A Girl named Gucki! Ernst Krenek and Anna Mahler

At times, it can be rather traumatic to be the son or daughter of a celebrity couple. Take for example Anna Justine Mahler, second child of Gustav Mahler and his wife Alma Schindler. Anna was born in 1904, and her [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 12th, 2016
Bigamist Prokofiev? Sergei Prokofiev and Mira Mendelssohn

Dictatorial societies are notorious for fostering environments of suspicion and fear. It is always chilling to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume narrative The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn relied on eyewitness testimony and primary research as well as his own experiences as a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 20th, 2016
Lina and the Wolf Sergei Prokofiev and Lina Codina

Sergei Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant composers, and he definitely knew it. In fact, he was so confident in his musical abilities that he never attempted to conceal the more disagreeable aspects of his character or [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 12th, 2016
Old Flames burn the hottest! Sergei Prokofiev and Eleonora Damskaya

Sergei Prokofiev would make a compelling case study for a textbook investigating the psychology of the exceptional child. Supremely talented in musical matters, Sergei had composed a number of overtures, various piano pieces and his first opera The Giant by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 26th, 2015
Jean Sibelius: The Dances of Courtship

When Janne Sibelius and Aino Järnefelt gazed at each other across a family dinner, love was definitely in the air. “My eyes never left you,” Sibelius wrote later, and her brother Arvid loudly proclaimed, “Don’t look at my sister like [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 10th, 2015
A Nordic Fairytale Jean Sibelius and Aino Järnefelt

At age 23, Jean Sibelius “was pale and good-looking, slender and sensitive. He seemed to all a strange and attractive being. And of course, we were all in love with him…And he was lovable. Refined, attractive, polite, he had that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 29th, 2015
Little Chunk of Wood and Little Song Bohuslav Martinů and Vítĕzslava Kaprálová

In 1937, Bohuslav Martinů visited the city of Prague to prepare for the premiere of his opera Julietta. During that visit, he met the highly talented composer Vítĕzslava Kaprálová, who had written her first two compositions for piano solo by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 11th, 2015
A distinct division of Labor Bohuslav Martinů and Charlotte Quennehen

Ernest Hemingway once famously wrote, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” For [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 30th, 2015