I had the pleasure of meeting Gilmore Award-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein today. As we reminded him to turn off his cell phone before his live-to-air radio performance interview, we talked ringtones…naturally. And I learned something new.
We all know the Nokia ringtone — heard worldwide an estimated 1.8 billion times per day, about 20,000 times per second — has been claimed to be “the world’s most heard tune”. But the “sound trademark” of the Finnish telecommunications corporation is not a modern midi file as one may expect, it actually has Spanish origins!
The tune is a phrase from a piece for solo guitar called, Gran Vals and it was written in 1902 by influential Spanish composer and virtuoso classical guitarist Francisco Tárrega. Known as the “Sarasate of the guitar”, he was key to reviving the guitar as a recital and concert instrument. Imagine if he could have collected the royalties on this one!
Add that to your Trivial Pursuit back pocket!
Really looking forward to Kirill Gerstein’s concert tomorrow night as he kicks off the Toronto Summer Music Festival at Koerner Hall. Find all the details you need here and see you there. Classical music lives on during the summer! Thank goodness for TSMF.