Behind the scenes

My Arizona Bow

Vacations can pose dilemmas for musicians. Travelling with instruments and our children in tow has its challenges. Carrying a cello is hard enough without having to watch one’s child in crowded airports. On one of my trips to Toronto to [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath | July 13th, 2019
Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Playing Music

When I began playing in an orchestra I found it quite challenging, even though I had grown up hearing my father practice and racing with his cello to engagements. (My father played in the Toronto Symphony for 38 years.) The [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath | July 6th, 2019
The Dangers of Speaking to the Press

The opera Pagliacci (Clowns) made Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) a household name, and it remains one of the most popular works in the repertory. After it premiered in 1892, this dramatic tale of love, betrayal and eventual murder enthused audiences the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 29th, 2019
Dorothy Taubman Helping Pianists Play with Ease and Freedom

The “no pain no gain” attitude persists amongst musicians as well as sportspeople, yet playing with pain, and through pain, can be potentially very harmful to the musician’s body. In the pursuit of artistry, we often forget the significant role [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson | May 20th, 2019
The Winner by Technical Knockout Ignacy Paderewski

Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941) was one of the most striking musical celebrities of his time. He combined beautiful and elegant pianism with a magnetic personality and was called “A resurrected Chopin” soon after his debut in Paris. Women were crazy about [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 10th, 2019
Millie and Christine McCoy The Two-Headed Nightingale

When the singing sensation Jenny Lind disembarked from the steamship “Atlantic” to begin her American tour on 1 September 1850, roughly 30,000 onlookers had gathered around the waterfront to catch a glimpse of the Swedish opera star. Her American promoter [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 28th, 2019
Ignace Tiegerman: The Lost Legend of Cairo

Vladimir Horowitz identified him as the only rival he ever feared, and Ignaz Friedman called him “the greatest talent I ever worked with.” Not to be outdone, the author and literary scholar Edward Said privately suggested, “Despite later music studies [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 26th, 2019
The Sorrows of Angelica Catalani

For almost 3 decades, Angelica Catalani (1780-1849) commanded the operatic stages of Europe. Her powerful soprano voice nearly covered three octaves in range, and it has been suggested “no singer ever surpassed her in chromatic scales, whether in velocity or [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 27th, 2018