RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
A prize-winner of both national and international competitions, the Czech-German pianist Béla Hartmann has established a reputation for lively and individual interpretations of a wide repertoire, ranging from Rameau to Luciano Berio. Schubert and Beethoven form the core of this extensive range, and he was both prize-winner in the International Schubert Competition, Dortmund (1997), and winner of the Beethoven Medal of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe (1995). In 2000, he was a semi-finalist at the Leeds International Piano Competition.
Recent recitals have featured Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier Book I, Brahms' Sonata No 3, Schumann's Fantasy Op 17 and the Sonata in B Minor by Liszt. Throughout 2005 Béla Hartmann performed the complete piano sonatas and dances by Schubert, in a series of eight recitals at Steinway Hall, London. Further information on this series can be found at www.belahartmann.com. Other Schubert concerts have included recitals at the South Bank, London, the Schubertiade, Luxemburg and for the Schubert Institute and the Schubert Society. At the invitation of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, he also undertook a series of Schubert recitals at St James' Piccadilly and St Martin-in-the-Fields. Béla Hartmann has also performed widely on period instruments, most recently playing a programme of Schubert works on an 1815 Walter instrument at the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands Park.
Béla Hartmann studied with Elisso Virssaladze and Vadim Suchanov in Munich, as well as the celebrated Cypriot pianist Nicolas Economou. He continued his studies with John Bingham at Trinity College of Music, London, where he was the recipient of several college prizes, as well as winning an award from the Tillett Trust in 1996. Whilst at Trinity, he was selected to represent the college at the launch of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe. He has given recitals at prestigious venues in several European cities, as well as the USA, where he appeared at the Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. In London he has played in venues such as the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James' Piccadilly and St John's Smith Square. Béla Hartmann has performed widely for music societies in Wales, Scotland and England, and Germany (Gasteig, Munich), the Czech Republic (Estate Theatre, Prague) and Switzerland, and has given highly acclaimed concerto performances around the UK of concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Brahms and Prokofiev. His playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as on German and Luxemburg radio. Béla Hartmann has given several masterclasses and teaches regularly at both Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music Junior departments.
Béla Hartmann is impressed by music for clarinet and piano by Brahms and Widmann played by Jörg Widmann and András Schiff
Annie Fischer plays Mozart and Bartók. 'Her phrasing makes even the most complex and profound passages instantly understandable ...'
Béla Hartmann muses on growing social equality and democratization
Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvorák. '... one is never left in any doubt as to the force of the conductor ...'
Béla Hartmann writes about the relevance of biography to an appreciation of the arts
Several Composers in Search of an Identity