Friday, February 04, 2005

Glenn Gould Prize

Andre Previn (known to millions in Britain, following a Morecambe and Wise sketch with him as "Andrew Preview") has won the Glenn Gould prize for his contributions to music. Most deserving. Previn is a tremendous jazz pianist, a superb Schuman piano interpreter, and a gifted conductor who has brought a sense of music to many. He was knighted by the Queen some time ago (1996) and is a widely recognized figure in music. He is 76 (or will be in April).

He bgan his career writing orchestrations in Hollywood - Kiss Me Kate, My Fair Lady and Paint Your Wagon being some of the films he worked on - and the scores led to a number of Oscar nominations and four Oscar awards. He moved on to playing and conducting, leading such orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1985-89); Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1976-84); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Music Director: 1985-88; Principal Conductor: 1988-91); London Symphony Orchestra (Music Director: 1969-79; Conductor Laureate: since 1993); and Houston Symphony Orchestra (1967-70). He has toured extensively, and I have seen him conduct twice.

But he is also a composer. His opera A Streetcar Named Desire (1998) and his Violin Concerto - written for Ann Sophie Mutter (his wife) in 2002 - and a String Quartet with Soprano (2003) are amongst his better works.

I like him best as a jazz pianist. Listen to Triple Play (Telarc 3457) if you want a real treat.

Well deserved indeed.

1 comment:

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