Salon Culture in St. Petersburg III The Belyayev Circle

Mitrofan Petrovich Belyayev (1836-1904) was the son of a highly affluent timber merchant. Educated at the German-speaking Reform School in St. Petersburg, he took lessons in piano, violin and viol. At the age of 15, Belyayev joined his father’s booming [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 6th, 2018
Salon Culture in St. Petersburg II From Glinka to Anton Rubinstein

The orientalist and journalist Osip Senkovsky (1800-1858) prolifically published articles on topics ranging from Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan languages, to mathematics and medicine. Under the pen name “Baron Brambeus” he issued a series of fantastic voyages, including one to the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 29th, 2018
Musical Hunts II

The hunting profession—something we call “Wildlife management” in the 21st century—has long helped to maintain a population of healthy animals within an environment’s ecological capacity. Controlling the wildlife and predator population was of particular importance in the densely forested regions [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 23rd, 2018
Salon Culture in St. Petersburg God Save the Tsar

The city of St. Petersburg, also known as Petrograd, Peterburg and Leningrad stood at the forefront of Russian musical culture. Established in 1703, the city flourished under Peter the Great, and the role of art and music assumed national significance. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 22nd, 2018
Musical Hunts

For most of human history, hunting meant survival! As such, it’s hardly surprising that civilizations throughout the ages held gods and goddesses associated with the hunt in particularly high regard. Artemis, the daughter of Zeus was the Greek goddess of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 16th, 2018
Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances: A Dance for Death

In the summer of 1939, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) left England for America to avoid the omnipresent threat of war. He had had a successful career in the US, touring as concert pianist, but now he was ill and tired.

by Maureen Buja | April 13th, 2018
Leopold Koželuch (1747-1818): A Fortepiano Pioneer

The great musicological explorer Dr. Charles Burney writes glowingly in his General History of Music of 1789; “An admirable young composer of Vienna, whose works were first made known in England by the neat and accurate execution of Mademoiselle Paradis [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 12th, 2018

We know the animals and figures of the Zodiac, but how did composers take these on? Mystic composer John Tavener used the birth of his second daughter as inspiration for his work for solo piano, Zodiac (1997). The overtones of [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | April 10th, 2018