Olympic Silver Medal in Musical Composition Josef Suk: Into a New Life

When the young French baron Pierre de Coubertin first proposed a major international competition to revive the ancient Greek Olympic Games, reaction was decidedly mixed. Yet he stubbornly persisted and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) organized the first modern Olympic [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 22nd, 2017
Unsung Concertos Joachim Raff: Cello Concerto No. 1 , Op. 193

Today, the German-Swiss composer Joachim Raff (1822-1882) is primarily remembered as an assistant to Franz Liszt in Weimar. In fact, he actually lived in the Villa Altenburg, Franz Liszt’s home in Weimar. He was Liszt’s secretary and copyist, and apparently [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 19th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Ernst Sachse: Concerto in F Major for Bass Trombone

The modern era of the trombone as a solo instrument began on 6 April 1815, when Friedrich August Belcke performed a potpourri with obbligato trombone by Carl Heinrich Meyer with the Gewandhaus orchestra in Leipzig. A critic for the Allgemeine [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 12th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Julius Klengel: Concerto for 2 Cellos , Op. 45

He was frequently compared to Paganini, and in central European cello circles, Julius Klengel (1859-1933) was even called an institution. A natural-born cellist, he stopped having formal instructions at the age of 14! At fifteen Klengel performed for the first [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 5th, 2017
Very Quiet Screeching Allowed

We were looking at a score by the Finnish composer Perrtu Haapanen and found his performance directions very interesting for his 2014 work Compulsion Island, commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. His instructions for the strings are very specific [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | April 4th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Bohuslav Martinů: Oboe Concerto H.353

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) always paid close attention to avant-garde cosmopolitan musical developments. Yet simultaneously he was acutely aware of his position as a composer of Czech national music. Ceaselessly working to “express the never-ending search for truth and the meaning [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 29th, 2017
And the Winner is……. Chamber and Solo Music Competition at the 1948 Olympics

The year was 1948, and athletes from around the world gathered in London to participate in the 14th Olympic Games in the modern era. Because of World War II, it had been 12 years since the last Olympic competition, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 26th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Louis Spohr: Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 26

Louis Spohr (1784-1859), actually born Ludwig Spohr in Braunschweig, was a German composer, violinist and conductor. Early violin studies secured employment with Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand of Brunswick, and barely 16 years old, Spohr accompanied his teacher Franz Eck on [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 22nd, 2017