Friday, December 02, 2011
Onegin, Beijing and Li Yundi
However I can mention a delightful evening at a remarkable Classical Music Club where we were taken by a friend who is a long-standing member. It's run by Beijing's foremost Classical Music fan, who has signed photos from many of the world's major musicians and an enormous collection of Callas memorabilia.
What made the evening so special was that just after we came in Li Yundi arrived to practice in one of the practice rooms. As we were being given a tour of the building we heard this astonishing playing of Beethoven Concerto No 1, and listened outside the closed door transfixed. His manager came out to make a phone call and after the 3rd movement had finished he very kindly introduced us to Yundi who signed some CDs for us. He really is an outstanding pianist and seems exceptionally nice as well. There is some talk of a London concert and I really hope to hear him again soon.
Had breakfast meeting in Beijing on Weds am and, since the flight was delayed, had to go straight to dinner meeting in London off the plane. Don't want to do that too often.
Just before leaving for Beijing we took some friends to the ENO Eugene Onegin which was simply a delight. Toby Spence was a tremendous Lensky and Catherine Wyn Rogers as always on excellent form as Filipievna. Ed Gardener conducted superbly, the production was wonderful and everyone sang really well. Catch the last performance on Sat if you can. Or catch the production when it comes to the Met (2014 I think alas).