How Mozart Was Inspired by His Pet Starling

On 27 May 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart bought a pet starling bird at a Viennese pet shop.

by Emily E. Hogstad | October 23rd, 2017
Chopsticks Paraphrase

It all started pretty innocently. Gania, the young adopted daughter of Alexander Borodin asked her father to play a piano duet with her. Borodin objected by telling her that she did not know how to play. “But Daddy,” Gania replied, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 20th, 2017
Behind the Curtain Chopin’s Funeral Music

A good many people decide to plan proceedings for their own funerals. Among the various options and choices there is always the question if music should be part of the service, and if so, what that music might be.

by Georg Predota | October 19th, 2017
Circus Polka : For a Young Elephant

Do you know what happened when George Balanchine, tenderly referred to as the father of American ballet, teamed up with Igor Stravinsky? Unless you actually know the answer, this one is somewhat difficult to guess. Turns out, they were choreographing [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 18th, 2017
George Gershwin: Teach me your Art!

There are a number of celebrated anecdotes going around that George Gershwin habitually asked famous composers to give him lessons. Apparently he wanted composition lessons from Edgard Varèse, leader of the New York musical avant-garde. Although Varèse acknowledged Gershwin’s talent, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 13th, 2017
Farewell dear Brother! Capriccio BWV 992

Johann Sebastian Bach and his older brother Johann Jacob shared a special bond. Their mother Elisabeth Bach died on 3 May 1694, and their father Ambrosius Bach followed her into the grave on 20 February 1695. Orphaned, both boys were [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 11th, 2017
Vivaldi’s Internationally Renowned Orphanage Orchestra

Imagine you’re a poor single woman in eighteenth century Venice. You have no family, no fortune, and your career options are – obviously – limited. Every year during Carnival, hundreds of wealthy men descend on Venice, busy taking their Grand [...] more >>

by Emily E. Hogstad | October 2nd, 2017
Is it time for nontraditional casting in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess ?

However you’d like to look at it, George Gershwin was unique! Freely mixing and combining classical and popular music styles, his works have been heralded as representing “an exciting new American musical art.” Yet when it came to Porgy and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 22nd, 2017