Reprinted from Google Doodles: Happy 100th birthday to American music icon Leonard Bernstein! The youngest conductor ever to lead the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, he was also the first U.S. conductor to gain international renown, leading a 1953 performance of ‘Medea’ at La Scala in Milan, Italy's foremost opera house. The son of Russian … Continue reading Google Doodle on Bernstein!
It's been a tough couple of weeks for me and, I think, for a lot of people. One day recently, I had a meeting that was really demoralizing and left me in a total funk where nothing would spark my interest. Fortunately, the next morning, I had my own piano lesson (a two-hour workout on … Continue reading How to Kick The Blues, or, A Chance Meeting with a Living Louisiana Music Legend.
Not to overly spoil the surprise, but the following video depicts a random group of people bursting into "Va Pensiero" at a mall. Well-worth watching. Couldn't stop smiling. Who knew there were flash choruses? I NEED to participate in one ASAP. In other news, this is the article from which I got the video. Apparently … Continue reading Best thing I’ve seen all day. Flash Chorus!
My students have been learning about Beethoven in lessons recently and I've had several of them read the short Beethoven biography from MakingMusicFun.net. To accompany this lesson, I've created a little quiz on Beethoven based on the bio the students were given above. I've used it at a lesson the week following having them read … Continue reading Free Beethoven Composer Quiz
Van Cliburn died this morning of bone cancer. He is most well known for winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 23 (in 1958) at the height of the Cold War. Here he is performing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1: Here is the media coverage of his 1958 win of … Continue reading Van Cliburn, RIP
I thought that I had posted this article a week ago, but I found it today, sitting in my draft photos. So here we go. Researchers have confirmed that an 18th century portrait is that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The portrait is notable because it depicts him gazing directly at the viewer and sans white … Continue reading New Portrait of Mozart Identified
One of my piano students is learning the Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata first movement. This is one of those "classical pop" hits that I never wanted to play when I was studying, considering them a little too plebian somehow for me. So it's as thought I'm learning it for the first time too as he learns … Continue reading
Here's the link. Streaming is available for free from now until August 17! http://gu.com/p/392nk From Glyndebourne's website: Purcell’s intoxicating combination of words and music alternates elements of the plot of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a variety of musical interludes. A magical brew has been concocted by director Jonathan Kent in inventive collaboration with designer Paul Brown. … Continue reading Stream Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for free!
Gershwin died this day (July 11) in 1937. In his honor, I'm going to be doing some heavy duty, Gerswhin listening. To start off, here is a playlist from Spotify: In case the embed code is acting up (which it seems to be), here's the actual link: Gershwin George Gerswhin was the son of Jewish … Continue reading George Gerswhin, remembered
Check out this fun article on the most musical American presidents. I'll summarize them quickly, but you should really read the original. 10. FDR - played organ 9. Chester Arthur - played banjo 6,7,8: JQA, John Tyler, Woodrow Wilson JQA played flute JT and WW: played violin 5. Harry S. Truman: dedicated piano player who … Continue reading US presidents’ musical careers