Where is the Common Man?

Beginning with a crash and a boom, Aaron Copland (1900-1990) beings his Fanfare for the Common Man. The work was inspired by a number of sources, both political and musical. On the political side, reference is made to a 1942 [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 18th, 2016
Qigang Chen: Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra “Joie Eternelle”

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 >>

by Georg Predota | June 15th, 2016
György Kurtág (1926- ) Making music out of almost nothing

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 >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2016
Max Reger “In music, I owe everything to J.S. Bach”

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 >>

by Georg Predota | June 7th, 2016
Muses and Musings Joseph Haydn and Marianne Genzinger

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 >>

by Georg Predota | June 5th, 2016
A New Idea with New Music

In the early 20th century, ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev changed the way he put on ballets: he would now commission original scores. Not only that, but for one of his first ballet productions, it would be based on a new [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 4th, 2016
Beethoven at the Ballet

We don’t often think of Beethoven as a composer for the ballet – as an original composer, that is, rather than having his music used in later times for ballet. In 1801, however, Salvatore Viganò (1769-1821) came to Vienna and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | May 28th, 2016
Developing a Gregorian Idea

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.

by Maureen Buja | May 26th, 2016