Puccini: Madama Butterfly Premiered Today in 1904

When the original two-act version of Madama Butterfly premiered in Milan on 17 February 1904, the audience was not impressed. Puccini had struggled to complete the score, and there simply wasn’t enough time for proper rehearsals. Despite notable singers Rosina [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 17th, 2019
Franz Liszt in Istanbul

Towards the end of his long and incredibly performance career, Franz Liszt finally managed to visit the Ottoman Empire in 1847. Liszt had wanted to visit Istanbul as early as 1838, and wrote to a friend, “… [I have a] [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 15th, 2019
Korngold: Violin Concerto Premiered Today in 1947

The exceptional Polish violinist Bronisław Huberman never tired of asking Erich Korngold for a violin concerto. Huberman had been an old family friend from their days in Vienna, but having been forced into exile to Southern California, Korngold was determined [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 15th, 2019
The Mozart Diaries 13 February 1782: Piano Concerto No. 5 , K. 175 with new Finale K. 382

Trying to establish himself in Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus was incredibly busy as he writes to his sister. “You must not suppose, from my not answering you, that you and your letters are troublesome. I shall always, dearest sister, with the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 13th, 2019
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 Premiered Today in 1878

When Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 4 in F minor premiered at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow on 10 February 1878, it represented a veritable breakthrough in terms of emotional depth and complexity. This symphonic hybrid, which subsequently [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 10th, 2019
Pigs in and around Music

With the zodiac of the Pig taking center stage in the Chinese calendar in 2019, I decided to go on the hunt for “pig music” in the Western musical context. We all know about the Carnival of the Animals, Peter [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 8th, 2019
Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3 Premiered Today in 1946

Béla Bartók did not see the premiere of his 3rd Piano Concerto. After completing the score—he wrote the Hungarian words “the end” after the last measures of this concerto—Bartók was transferred to a West Side hospital where he died four [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 8th, 2019
The Mozart Diaries 5 February 1783: Symphony No. 35 (Haffner)

Increasingly rushed for time, Wolfgang Amadeus writes to his father on 5 February 1783, “I have received your last letter, and hope you have also gotten mine. With regard to the symphonies, especially the last, pray let me have them [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 5th, 2019