In essence

Up close with composers

Mapping the Musical Genome The Mozart Family

The name “Mozart” is almost universally associated with the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus. However, Wolfie was not the only Mozart with significant musical talent, just take a quick look at his father. Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (1719-1787) was a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 2nd, 2017
Ring Bells! Sing Songs!: The Musical I

The jubilant title of this series reflects so much of what we love about musicals: catchy songs, bright melodies, and great sounds all around. The history of the musical (musical comedy, musical play) begins with the first applications of music [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 28th, 2017
At the Center of the Musical Universe Niccolò Paganini II

Niccolò Paganini had patiently confined his concert activities to Italy for almost 20 years before setting out to conquer various European capitals. Initially he appeared in Vienna and Franz Schubert excitedly reported, “We will never hear his like again!” He [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 27th, 2017
“Sing heavenly Muse” Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and Johannes Brahms

Elisabeth von Stockhausen was born in Paris in 1847. Her father served as the Hanoverian ambassador, and had been a student of Chopin. In 1853 the family moved to Vienna, and Elisabeth took lessons from Julius Epstein, at that time [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 25th, 2017
The Korngold Suite for Wittgenstein A Klimt in Music

After the rousing success of his opera Die tote Stadt, Erich Wolfgang Korngold was at the height of his European fame. With a libretto by his father Julius—penned under the name of Paul Schott—the opera dominated theatrical stages and became [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 23rd, 2017
The Life and Times of Falstaff

You don’t often think of Edward Elgar and Richard Strauss in the same way, but they were connected through the idea of the symphonic poem. Strauss’ symphonic poems such as Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote are well known but Elgar’s [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 22nd, 2017
At the Center of the Musical Universe Niccolò Paganini

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) almost single-handedly established a new brand of performing musician, the touring virtuoso. In a brilliant strategy of self-promotion, he even circulated the rumor that he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his uncanny [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 20th, 2017
Mapping the Musical Genome: The Gibbons Family

Orlando Gibbons (1572-1625) was born in Oxford, son of a town wait—essentially a town musician whose duties included playing his instrument for the townsfolk, welcoming Royal visitors, and leading processions on civic occasions. William Gibbons moved back and forth between [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 18th, 2017