Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Salonen Teams Up with Apple

Esa-Pekka Salonen, principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is one of the world's foremost conductors. But he is equally renowned as a composer. One can only imagine how he manages to find time to be so active and so successful in both activities.

Salonen is a fine musician but he is also a man of his time. He is curious about everything in life, and especially fascinated with technology that  can make him even more productive as a conductor and a composer. He has recently joined forces with Apple to make use of their computer innovations and to use them to develop his musical ideas. Salonen uses the latest iPad Air and loves what he can do on it with apps such as The Orchestra, Pianist Pro and Notion. This video is a commercial introduction to what it is all about. I urge listeners to follow up by exploring the apps. The Orchestra is a great way to understand the orchestra and its repertoire, and Notion is a fabulous tool for composers.

Paul E. Robinson

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bernard Labadie In Munich

It was recently announced that Quebec conductor Bernard Labadie would step down from his post as music director of Les Violons du Roy. He will become founding director, presumably a title which suggests far less conducting than in the past. Now comes an announcement this past week that Labadie has cancelled all conducting engagements through the rest of 2014 "for health reasons."

In the past few seasons Labadie has become incredibly busy as a guest conductor with orchestras around the world. He is an authority of historical performance practice and a very welcome guest conductor wherever he goes. We understand that Labadie is being treated in Germany for an undisclosed illness. This is sad news and we wish him every success with his treatment. We look forward to seeing him back on the podium early in 2015.

In our video this week Bernard Labadie conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony in C.P.E. Bach's Symphony in E flat major Wq 179. The performance was recorded in concert just a few months ago.

Paul E. Robinson


Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Great Conductor: RIP

On June 4, 2014 Rafael Frübeck de Burgos announced his retirement. He was 80 years old and conducted his last concert on March 14 with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. Less than a week later the news from Spain is that he has passed away.

Frübeck de Burgos had been in failing health for some time but it was only this month that he publicly stated that he was suffering from cancer. The celebrated Spanish conductor had a major international career and conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra more than 150 times. He had a close association with the Montreal Symphony and at the time of his retirement he was principal conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony.

In our video he conducts his own orchestration of Granada from the Suite Espanola by Albeniz with the Danish Radio Symphony.

Frübeck de Burgos was authoritative in the music of Spanish composers but he also conducted French and German music with equal mastery. I first saw him conduct at a summer concert in Saratoga, New York. He led the Philadelphia Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps – from memory.

Paul E. Robinson


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Serhiy Salov Plays Debussy

SUDDEN FLASHES OF LIGHT from Santiago Ruiztorres on Vimeo.

Serhiy Salov is a Ukrainian-born pianist now living in Montreal. He won the 2004 Montreal International Competition and has established himself as an exceptional artist. In this video he plays his own arrangement of Debussy's Fetes (Festivals). The playing is remarkable enough but what makes this video even more memorable is the direction by Santiago Ruiztorres. The camera work and the editing is imaginative, to say the least. Videos of this sort can sometimes seem gimmicky and contrived, telling us more about the film-maker's self-absorption than about the performer or the music. Not so in this case. Debussy's evocative music and Salov's dynamism cries out for this kind of treatment and gets it. Quite an achievement. For more about the artists visit their websites at and

Paul E. Robinson