For the love of Bach: Márta and György Kurtág

For the Hungarian composer György Kurtág, who celebrates his 90th birthday in 2016, two women have played a pivotal and decisive role in his personal and professional life. During his studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 14th, 2016
Always trust your Mother-in-Law! Max and Elsa Reger

Throughout the turbulent and highly emotional times of courtship and early marriage, Max and Elsa Reger could steadfastly rely on the support of Auguste von Bagenski, Reger’s mother in law. Auguste had taken an immediate liking to Max, and even [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 9th, 2016
A Date with “Schlamperl” Max Reger and Elsa von Bercken

Love, it is said, knows no boundaries! Too bad somebody forgot to tell the Catholic and Protestant Churches! You see, the German composer Max Reger was Catholic and the light of his eyes, Elsa von Bercken, was not only divorced [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 2nd, 2016
One heart and one soul! Ottorino Respighi and Elsa Olivieri Sangiacomo

Tendonitis or related inflammations have ruined the aspiring careers of numerous young hopeful pianists. True to life, however, with one door of opportunity closing forever another door is just a likely to open up. Elsa Olivieri Sangiacomo grew up in [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 10th, 2016
Resistance is Futile Ferruccio Busoni and Gerda Sjöstrand II

It is rather commonplace for children, even after they have all grown up, to keep assorted secrets from their parents. As long as it concerns the acquisition of a pet or a new plant, no harm done. However, when things [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 19th, 2016
The Angst and Agony of Young Love Ferruccio Busoni and Gerda Sjöstrand I

At age 22, Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) was appointed piano teacher at the conservatory of Helsingfors, then part of the Russian Empire, today known as the Finnish capital Helsinki. Stable employment and income aside, Busoni could not speak a word of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 9th, 2016
Irish Mist John Field and Adelaide Victoria Percheron

She was described as “a tiny little person, perfectly proportioned and extremely graceful, with lively expression and half-closed eyes, which suggested the wit and malice of a ‘petit diable bleu… She also possessed a coquettish magnetism, which attracted men towards [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 5th, 2016
Wedding behind Bars Giovanni Paisiello and Cecilia Pallini

A shotgun wedding is commonly arranged to avoid embarrassment due to an unplanned pregnancy. As the name suggests, it is based on a supposed scenario that the father of the pregnant daughter must resort to some kind of forceful coercion [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 3rd, 2016