Wells. 9 February 2011 © Tristram Kenton, Rocio Molina in Bosque Ardora at the Barbican, 2014 © Tristram Kenton

 

Laura Morera won the award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) and Vadim Muntagirov won the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer.

Royal Ballet in Napoli Divertissements

Laura Morera in Divertissements, Royal Ballet in Napoli. Performed at Royal Opera House, London, 2007 © Dee Conway

 

The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum, 2010

Vadim Muntagirov as the Nephew with Daria Klimentova as Clara in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, at the London Coliseum, December 2010 © Tristram Kenton

 

Sylvie Guillem rehearsing'Firstext', choreography

Sylvie Guillem rehearsing ‘Firstext’ © Laurie Lewis

 

Prima ballerina Sylvie Guillem

Prima ballerina, Sylvie Guillem in rehearsals for ‘Marguerite and Armand’, Royal Ballet production, 2000 © Laurie Lewis

 

Sylvie Guillem

Sylvie Guillem in Eonnagata at Sadler’s Wells, 2009 © Laurie Lewis

 

Israel Galvan Israel Galvan

Israel Galvan performs FLA.CO.MEN at the Italica International Dance Festival 2015 © Daniel González Acuña

 

La Edad de Oro postmodern flamenco

La Edad de Oro postmodern flamenco danced by Israel Galvan at Sadlers Wells, 2011 © Leo Mason

 

Bosque Ardora

Bosque Ardora

Rocio Molina in Bosque Ardora at the Barbican, 2014 © Tristram Kenton

 

Royal Ballet in Viscera by Liam Scarlett

Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli in Viscera by Liam Scarlett, Royal Ballet 2012 © Laurie Lewis

 

Jan 20

George Weidenfeld, British publisher, died yesterday aged 96

George Weidenfeld, the last of the great British publishers, died yesterday aged 96. An Austrian refugee, he came to England in 1938 and made an impact on British publishing. In 1948 he co-founded the publishing firm Weidenfeld & Nicolson with Nigel Nicolson. Over the years, the firm published many titles, including the British edition of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita in 1959 and Nicolson’s own controversial autobiography, Portrait of a Marriage. He was a supporter of the arts in the UK. His most recent campaign was to raise funds to rescue Syrian Christian refugees.

http://slippedisc.com/2016/01/last-of-the-grand-publishers-has-died/

13 September 1919 – 19 January 2016

Weidenfeld, G. In his London home in December 1991 © Anne Purkiss

Lord Weidenfeld, publisher, in his London home, December 1991. In his London home in December 1991 © Anne Purkiss

George Weidenfeld, caricature. Became BBC European correspondent before forming Weidenfeld & Nicolson publishers. © John Minnion

Daniil Trifonov at a celebration party Celebration party at Lord and Lady Weidenfeld 's home Daniil Trifonov at a celebration party

Lord and Lady Weidenfeld host a celebration party for Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov after his performance at Wigmore Hall, March 2012 © A.Ben-Natfali

Jan 15

Actor and director Alan Rickman has died on 14 January at the age of 69

21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016

Alan Rickman began his acting career in theatre. His performance as the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway in 1986 brought him his first of two Tony Award nominations. His breakthrough cinema role was as Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard, after which he became well-known for playing iconic screen villains, including the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he won a Bafta award, and Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.

Two years ago, he also made his directorial debut with the period drama A Little Chaos, co-starring opposite Kate Winslet. His final film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, will be released later this year.

Alan Rickman Alan Rickman questions and answers on his film Perfume at Tricycle Cinema, 2007 © Nigel Sutton

'Les Liasons Dangereuses' Royal Shakespeare Company at the Ambassadors 1 Oct 86. 'Les Liasons Dangereuses' Royal Shakespeare Company at the Ambassadors 1 Oct 86. 'Les Liasons Dangereuses' Royal Shakespeare Company at the Ambassadors 1 Oct 86. 'Les Liasons Dangereuses' Royal Shakespeare Company at the Ambassadors 1 Oct 86.

'Les Liasons Dangereuses' Royal Shakespeare Company at the Ambassadors 1 Oct 86.

Les Liasons Dangereuses, Royal Shakespeare Company production at the Ambassadors, October 1986. Lucy Aston as Emilie and Alan Rickman as Valmot. © Dee Conway