Frédéric Chopin and Maria Wodzińska Funeral March for the Heart

Frédéric Chopin had turned twenty-five when he fell passionately and hopelessly in love with sixteen-year old Maria Wodzińska. He had known her as a child, and “used to chase her through the rooms at Pszenny.” She in turn greatly “annoyed [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 24th, 2019
“Hérminie was right again” Jacques Offenbach and Hérminie d’Alcain

After Jacques Offenbach abruptly discontinued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire he gradually built a reputation composing for and performing in the fashionable salons of Paris. And at one of these cultured gatherings, his eyes fell upon a young Spanish [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2019
Theodor Leschetizky: For the Love of 4 Students

Theodor Leschetizky’s (1830-1915) unbelievable teaching career lasted the better part of 75 years! It is said that in excess of 1200 eager piano students passed through his studio, and that included piano superstars Schnabel, Gabrilovich, Friedman, Moiseiwitch, Yesipova, Vengerova, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 27th, 2019
Carl Loewe: Songs of Longing Julie von Jacob and Auguste Lange

When Carl Loewe (1796-1869) moved to Halle to further his musical education, he quickly became involved in the local “Singakademie.” Founded by Johann Friedrich Naue—a student of Carl Friedrich Zelter—in 1814, this large choral society was established to study and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 14th, 2019
Alexander Tcherepnin and Lee Hsien Ming Chinese Etudes

The Russian composer Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977) launched his international career as a pianist and composer from Paris. He won a number of prizes and embarked on yearly concert tours to the United States, yet he was restlessly searching for a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 29th, 2019
Hector Berlioz and Harriet Smithson 50 Shades of Obsession

When Hector Berlioz went to see a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Paris in 1827, he could hardly have guessed that it would turn into a life-changing experience!

by Georg Predota | March 13th, 2019
Louis Marchand and Marie Angélique Denis A Toxic Affair

Louis Marchand (1669-1732) had an extremely colorful and unpredictable personality. While he was lavishly praised for his prodigious keyboard talents and skills, his reputation was not founded on musical abilities alone. In one famous, and documented instance, soon after his [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 12th, 2019
The Organist and the Poetess Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger and Franziska von Hoffnaaß

He was the “Wunderkind” from Lichtenstein, and she a poetess of distinction. They got married in 1867, and although the union remained childless, their marriage was a happy one. One might actually consider it the perfect relationship; she supplied the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 29th, 2019