On 27 May 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart bought a pet starling bird at a Viennese pet shop.
Her father was the American sewing-machine inventor Isaac Merritt Singer, and her mother the Parisian model Isabelle Boyer. Winnaretta was born in New York in 1865, and her 14th birthday present was a private performance of the Beethoven Op. 131 [...] more >>
A good many people decide to plan proceedings for their own funerals. Among the various options and choices there is always the question if music should be part of the service, and if so, what that music might be.
Do you know what happened when George Balanchine, tenderly referred to as the father of American ballet, teamed up with Igor Stravinsky? Unless you actually know the answer, this one is somewhat difficult to guess. Turns out, they were choreographing [...] more >>
The soprano Margarethe Bernbrunn, née Lang, who frequently performed under the stage name “Adalbert Prix,” was described in the following terms. “Gretchen possessed a little plump seductive form, was about twenty years of age, and, in addition to her undoubted [...] more >>
There are a number of celebrated anecdotes going around that George Gershwin habitually asked famous composers to give him lessons. Apparently he wanted composition lessons from Edgard Varèse, leader of the New York musical avant-garde. Although Varèse acknowledged Gershwin’s talent, [...] more >>
Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) was supremely gifted, intellectually and musically. Even before reaching his teenage years, he spoke fluent French, German and Russian, and his interest in music and philosophy was insatiable. Receiving instructions from Gustav Neuhaus, Karol read Schopenhauer and [...] more >>