In essence

Up close with composers

Les Apaches on the Loose!

In Paris at the turn of the 20th century, a group of musicians, artists, and writers formed a group that took its name from a popular term for Parisian street criminals: “Les Apaches” (The Apaches).

by Maureen Buja | May 13th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Amy Beach: Piano Concerto , Op. 45

Amy Beach (1867-1944) was an exceptional musical prodigy. Gifted with perfect pitch and impeccable memory she was able to accurately sing 40 songs by age one. She taught herself to read at age three, and composed a number of dances [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 10th, 2017
Mrs. President

Much of the political landscape in 2016 was dominated by Hillary Clinton’s attempt to become the first female President of the United States. In the end, as we all know, it didn’t quite work out. However, Hillary Clinton was by [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 6th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Mieczysław Karłowicz: Violin Concerto in A Major , Op. 8

Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909) met his end in a rather unusual way. An avid hiker, photographer and skier, he undertook long solitary mountain hikes in the Tatra Mountains. During one of his expeditions on 8 February 1909, a sudden avalanche buried [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 3rd, 2017
Bhumibol Adulyadej: Monarch of Swing

Around Asia, Bhumibol Adulyadej was simply known as King Bhumibol the Great, ninth and longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. At the time of his death on 13 October 2016 he had been on the throne for over 70 years, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 30th, 2017
What Siegfried Wagner found in Hong Kong!

For countless decades, visitors have come to Hong Kong to experience the sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis where Chinese roots and colonial connections converge to shape a dynamic commercial and cultural landscape. Travelers during the later parts of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 30th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Franz Xaver Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 1 , Op. 32

As far as composers go, Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924) is not necessarily a household name. Born in a small Polish town he took first piano lessons at the age of 3, and when his family moved to Berlin he became [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 26th, 2017
Olympic Silver Medal in Musical Composition Josef Suk: Into a New Life

When the young French baron Pierre de Coubertin first proposed a major international competition to revive the ancient Greek Olympic Games, reaction was decidedly mixed. Yet he stubbornly persisted and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) organized the first modern Olympic [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 22nd, 2017