On Sunday, October 14, the San Antonio International Piano Competition gets underway at Trinity University's Ruth Taylor Recital Hall. The eleven young men and women hail from Malaysia to Italy, and China to the United States. They will play music by Beethoven, baroque and a new piece written by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Paul Moravec.
"Of course I have to make it difficult." Moravec says, adding that it is not just about virtuosity. "I wanted the work to be beautiful, and hopefully helpful for the competitors, that they can use it later in their career on recitals."
When my wife got home, I showed her the new book "Remembering Glenn Gould" by Colin Eatock, and she remarked “Didn't you have every book about him already”? She had a point there. I thought I had every book and the fact that a new title would be published thirty years after his death and it would be anticipated is a bit different.
Coming up next week, a solo piano recital by Lang Lang, Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre. As he did in his last appearance in San Antonio, the image of his hands will be projected over the piano during the concert, so you’ll see his technique from every seat in the historic Majestic.
The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould had a storybook entrance into the concert world. A famous concert in Washington D.C. of highly unusual repertoire (for the time) drew rave reviews, and shortly thereafter an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, one of this country’s biggest labels. Gould’s first release should have left classical listeners cold; he chose to an abstract sleeping pill written by J.S. Bach for a student’s insomniac patron. But surprising everyone, the album became a best seller which has not gone out of print in 55 years.