Thursday, 22 September 2011

SEPARATED AT BIRTH? Composers and their Lookalikes

How funny it is for a Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore to cause a complete cessation of musical life in the city. As it is Esplanade, venue of my last five concert reviews, will be closed for the entire duration of the race and more. So here's spending some time in fooling around: I've been on a lookout for musical personalities who look like other people in popular culture and the like. Separated at birth? Here's the first group of looklalikes.

Credit goes the the stylist of German conductor Claus Peter Flor, who has made him look like the splitting image of a certain Ludwig van Beethoven. Flor will be conducting Beethoven's First and Third Symphonies on 29 September, probably the closest we will get to seeing Beethoven conducting his own symphonies.

Still a sceptic? Here's another look at the coiffs of Beethoven and Flor.

Look who's recently completed his cycle of Beethoven piano concertos? Its none other than Dutch pianist / fortepianist Ronald Brautigam paying tribute to his musical idol. Does anyone remember the fact that Beethoven's ancestors were actually Dutch?

Hair plays a part in French pianist Cyprien Katsaris, looking very much like Franz Liszt. Do check out his phenomenal recording of Liszt's transcriptions of the nine Beethoven symphonies.

Carry on Composing is the comedy movie never made where Sid James plays the part of Benjamin Britten about frolics on a Suffolk beach. Maybe it should be called Carry on Decomposing...

Britten's Girl Friday was Imogen Holst, daughter of the composer of The Planets, who herself has a following, being the triplet sister of Miss Grundy (Archie Comics) and Irene Ryan, the granny of Ella Mae Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies.

Both of them are Russian. But has anyone noticed the resemblance between the young Sergei Prokofiev and the former Russian premier Vladimir Putin?

Finally, now we know why Finnish composer Jean Sibelius did not write any other new symphonies in the last forty years of his life. He was busily playing Uncle Fester in The Addams Family.

Coming up: Conductors & Pianists and their Lookalikes

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