Behind the scenes

Slave Pianist Sensation: “Blind Tom”

“Blind Tom,” as he was generally known, was born into slavery in Columbus, Georgia in 1848. He was sold with his family during infancy to General James Neil Bethune, a country lawyer and newspaper publisher. The blind child was considered [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 24th, 2017
Zurab Sotkilava (1937-2017) Football or Musical Pitch?

I wonder if you have ever seen the 1939 drama romance film titled Golden Boy? Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, it featured Barbara Stanwyck and the film debut of William Holden. In fact, it was the role in this movie that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 16th, 2017
The pushy musical prodigy: Chloë Hanslip

We have all seen children forced to endure endless piano and violin lessons by overbearing and pushy parents. Research has suggested, “Pushy parents who go to great lengths to make their children succeed are attempting to make up for their [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 10th, 2017
The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Vanessa Mae: Slapped around by Tiger Mum

The “Tiger mom phenomenon,” a term coined by Yale law professor Amy Chua in 2011, describes an age-old system of strict authoritarian motherly control that is supposed to propel children towards excellence. Advocates suggest that it produces an exceptionally high [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 8th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Alfred Brendel and Paul Lewis Playing Schubert with no Middleman

Famously, Paul Lewis grew up in a home in Liverpool where the most sophisticated musical device was a small electronic organ. Both parents had little interest in music, only “occasionally, my dad would play one of his John Denver record.” [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 3rd, 2017
Finding a New Light Source: Funding Lumen de Lumine

How do you get a record of new choral music made? In these days of austerity and penny-pinching, you need to be innovative. At the same time, in these days of social media and the power of networking, new avenues [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 26th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Alfred Brendel and Imogen Cooper Demonic Intensity

Imogen Cooper proudly announced at the age of 5 that she wanted to be a pianist. Her father, the noted musicologist Martin Cooper, warned her about the perils of becoming a performing artist. “I had no idea what it all [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 26th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice He set the Piano Stool on Fire! Alfred Brendel and Kit Armstrong

On rare occasions, musical aptitude strikes without warning. I am pretty sure that’s what the British-Taiwanese parents of Kit Armstrong must have been thinking when their son, age 5, and without access to a piano, taught himself musical composition by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 19th, 2017