Preparation for Meeting Simon Mulligan

April 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

It is Monday night and you have decided to come to the Café. You will dabble in Austrian and German wines, hear hand-picked Classical music played by ranked experts, and meet the artists in person, including Mr. Simon Mulligan. You are intimidated by the very thought of shaking hands with a performer said by the professionally critical to be “the most abundantly gifted of pianists”, whose very fan club is chaired by Hans Werner Henze, with “deepest respect and admiration.” Understandable. Here, in 6 numbered items, we present a brief on Mr. Mulligan, provided so you may be better equipped to make successful conversation, even (or perhaps especially) after several glasses of Riesling.

1) Simon Mulligan went to the same school in England as Robin did.  According to the Layman American’s Guide to the British, 5th edition, this means they are virtually blood-relatives.

2) Simon Mulligan prefers the Cornelia Street Café’s democratically lax dress code. “It’s not like showing up in a tux sweating to death and playing a concert hall,” he told us. Good news since, downstairs, “not only can we hear one another differently, the crowd can really get right up into smelling distance.”

3) Simon Mulligan is not claustrophobic. He describes Cornelia’s close quarters fondly. “It’s a good place in which to be immersed. The tightness in makes the mind less apt to wander.” He claims moreover that this closeness also has musical ramifications. “At the Café, the sofest sound really is that much softer. Quiet moments can thus be that much more effective.”

4) Simon Mulligan enjoys themed concerts for the compact depth they offer a night’s performers and audience. “It’s like an espresso kick of the good stuff.”

5) Simon Mulligan has a favorite composer. “You can add that my favorite composer is Beethoven, who at various points preferred to work chiefly in noisy cafés. Eventually they brought in a piano so he could try things out for the café patrons.”

6) Simon Mulligan thinks Classical is party music. “Lots of what we play was first performed by a small group and for a small audience in someone’s living room. It was casual and it was intimate.”

Simon appears Monday, April 11th at 830pm for another installment of Classical at the Cornelia, his monthly series here at the Café. This month he welcomes violist Mark Holloway and cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach. $25.00 (includes a mingle with the artists and a tasting of German/Austrian wines). Reserve above or call 212/989-9319.


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