This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 05/13/18

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Slatkin Slated for Heart Surgery;

Chopin Competition on Period Pianos


It’s “This Week in Classical Music”, An Update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

An unexpected heart-bypass operation will cause Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leonard Slatkin to withdraw from three upcoming DSO concerts he was going to conduct. Slatkin has also withdrawn from upcoming European engagements and some with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis.

Slatkin said his cardiologists have assured him surgery should fix his heart issues. His recovery is expected to take about three months.  Replacement conductors will be announced in the coming days.

 “The DSO is committed to offering Leonard our full support in his recovery,” DSO president and CEO Anne Parsons told The Detroit News. “Though he will not be on the podium for these three programs, we look forward to honoring him for all that’s he’s accomplished in Detroit over the past 10 years.”


This September sees the inaugural edition of The International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw, a city in which Chopin lived for half his life.

As Poland celebrates the centenary of its independence this year, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Polish Television and Radio has organized this competition not only to celebrate the country’s most beloved composer but to recapture Chopin’s sound world by using period pianos with which Chopin was intimately familiar--Érards, Broadwoods and Pleyels. By hearing pieces performed on the instruments available in the 19th century, we get to know the timbre and quality of sound that was heard by the composer. Director Stanisław Leszczyński says “it allows us to get to the essence of the music as the composer would have envisaged it…something that is lost when performing on contemporary Steinways, Kawais or Yahamas.”

The main challenge for the competitors will be to “step back from … the power of huge sound” available from Modern pianos and adjust to the more subtle 19th century ones.

The Chopin International Piano Competition on Period Instruments takes place from 2 - 14 September 2018.

For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-B-A-C-H dot org; Be listening each week at this time for another update. Follow us on Facebook and twitter, and also listen every weekday at Noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel for KBACH’s “This Week in Classical Music”; Member supported 89.5 KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.