Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Dave Brubeck wins medal for spreading jazz abroad
Reuters – USA

The legendary jazzman comes to Washington DC to be honored by the State Department – and to explain his connection to Chopin (including a visit to Poland a half-century ago. He says: “Now, I’m about to play a cold piano with cold hands. I would like to say about the piece that my mother was part Polish, and loved Chopin. When I went to visit the Chopin Museum I took that thought with me to the next concert. I tried to say to the Polish audience dziekuje, (thank you)...It’s a hard thing.”

“As a little girl I grew up on the sounds of Dave Brubeck because my dad was your biggest fan,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at ceremony where Brubeck received the department’s Ben Franklin Award for public diplomacy.

“Thank you for your patriotism and your leadership in representing America by introducing the language, the sounds and the spirit of jazz to new generations around the world,” she added.

Best known for his quartet’s 1959 hit “Take Five,” Brubeck, 87, then sat down at a piano to play his improvisational piece “dziekuje,” which means “thank you” in Polish, composed partly in memory of his mother’s love for Polish composer Frederic Chopin.

Watch the video of Brubeck here – he appears about 24:00 in:



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Ohlsson’s firm, eclectic recital
Washington Times – Washington,DC,USA

Kudos for an accomplished “industrial-strength” recital by 1970 Chopin Competition winner Garrick Ohlsson….

Mr. Ohlsson followed the Prokofiev with Frederic Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58. Composed in 1844, it is distinctive for its expansive structure which, like the Prokofiev, adds a fourth movement to the sonata form’s conventional three.

The artist launched the Chopin with a stirring allegro maestoso, though we wish he hadn’t skipped the repeat of the opening motif. The brief, rapid scherzo, which follows, oddly (or intentionally) foreshadowed the Scriabin sonata scheduled later on the program.

After a thoughtful “Largo” movement, Mr. Ohlsson’s sweeping, majestic take on the finale was notable for its impeccably clean passagework.

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Kudos to music critic
MiamiHerald.com – Miami,FL,USA

How often do you see THIS headline? (The review in question is summarized in the April 3 Chopin Currency)

Re Lawrence A. Johnson’s April 2 review, Yundi Li shows more fire than poetry: Hats off to your classical music critic for a well-balanced review.

As a long-standing member of the Chopin Council of Miami, it was very pleasing to read this well-written review, which gave an accurate description of this young pianist’s performance. Congrats to Johnson, who has found favor with our classical enthusiasts in South Florida.

ROY S. TENN, Palmetto Bay

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Piano instructor to play in Poland
Henderson State University Oracle – Arkadelphia,AR,USA

Arkansas piano prof to head to Chopin’s old Academy for the summer…

John Lee Roberts, instructor of piano and adjunct professor in the keyboard division at Henderson, will attend and perform at an intensive summer program in Warsaw, Poland this summer.

Roberts was invited by Dr. Andzej Dutkiewicz, professor of piano and head of Contemporary Music Studies at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music as part of the academy’s 10th Anniversary of “From Chopin to Gorecki — Sources and Inspirations.”


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