Sunday, 15 January 2012

Jonathan Biss

Yesterday's Heart and Soul group discussed ways in which we could each intensify our local community experience. The implication being that, if we needed to travel anywhere, let's go low-carbon. Better however to stay at home. That was in the middle of the day: in the evening we took the car an hour Southwards, to hear a pianist from Indiana, flown in a few hours before from New York. And in the interval, the talk was with one person just returned from New Zealand, another off to Burma this week, a third having been skiing since New Year in Wyoming, a fourth glad that his cruise had not ended with a rocky encounter off the Tuscan coast.

In this private concert, Jonathan Biss, 31, tried out a programme he's to perform seven times in three different countries over the coming five weeks. "Remember, you're hearing it here first," our hostess warned me last night. Indeed we shall: this "outstanding" performer played Beethoven, Chopin and sublime Janáček to the huge acclaim of a discerning audience, before sending us home with a silvery sliver of Schumann.

My photograph was taken while Biss rehearsed for his Tetbury Festival recital in October 2010.

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