April 3, 2000
Volume 52, No. 27
Virtuoso to visit Emory
By Deb Hammacher
Violin virtuoso Kennedy, touring the United States with Germany's Bamberg Symphony Chamber Orchestra and conductor Pieter Daniel in support of the U.S. release of Classic Kennedy, will perform at Glenn Auditorium April 4 at 8:15 p.m.
Released in the United Kingdom last fall, the recording--featuring the violinist in short showpieces that he said each achieve "three-and-a-half minutes of perfection"--shot to the top of the classical charts. His Emory program will include selections from the new album, along with Bach's "Concerto for Solo Violin in A Minor" and Beethoven's "Violin Concerto in D Major."
Classic Kennedy represents a whole range of styles and composers, from Bach and Handel to Massenet and Satie, alongside Joni Mitchell and Kennedy himself.
"I wanted to make a recording of small, perfect works," said Kennedy, whose first name is Nigel, though he performs under only his surname. "The maxim 'quality over quantity' is so right--a small piece of music can be a masterpiece."
The new album reunites the violinist with the English Chamber Orchestra which he directs from the bow, as he did on their 1989 recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, a landmark classical recording that went as high as No. 3 on the U.K. pop charts and sold more than a million copies, one of the best-selling classical recordings of all time.
A major EMI Classics star since the beginning of his career as a child prodigy and the most famous protege of the late Yehudi Menuhin, Kennedy has built an award-winning catalog of recordings that includes the great concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.
As one of the most successful classical performers of his time, Kennedy's genre-defying music helped him achieve a level of fame typically reserved for pop stars, according to The All Music Guide. He has collaborated not only with the likes of Riccardo Muti, the London and Berlin philharmonic orchestras and André Previn, but also with pop figures Paul McCartney and Kate Bush.
In 1992, neck surgery forced Kennedy to retire for several years, but he resurfaced with 1996's Kafka, which for the first time included his own compositions and broadened his scope to include elements of Celtic, rock and jazz. The Jimi Hendrix tribute, The Kennedy Experience, followed in 1999.
Tickets for the Glenn show range from $17 to $25. For more information, call 404-727-5050.