Tonight at 7:30, the final round of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition begins with the first three of our six finalists taking center stage. This time they'll be at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Mark Russell Smith. On tap are two concertos by Rachmaninoff and the Piano Concerto #2 by Chopin. The Rachmaninoff soloists, Eric Zuber and Grace Eun Hae Kim, are both students at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Earlier this week, I asked them if that added to the tension at the e-Comp. They both said, "Absolutely not!" In fact, Eric said they've been inseparable and are a great support to one another. Helene Tysman is from Paris and she'll play the Chopin tonight. Her face lit up when she told me how much she loves Chopin's music. That was clear in the opening round when she wowed the audience with her performance of the complete Preludes, Op. 28. There's little doubt in my mind that her concerto will be a highlight of the competition.
Listen to my conversation with John Birge to learn more about finalists Eric Zuber and Grace Eun Hae Kim
I may be showing my age by quoting that ad for a cassette tape, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read a piece today about a man who sued for live music, and won.
I know, I know that's the ad for Maxell, not Memorex...it was a good one, but I digress. The story takes place in Manchester, England with a father taking his kids to see "The Wizard of Oz." The singers were live, but the orchestra was taped.
He felt he'd been misled into believing that all players would be live. While this fellow was the only one who filed suit, the judge in the case used the Trade Descriptions Act as precedent and ordered the theatre to refund the plaintiff's money.
I wonder if the many ballet companies and other musical theatre companies in the United States moving towards taped performances will see similar backlash?