Anecdotes

 
Puccini: La Fanciulla del West Premiered Today in 1910

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) called his opera La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West) his “greatest work.” Puccini must certainly have felt a sense of accomplishment as the opera was seven years in the making, and originated during a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 10th, 2018
 
Strauss: Salome Premiered Today in 1905

Erotic, murderous and biblical themes combine in the opera Salome by Richard Strauss (1864-1949). And as you surely know, it all climaxes in Salome’s declaration of love and kiss for the severed head of John the Baptist. Based on a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 9th, 2018
 
The Louisiana Connection Father and Son Win the Prix de Rome

The Louisiana territory was a huge tract of land in North America, stretching from the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan all the way to the mouth of the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans. From 1699 until [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 9th, 2018
 
Camille Saint-Saëns: Partsongs and Mélodies

The French choral movement known as the orphéons originated during the French Revolution. Within 15 years, the initiative was so popular that it led to the creation of the Paris Orphéon choral society, an organization eventually directed by Charles Gounod. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 3rd, 2018
 
The Sisters of the Prix de Rome

For the longest time, the Prix de Rome competition was a “good ole boys” affair. After a century of the compositional Prix de Rome being closed to women, the Education Minister Joseph Chaumié made the surprise announcement at a press [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 2nd, 2018
 
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra Premiered Today in 1944

Béla Bartók (1881-1945) spent the last five years of his life in the United States. Economic hardship, cultural dislocation, and very little artistic acknowledgement and satisfaction plunged the composer into a state of bitter depression. This depression was compounded by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 1st, 2018
 
Satie: Relâche Scheduled for Performance Today in 1924

Multimedia was alive and well in 1924, and with the title Relâche—loosely translated into “No Performance today,” or “Theatre Closed”—everybody automatically knew that the ballet collaboration between Francis Picabia and Erik Satie was in the firm grip of Dadaism.

by Georg Predota | November 29th, 2018
 
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 Premiered Today in 1862

Anton Rubinstein called Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) “the greatest violinist of his time.” A combination of French schooling and Slavonic temperament, Wieniawski had impeccable technique and produced a wonderfully warm and rich tone. As such, he made light work of technical [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 27th, 2018