Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The new Mozart, in the literal sense.

If you're a follower of Hahn Bin on Twitter, and suddenly you discover his account has closed, it's because he's now officially changed his name to Amadeus Leopold. What?!

Always one to be eccentric, Hahn- I mean Amadeus, changed his name for his American citizenship in a bid to pay tribute to his idol, Mozart, and to Mozart's father. 'Leopold' also pays tribute to Leopold Auer, the great Hungarian violinist: "for me, without Leopold I don't think we would have the violin playing that we hear these days and the kind of playing I strive for every day of my life. So it's a tribute to the two most important Leopolds in my life." He also insists that this is not a gimmick, but a 'spiritual significance' for him.

If you don't know who Hahn Bin/Amadeus Leopold is, then I can only help by describing him as the 'Lady Gaga of the classical music world'.

A rare picture of Amadeus au naturale

His on-stage presence is fascinating. A far cry from the typical concerts we usually go to, Amadeus manages to mix rock, art, fashion and classical music all in one to make something fresh and exciting, a concert that's pleasing for the eyes and ears. He acts on stage, not in the sense of acting through the music, but he does quite literally move around and act according to the music. It's not just a concert hall anymore, it's a theatre. Meanwhile, he actually manages to play well, with the backing of Perlman (Amadeus was his protégé'), and with a great interest in performing contemporary music such as Cage or Penderecki. 

But, less talking, and more watching/listening. This video probably explains it all. I hope you enjoy his performance, and respect him as an artist who is doing something different. If the theatrics isn't your style, there's no reason why your ears can't still enjoy his playing.

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