January 19, 1997
Had anyone had told me 40 years ago that Mieczyslaw Horszowski would become one of the world's hottest pianists, I would have laughed.But I wasn't laughing in the 1990-1991 concert season -- I was just trying to find a ticket to his Carnegie Hall recital, which had been sold out months in advance. In that season -- his last, as it turned out -- the 98-year-old Horszowski's only competition in the pianist-everyone-wants- to-hear sweepstakes was the 18-year-old Russian phenom- enon, Evgeny Kissin.
January 21, 1996
YEARS OF CHILD- hood movie-watching have made me a soft touch for those show-business sagas in which a terrific young talent creates a sensation after receiving the proverbial last-minute call to fill in for some indisposed star. The story, in any of its various permutations, is one of Hollywood's most durable myths -- that talent will out regardless of the odds.Yet all myths contain at least a grain of truth, and in real life I am continually surprised by how often things actually turn out that way.For example, when soprano Jessye Norman performed at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Hall a few seasons back, a young Peabody graduate named Mark Markham counted himself lucky just to be allowed to turn pages for Phillip Moll, the veteran pianist who accompanied Ms. Norman.
March 11, 1994
It doesn't take a genius to see that in the crazy world of World War II, the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans, which is the difficulty with "The Accompanist." The movie, which opens today at the Senator, is a hill of beans.A plush French melodrama from Claude Miller, it's about people who live in expensive apartments and have refined tastes and are quite irritated by the hubbub the war is causing outside the window. I mean, how could it? How dare it? It's bad enough the Germans have absolutely no fashion sense, but it's become really hard to get brandy from the provinces.
September 18, 1992
No one can accuse Mark Markham of hiding his talents under a bushel.The young pianist is a gifted vocal accompanist (almost every singer in town, from the Peabody Conservatory's internationally renowned soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson on down loves to work with him); he's much in demand as a chamber-music pianist; he's a persuasive exponent of new music (he and Bryn-Julson will give the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Charles Wuorinen's "A Winter's Tale" in November); he's a popular vocal coach (he teaches 30 hours a week at Peabody)
June 7, 1991
No one recites at a spring recital. Beyond a word of welcome, concert halls are hushed as the season of the solo cycles round for children faint with fear.''But you know your piece,'' whispers the mother as she and the child approach a doorway into a hall where rows and rows of chairs are already filled with parents silently paging through programs.''But I should have brought it,'' the child whispers back. She doesn't say the unspeakable -- ''What if I forget?'' -- but, crossing the threshold, shoes polished, hair ribbons new, she feels her knees grow weak at the sight of a stage whose steps she far too soon will ascend, her accompanist (holding her music)