22. July 2011 · Comments Off on Do We Kiss Play & Tell? · Categories: Reviews, Videos

These days many performers in classical music speak to audiences to share insights and stories. But it is not often that an artist disavows a performance he has just given.

This happened on Wednesday night at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College the New School for Music, when the noted French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris finished a ballistic account of Chopin’s “Military” Polonaise.

The bushy-haired Mr. Katsaris, 60, warned the many aspiring pianists in the audience never to offer an “ignominious” performance like the one he had just given for an exam or a competition; otherwise “the jury will ——,” he said, going silent. Then he made a gesture to slice his throat with his right hand. The audience laughed and applauded.

-Anthony Tommasini


So what do you think? Is it okay to do this? What if the audience thought it was wonderful? Are we ruining their enjoyment of a concert? Do we need to enlighten them, or is that ungracious and/or unnecessary? Or could it be that it so bad that he knew a reviewer would “have at it” and this sort of preempted that little problem? Oooh … I like that! I mean … we make a boo boo. So who cares? And if WE call ourselves out on it first it sort of steals the thunder from the reviewer. Hah!

I couldn’t find a video of him playing the Military so here’s this instead:

And since the article also mentions his improvisation:

… and yes, I will now confess I had never heard of Mr. Katsaris before.

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