The Conquest of Bayreuth Richard Strauss and Cosima Wagner

Richard Strauss first met Francesca Gaetana Cosima Liszt-Bülow Wagner in March 1889. Of all his acquaintances and friendships during this period of his life, this one was to have the most important consequences for his immediate future. Alexander Ritter had [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 18th, 2014
The musical Conversion Richard Strauss and Alexander Ritter

There can be no doubt that Lotti Speyer had seriously enflamed the romantic passions of the young Richard Strauss. After a short ten days at the little spa of Heilbrunn, however, the two lovebirds had to return to their respective [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 11th, 2014
Red Roses! Richard Strauss and Lotti Speyer

During the summer of 1883, the nineteen-year-old Richard Strauss (1864-1949) spent a short ten-day holiday at the little spa of Heilbrunn. Located between Bad Tölz and the Kochelsee in Bavaria, the natural thermal springs and forested rolling hills had long [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 22nd, 2014
The Isaac Newton of Music Rameau and his Treatise on Harmony

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Dardanus “Overture” Jean-Philippe Rameau was deeply in love with Marie-Louise Mangot. She must have been a remarkably charming, and extremely pretty 19-year old maiden. After all, a 42-year old bachelor does not give up his solitude all that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 7th, 2014
Extreme Privacy Jean-Philippe Rameau and Marie-Louise Mangot

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie, “Ou suis-je?” Jean-Philippe Rameau was extremely tall and thin, “more like a ghost than a man.” He had a sharp chin, no stomach, flutes for legs and his eagle profile was aesthetically so attractive that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 15th, 2014
I dream of Jeanie! Stephen Foster and Jane McDowell

Stephen Foster: I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair To everyone’s surprise, Stephen Foster married Jane McDowell, daughter of a leading Pittsburgh physician, on 22 July 1850. For friends and mutual acquaintances, it remained a mystery why the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 5th, 2014
Objects of Desire Stephen Collins Foster and Susan Pentland

Stephen Collins Foster grew up in Alleghany City, a Pennsylvania municipality located at the junction of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers. The Foster’s shared a large two-family house with the family of a retired Army Officer. Captain Pentland was a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 23rd, 2014
A Marriage of Convention C.P.E. Bach and Johanna Maria Danneman II

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Morning Song on the Day of Creation, Wq. 239 In the spring of 1768, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and his family relocated to the city of Hamburg. C.P.E. had been appointed Kantor at the Johanneum and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 9th, 2014