Archive for October, 2009

Lera Auerbach

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Lera Auerbach

Pianist Lera Auerbach, who defected from the Soviet Union at 17, makes her New Orleans debut Friday, writes Chris Waddington @

She was just 17. She had no money, no contacts, and couldn’t speak English. She knew that she might never see her family again. And yet, on a day in 1991, Lera Auerbach decided to stay in New York City, joining the last generation of artists to defect from the Soviet Union.

Two decades later, that gifted young pianist from a small Siberian town has emerged as an in-demand international soloist and is widely regarded as one of the 21st century’s most compelling composers.

“To stay in New York was a very spontaneous decision,” Auerbach said. “I was a sheltered child, so coming to America was a shock, like travelling to the moon. But I had an intuition that this would be my chance to grow as an artist and as a person. Fate gave me a chance at that moment.”

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Princess Michael gets arty with Emin

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Robin Gosnall


(Sunday Times)

The Queen once quipped that she was “too grand for us”. Now Princess Michael of Kent has struck up an unlikely friendship with Tracey Emin, the one-time bad girl of Brit Art, to modernise and “educate” her artistic tastes.

The princess, who is married to the Queen’s first cousin, used to live in Nether Lypiatt, a Gloucestershire manor house filled with antiques, family portraits and porcelain, but her new friend is giving her advice on starting a modern art collection. They have recently been visiting galleries together, discussing possible purchases.

The backgrounds of the pair could hardly be more different. Emin, 46, the daughter of a Turkish Cypriot father and an English mother, spent a turbulent and troubled childhood in Margate, Kent. She is known for her raucous, often sexually explicit art. Princess Michael was born to central European aristocracy, married Prince Michael of Kent, and now lives in a flat in Kensington Palace after selling Nether Lypiatt to Lord Drayson, the Labour peer, for £5.75m.

Recent developments have allowed the tastes of the two women to converge. While Emin’s wildness has mellowed, the former Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, 64, has cleared out many of her heirlooms as she is forced to make economies and downsize her lifestyle. Last week, the princess told The Sunday Times she was “gently starting to collect contemporary art” with help from her “great friend Tracey Emin”. In addition to their tours of dealers and arts world functions, the pair have been seen lunching at the St John Bread & Wine restaurant near Emin’s flat in east London and have taken tea at Kensington Palace.

This month, the princess was spotted at the Frieze art fair in London eyeing a pair of works by Georg Baselitz, the German neo-expressionist painter. She has also taken to Emin’s own art. At one auction, she bid for a piece featuring a comment about the artist’s love life scrawled in neon, but did not win it.

“She clearly likes the woman and she’s stimulated by her,” said a friend. “They’ve obviously found a connection and she’s learning from her.”


Tracey Emin @ Aberdeen Art Gallery
Tracey Emin: My LIfe In A Column

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Roasted vegetables with goat’s cheese and smashed tomatoes

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2009 by Robin Gosnall


Half Hour Meals

This makes a lovely lunch dish on its own, or can be served as an accompaniment to simply grilled meat. The sweet zingy topping is delicious on just about anything. Sometimes for a snack I spread it on toast, perhaps with a little ricotta.

For the smashed tomatoes:
12 cherry tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
3 good-quality anchovies packed in salt
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tbsp good-quality red-wine vinegar

For the vegetables:
1 sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
4-5 stalks of sprouting broccoli, trimmed but leaving some dark leaves attached
the juice of one lemon
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
120g little cooked white beans, such as cannellini
160g soft goat’s cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the tomatoes in a roasting tray with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place on the middle shelf and roast for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are bursting from their skins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a large mortar and pestle, place the rosemary leaves, anchovies and garlic and pound until you have a rough paste; now add the tomatoes two or three at a time, pounding in small increments, otherwise they tend to go everywhere.

Keep adding until all the tomatoes are incorporated, then add the vinegar. Stir well, then pour in the remaining olive oil, stirring as you go. Set aside to allow the flavours to become acquainted.

To make the vegetables, keep the oven at 200°C. Place the sweet potato in a roasting tray, pour over the olive oil, maple syrup and tamari, toss together with your hands and roast in the oven until caramelised, which should take 20-25 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool to room temperature. Boil a large pan of well-salted water and plunge the broccoli in; cook for two minutes. Drain, dress with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper. Arrange the broccoli, beans and sweet potato attractively on a plate, crumble over the goat’s cheese, spoon the crushed tomato over the top and serve.

Katherine Jenkins “Almost Raped” 10 Years Ago

Posted in Music with tags , , , on October 22, 2009 by Robin Gosnall


To coincide with the release of her seventh album Believe on October 26, Katherine Jenkins has revealed to Piers Morgan how she was almost raped.

“I remember him grunting at me. He started dragging me and I remember my purse was there so I knew he wasn’t just trying to mug me and somehow I managed to get out of his grip and I thought ‘My gosh, I’m going to get away from him’.”

“He kind of threw his weight against me and I hit the wooden wall and then I just thought, ‘Right, he is actually going to try and rape me, so if I can get in a ball on the floor … then he won’t be able to do it.’ So I did that and he kicked me a few times and tried to get me to open up, and that didn’t work … and then eventually I gave him my purse, which didn’t have much money in it because I was a student. He ran to the end of the road and then stopped and looked back at me and laughed. And I’ll never forget his face.”

The star was not able to identify her attacker.

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Ah guarda sorella by Mozart

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Katherine Jenkins: Bring Me To Life

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

“This album is definitely my most accessible, my most crossover, it’s still classical but it’s far more popular than anything I’ve ever done before,” Katherine Jenkins told Lorraine Kelly on GMTV.

Katherine Jenkins Day on The Eton Mess is now officially over.

“Save me from the nothing I’ve become.”

Evanescence: Bring Me To Life

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Katherine Jenkins includes this song on her new album Believe.

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