Full Steam Ahead Musical Train Journeys II

In his hometown of Copenhagen, Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874) was known as the “Strauss of the North.” It all started when he heard a Viennese orchestra play music by Johann Strauss I, Fire and flame, Lumbye appeared at the head [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 4th, 2018
Pop Goes the Orchestra

In the US, it’s known as ‘Pops Music’ (not to be confused with Pop Music). It’s music for the lighter side of classical, music that the entire audience can just sink back and listen to, and, on occasion, sing along [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | April 3rd, 2018
Anatoly Lunacharsky:More than the saviour of Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev, one of the greatest composers of Russia, would never forget that day after the Revolution. He left Russia with the official blessing and warning of the Soviet Minister Anatoly Lunacharsky: “You are running away from events, and these [...] more >>

by Frank Xu | March 29th, 2018
Full Steam Ahead Musical Train Journeys

Life is a journey, and truth be told, when it comes to transportation I much prefer trains to airplanes.

by Georg Predota | March 28th, 2018
WWI Composers: Elgar, Schoenberg and Holst

The First World War was not merely a global military conflict; it also had far reaching implications for civilian life. It called upon women to become a fundamental part of the war effort, carrying out domestic labor, waged industrial labor, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 21st, 2018
Musical Voices of WWI (1914-18) Kreisler, Caplet and Hindemith

In 1910, Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was at the top of his game! He had just premiered the Elgar Violin Concerto under the composer’s direction at Queen’s Hall in London, and he was revered as one of the finest instrumentalists of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 14th, 2018
The Last Best Patron

We think of patrons in music associated with the music of earlier times: Florentine lords and leaders, the Pope, or all those Russian princesses who propped up Russian composers. In America, though, it was the daughter of Chicago wholesaler who [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 13th, 2018
Musical Voices of WWI (1914-18) Vaughan-Williams, Stephan and Bliss

Ralph Vaughan Williams was already an established composer at the onset of the First World War. By 1914, he had created a considerable body of works, including two symphonies and various works for orchestra, an opera and a number of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 7th, 2018