Cameron Carpenter, the organist, is “the closest we have to the virtuoso musical showmen of the 19th century, like Liszt or Paganini,” writes Tom Huizenga in his review of Carpenter’s Strathmore performance on Friday night. (Carpenter will return to DC next season.)
But it was generally a good weekend for virtuosos. Christophe Rousset gave two concerts in Washington, one at the Maison Française and one at the Library of Congress, making “very old music sound new,” according to Charles T. Downey, who reviewed both. Another virtuoso, the Polish guitarist Marcin Dylla, also played this weekend on the Marlow Guitar Series, reviewed by Stephen Brookes.
Earlier this week, while I was out of town, Downey reviewed Diana Damrau’s debut with the Washington National Opera - in concert, and with a cold. (Coincidentally, the first time I heard her in recital back in 2007, she was also singing through a cold - and also did a fine job that left me impressed with her artistry.) And Brookes caught the International Contemporary Ensemble playing the music of Phyllis Chen and Carla Kihlstedt on Thursday night.
Above: The organist Cameron Carpenter, a virtuoso showman.