My personal association with the great Czech pianist Ivan Moravec goes back many years. Sometime in the 1980's, I had heard some beautiful recordings that he made, and in my capacity as one of the directors of the Aldeburgh festival, I invited him there to play a recital. Needless to say, it was enchanting, as was getting to know him and his lovely wife, Suzanne. Thus begun a friendship that lasted until his passing away, and which meant that in addition to seeing him every time I came to Prague, we visited with each other in foreign cities (for example, Berlin and Jerusalem) and I was lucky enough to hear other recitals and also attend fascinating master classes that he gave. Through these many years, even when we couldn't see each other, we also were able to have long conversations (both in person and on the phone) that added a lot to my understanding.
I was in admiration of his artistic outlook, of his pianistic knowledge, of his complete honesty and moral integrity. He was somebody I wholeheartedly looked up to, and only regret that there wasn't more time that we could have together.
What struck me about his playing was the range of colours he had at his disposal, the utter naturalness of his phrasing, the unostentatious yet commanding technique, and a deeply human perspective, where artificiality had no place.
He and his art will be sorely missed, but we do have some wonderful recordings that he left us which do capture the uniqueness of his spirit, and we do have the memories that will always be a part of us.
A 20% individual discount to all exhibits at the National Gallery in Prague info+
A 20% individual discount to all exhibits at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art info+
A 50% discount on train fare on Czech Railways trains for travel to 2016 Prague Spring info+
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