From the concerts to the clothes, he’s never been just your average pianist. We catch up with the classical celebrity. Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism. Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.
Articles by Francis Merson
The unconventional Austrian pianist talks to Limelight about life at 85, his long career and taking stock of his remarkable legacy. Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism. Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.
What are Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Cheryl Barker and Simon Tedeschi all doing on a cruise ship? Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism. Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.
Limelight’s Editor Francis Merson bids a fond farewell after leading the magazine for four years.
Limelight Magazine editor Francis Merton shares his thoughts on the devastating cuts to the ABC.
Here’s a preview of this month’s Limelight Magazine cover feature. Which works of today will be the classics of tomorrow?
Vengerov, Lewis, Isserlis, Maisky and a host of great ensembles head Musica Viva’s 70th Season.
At 72-years-young, Paul Anka proves you can’t keep a good man down.
Joe Chindamo is a jazz pianist with the chops of a Russian virtuoso; Zoë Black is a versatile classical fiddler who has played with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, inter alia. The opening track of their third album forms a manifesto of sorts. Scarlatti’s Sonata in G Major is given a sparkling re-arrangement: the violin ostensibly takes the “melody”, but really plucks voices from the stave and tosses them back against the piano. This isn’t jazz; it’s just having fun with music. The titular Lament gets a thorough update with some seemingly improvised passages – perhaps a coy allusion to the ornamentation native to a da capo aria. Jazz gets its own guernsey in Gershwin’s It Ain’t Necessarily So – a rather André Previn-y arrangement, with all the dazzling pianism that suggests. Then out of the blue arrives a totally straight, but rather lovely, reading of Prokofiev’s Five Melodies for Violin and Piano. Instead of breaking down boundaries, this duo appears not to notice them. I wouldn’t even label this “crossover”: the brilliantly eerie version of Nessun Dorma – occupying a conceptual space somewhere between muzak and Messiaen – is anything but a nod to popular taste. I did often find myself wanting to boost…
A rather good opera company tucked away in Armidale. Who knew?
Without inviting accusations of Sydney snobbery, I think I can safely state that opera performances are not exactly a frequent occurrence in Armidale, a rural town of some 24,473 inhabitants in northern NSW. This makes the sophomore production by local company Opera New England something of a big deal – and not just for the town’s inhabitants, but for all those who believe opera can, and should, flourish outside Australia’s state capitals. Puccini’s La Bohème was the ambitious choice of opera (following on a well-received debut with Figaro last year), and it demonstrated that even a grand Romantic blockbuster can be staged in a small theatre on a small budget. All you need is an engaged community, a dash of talent and plenty of hard yakka. The cast of this production was comprised of hopeful young singers from around Australia, and I’m guessing it took little effort for them to step into the roles of passionate young artists living on the smell of an oily canvas. Many of the voices were still works-in-progress, but all the singers were able to meet the challenges of the score, some brilliantly so. As the consumptive seamstress Mimì, recent Sydney Con graduate Sarah Toth gave an assured performance,…
Food, wine, good music and then more food and wine. What’s not to like at Huntington 2013?
Emma Matthews and James Egglestone help the DSO sparkle in front of Ayers Rock.