Born in Shanghai in 1951, Chen Qigang is a leading Chinese composer who divides his working life between Beijing and Paris. He was, as you might well remember, appointed director of music for the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2008. [...] more >>
90 years ago, the composer György Kurtág was born in the town of Lugoj, a Hungarian/German settlement that was ceded to Romania by the treaty of Versailles in 1919. Growing up at a cultural and linguistic crossroads, it’s hardly surprising [...] more >>
Already a skilled pianist and organist, young Max Reger (1873-1916) saw performances of Meistersinger and Parsifal during his first Bayreuth pilgrimage. “When I heard Parsifal for the first time, as a fifteen-year-old, I cried for two weeks, and then I [...] more >>
Joseph Haydn was highly successful in his musical profession and the business aspects surrounding it. Yet, his personal life was somewhat of a mess. Under contract with Count Morzin, Haydn fell in love with Therese Keller. However, once he secured [...] more >>
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) started working on his Tre Preludi sopra melodie gregoriane (Three Preludes on Gregorian Melodies) in 1919, finishing them in 1921. His wife, Elisa Olivieri-Sangiacomo, had brought Gregorian chant to his attention.