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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!

Launch of the Trasimeno Music Festival website (2005-12-20)

I am thrilled to announce that today we are launching the official website for the Trasimeno Music Festival. Please go to to visit us! On the website, you will find the programme for the next festival which will be held from July 1-7, 2006 as well as booking information, photos, comments from some of the audience members at the inaugural festival, and much more. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on "newsletter" on the Home page and inserting your e-mail address. Visit us soon!

Italian Tour continues (2005-12-15)

My recital tour of Italy has continued since my last journal entry, and has brought many wonderful moments as well as much hard work. In Rovereto I saw the house and room where Mozart gave his first concert in Italy when he was 13 years old (a charming town in the Trentino area of Italy). In Imola (more well-known for its Formula One racing track!) I visited the excellent Accademia Pianistica where many young virtuosos go to study (in a fortified castle). At the concert that evening in the local theatre when I played my Well-Tempered Clavier marathon, I had three pianists in the audience: Louis Lortie, Michel Dalberto and Zoltan Kocsis. The photo shows me in a pizzeria with Zoltan and Franco Scala, the director of the academy. The next day I played a completely different recital programme in Milan in front of a big audience in the Conservatorio. Today I gave a four-hour masterclass to some of the students there. Even by my standards, it has been a busy week, and it's not yet finished: tomorrow I'm in Monfalcone, near Trieste, and on Saturday I make my debut in Florence.

Recital in Genoa (2005-12-06)

My December tour of recitals in Italy began last night in Genoa in the Teatro Carlo Felice which serves as both concert hall and opera house. A large crowd of about 1000 listened to my Well-Tempered Clavier marathon. As concerts in Italy start at 9 p.m., that meant that I was still playing fugues well past 11 p.m.! Today I had time to walk around the old city which is incredibly beautiful, especially the Palazzi of the Via Garibaldi (photo). In City Hall, I saw Paganini’s famous “Cannone” violin which he bequeathed to his native city and which is on display. It was a gorgeous, sunny day as well!

Lucerne Piano Festival (2005-11-29)

My two concerts last week were both wonderful occasions, and very important to me. It was great to play for the Swedish public again after so many years, and they were so warm and welcoming—even, and especially—the orchestra players who in so many countries can be very blasé about soloists. My matinée in the Lucerne Piano Festival was also a momentous occasion. Playing the Goldberg at 11 o’clock in the morning is a challenge, but it came off! A very big audience gave a standing ovation in this terrific hall. When I expressed my surprise at no flowers being presented (after all those notes!), I was told that the architect, Jean Nouvel, has it written in the contract that no flowers must be presented on stage. How dare he! Instead I got some Swiss chocolates upon arrival, which of course are delicious! Now I have a month in Italy which is a dream. We will soon be announcing the programme of the next Trasimeno Music Festival, to be held July 1-7/2006. A new website will also be launched dedicated just to this.

From Seattle to Sweden (2005-11-23)

In the space of a week, I've been in Seattle, Ottawa, London, and now Malmö, Sweden. Tomorrow night I make my first appearance with a Swedish orchestra, although it won't be my first time playing in this country. That came in 1986 (or was it 1987?) when I performed with the Toronto Symphony in Stockholm's Konserthuset. A big audience greeted me in Seattle where I performed on a brand new Fazioli brought up from Baldassin Pianos in Salt Lake City for the occasion (the photo was taken after the concert). Back home in London, I was looking forward to being in my own bed again, but it was not to be. I discovered that mice had made themselves comfortable in my bedroom during my absence! So I had to decamp to my sofa-bed next to the piano. I have left a neighbour in charge of getting rid of them before I return at the end of the year!

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