Sunday, December 26, 2010

Manrico Padovani

Manrico Padovani is a Swiss-Italian violinist born on August 12, 1973 (Perlman was 27 years old.)  He is the first Swiss violinist to perform all 24 of Paganini’s Caprices in concert in a single evening (Zürich, 2006.)  Born in Zürich to Italian parents, he began his violin studies as a child and later entered (in Winterthur, Switzerland) the class of Aida Stucki-Piraccini (who had also taught Anne-Sophie Mutter much earlier.)  (Winterthur is 15 miles northeast of the city of Zurich and is the city where in 1900, Albert Einstein first worked as a tutor before landing a job in the patent office in Bern)  At the Royal Conservatory in Amsterdam, Padovani studied with Hermann Krebbers.  Additionally, in Europe, he studied with Ruggiero Ricci, Boris Belkin, and Franco Gulli among other master violin teachers and composers.  He graduated from the Winterthurer Conservatory in 1991 and made his debut in Lucerne in 1992.  He has been concertizing in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. ever since and has even been called the “devil’s fiddler” for his brilliant technique and playing style.  Nobody has yet said that Padovani is in league with the devil, as Paganini was said to be, but it could yet happen – music critics can say and write what they wish.  His recordings include the concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Paganini, Prokofiev, and others in the standard repertoire.  His recording of the Beethoven concerto (with the Moscow Philharmonic) is especially remarkable in that Padovani uses Leopold Auer’s cadenza, not Kreisler’s (the Kreisler cadenza is the one most used by violinists.)  He is the only one to do so.  For the Paganini concerto, he uses the most difficult cadenza ever written for this concerto – the one by Emile Sauret.  His recent performances in Vienna and Prague are available on DVD as well (this is not surprising since Padovani is very photogenic) and a live CD recording of the second Paganini concerto (B minor) in Seoul is also already in the catalog.  He also recently recorded the soundtrack to the European film Sinestesia (2010) and the 24 Caprices of Paganini.  (Other concert violinists who have recorded soundtracks are Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, Toscha Seidel, and Louis Kaufman.)  In addition, he has made a very large number of radio and television appearances in Europe and Canada.  (Eddy Brown used to play almost exclusively on radio.)  There are also several videos of his concert appearances on YouTube, including the incredibly difficult Ernst arrangement of Schubert’s Der Erlkonig.  He frequently performs chamber music with other major artists and often appears in duo violin performances with Russian violinist Natasha Korsakova with whom he will also record several double concertos in 2011.  (Natasha Korsakova is profiled on this blog - December 15.)  Padovani played on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin (1861) for some time but presently plays the 1722 Jupiter (ex-Goding) Stradivarius.  (There is another Jupiter Strad from the year 1700.) 

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