Performers Edition Articles

Articles, analysis, and more on classical music.

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Bantock's The Witches Frolic

    Sir Granville Ransome Bantock (Aug. 7, 1868 - Oct. 16, 1946) was a British composer and conductor, born in London. His parents hoped he would enter the Indian Civil Service, but poor health would prevent him from that. He turned to chemical engineering, but around 20 years old, he started looking at musical manuscripts. His first teacher was at Trinity College of...
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Smyth's Violin Sonata

    Dame Ethel Mary Smyth DBE (April 22,1858 - May 8, 1944) was an English composer and member of the women's suffrage movement. The fourth of eight children, Smyth showed a keen interested in music as a career. Her father, a major general in the Royal Artillery, was not particularly supportive, though that didn't stop her from pursuing music anyway. Smyth studied...
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Boulanger's Les Sirènes

    Marie-Juliette Olga "Lili" Boulanger (Aug. 21, 1893 - March 15, 1918) was a French composer, and  the younger sister of the famed composition teacher/composer Nadia Boulanger. Born in Paris, Lili Boulanger was a child prodigy; at the age of two, it was discovered that she had perfect pitch. Her parents, both musicians, encouraged her musical education, and she accompanied her sister Nadia...
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Montgeroult's Piano Sonata No. 9

    Hélène de Nervo de Montgeroult (March 2, 1764 - May 20, 1836) was a French pianist, composer, and professor. Born in to an aristocratic family, she studied piano with Jan Ladislav Dussek. She married the Marquis de Montgeroult, and it was her compositions that saved her during The Terror of the French Revolution. She performed one of her works for...
  5. Obscure Music Monday: Holmès' Irlande

    Augusta Holmès (Dec. 18, 1847 - Jan. 28 1903) was a pianist and composer, born in Paris, and of Irish descent. Despite showing great talent as a child, she wasn't allowed to take piano at the Paris Conservatory. Instead she took private piano lessons with Mademoiselle Peyrnnet, and later on, harmony and counterpoint with Henri Lambert, and composition lessons with Hyacinthe Klosé. Holmès became...
  6. Obscure Music Monday: Akimenko's Petite Ballade

    Theodore Akimenko (Feb. 8, 1876 - Jan. 8, 1945) was a Ukranian pianist, professor, and composer.  He is the older brother of the composer Jakob Akimenko.  Continue reading →
  7. Obscure Music Monday: Huré's Piano Quintet

    Jean Huré (Sept. 17, 1877 - Jan. 27, 1930) was a French organist and composer; much of his musical knowledge was self-taught. After some musical instruction in Angers, Huré was advised by teachers to study at the Paris Conservatory, but he much preferred to go his own way. He made his living in Paris as an organist at several churches...
  8. Obscure Music Monday: Gade's 4 Idyllen

    Niels Wilhelm Gade (Feb. 22, 1817 - Dec. 21, 1890) born in Copenhagen, was the son of an instrument maker. Gade, a violinist, composer, and conductor, started his career with the Royal Danish Orchestra as a violinist, and was able to see compositions of his played by the orchestra. Felix Mendelssohn was an early champion of Gade's work, and they became close...
  9. Obscure Music Monday: Palmgren's 3 Piano Pieces, Op. 54: I. Raindrops

    Selim Gustav Adolf Palmgren (Feb. 16, 1878 - Dec. 13, 1951) was a Finnish composer, conductor, and pianist. He studied at the Helsinki Conservatory in Helsinki from 1895 to 1899, then continued his piano studies in Berlin. He conducted several orchestras and music societies in Finland, and had successful performances as a pianist in Finland and Scandanavia. In 1921 he moved to the United...
  10. Obscure Music Monday: Massenet's Pensee d'automne

    Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (May 12, 1842 - August 13, 1912) was a French composer and professor, who started piano lessons with his mother, and began studies at the Paris Conservatory when he was around 10 years old.  Massenet's studies at the Conservatory were interrupted due to some family issues, and during his time away from school, he taught piano lessons...

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