20 mar

Carnegie Hall debut: Reviews

Thanks to everyone who came to my Carnegie Hall recital Keys to Romance on Feb 24 – and to the several recitals in Norway ahead of my NYC debut! I am so grateful for this grand experience, and for all the attention I got in the form of reviews. Reviews are most often a scarcity nowadays, but luckily, bloggers and online journals often ‘save’ us musicians when the paper press has to prioritize differently.

Below, you can see excerpts from the four reviews I got, along with links to the full texts. Happy reading!

Michael Miller of the New York Arts: “Christina Kobb… emerges in this recital as not only an outstanding scholar and historical instrument specialist, but a master of the modern piano of impressive musicianship and sophistication. … Kobb’s studies of the keyboard technique of Schubert’s own time have shown her how to render the bass with perfect clarity and to phrase the melody beautifully with a minimum of pedal. Her playing of the Allegretto [of Schubert’s D. 537] was impeccable … This performance was not only the result of scholarship and musical application, but a colorful and sensitive revelation of an underestimated piece.

Her performance had all the bravura one could want as well as the intimate expression she has so finely cultivated in her playing…This was an especially rich debut concert for New York—rich in scholarship, thought, sensitivity, musicality and maturity—and promises a rewarding future for lovers of piano music.”

Jeffrey Williams for The New York Concert Review: “a thought-provoking evening, both intellectually and musically. … Ms. Kobb’s program notes were among the best this reviewer has seen. Her style is that of the storyteller, and while she presents musical analysis, it is nothing beyond the grasp of most, regardless of their level of music education. … The one thing that is immediately apparent about Ms. Kobb is her no-nonsense approach. If one wants extravagant gestures, flashy dress, and indulgent readings, they need to look elsewhere. Ms. Kobb is all about the music. … Ms. Kobb treated the audience to a reverent performance [of Grieg’s op. 1] that exceeded the musical value of the pieces. … [Schumann’s sonata op. 11] was the highlight of the evening, as Ms. Kobb played this love story with passion while maintaining complete control. … The filled hall gave Ms. Kobb a standing ovation at the end.”

Victor Levy of piaNYC: “I thoroughly enjoyed Keys to Romance. Ms. Kobb’s upright posture may have seemed prim to some. For me it seemed refined, even majestic. There was no artful hand waving or crouching. There were very expressive motions and revealing facial expressions completely in sync with the very beautiful sound. Enhanced by a physical expression with no deficiency, what I heard was not a sound fit for the small space in which a performer of the early Romantic era would have performed on a keyboard of the time. Christina Kobb’s passion, expressed in the reconstructed technique adapted for this occasion, filled the modern Weill Hall with all of the finesse written into the scores, as well as the full power of the emotions that the composers felt for each other, preserved and made audible for us, their enduring admirers.” (The photo above is by Victor Levy).

Daniele Sahr for Seen and Heard International: “At the piano, Kobb smiled often and figuratively danced with the instrument. … Excerpts from Clara Schumann’s Quatre Pieces caracteristiques were delivered like a gift … [In Schumann’s op. 11], her maturity as a pianist and interpreter shone through. Though Schumann famously wrote some of the most difficult scherzos, Kobb met the challenge with virtuosity and skill, never sacrificing her interpretive thread to the technical demands. … She held [the audience] in full attention and wonder.”

A special thanks to the reviewers, who took the time and effort both to get to know my work and to publish about it – I appreciate you so very much!

15 jan

Konserter Keys to Romance

Det nærmer seg noen store konserter med programmet Keys to Romance/Robert og Clara – en tangentromanse. Anledningen er New York-debut 24. februar: https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2017/2/24/0800/PM/Christina-Kobb-Piano/ 

7. februar kl 19.30 spiller jeg i Lindemansalen på Norges musikkhøgskole. Det selges kun billetter i døra (kort og kontant) kr. 150,- http://nmh.no/arrangementer/robert-og-clara-en-tangentromanse-1

16. februar kl 19.00 spiller jeg i Kongsberg musikkteater (Krona). Bill. kr 250/200 inkl avgift. Man kan reservere billett her eller kjøpe i døra – jeg lover at alle får plass! https://kongsbergmusikkteater.ticketco.no/christine_sofie_kobb

26. april gjentar jeg dette i Drammens teater (Salong Halvorsen) i serien Klassisk Onsdag.

Passer ikke dette?? Da er det to muligheter til: Er du konsertarrangør kan jeg bookes for en annen dag :) Er du privatperson med flygel kan jeg komme GRATIS å spille hele programmet mitt hos deg nå i januar!!! Ta kontakt snarest – førstemann til mølla!

Her er programmet – dere som har hørt Robert +Clara = sant har fått en del av bakgrunnen med romantiske brev! Det er altså romansen mellom Robert Schumann og unge Clara Wieck som er den underliggende tråden her:

Clara Schumann (1819-96):   From op. 6, Soirées Musicales (1834-36) Toccatina, a minor

Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Sonata, a minor, D. 537 (1817)

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907): Drei Phantasiestücke, (1861 – later published as Vier Stücke, op. 1)

Clara Schumann:  op. 5, Quatre Pièces caractéristiques  (1833-36)
    III Romance
IV Scene Fantastique: Le Ballet des Revenants

* * * * * * *

Robert Schumann (1810-56): Sonata nr. 1, op. 11, f-sharp minor   (1832-36)

Franz Liszt (1811-86)/Robert Schumann: Liebeslied, S566/R53, “Widmung”
Liszt’s arrangement of the first lied of Schumann’s op. 25, Myrthen

 

 

01 okt

Pianosalongen

Hjemme på Filtvet har jeg åpnet Pianosalong! Det betyr regelmessige konserter fra påske til jul, tett på musikken og utøverne. Som en publikummer sa, «på vanlige konserter er det så langt frem til pianisten!» Det er det ikke i Pianosalongen. Hjertelig velkommen til nærkonsert!

Se Pianosalongens nettside her: http://www.pianosalongen.no

18 jul

Booking 2016/17

Sesongen 2016/17 er for lengst i planleggingsfasen, og for meg blir det en spesiell sesong med debutkonsert i Carnegie Hall i februar som høydepunkt. Programmet fokuserer på Clara og Robert Schumanns musikk, og – om man vil lese det programmatisk – på forholdet dem imellom fram til deres bryllup. (Se blogginnlegg for litt mer om Robert og Clara). Alle mine programforslag og foredrag i kommende sesong kommer derfor til å handle om Schumanns eller romantisk musikk i varierende grad!

Jeg er nå 100% frilans og har derfor mye større fleksibilitet og kapasitet enn før på å ta oppdrag, selv på forholdsvis kort varsel. Ta kontakt på telefon, eller til christina [a] fortepiano.no i dag for mer informasjon!

KONSERTFOREDRAG – populært for alle! Dette passer for private selskap, skoler, foreninger og selvsagt store og små konsertarrangører:

  • Klaverspill i 1820-tallets Wien
  • Franz Schubert og klavermusikk i Wien. Eller: Følelsene tar over!
  • Robert + Clara = sant. Kurtisering i ord og toner. (Inkl. utdrag fra brevvekslingen mellom Robert og Clara)

KONSERTER – for store og små konsertarrangører:

  • Klaveraften med debutprogrammet til Carnegie Hall (Schumanns, Grieg, Schubert)
  • Duoprogram med bratsj og klaver. Med Bénédicte Royer, bratsj.

FOREDRAG – for næringsliv, offentlig sektor, foreninger, m.v.:

  • Keys to the World: From facebook to the New York Times – and beyond. Norsk eller engelsk, med mange bilder på power point. Her forteller jeg hele historien om hvordan en facebook-oppdatering ble til en artikkel i New York Times – en artikkel som i flere dager var på avisas liste over “most emailed articles”. Videre forteller jeg hvordan jeg utnyttet oppmerksomheten til en lanseringsturné i USA og debutkonsert i Carnegie Hall.
  • Mozart’s geni. 8 ting du også kan gjøre! Med like deler humor og alvor peker jeg på 8 egenskaper ved geniet Mozart. Om du ikke er et geni allerede kan du, ved å bli oppmerksom på disse, komme betydelig nærmere drømmen om å framstå som en veldig smart person! Hvert punkt illustreres med et musikkutdrag av Mozart.

KURS

Kurs i klassisk musikk/lytting. Disse passer for folkeuniversitetet eller andre grupper musikkinteresserte, og er beregnet for 4-8 kvelder à 2-3 timer. Schubert-kurset kan gjerne inkludere aktiv medvirkning fra kursdeltagerne:

  • Schuberts lieder – mer enn tekst og toner? (har vært brukt som valgmodul i flere år ved Norges musikkhøgskole og Barratt Due musikkinstitutt)
  • Symfonien fra Stamitz til Berlioz

Ferdighetskurs i musikk (kurs for grupper – alt fra unge elever til musikkskolelærere):

  • TANGENTPÅFYLL med Dan Lindén og Christina Kobb. Klaverteknikk og besifringsspill: Konkrete råd til pianister og tangentnerder på viderekomment nivå.
  • IMPROPÅFYLL med Marius Hoven og Christina Kobb. Et kurs i grunnleggende, tonal improvisasjon i ulike stilarter. For instrumentalister og sangere på viderekomment nivå.

SELSKAPER OG EVENTS:
Trenger du pianist til bryllup, selskap, bedriftsarrangement eller andre events, ta kontakt! Jeg er også en erfaren akkompagnatør av sangere, kor og instrumentalister innenfor klassisk, viser, besifring, m.v.

12 jun

Last 3 hours to support me!!

You’ve got 3 – THREE – last hours to support my Carnegie Hall Debut! Since I met the minimum goal of $ 4000 yesterday, thanks to amazing supporters, I have stretched my goal: If I get additional $ 400, I will spend them on a flight to Toronto, to volunteer with colleague Shari Tallon on her charity project for Liberty for Youth! YOU can make it happen!

Here’s the link to my Kickstarter campaign!

Here’s the link to an Interview by Michael Miller, which is just released!

 

11 jun

Thoughts on music and charity

Why should musicians and artists care about society? Should we not simply be appreciated and admired for what we do? Are we perhaps afraid that being involved in charity destroys the picture of us as the struggling artists…? (That would a win, I’d say!)

Of course, we want people to appreciate art, but we also have a responsibility of bringing art to people, regardless of their ability to actively support us in return. Personally, I see it as part of our duty to explain and demonstrate what art can do for people. It’s about people, after all! And we – as musicians and artists – have something to give!

After the article in the New York Times last summer, which presented my research on 19th-century piano technique, I got in touch with so many great people! One of them is Canadian pianist and flutist Shari Tallon. We have e-mailed, skyped and sent messages and links over the last few months. We have exchanged ideas and inspired each other!

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Shari (photo) is extremely passionate about charity. What I admire about her, is how she connects people to each other in the process, enriching so many lives. When Shari recently began working for Steinway Piano Gallery Toronto (Tom Lee Musuc), she immediately initiated a partnership with Hamilton School of Music. Now, the music school school is holding a Practice-a-thon all throughout June in order to help Liberty for Youth. According to their website, this organization “provide[s] prevention and intervention mentorship for at-risk youth”, 12-25 years of age. The Practice-a-thon at Hamilton School of Music will help Liberty for Youth to acquire a piano for their music room! How cool is that?! I can’t wait for an update on this exciting project!

Hamilton school of music

In the meantime, please be inspired to think about how your artistic endeavors may benefit people around you! Dare to think big and reach out to people outside your everyday circle with an idea, a thought, a suggestion. Sooner or later, you will find your charity partner!

***

Do you want to support me going to Toronto in March, right after my debut recital in Carnegie Hall, to teach, perform and give these kids some great musical experiences? Act fast: support my Kickstarter campaign for my Carnegie debut which is already funded in full – the next $ 400 will cover my flight to Toronto!!

21 apr

Robert + Clara = sant

Robert + Clara = sant
Ord og toner fra Leipzig, ca. 1850

Gjennom verk av Robert og Clara Schumann, Grieg, Schubert og Moscheles, samt utdrag fra brevvekslingen mellom Robert og Clara, forteller historien om hvordan 1800-tallets mest kjente musikerektepar faktisk ble et par!

Christina Kobb, klaver
Kort, kulinarisk kåseri ved Milla Steinbeck.
Kaffe og noe attåt er inkludert i billetten.

Lågdalsmuseet, tirsdag 26. april kl. 19.00 Inngang kr. 200,- (barn kr. 50,-) Billettsalg i døra fra kl 18.15.
Velkommen!

Konsert 26.04.16. Lågdalsmuseet