Composer

Bela Bartok – the Father of Ethnomusicology

Bela Bartok – the Father of Ethnomusicology

On March 25, 1881, Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist Bela Bartok was born. Bartok is considered one of the most important representatives of modernism. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. “Our peasant music, naturally, is invariably tonal, if not always in the sense that the inflexible major and minor system is tonal. (An “atonal” folk-music, in…
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Edward William Elgar – Enigma, Pomp and Circumstances

Edward William Elgar – Enigma, Pomp and Circumstances

On June 2, 1857, English composer Sir Edward William Elgar was born. Many of his works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire.  Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. “My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take…
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Niccoló Paganini – the Devil’s Violinist

Niccoló Paganini – the Devil’s Violinist

On May 27, 1840, Italian violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini passed away. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. “Some creatures are completely demonic, in some parts of it are effective. […] Among artists it is found more in musicians, less in painters. In Paganini it shows itself to a high degree, which is why he produces such…
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Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

On December 17, 1770, German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven was born. He is considered a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, and remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” – Ludwig van Beethoven, as reported by Bettina von Arnim in a letter to Goethe, 28 May 1810. Ludwig…
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Vincenzo Bellini – the Swan of Catania

Vincenzo Bellini – the Swan of Catania

Probably on November 3, 1801, Italian Opera composer Vincenzo Bellini was born. Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian bel canto era of the early 19th century especially known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named “the Swan of Catania”. Vincenzo Bellini – Youth and Education Vincenzo Bellini was the oldest son of Rosario Bellini (1776-1840) and Agata Ferlito. He was born as son and grandson of church…
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Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

On March 31 (or April 1) 1732, Austrian composer Joseph Haydn was born. The composer of the Viennese Classicism was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet”. “My language is understood all over the world.” – Joseph Haydn on Mozart’s objection that he speaks too few languages…
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Giuseppe Verdi – Master of the Opera

Giuseppe Verdi – Master of the Opera

On October 9 or 10, 1813, famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi was born. He is primarily known for his romantic operas, and together with Richard Wagner, Verdi is considered the most influential composer of operas of the nineteenth century. I wish that every young man when he begins to write music would not concern himself with being a melodist, a harmonist, a realist, an idealist or a futurist or any other such…
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Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

On October 9, 1835, French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era Camille Saint-Saëns was born. He was something of an anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century in that he wrote in virtually all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. Moreover, his interests also exceeded the musical genre as being an expert in mathematics and maintaining strong interests in…
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Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One-Hit Wonder

Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One-Hit Wonder

On September 1, 1653, German Baroque composer, organist and teacher Johann Pachelbel was christened. It was Pachelbel, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era. Today, almost only a single piece of his musical…
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Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

On February 2, 1594, Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina passed away. He is the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition and has had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony. The Origins of Polyphony The origins of polyphony are assumed in the European vocal music of the late Medieval Era.…
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