Inspiration

 
Ring Bells! Sing Songs!: The Musical I

The jubilant title of this series reflects so much of what we love about musicals: catchy songs, bright melodies, and great sounds all around. The history of the musical (musical comedy, musical play) begins with the first applications of music [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 28th, 2017
 
At the Center of the Musical Universe Niccolò Paganini II

Niccolò Paganini had patiently confined his concert activities to Italy for almost 20 years before setting out to conquer various European capitals. Initially he appeared in Vienna and Franz Schubert excitedly reported, “We will never hear his like again!” He [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 27th, 2017
 
“Sing heavenly Muse” Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and Johannes Brahms

Elisabeth von Stockhausen was born in Paris in 1847. Her father served as the Hanoverian ambassador, and had been a student of Chopin. In 1853 the family moved to Vienna, and Elisabeth took lessons from Julius Epstein, at that time [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 25th, 2017
 
The Life and Times of Falstaff

You don’t often think of Edward Elgar and Richard Strauss in the same way, but they were connected through the idea of the symphonic poem. Strauss’ symphonic poems such as Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote are well known but Elgar’s [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 22nd, 2017
 
At the Center of the Musical Universe Niccolò Paganini

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) almost single-handedly established a new brand of performing musician, the touring virtuoso. In a brilliant strategy of self-promotion, he even circulated the rumor that he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his uncanny [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 20th, 2017
 
Rock-A-Bye Baby II Crossing from Folk to Art

The lullaby, a gentle song intended for lulling young and/or ailing children to sleep originated in various folk repertories. It easily crossed into art music not only as a song but also as a short instrumental piece, frequently scored for [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 17th, 2017
 
Copland’s Ballets: Billy the Kid, Rodeo, Appalachian Spring

Aaron Copland, son of Polish and Lithuanian emigrants, was born in Brooklyn in 1900 and by the time he was 24, his compositions were already gaining interest. He was Nadia Boulanger’s first American pupil in Paris, laying the groundwork for [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 15th, 2017
 
At the Center of the Musical Universe Ludwig van Beethoven

Whether we like it or not, Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest disruptive forces in the history of music. He was a revolutionary man who lived and worked in revolutionary and tumultuous times, and his music exerted tremendous [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 13th, 2017