Twenty-four-year-old Israeli, Lahav Shani, has won the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany, which launched the career of Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, the victor in 2004.
“In memory,” read the dedication, “of the German jazz band, The Weintraub Syncopators, Berlin 1924-Sydney 1942: Stefan Weintraub, Heinz Barger, Addy Fisher, Emanuel Fisher, Horst Graff, John Kaiser, Cyril Schulvater, Leo Weiss”.
Since the dedication was in a concert programme for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, there was a natural curiosity: who were the Weintraub Syncopators?
There aren’t many composers, American or British, who could support a six-CD box set of their work, but Burt Bacharach — who has just turned 85 and is due to perform in Israel for the first time in July — is one such giant of post-war song. The last major collection of his music was The Look Of Love, a mere three-CD affair from 1998.
It’s a summer evening and the congregation is getting ready for the Kabbalat Shabbat service, the welcoming of the Sabbath, on Friday. Someone taps out a beat on a tabla drum, a guitarist tunes his strings, another person takes a flute from a case.
Roslyn Kind looks unsettled. We are hovering in the lounge of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles trying to find a quiet table in the midst of a sea of chatter. We go over to one empty table, test it for sound. “Too loud, we won’t be able to hear ourselves talk,” Kind says and we move across the room and try out another. This is better. Less noise.
She has taken on Stacey Solomon, Katie Price and Cheryl Cole. Now, celebrity impressionist Francine Lewis is hoping to win over the public on the live semi-final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent show this weekend.