Behind the scenes

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
Filming Rachmaninov’s Études-Tableaux All Night

Boris Giltburg spent all night playing Rachmaninov for a very special film, revealed here! It’s the dead of night, probably around 3am. Outside, on the main street, cars are still whooshing by. Inside, it’s mostly dark, apart from two spotlights [...] more >>

by Boris Giltburg | September 5th, 2018
The Ochydactyl

Please let me introduce you to probably the most horrendous musical torture device ever invented. It might reasonably have been used to extract confessions during the Spanish Inquisition, but in reality, it was a patented apparatus that was to increase [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 5th, 2018
The Chirogymnast

The importance attached to virtuosity at the beginning of the 19th century is evidenced by the publication of an enormous number of new methods for piano. The great majority was directed towards the acquisition of practical and technical perfection in [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 27th, 2018