Behind the scenes

126 Posts
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Leopold Auer and Jascha Heifetz et al.
Here comes a little musical quiz question. What do Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, Nathan Milstein and Jascha Heifetz have in common? They are all famous violinists, I hear you say. And while that is certainly a correct answer, I was
Read more
Recording Bach’s Three-Part Inventions at Home
Boris Giltburg reflects on the process of playing and recording Bach’s Three-Part Inventions alone, at home. Plus, enjoy the full video of the performances… This was supposed to be a fun project. Honestly. There was something exciting, even romantic in
Read more
My Arizona Bow
Vacations can pose dilemmas for musicians. Travelling with instruments and our children in tow has its challenges. Carrying a cello is hard enough without having to watch one’s child in crowded airports. On one of my trips to Toronto to
Read more
Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Playing Music
When I began playing in an orchestra I found it quite challenging, even though I had grown up hearing my father practice and racing with his cello to engagements. (My father played in the Toronto Symphony for 38 years.) The
Read more
The Dangers of Speaking to the Press
The opera Pagliacci (Clowns) made Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) a household name, and it remains one of the most popular works in the repertory. After it premiered in 1892, this dramatic tale of love, betrayal and eventual murder enthused audiences the
Read more
Dorothy Taubman
Helping Pianists Play with Ease and Freedom
The “no pain no gain” attitude persists amongst musicians as well as sportspeople, yet playing with pain, and through pain, can be potentially very harmful to the musician’s body. In the pursuit of artistry, we often forget the significant role
Read more
The Winner by Technical Knockout
Ignacy Paderewski
Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941) was one of the most striking musical celebrities of his time. He combined beautiful and elegant pianism with a magnetic personality and was called “A resurrected Chopin” soon after his debut in Paris. Women were crazy about
Read more
Millie and Christine McCoy
The Two-Headed Nightingale
When the singing sensation Jenny Lind disembarked from the steamship “Atlantic” to begin her American tour on 1 September 1850, roughly 30,000 onlookers had gathered around the waterfront to catch a glimpse of the Swedish opera star. Her American promoter
Read more