Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck; 13 September 1819 – 20 May 1896) was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann. Robert was a little more than 9 years older than Clara and moved into the Wieck household as a piano student of Friedrich's by the end of 1830 when she was only 11 and he was 20. In 1837 when she was 18, he proposed to her and she accepted. Then Robert asked Friedrich for Clara's hand in marriage. Wieck was strongly opposed to the marriage, as he did not much approve of Robert, and did not give permission. Robert and Clara had to go to court and sue Friedrich. The judge's decision was to allow the marriage. In 1840, despite Friedrich's objections, Clara and Robert were married. As part of the broad musical education given her by her father, Clara Wieck learned to compose, and from childhood to middle age she produced a good body of work. Her composition of the g minor sonata began in 1841 completed in 1842.

VIDEO: Clara (Wieck) Schumann: piano sonata in G minor (1st mov. allegro) Performer: Jozef de Beenhouwer 


Revol Samoilovich Bunin, 1924 - 1976

Revol Samoilovich Bunin (Russian: Револь Самойлович Бунин; 6 April 1924 in Moscow – 3 July 1976 in Moscow), was a Russian composer. His viola concerto (Op. 22) was composed in 1953 and dedicated to his close friend, violist Rudolf Barshai, who would later found and direct the Moscow chamber orchestra. In 1938 Revol started his compositions studies at the Music School of the Moscow Conservatory under Professor Ilya Litinsky. During his third year of studies he was admitted to the Conservatory and continued his studies under Professor Vissarion Shebalin, who was, at the time, the Conservatory’s director. In 1941, he was summoned first to work at the military factory in Moscow and then was drafted to an active duty. Taking into account his musical gift, so he could continue to attend the classes, he was stationed near Moscow. He was decommissioned due to ill health in March 1943. In June 1943 Shostakovich started to teach at the Moscow Conservatory and Bunin was the first student he selected to be his pupil. For a while, Bunin was Shostakovich’s only student. He graduated the Conservatory in 1945 with honors. Shebalin could not forgive Bunin’s defection to the Shostakovich's class from his own and did not allow his name to be added to the “Golden Board” of exemplary students. In 1947, Bunin moved to Leningrad, where he taught music arrangement at the Leningrad Conservatory and assisted Shostakovich as a co-professor of composition. The same year, his 2nd Symphony was premiered in Leningrad, under the direction of conductor Evgeny Mravinsky. In 1948, he moved back to Moscow and worked as an editor for the State Music Publishing. After a government decree set stringent regulations on music and art in the Soviet Union, Shostakovich was dismissed as Professor in the Conservatory. Consequently, his assistant, Bunin, also lost his position and became, for a while, a persona non grata. He had to make his living by writing scores for other composers. His music has won, on several occasions, the Stalin Prize, but Bunin’s name did not appear, nor was mentioned to the selection committee. Revol Bunin died on July 3, 1976 in Moscow. He was mourned by his wife, Larisa, his friends and many students. He had no children. He was never awarded State honors, for he refused to join the Communist Party, in contrast with many of his colleagues. Bunin wrote music scores for 48 motion pictures, cartoons and documentaries. He left 45 major compositions, including nine symphonies, numerous sonatas, quartets, trios, an opera, romances and several concertos for piano, violin. His viola concerto (Op. 22) was composed in 1953 and dedicated to his close friend, violist Rudolf Barshai, who would later found and direct the Moscow chamber orchestra.


Jean Sibelius, 1865 - 1957

Jean Sibelius (/sɪˈbeɪliəs, -ˈbeɪljəs/; About this sound Swedish pronunciation (help·info); born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius; 8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic period. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. The core of Sibelius' oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded. In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius' best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor, Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music; and 21 separate publications of choral music.


VIDEO: Jean Sibelius - Finlandia, H Von Karajan


JOHN TAVENER 1944 - 2013

John Tavener, a British composer known for his meditative, sometimes passionate sacred works and colorfully scored orchestral pieces — including the popular cello concerto “The Protecting Veil,” and the haunting “Song for Athene,” which was performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales — died on Tuesday, 12 November 2013,  at his home in Child Okeford, in southern England. He was 69.
The British composer John Tavener in 2007 at his home in Dorset, in southern England. Mr. Tavener, a composer informed by Orthodox Christianity, was heard throughout the world in his elegy, performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales...NYTimes Obit | Home Page

Sir John Kenneth Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013) was a British composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Whale, "The Protecting Veil" and "Song for Athene". He began as a prodigy; in 1968, at the age of 24, he was described by The Guardian as "the musical discovery of the year", while The Times said he was "among the very best creative talents of his generation." During his career he became one of the best known and popular composers of his generation. Tavener was knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won an Ivor Novello Award...Wikipedia

ELLIOTT CARTER 1908 - 2012

Elliott Carter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer who fused European and American modernist traditions in seminal but formidable works, and who lived to hear ovations for music that was once thought to be anything but listener-friendly, died Nov. 5 at his home in New York City. He was 103. More Washington Post |
Elliott Cook Carter Jr. (December 11, 1908 – November 5, 2012) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music. His compositions, which have been performed all over the world, include orchestral and chamber music as well as solo instrumental and vocal works. He was extremely productive in his later years, publishing more than 40 works between the ages of 90 and 100, and over 14 more after he turned 100 in 2008. His last work, 12 Short Epigrams for piano, was completed on August 13, 2012. More Wikipedia

Hans Werner Henze dead at age 86

Hans Werner Henze, a prolific German composer who came of age in the Nazi era and grew estranged from his country while gaining renown for richly imaginative operas and orchestral works, died on Saturday, 27 October 2012, in Dresden, Germany, where he was due to attend the premiere that evening of a ballet set to one of his scores. He was 86. NYTimes | Wikipedia Hans Werner Henze (1 July 1926 – 27 October 2012) was a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life".His music is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition.


José Pablo Moncayo García (June 29, 1912–June 16, 1958) was a Mexican pianist, percussionist, music teacher, composer and conductor. "As composer, José Pablo Moncayo represents one of the most important legacies of the Mexican nationalism in art music, after Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez." He produced some of the masterworks that best symbolize the essence of the national aspirations and contradictions of Mexico in the 20th century. Wikipedia

Hector Berlioz 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869

Hector Berlioz (pronounced: [ɛk'tɔʁ bɛʁ'ljoːz]; 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a conductor, he performed several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.

Wikipedia | PBS Video Bio | SHOP: Hectror Berlioz

Franz Liszt October 22, 1811 - July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also a well-known composer, piano teacher, and conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.

Wikipedia | SHOP: Franz Liszt