“I am in a prison: One wall is the avant-garde, the other is the past, and I want to escape” 100 years ago, on 28 May 1923, the Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) was born in the little Transylvanian town
120 years ago, on 22 February 1903, Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) died in an insane asylum after trying to drown himself in October 1898. He had last appeared in concert on February 1897, but the impending paralysis of tertiary syphilis was
“It is to God that I must give account” 125 years ago, on 11 October 1896, Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) died from acute heart disease brought on by persistent alcoholism. His funeral took place in the Karlskirche in Vienna on 14
“Thalberg is the finest pianist in the world” 150 years ago, on 27 April 1871, the musical world mourned the passing of one of the most distinguished virtuoso pianists of the 19th century. Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871) was greatly admired for
“Pepi (Josef) is the more gifted of us two; I am merely the more popular…” When it comes to dynasties in classical music, it’s difficult to upstage the Viennese Strauss family. They were musical megastars of international reputation whose dance
“Music is natural law as related to the sense of hearing” Throughout his short life—having been accidentally shot by an American soldier in 1945—the music of Anton Webern (1883-1945) was almost totally unknown. With the end of WWII, however, the
Opera for the People I’ve got a bit of a tongue twister for you today. Try to say the name of the composer Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo, Cavaliere Suppé-Demelli rapidly five times. Fortunately, the composer under consideration shortened his professional name
Muse, Femme Fatale, Composer Her admirers described Alma Schindler as pathologically cruel, anti-Semitic, exceedingly vain, prone to excessive drinking, and utterly obsessed by a sense of entitlement that the world owed her something in return for her brilliance and beauty.