The Menuhin Century wins Best Reissue of the Year in the Diapason Awards
In a Paris ceremony this week held at the Radio France auditorium, the Yehudi Menuhin edition The Menuhin Centurywas awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'Année for Reedition of the Year.
The prize was accepted in person by Bruno Monsaingeon, a protegé and friend of Menuhin, author of the book Passion Menuhin which appears in English exclusively in the box set, who curated The Menuhin Century for thelegendary violinist's centenary, in close collaboration with Warner Classics.
The French classical magazine Diapasonannounced that the award "recognises the colossal, exhaustive work involved in the box set The Menuhin Century," drawing particular attention to the deluxe presentation and the size and scope of the project. "It's more than a box set; it's a piece of furniture," joked the compere at the ceremony.
Above all, concluded Diapason, "it's a monument to the memory of this immense violinist" that reveals Monsaingeon's unique perspective, his work on the box set fueled by "admiration, passion and companionship."
Accepting the award on behalf of Warner Classics, Monsaingeon said that The Menuhin Century confirms that Yehudi "remains absolutely present in the violin world today." He also spoke of the "emotional" experience of editing never-before-released archival recordings of the legendary violinist from more than 50 years ago.
The Menuhin Century box set - 80 CDs, 11 DVDs and a deluxe book by Bruno Monsaingeon - is available now.
05 July 2016
Yehudi Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman among Classic FM's 25 Greatest Violinists
Classic FM has published its guide to the 25 Greatest Violinists of All Time, from Vivaldi to the legendary recording artists of the early 20th century, and today's stars.
The list would have been unthinkable without Yehudi Menuhin, one of the most prolific and beloved violinists of the recording age, whose centenary we celebrate in 2016 with The Menuhin Century edition, the most comprehensive collection documenting his 70-year recording legacy with EMI Classics (now Warner Classics), including milestone recordings of Elgar's Violin Concerto with the composer himself conducting the teenage violinist; the premiere of the Sonata for Solo Violin written for Menuhin by Bartók, the pioneering West Meets East album with Ravi Shankar, and unforgettable moments in history such as the Marseillaise performed at the Opéra de Paris after the liberation of Paris in 1944.
Thirty years Menuhin's junior, Israeli-American living legend Itzhak Perlman now proudly plays the 'Soil' Stradivarius formerly owned by Menuhin. Perlman celebrated his 70th birthday in August 2015, with a handsome 77-CD boxed set of his Complete Warner Classics Recordings, featuring collaborators as distinguished as André Previn, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Martha Argerich, Yo-Yo Ma and more.
Also included in the world's Top 25 Violinists is British virtuoso Nigel Kennedy, a pupil at the Menuhin School who recorded the famed Vivaldi Four Seasonsthat has held the Guinness World Record for best-selling classical album of all time.
See the full list of Classic FM's Top 25 Violinists of All Time here.
02 May 2016
London Jewish Cultural Centre: Q&A with Menuhin's daughter and Bruno Monsaingeon
This week, on 5 May, the London Jewish Cultural Centre hosts a celebration of Yehudi Menuhin’s centenary. The centre will be screening The Violin of the Century: the iconic retrospective by Bruno Monsaingeon, one of the most renowned music documentary filmmakers of our time and a close friend of Menuhin's.
Following the screening, Gramophone magazine ditor James Jolly will chair a panel discussion and Q&A with Monsaingeon and Zamira Menuhin Benthall - Yehudi Menuhin’s eldest child and only daughter.
All in attendance will have the chance to win Warner Classics' The Menuhin Centuryboxed set (80 CDs, 11 DVDs, and book), the centenary edition curated by Monsaingeon himself.
As underlined in The Violin of the Century and in the extraordinary Menuhin Century collection, Menuhin was not a mere musician: he was a cosmopolitan, peacemaker and true humanist. Monsaingeon describes his work with Menuhin as follows: “He threw himself into it whole-heartedly, with great sense of humour and overwhelming humanity. This film also shows my heartfelt gratitude for a man who gave such decisive sense to my own existence."
Richly endowed with a wealth of photographic and audio-visual archive material, the film explores Yehudi Menuhin’s extraordinary career from its very beginnings in his early childhood years, narrated in the legendary violinist's own words.
Yehudi Menuhin: Statesman of His Century - listen to the centenary podcast
RTÉ lyric fm and distinguished radio personality Jon Tolansky present Yehudi Menuhin: Statesman of His Century: a two-hour podcast paying tribute to the great violinist on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
This in-depth, two-part programme, available here to stream online, explores seventy years of Menuhin's life and recording legacy through extensive interviews with Bruno Monsaingeon, the renowned filmmaker, violinist, lifelong friend of Menuhin. Monsaingeon is also the curator of Warner Classics' monumental centenary edition The Menuhin Century, and author of Passion Menuhin, the book that accompanies the boxed set. Together with Tolansky, Monsaingeon selects music from The Menuhin Century, including a number of previously-unreleased and rare archival recordings.
Warner Classics presents this exclusive podcast by kind permission of RTÉ lyric fm.
22 April 2016
Vilde Frang pays homage to Yehudi Menuhin on her violin hero's 100th birthday
"Yehudi Menuhin's autobiography, Unfinished Journey, is one of the books that I take down from the shelf every now and then and that I like to have near me. It is highly entertaining also in a historic perspective, with many funny anecdotes about his colleagues; most of whom were the 20th century's finest artists and composers.
"Menuhin was not only the great violinist of the century, but also a great humanist. His writing is full of warmth and his memoirs contain lots of colourful stories. He really had an exceptional life.
"His key recordings for me are those from his years as a prodigy – I used to listen to them when I was the same age he was when he recorded them; a kid of ten or eleven (and I found him quite handsome looking). They still fill me with awe. The potential and sense of 'noblesse' in his playing is out of another world.
"I met him when I was eight, very briefly. At that time I was a little too small to realise whom I was actually smiling to the camera with. I just remember him as a very friendly old man, hailed by everybody around as a legend, visiting Norway."
The 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin's birth falls on 22 April, 2016. Warner Classics celebrates with The Menuhin Century boxed set, available now.
Itzhak Perlman pays tribute on the 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin's birth
"I first played for Yehudi Menuhin at the age of 11 during his visit to Israel. Throughout my career, I was lucky enough to know him as a colleague and a friend. I am honoured to be able to play his beloved 'Soil' Stradivarius every day. His legacy will remain both as the quintessential wunderkind and great artist."
21 April 2016
The Menuhin Century: listen to the official Yehudi Menuhin playlist
Yehudi Menuhin: the essence of a legendary artist in a 90-second video
Compelling footage summarising the life and legacy of Yehudi Menuhin, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this Friday, 22 April. The rare archival material in this video is drawn from the 11 DVDs of The Menuhin Century boxed set, which also includes 80 CDs and a hardback book; all lovingly curated by Menuhin's protégé and friend, the filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon.
17 April 2016
Presenting the winners of the 2016 International Menuhin Competition
The Chinese youngster has taken first prize in the prestigious biennial competition. Yesong Sophie Lee, 12, was named best junior.
As first prize-winner Ziyu wins a yearlong loan of a Stradivarius violin (the ‘Schneiderhan’ from 1715) and £10,000.
Junior winner Yesong Sophie Lee, from the USA, receives a yearlong loan of a Guarneri made around 1740, and a cash prize of £5,000. The four other junior finalists were Kevin Miura (13, USA/Japan), Johan Dalene (15, Sweden), NaKyung Kang (12, South Korea) and Anne Luisa Kramb (15, Germany).
This year, the biennial competition for musicians under 22 years of age - dubbed the 'Olympics of the violin' - coincided with this month's Yehudi Menuhin centenary celebrations, returning to London's Royal Academy of Music for the occasion. The Royal Academy has also dug through its archives to present a fascinating Menuhin exhibition in situ: 'Yehudi Menuhin: Journeys with a Violin'.
The legendary violinist, himself a prodigy whose career was launched when he was just seven years old, founded the competition that bears his name in 1983. It has since brought international fame and recognition to violinists including former winners Julia Fischer, Ray Chen and Tasmin Little. These superlative soloists were on this year's competition jury, alongside Yehudi Menuhin's son, pianist Jeremy Menuhin.
Full 2016 competition results here. The next Menuhin Competition will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in April 2018.
Itzhak Perlman dedicates encore to Yehudi Menuhin at sold-out Paris recital
At his sold-out Paris concert this week, playing the Philharmonie de Paris for the first time, three charming encores in, Itzhak Perlman announced from the stage: "I'd like to dedicate this to my friend Yehudi Menuhin, who would have been one hundred this month.
Perlman explained to the enchanted audience that he plays on the 'Soil' Stradivarius violin that was once treasured by Menuhin himself, thirty years Perlman's senior. "
"I feel this togetherness, and I feel very fortunate," he said.
Perlman played Brahms' Hungarian Dance No.1, alluding to Menuhin's love of gypsy music.
Last year, Warner Classics marked Itzhak Perlman's 70th birthday with a complete boxed set of his recordings for the label. This month, with the centenary of Menuhin's birth falling on 22 April, Warner Classics has released The Menuhin Century edition, drawing together remastered and never-before-released recordings and rarities from that great violinist's 70-year relationship with his label.