elsie does nigel kennedy
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A standing ovation ended the Nigel Kennedy concert in Olzstyn. The world-renowned violinist performed before an audience in the Hall of Urania. The virtuoso played his own work  along with works of popular music for violin. 
What particularly needs to stand out in music that inspires him?

'I think it must be genuine. If something is original, it's just good. I was fortunate that I was a kid in the seventies. These were important years for music. We had Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Santana, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It was a very creative time. I had the enormous privilege to grow in those years '  said the artist to Radio Olsztyn.

During his concert in the Hall of Urania he was accompanied by, among others, the outstanding drummer Adam Czerwinski, along with Doug Boyle, Julian Buschberger and Tomasz Kupiek.
Nigel Kennedy was the main star of this year’s Olsztyn Artistic Summer.



Nigel has signed on with Peter Rudge Vection Management . A new official website is currently in the works. When it is published I will post the info here and create a link to the new site, which will give you all the info you want, including confirmed concert dates. I shall continue to babble as usual on here, but I won’t duplicate anything they are doing !


Peter Cook writes:  I went to see Nigel Kennedy at a concert celebrating the work of composers that filled his early years, from Bach to Fats Domino.  I had the great pleasure of meeting Nigel after the show where I presented him with a copy of "Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll" and was offered drinks with him. He was astonished that I'd noticed a cheeky and subtle reference to the blues harmonica within the 90 minute performance (probably just a couple of seconds of playing - two notes slurred together and made to sound exactly like a blues harp player within one of his classical pieces) As a result, he immediately recognized that I was a musician from my observation. So, what did I learn from Nigel ?

Nigel the man

Authentic to the core : Kennedy faced threats at the age of 16 from his classical tutors when he was offered the chance to play with Stéphane Grappelli at New York's Carnegie Hall. He refused to heed the threats and crossed the line between the classics and jazz. He has also played material by Jimi Hendrix and The Doors giving the establishment a run for their money. A thoroughly warm and authentic individual that refuses to be classified by others. The mark of a true leader - what Rosabeth Moss-Kanter termed a 'boundary crosser'.

Nigel and the band

Kennedy works with a trio of musicians who he met in jazz jam sessions in his Polish home town of Krakow. Just watching the band work through his set was a exemplar of what I call "planned spontaneity".

Simplicity : The drummer used one snare drum for much of the performance, using every part of the instrument and his hands to gain an enormous range of sounds from one drum. The work of a true master.

Interplay : Although it was obvious that the show had been extensively rehearsed, the true joy of the performance was when Nigel signalled the guitar player to extend his solos, when there were ‘comic interruptions’ of the performance by Nigel interrupting the drummer and bass player. Difficult to describe in print so you must catch him and the band on tour.

Timing : The band have exquisite timing, and this allows them to perform various musical acrobatics. The result of a combination of individual genius and the 10 000 hours effect.

Teamwork : Given the potential size of the egos in an ensemble of this quality, the miracle is that all manage to leave their egos in the dressing room, playing off one another in a true example of what can happen of how healthy competition leads to peak performance.


Kevin Cooper wrote in The Nottingham Post :

You don’t so much as go to a Nigel Kennedy concert as enter his world for the evening.

This is something Geoff Brown of The Times was unable to do. He had this to say:

And it wasn’t just an evening, it almost became the next day as well. Improvised interludes, banter and equipment problems took the show somewhere over three generous hours. I’d gladly have scissored the 35 minutes of Kennedy’s incidental music to a production of The Three Sisters, a stretch of smeary atmospherics eventually kicked in the backside by heavy blasts of electrified funk. Snips and tucks could also have helped his English Collection: five Celtic-touched morsels, bent out of their fragile shapes by a bit too much solo riffing and twiddling.

A fan wrote to me as follows:

I went  to the concert in Nottingham on 23rd May it was absolutely fantastic and he was on tremendous form.   We had a premiere of The Three Sisters music he composed relating to the play his wife  Agnieszka performed in and produced in January.   It is mesmerizing, one of the best things I have ever heard him play of his own work.  

                                                      Kevin Cooper's pic

Kevin Cooper summed up with these words:

With Julian Buschberger and the thoughtful former Robert Plant sideman, Doug Boyle on guitars, and Orphy Robinson on xylosynth and percussion, the stage simply oozed with talent. The audience were enthralled as Kennedy impressed with his skilled intonation, speed and the effortlessness of his fingering and double-stopping

Well, they can’t all be right, can they ?  What odds can I get that the ones who went because they wanted to hear Nigel and were prepared to LISTEN to him are right and the one who went with the sole purpose of writing a review and had no intention of actually LISTENING to him is wrong ?


In case you were wondering………the violin Nigel is playing at the present time was made by Martin Bouette of London especially for him in 1998.......Nigel finds that this particular violin has a better and louder sound than any old Strads etc; he has played recently.




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