“Giulio Caccini’s Women” Lucia, Francesca, Settimia, and Margherita

Professionally, Giulio Caccini (1551-1618) was known as an accomplished singer and the inventor of a new musical style that had the power to “move the affections of the soul.” Privately, he seemed to have been a difficult and proud man, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 11th, 2018
Giaochino Rossini and Olympe Pélissier “Eating, loving, singing, and digesting are the four acts of the comic opera known as life”

It is not clear when Giaochino Rossini and Olympe Pélissier first met, but by 1832 they were undoubtedly in a relationship. He had departed for Paris in 1830 and had left his wife Isabella Colbran unceremoniously behind. She was an [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 20th, 2018
Super Couple Giaochino Rossini and Isabella Colbran

They probably first met in Bologna around 1815, and the union between Giaochino Rossini and Isabella Colbran was to become one of the most successful artistic alliances in the history of music. Rossini was a rising star when he was [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 13th, 2018
Mission Impossible Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Désirée Artôt

The Belgian mezzo-soprano Désirée Artôt (1835-1907) studied with Pauline Viardot and Francesco Lamperti in London and in Paris. She started her career at the Paris Opera in 1858 when Giacomo Meyerbeer engaged her to sing in his Le prophète. Berlioz, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 23rd, 2018
Enabling the Creative Process Franz Berwald and Mathilde Scherer

Franz Berwald just couldn’t wait to leave provincial Stockholm behind. With a number of compositions in his back pocket, he departed for Berlin in 1829 to follow his musical calling. He had some distant relatives in that city, and alongside [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 10th, 2018
Music of Evaporation—Love of Consequence Federico Mompou and Carmen Bravo

Never underestimate the power of laughter! When Catalan pianist Carmen Bravo was asked what made her fall in love with Federico Mompou (1893-1987), she quietly confessed, “He made me laugh.” Mompou was quiet, shy and introverted, and Bravo extroverted, outgoing [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 30th, 2018
Ole Bull and the American Senator’s daughter

He was one of the greatest performing artists of the 19th century! Ole Bull (1810-1880) was a child prodigy, and he gave his public debut as a soloist at age 9. Although intending to study theology and/or law, he decided [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 7th, 2018
“The Family is Excellent” Charles Gounod and Anna Zimmerman

Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman was well established on the Parisian musical scene as a retired Conservatoire piano professor with many accomplished students to his credit. Together with his beautiful wife Hortense and their four daughters, the family entertained a lively salon that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 30th, 2018