Monday, November 29, 2010

Evgeni Bozhanov - Dance des Pages , Grand Pas de deux from " The Sleeping Beauty"

Recording by Jindrich Massner 2007 RSH Düsseldorf.
Photos by © 2009 Stephen Eastwood/Lynx
Uploaded by TheMasson69.

Am just beginning this blog to follow the career and music of Evgeni Bozhanov and will eventually have a biography, some news, and a preliminary concert schedule.

I created the blog space after the Cliburn Competition.  Have not had time to really set it up the way I want, due to too many other projects, but many of us feel this pianist/artist deserves more exposure than he will get as a musician with unique abilities, when confined to the blander world of piano competitions and its expectations or requirements that the 'winning' musician be the choice of a committee with widely varying tastes and even students they might favor.

This particular video has been a favorite of mine as it shows both beauty of line, a crystalline technique, and an emphasis on an attribute many of us prize -- a sense of spontaneity in the music-making of the kind the composer would have had while creating the basis for what we hear.  As Chopin Competition jurist Kevin Kenner put it recently:
' I love Bozhanovs’ playing. I think he is a great artist. There is no greater artist in this Competition... For me consistency is not the most valuable quality, but in competitions this quality is often rewarded the most. I was deeply moved by some performances of Bozhanov. Some. I have never heard the Polonaise played in such a great style. That’s the real Chopin. And that’s when I knew that he really lives that music. I don’t agree with people saying that he is playing only to make a show. '
  Many have read Michael Moran's beautifully balanced and thorough report on the entire Chopin Competition and on Bozhanov especially, whom he rates with the great pianists of the past

  I'll be including many of his thoughts, and others', on a "Reviews" page later.

  It now turns out that Bozhanov was one of two pianists who rated 90+ points for each of three solo sessions in the Chopin Competition, but because the point system did not seem to give the jurors results they could agree on or find workable as a committee, they decided to ignore the points, per jurist Harasiewicz (teacher of Wunder) and go with 'impressions' instead and voted placement for each pianist, based on those impressions over the 4 sessions that included the final, concerto event.

  As most who play at all know, a musician is most exposed when playing challenging solo works.   I'll have a section on the Chopin Competition too as well as on the wonderful Video recordings of all Competition sessions, made available to us, for viewing at any time, by the Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina and their representative Artur Szklener.


  1. Evgeni BOZHANOV - Concerts August to December 2011

    Friday, 12 August 2011, 6 p.m.
    LA ROQUE D'ANTHERON, Parc Du Chateau de Florans

    Frédéric Chopin
    Barcarolle en fa dièse majeur opus 60
    Sonate n°3 en si mineur opus 58
    Mazurka en ut dièse mineur opus 30 n°4
    Mazurka en ut dièse mineur opus 41 n°4
    Mazurka en ut dièse mineur opus 50 n°3
    Valse en la bémol majeur opus 64 n°3
    Valse en la bémol majeur opus 42
    Grande Valse brillante en mi bémol majeur opus 18

    Tuesday, 16 August 2011, 6 p.m.
    WARSAW, Philharmonia

    Fryderyk Chopin
    Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11

    Friday, 19 August 2011, 6 p.m.
    Warsaw, Philharmonia

    Fryderyk Chopin
    Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60
    Sonata in B minor, Op. 58
    Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 30 No. 4
    Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 41 No. 4
    Mazurek in C sharp minor, Op. 50 No. 3
    Valse in A flat major, Op. 64 No. 3
    Valse in A flat major, Op. 42
    Valse in E flat major, Op. 18

    Franz Schubert
    12 Ländler D. 790, Op. 171

    Claude Debussy
    La plus que lente
    L´isle joyeuse

    Aleksander Skriabin
    Prelude in C major, Op. 11 No. 1
    Caresse dansée, Op. 57 No. 2
    Valse in F minor, Op. 38

    Charles Gounod / Ferenc Liszt
    Valse from the opera Faust

    Friday, 14 October 2011, 8 p.m.
    DÜSSELDORF, Tonhalle

    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Sonate Es-Dur op. 31/3

    Franz Schubert
    Zwölf Deutsche D 790 "Ländler"

    Frédéric Chopin
    Sonate Nr. 3 h-Moll op. 58
    Barcarolle Fis-Dur op. 60
    Grande Valse As-Dur op. 42
    Grande Valse brillante Es-Dur op. 18

    Sunday, 16 October 2011, 8 p.m.
    BERLIN, Philharmonia

    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - Yutaka Sado, conductor

    Richard Strauss
    Don Juan‹

    Serge Rachmaninoff
    Rhapsodie über ein Thema von Paganini für Klavier und Orchester

    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Symphonie Nr. 7 A-Dur

    Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 8 p.m.
    FREIBURG, Konzerthaus

    Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Turin - Juraj Valcuha, Conductor

    Ouvertüre zu »Guillaume Tell«

    Rhapsodie über ein Thema von Paganini op. 43

    Mendelssohn Bartholdy
    Symphonie Nr. 4 A-Dur op. 90 »Italienische« Orchestra

    Saturday, 26 November 2011, 7.30 p.m.
    VIENNA, Musikverein

    Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Turin - Juraj Valcuha, Conductor

    Gioachino Rossini
    Ouvertüre zu »Guillaume Tell«

    Frédéric Chopin
    Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1 e-Moll op. 11

    Sergej Rachmaninow
    Symphonie Nr. 3 a-Moll op. 44

    Sunday, 4 December 2011, 7.30 p.m.
    LONDON, Royal Festival Hall

    London Philharmonia Orchestra - Tugan Sokhiev, Conductor

    Overture: Le Carnaval Romain

    Piano Concerto No 1

    Symphony No 2

  2. I hadn't planned to make this blog page public until I had time to complete it, with a schedule of concerts possibly.

    But I've not had time. So I left the blog "Non-Public" but it was discovered anyway.

    In the meantime, I've received a comment with a schedule so will post that here, so people can get word of some of the concert appearances. Thanks.

    I'll make the blog space public then, with the understanding it has never really been set up fully. Apologies for that. It's of course just an appreciation page and has no affiliation whatsoever with Bozhanov.

  3. Just spent the evening listening to this kid for the first time and I can't recall being so excited about a young artist. His stage 3 at Chopin was just stunning, played the Op. 61 Pol-Fantasie like it was Prokofiev yet without losing Chopin. His Schubert D. 960 at Cliburn is amazing: this kid is reaching interpretive heights before age 30 that many pianists never touch in a lifetime. Some may find his facial expressions distracting; I'm fine with them. As for his hand-movements, fans of Gould and Zimerman will recognize these timing motions. In fact, his visual concert presence only adds to the remarkable depth of his interpretive gift. I think it's a fairly safe prediction that 3 decades hence this young man's name will sit in the Pantheon of the piano, certainly among the great ones of this century.

  4. Brian, that Bozhanov was able to play the Schubert D. 960 THAT way in the stress and conservative atmosphere of a *competition* was itself something extraordinary. I agree that it's amazing, interpretively. That's rare.

    I imagine you're right in your prediction although I worry about the classical concert world being such a strange animal.

    That timing...and sound. I wish they'd find a way to get him to the U.S. so more of us here can enjoy him in person...

    Thanks for the feedback.


TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the delay, which can be hours.
Normally, am online enough to release comments within a day, and the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.
Any concert info you have would be great - with links, if possible.