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Re-release of Bach Concertos discs on Hyperion (2006-02-24)

It is not often that a recording is re-released less than a year after its initial appearance, but Hyperion has decided to do just that with my two Bach Concertos CDs. They are now available in one box as a slimline double-CD (cover photo right). These recordings which I made with the wonderful Australian Chamber Orchestra directed by its lead violinist, Richard Tognetti, hit the billboard charts in the USA only weeks after they were released in 2005, and stayed there for quite a while. They were also named Record of the Month by Gramophone magazine. Last week they were nominated for a Juno Award in Canada in the category for Best Orchestral Recording of 2005.

Chamber Music week (2006-02-22)

After my recital and Bach lecture at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, I went on to Montreal where I gave my first performance of the wonderful Piano Quintet by César Franck. It is a very intense and passionate work that I will be performing four times in the next few months. The concert in Montreal was with the Trio Inukshuk (three Canadians who live in Europe), along with Patricia Shih from Vancouver. Now I am in rehearsals in New York for two concerts this weekend for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For those of you in London (UK), try to catch it at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on April 10th! The programme also includes the Debussy cello and piano Sonata and the fabulous Trio by Ravel.

Recital in Puerto Rico (2006-02-13)

Travelling isn’t easy. A trip from Puerto Rico to South Bend, Indiana is made worse by a four-hour stopover in Chicago airport late at night. Plus something I ate in San Juan hasn’t agreed with me and I feel awful. Touring is rarely glamorous. At least the concert for the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico was hugely enjoyed by the large audience, and it was nice to have warmer temperatures for less than 48 hours. The view in the photo was from my hotel which otherwise was well below the advertised standard. Before leaving Ottawa last week, I played for the residents of the retirement home where my mother lives, and it was wonderful to see the joy on their faces, both in expectation of the event and afterwards.

Induction into the Royal Society of Canada (2006-02-09)

Last night during a ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, I was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. For the occasion, I gave the invited audience a short recital of Bach and Mozart. The Royal Society recently decided to elect a dozen new fellows from the Canadian arts community (including ballerina Karen Kain and architect Douglas Cardinal) and it was an honour to be included.

New CD on Hyperion of Chabrier piano music! (2006-02-04)

My latest CD of the piano music of Emmanuel Chabrier is now available (exact release times will vary around the world i.e. in Canada it appears in the shops on February 7th). I have always loved Chabrier ever since I played three of the Dix Pièces Pittoresques (including the gem entitled "Idylle") when I was fifteen years old, having been introduced to it by my piano teacher, Jean-Paul Sévilla (who has written the notes for this CD). It is music full of boundless joie de vivre and colour, but also of great sensitivity and melancholy. For full details, please see the discography page.

Visit to Istanbul (2006-02-02)

Last week I played in both Cheshire in England (a lovely music club where I was warmly received and stayed at the home of the famous scientist Sir Bernard Lovell, a passionate music-lover) and in Istanbul. You couldn’t have had two more different places! It was my first time in the latter, and I made sure I had a few hours (grand total of six!) to see something of the city. For that I hired a private guide (highly recommended when time is short) and saw the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sofia (pictured right), and the Basilica Cistern which was amazing. And of course the Grand Bazaar. The audience at my concert was small but appreciative and included the Canadian ambassador, Yves Brodeur, and his wife who kindly flew from Ankara for the occasion. I hope to return someday and play for a few more people and see more of that fascinating place and culture.

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadè! (2006-01-27)

Today, as the world knows by now, is Mozart’s 250th birthday. Although I don’t have a concert tonight (but rather tomorrow in England, and Monday in Istanbul), I will be talking about and playing Mozart on the Canadian radio for two hours in a programme entitled “Angela’s Mozart”. Tune in at 1 p.m. EST (5 hours behind GMT) on CBC Radio Two. You can hear it on:

Snow cancels concert! (2006-01-21)

There is always the unexpected. After two concerts playing Bach Concertos with the Copenhagen Philharmonic (an orchestra who hardly ever plays Bach but they were delighted to have the opportunity to do so), our third concert today was cancelled because of snow! I was all ready to get myself to the bus that was taking us there (it was an hour and a half from Copenhagen to Hørve) when I got the message that the piano movers couldn’t get near the concert venue, and that the promoter felt there was too much snow everywhere for the public to get there safely. So that was a disappointment. A Canadian is never put off by a few inches of snow, and I would gladly have played anything at all to the audience had the piano been able to get there, but it was not to be! We almost didn’t make the previous night’s concert in time because of the poor conditions on the highway, and we arrived in the church in Nykøbing when the audience was already gathering. Hopefully next time I return to Denmark the weather will cooperate!

CBC Radio's Mozart Anniversary (2006-01-12)

It might look from my schedule as though I have had a pretty easy start to the year with only one concert, but in fact it has been busier than that. It started with several days of editing Beethoven Sonatas with my record producer in Detmold, Germany—a recording which will be released in the autumn. Then it was on to Zurich, and the beautiful Tonhalle where I performed two Bach Concertos with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra—my debut in that lovely city. Tonight back in London I performed in a wonderful event at Canada House to mark the Mozart Anniversary. CBC Radio is broadcasting a two-hour programme on Mozart’s birthday (January 27th) called “Angela’s Mozart” and we are taping it all this week in London. Well-known radio host Eric Friesen brought his production team across the ocean, and we performed an hour-long recital and conversation in front of a live audience. For the occasion, I was joined by the wonderful Canadian baritone, Gerald Finley, who, like me, also makes his home in England. Among the distinguished audience members was author Ian McEwen who graciously signed a copy of his most recent novel, “Saturday” for me (he mentions my CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in it!). So don’t forget to tune in on CBC Radio Two on January 27th from 1-3 p.m. to hear the results! In the photo with me are Gerald (left) and Eric.

Florence and Torino (2005-12-22)

My concerts for 2005 are now over with. The last two recitals in Italy were just as special as the others and in two wonderful cities. I am ashamed to say that that was my first visit to Florence, so the day before my recital I walked for hours to take in the sights at least from the outside (although I did manage to see Michelangelo’s “David” in all his restored glory!). It was a great time to see the city as well, with the Christmas lights and not too many tourists (and neither too cold or too hot). The concert was in the beautiful Teatro della Pergola—a sort of mini La Scala—and I performed on a Fazioli piano brought in from PIanoetForte of Perugia, as I did for several of the concerts on this tour. Last night in Torino the audience would hardly let me go, they were so enthusiastic. I played in the Sala Cinquecento of the Lingotto—the former Fiat factory that has been transformed into a complex of hotels, art galleries, shops, and two concert halls. Now I can take a week’s rest over Christmas which is very welcome (looking at the winter sunsets over Lake Trasimeno). May I take this occasion to thank all of you who have written to me since I launched this website last February, and to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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