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
Steve Reich & Beryl Korot A Relationship of Shared Ideas

Working on tape-based techniques of looping and phasing by using recordings of fragments of speech, Steve Reich created a compositional process involving structures of minimalist art and musical technique. Simultaneously, Beryl Korot was working along very similar lines in the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 18th, 2016
The stymied adoption Alexander Grechaninov and Maria Grigorievna Sredin

Simultaneously completing his compositional requirements at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and working as a freelance music teacher, Alexander Grechaninov and Vera Ivanovna Röhrberg had trouble making ends meet. Luckily, Vera received a small monthly allowance from her father so that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 12th, 2016