The Dark Childhood of Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn has entered music history as a jovial, grandfatherly figure with a reputation for a quick wit. Generations later, we still chuckle at the stories behind the Surprise Symphony or the Farewell Symphony. His famous good humor is all [...] more >>

by Emily E. Hogstad | December 22nd, 2017
A Kurt Weill Sensation “Song of the White Cheese”

It’s exceedingly rare, but autograph musical scores by some of the great composers in the Western classical tradition are still being discovered! In 1999, a miniature Beethoven string quartet was rather accidentally found in a chest of papers in Cornwall. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 14th, 2017
Mapping the Musical Genome: The Lassus Family

According to popular legend, Orlande de Lassus, born in 1530 or 1532 in the Franco-Flemish province of Hainaut, was abducted three times because of the beauty of his voice! Probably pure fabrication, it nevertheless provides a fictional narrative that explains [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 9th, 2017
Mapping the Musical Genome The Mozart Family

The name “Mozart” is almost universally associated with the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus. However, Wolfie was not the only Mozart with significant musical talent, just take a quick look at his father. Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (1719-1787) was a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 2nd, 2017
The Korngold Suite for Wittgenstein A Klimt in Music

After the rousing success of his opera Die tote Stadt, Erich Wolfgang Korngold was at the height of his European fame. With a libretto by his father Julius—penned under the name of Paul Schott—the opera dominated theatrical stages and became [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 23rd, 2017
Mapping the Musical Genome: The Gibbons Family

Orlando Gibbons (1572-1625) was born in Oxford, son of a town wait—essentially a town musician whose duties included playing his instrument for the townsfolk, welcoming Royal visitors, and leading processions on civic occasions. William Gibbons moved back and forth between [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 18th, 2017
Works Disliked By Their Composers! Part II

What happens when a composer writes a piece of music…and then ends up not liking it? In Part I, we saw how Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Sibelius dealt with the problem. Now we look at how three more composers did:

by Emily E. Hogstad | November 14th, 2017
Mapping the Musical Genome: The Bach Family

Johann Sebastian Bach was part of an extensive Saxon-Thuringian family that produced an unparalleled and almost incalculable number of musicians. From fiddlers and town musicians to organists, from Kantors, court musicians and Kapellmeisters, member of the Bach family extensively populated [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 11th, 2017