Sunday - Day 2 of the Conference

Information and discussion on the International Rachmaninoff Conference September held September 21-23 in New York City.

Sept. 21-23 2007 New York City
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Sunday - Day 2 of the Conference

Postby mikhailp » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:17 pm

My report on the second day of the New York Conference

T'was September 23rd, a warm sunny day with great enthusiasm in the air as I was looking forward to our members' AGM meeting, and of course, to the lecture and performance of the famous Third Piano Concerto. It was to be accompanied by the great Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, also the President of our Society.

I had the great honor of accompanying Wouter de Voogd, our Society's chairman to the morning event. Once we arrived, I quickly began helping setup the various tables with documentaries, recordings, and other publications of our society. Rita Anthoine, the conference's main organizer and society's PR and Fundraising officer was greeting members and handing out the Conference Packets along with tickets.
Members from England, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States all came to partake or aid in the conference without any salary.

After the AGM where the new constition was reviewed and the Society's future plans were discussed, the hall began to crowd even more as Ian Flint's public lecture was approaching. Once it began, it seemed as if the room was empty because the audience was silent and entranced by the lecture. Using recordings, manuscript examples, and his own performance of various segments from the 3rd Piano Concert, Ian Flint made the audience better informed of the hidden emotional, psychological, and technical aspects of the work than any other audience member who was present at the main concert later that night. His inside knowledge, supplemented by the analysis of other prominent musicians of the past, opened a whole new side to Rachmaninoff's composition. Every time I see or hear a new peice of his, I remember the way Ian Flint talked of how Rachmaninoff composed and what each ascending or descending base line, what each change of harmony - of color, how it all showed off of the immense emotional capacity of this seemingly humble man of the highest integrity.

After the lecture, the evening began to slowly endower the sky and the stage lights of Peter J. Sharp Concert Hall were about to dim for a full audience that was awaiting the maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy to arrive on stage, along with the soloist and the Julliard Orchestra. Once on stage, they were greeted with an applause full of respect for the great musicians on stage. The rehearsal was full of delightul sound and occasional humurous gestures by the conductor. One such gesture occured when the maestro conducted a ritenuto where the pianist had a broken chord and one of the wind instruments had a leading tone, both of which ended with a resolution. When he managed to make them end in sync, he looked up with a delightful smile at the orhcestra which passed on magically to the audience even more so. The concert, itself was by far more thrilling and inspiring, leavnig the audience in awe. Each movement was convincing to me, despite the numerous recordings and performances that I've heard. Both the conductor and the pianist, Hong Xu put themselves out emotionally and physically to deliver a pheonomonal concert. It seemed like after the concert, despite the rehearsal that took place prior to to it, the audience would have stayed to listen to it a third time.

Following the concert and the question and answer forum with the Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, pianist Hong Xu, musicologist Geoffrey Norris, and Julliard dean Ara Guzelimian, the Society members rushed to meet the stars in person. The moment they entered the room, they were surrounded by members desiring to meet them, thank them, or just say a nice word.

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Postby RACHBOY » Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:21 pm

thanks for your report!!

I was there, Ashkenazy really was great, he knows this Concerto inside out so added touches I had never ever heard.

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Postby Sasha » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:46 am

Nice report, mikhailp!

I can't believe Hong Xu played the Concerto 2 times in a row! What energy that pianist has! His performance(s) was great, wasn't it! I enjoyed the talk after the concert. It was also nice that audience could participate in the talk by asking questions.

Final event of the conference was this members' dinner where Mr. Ashkenazy generously appeared to greet us. Yeah, we can see the photo on this website, can't we. I got to meet more members from all over the world that nite. It's so nice to be with members who share the same passion. I can't wait to the September event in England this year!

mikhailp, by the way, thanks for the ride to the restaurant!
Are you planning to be at the event in September?

Music is born only in the heart and speaks only to the heart --- SVR

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