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Stop Press: Music News

Mark Bebbington in Gershwin Recording Premiere

George Gershwin

British pianist Mark Bebbington, known for his distinguished recordings on the SOMM label of British music, moves stateside for his next project – an all-Gershwin record, containing the Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, Variations on ‘I Got Rhythm’ for piano and orchestra and the first integral recording of the eight Preludes for solo piano.

The orchestra is the Royal Philharmonic conducted by the distinguished American Leon Botstein, who has long made a special study of Gershwin’s music. The Concerto recording preceded a hugely successful performance of the work by these artists at London’s Cadogan Hall on October 6th. The Eight Preludes were composed between 1919 and 1927, or rather seven of them were: the Eighth, entitled ‘Sleepless Night’, was copied out and reconstructed by Gershwin’s long-time partner Kay Swift in 1946 as a revised version of the Prelude in F minor of 1925-26 – Gershwin himself apparently always played but never committed to paper the later version, made – it is believed – in the early 1930s.

Bebbington includes both versions of the F minor Prelude in his integral recording of all eight. The recordings were produced by Siva Oke, and the disc is scheduled to appear within the next few months.


Emmanuel Tjeknavorian prizewinner in International Sibelius Competition

Emmanuel Tjeknavorian

Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, the 20-year-old violinist son of composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian, added the silver medal of the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki in December 2015, alongside an additional prize for the best performance of the Sibelius Concerto of the competition.

In 2012, the Vienna-born Emmanuel represented Austria at the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition, and in the same 2012-13 season he won the Musica Juventutis competition at the Vienna Kozerthaus, following that success with first prize in the Stefanie Hohl Violin Competition and first prize also in the Szymon Golberg Violin Competition. In September 2014, he became the first Austrian prizewinner in the history of the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna.


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