Behind the scenes

The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Lang Guoren: Ordering his son to commit suicide

Lang Lang is arguably the most famous Chinese pianist of all time. He certainly is a cultural icon with the popularity and charisma of many leading rock musicians. Yet the path to this kind of superstardom came at a steep [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 17th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Hu Weimin and Ning Feng Overcoming the “Pinkie” rejection

Audiences and critics are usually ecstatic when Ning Feng picks up the 1721 Stradivari violin known as “MacMillan.” Born in Chengdu and currently residing in Berlin, Feng has “developed a reputation as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 12th, 2017
Edward Elgar: Dreaming of Blue Knickers

It’s always been fashionable to emphasizing artistic greatness at the expense of some more down-to earth-human qualities. Mozart wrote exceptional music but he also wrote scatological letters to his cousin. Wagner gave us the Artwork of the Future and a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 11th, 2017
The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Antonio Paganini: Musical Father from Hell

Niccolò Paganini left an irrefutable mark on the history of instrumental music and 19th century social life. Born in Genoa on 27 October 1782 he was the third of six children of Antonio and Teresa Paganini. Antonio Paganini was a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 10th, 2017
The Mozart “Adélaïde” Scam

It was advertised as the musical discovery of the century! In 1933, the Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Aranyi stepped onto the London stage and performed a preciously unknown violin concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. That concerto had been published in 1933 [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 9th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Klara Berkovich and Hilary Hahn “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I will remember”

Shinichi Suzuki believed that the ability to learn music parallels the acquisition of language. His famous “Suzuki Method” is based on creating a positive environment that fosters musical immersion at an early age. Suzuki strongly believed that “every child was [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 5th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Pianistic traditions and contemporary sensibility Gary Graffman and Yuja Wang

We all know that Yuja Wang was born in Beijing, but she is deliberately vague about her emergence as a prodigy. She always likes to tell interviewers that her mother wanted her to be a dancer, “but that she was [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 29th, 2017
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Discovering the Musical Universe Gary Graffman and Lang Lang

Lang Lang! The two words in the classical music universe that say it all! China’s first crossover classical superstar pianist, he has played for presidents, on the Great Wall of China, at Buckingham Palace and in the White House. He [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 22nd, 2017