An arranged and happy marriage Claudio Monteverdi and Claudia Cattaneo

Claudio Monteverdi was a precocious musical talent who published his first collection of madrigals at age 15. Ambitious and highly confident he was hired as a singer and instrumentalist by Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua in 1590. Mantua and nearby [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 24th, 2017
“Sex is more fun than cars but cars refuel quicker than men” Germaine Tailleferre and Ralph Waldo Emerson Barton

It started like a fairy tale, as it often does. In 1925, she was the hottest French musical ticket in New York City. Germaine Tailleferre had just arrived on a huge wave of personal and artistic success stemming from her [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 9th, 2017
A Love Letter from the Trenches Frederick Septimus Kelly and Jelly D’Aranyi

It all happened during the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. With death and destruction all around, an Australian soldier sat in a trench and composed a violin sonata for a young woman far away. “He had a tiny [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 14th, 2017
Two Hearts, One Soul Zoltán Kodály and Emma Gruber

The most important and influential address for artistic matters at the turn of the 20th century Budapest was the salon of Emma Gruber. Mrs. Gruber was born Emma Schlesinger in the southern Hungarian town of Baja, daughter of wealthy merchants. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 11th, 2017
Steady as a Rock Niels Gade, Sophie Hartmann, and Mathilde Staeger

As long as anybody could remember, Niels Gade had always been in love with music! He taught himself to play a variety of instruments, and started composing at a super early age. Once his musical education was formalized, he steadfastly [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 15th, 2017
Romantic Collaborators of Alberto Ginastera Mercedes de Toro and Aurora Natola

All great composers have one! And legacy composers have several! I am talking about biographies, offering basic facts about education, work, relationships, and possibly, analysis of the composer’s personality. Any detailed, scholarly or interpretive study of music starts with solid [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 13th, 2016
Arthur and the Lady Bliss Arthur Bliss and Trudy Hoffmann

Although he was born in a suburb of London, Sir Arthur Bliss was half American. His father Francis Edward Bliss, a successful businessman from Massachusetts, had settled in England after marrying his second wife Agnes Kennard Davis. When Agnes died, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 8th, 2016
The whores—embraces—lust—my innocence saved! Robert Schumann and Christiane Apitzsch

In the summer of 1830, the 20-year-old Robert Schumann abruptly ended his law studies at Heidelberg University and decided to become a musician. His mother arranged a musical apprenticeship with Friedrich Wieck in Leipzig, and the 11-year-old Clara Wieck writes [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 23rd, 2016