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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: July 8, 2008 Archive

Gustav Mahler's Bacon Number

Posted at 12:00 AM on July 8, 2008 by John Birge (3 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

Today is actor Kevin Bacon's 50th birthday.

Bacon is the subject of the trivia game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." The premise: due to his prolific screen career, any Hollywood actor can be linked to another in six steps or less. A person's number of degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon is that person's "Bacon Number".

Leonard Bernstein's Bacon Number is 2: Bacon's co-star in "Footloose" was Lori Singer, a Juilliard-trained cellist who knew Bernstein.

Leopold Stokowski's Bacon Number is 3: Lori Singer's father was conductor Jacques Singer, who was a protege of Stokowski.

Arturo Toscanini's Bacon Number is also 3: Lori Singer studied with Leonard Rose, who was hired by Toscanini to play in the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Gustav Mahler's Bacon Number is 4: Leonard Rose was a friend of conductor Bruno Walter, who was a friend of Mahler's.

Yo Yo Ma's Bacon Number is 2: He and Lori Singer both studied with Leonard Rose.

Joshua Bell's Bacon Number is 3: His friend John Corigliano (who composed "The Red Violin Concerto" for Bell) taught orchestration to Michael Bacon, who is Kevin's big brother (Michael and Kevin performed together as "The Bacon Brothers").

Any others we should add to the list? What's your Bacon Number?

You might want to consult The Oracle of Bacon! (props to Fred Child for the tip!)

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The Junior e-Comp continues to impress

Posted at 11:08 AM on July 8, 2008 by Melissa Ousley (2 Comments)

After catching Round Two of the Minnesota International e-Piano Junior Competition I'm beginning to wonder about the capacity of the human brain. Not mine, but the brains of these young pianists who are somehow able to play at such a high level. I realize that many of them spend hours (6, 8?) practicing each day, but it's still remarkable to me that they are able to digest the music and present it to us in such fine form.
Take Vladimir Levitsky, a tall, slender 16 year old from Russia who ended his 30-minute program yesterday with the knuckle-busting Vladimir Horowitz edition of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt. (As if the Liszt original version wasn't demanding enough!) Or, the more intimate performer Jan Lisiecki from Canada. Jan is only 13, and his interpretation of Liszt's Concert Etude "Un Sospiro" was so beautiful it made me cry.
Vladimir and Jan are two of the nine semi-finalists who will compete in the next round of the competition which begins at noon on Wednesday. This takes place at Hamline University's Sundin Hall and is free and open to the public. Or, check out the live stream of the Semi-Final Round at: competition website. Just look for the Live Stream link under Current Competition.

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