Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

From Georgia with love
Jerusalem Post – Israel

Georgian Pianist Alexander Korsantia prepares to play a concert with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, whose home venue of Henry Crown Hall just happens to be located on 5 Chopin Street…

I perceive Israel as my country,” says pianist Alexander Korsantia, who will perform Chopin’s Second Concerto together with the Jerusalem Symphony under Leon Botstein in a special concert celebrating Israel’s 60th Independence day and 70 years since the orchestra’s founding. “13 years ago Israel embraced me. Since then our relationship only strengthens and I try never to let down the local audience,” the pianist adds. Korsantia’s career received a significant international push after he won first prize at the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in 1995.

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High praise for Chekhov at Hycroft
Vancouver Courier – BC, Canada

A rare Vancouver twin-bill of one-act plays by the Russian playwright reveals a heretofore hidden Chopin talent:

After the show, back home, I went scurrying to my Chopin CDs–Chopin because not only did actor Olesia Shewchuk completely steal my heart with her Natalia Stepanovna (in The Proposal) and Elena Ivanovna Popova (in The Bear), but she plays Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu on the Hycroft grand piano as part of the show. Multi-talented, she also translated “The Bear” from Russian.

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Kalamazoo Gazette – – Kalamazoo,MI,USA

From the behind-the-scenes blog at the Gilmore Festival in Kalamazoo, MI:

Rafal Blechacz CD wins rave

Rafal Blechacz, who performed Sunday at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall, is getting great press on his new CD, “Chopin: The Complete Preludes” (Deutsche Grammophon).

“Rafal Blechacz looks on his CD cover like he can’t be older than 14 (he’s 22),” wrote Arizona Republic music critic Richard Nilsen in an April 6 review. “But his new recording of Chopin’s Preludes — and a couple of Nocturnes to fill out the disc — has to be one of the best debut albums since Glenn Gould’s Goldbergs. It’s that good.

“New young pianists pop out of the woodwork almost daily. Some have a great PR campaign behind them; others burst briefly from the many piano competitions before disappearing in the grind of concert tours with every second-rate orchestra in the world. Blechacz is different: He actually has something to say, and a personality that infuses his playing. … This is truly refreshing pianism.”

— James Sanford,

Kalamazoo Gazette

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Chopin in the Blogosphere:

15 Questions to Freddy Kempf Can you tell who Freddy Kempf is by
By pianoplayer0123(pianoplayer0123)

From the “Solo Pianist” blogsite, an online Q & A with classical music’s “Man in Black”…

I am at home, in London, – in my wife’s “office” as we have a good friend of ours staying in my room! I am feeling heart-broken and depressed because I have just spent the whole afternoon practising Chopin’s 2nd piano concerto – it is such a wonderful feeling! I also feel great as I went to the gym today and ran my usual 3km in record time – 9 mins. in fact… well just kidding but one day I’ll get it down to 9 minutes… Some day…

What’s on your schedule right now?
On my schedule? Well tomorrow I fly to Sweden to do Chopin 2nd with a really great conductor friend of mine. I’m really looking forward to it as we always seem to make such good music together as well as having such fun. He sent me an SMS today saying, “Hi Freddy. When you arrive? Dinner? Weather is rubbish orchestra is great.”

Solo Pianist –