Dohnanyi’s historic performance (video)

I’m playing Ernst von Dohnanyi’s “Symphonic Minutes” this afternoon, and wanted to share this video I found of the great Hungarian pianist and composer’s final public performance.
Beethoven’s Sonata No. 16 in G major. (Tallahassee, 1959)

In the 1950s and 60s, there was a kind of cottage industry in discovering (or re-discovering) and recording great blues innovators … I think of someone like Son House, who was credited with teaching Robert Johnson how to play guitar … he was found working in Rochester, NY factory. He hadn’t touched a guitar in years … so what does Son House have to do with the Hungarian pianist and composer Erno (or Ernst) von Dohnanyi? … By the early 20th century, Dohnanyi had earned a reputation as one of the great concert pianists of his era. As music director of the Budapest Philharmonic, he helped popularize the work of Zoltan Kodaly and former classmate Bela Bartok … but like many of his 20th century peers who fled war-torn Europe in the 30s and 40s, Dohnanyi ended up in the US. He spent the last decade of his life in relative obscurity teaching at Florida State University (you can visit his grave in Tallahassee). After a rare public performance in January, 1960, the 80 year-old Dohnanyi spent the last couple weeks of his life in a New York City recording studio, where his performances of Beethoven and Schubert sonatas were recorded for stereo LP.

CSO Set To Reach 3-Year Broadcast Agreement with WDAV

Today WDAV Classical Public Radio and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced an unprecedented three-year agreement to bring the area’s largest professional orchestra to the airwaves. Beginning with the 2010-11 season, WDAV will produce and broadcast seven of the CSO’s classical concerts each season through 2013. The agreement, forged among WDAV, CSO management, CSO musician representatives, and Local 342 of the American Federation of Musicians, is pending ratification by the full membership of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.


NPR World of Opera to Broadcast Opera Carolina’s “Faust”

From an Opera Carolina press release issued August 23, 2010:
Opera Carolina joins the ranks of world-class opera companies with the national broadcast of its 2008 production of Faust on NPR World of Opera from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 11. Charlotte area listeners will be able to hear the broadcast on WDAV Classical Public Radio (89.9FM) or online at


ChorFreude: Calling All Singers With An Interest in International Travel

Take part in the Charlotte International Cabinet’s “ChorFreude” program. In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Queen Charlotte’s coronation in June 2011, outstanding vocal ensembles and singers from throughout the Charlotte, NC region are forming the official ChorFreude Choir, under the direction of Professor Ginger Wyrick. The group will travel to and perform in the beautiful, historic and musically rich German Baltic Coast, in collaboration with the the Neubrandenburger Philarmonie. The program includes Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” and Boyce’s “The King Shall Rejoice,” composed especially for Queen Charlotte’s coronation. Request an audition or read all the details on the Charlotte International Cabinet’s website.