Gustav Mahler: The Conductors’ Interviews

Gustav Mahler was considered one of the greatest opera conductors of his time; he could even be called the first intercontinental star conductor. But that was not the case with his music; until the 1960s, his compositions were only performed by specialists, the pieces nowhere near belonging to the standard repertoire.

Today, however, performances of Mahler’s music rival those of Beethoven’s in frequency, thus counting Mahler among the most successful symphonists. What happened to cause that change? more “Gustav Mahler: The Conductors’ Interviews”

10 Fun Facts about Beethoven

by Jacy Burroughs

beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is arguably one of the most well-known composers of all time. From his deafness and notoriously angry look to the movie dog who got his name from howling at the famous first four notes of the Fifth Symphony, Beethoven is still recognizable in today’s culture. His music and life are incredibly complex and this post barely brushes the surface, but hopefully you will learn something new and interesting.

1. No one knows for sure Beethoven’s date of birth. He was baptized on December 17, 1770. In that era and region where Beethoven was born, it was the tradition of the Catholic Church to baptize the day after birth. Therefore, most scholars accept December 16 as Beethoven’s birthday.

2. Beethoven’s father wanted to pass his son off as a child prodigy so he lied about young Beethoven’s age at his first public performance. For a good portion of Beethoven’s life, he believed he was born in 1772 instead of 1770. more “10 Fun Facts about Beethoven”

10 Fun Facts About Claude Debussy

by Jacy Burroughs

Debussy circa 1908
Debussy circa 1908

1. Achille-Claude Debussy was born on August 22, 1862. He began piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1871, he started to study with Marie Mauté de Fleurville, who claimed to have been a pupil of Chopin’s, although there is no evidence to corroborate her story. Regardless, Debussy was obviously talented and he entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1872, where he would remain for 11 years.

2. Debussy’s parents hoped that he would be a piano virtuoso, but he never placed higher than fourth in any competitions. more “10 Fun Facts About Claude Debussy”

10 Interesting Facts About Aaron Copland

by Jacy Burroughs

Aaron Copland in 1970
Aaron Copland in 1970

1. Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family. He was the youngest of five children. While his father had no musical inclination, his mother sang and played the piano and sent her children to music lessons. Copland’s sister Laurine gave him his first piano lessons. She attended the Metropolitan Opera School and would bring home libretti for Aaron to study.

2. When Copland was eleven, he wrote his first notated melody, seven bars of an opera he called Zenatello.
more “10 Interesting Facts About Aaron Copland”

10 Facts You Should Know About Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

by Jacy BurroughsTchaikovsky

1. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (the traditional Western spelling) was born in 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He began taking piano lessons in 1845; however, formal music education was not available in Russian schools at this time so his parents never considered that he might pursue a career in music. Instead, they prepared him for a life of civil service; he began his formal education at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in 1850, which he attended for nine years.

more “10 Facts You Should Know About Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky”

10 Interesting Facts About Johannes Brahms

by Jacy Burroughs

Brahms

1. Johannes Brahms was born on May 7, 1833. His father was a town musician who played a variety of instruments, mostly horn and double bass.

2. Brahms began playing piano at the age of 7. By the time he was a teenager, he was helping the family financially by performing in inns, brothels, taverns and along the city docks. Brahms is also believed to have begun composing early in his life, but destroyed his early compositions. He did not become famous as a composer until April and May of 1853, when he was on a concert tour as accompanist to the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi.

3. In 1853, Brahms met Robert Schumann. Schumann was so impressed with Brahms’ compositions that he wrote an article in his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, praising the young composer’s genius and heralding him as the one who could overthrow the New German School of Liszt and Wagner.

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10 Interesting Facts about Dave Brubeck

by Jacy Burroughs

Dave Brubeck in 1954
Dave Brubeck in 1954

In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, I decided to write a post about one of the jazz greats. I am not a jazz musician and unfortunately, my classical music education barely scraped the surface of jazz. However, the question of “Who to write about?” was an easy choice, because I share an alma mater with the legendary Dave Brubeck. We both went to University of the Pacific, formerly College of the Pacific. I even had the chance to meet him my freshman year, well, more like run into him…literally. I was coming out of a class and there he was, right in front of me. Dave Brubeck. I must have looked shocked and embarrassed and he just smiled and asked, “How are you?” I will never forget that smile. He must have been 86 then. more “10 Interesting Facts about Dave Brubeck”

10 Interesting Facts About Johann Sebastian Bach

by Jacy Burroughs

Johann_Sebastian_Bach

1. Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Germany in the province of Thuringia. His father, Johann Ambrosius, was a town musician. During this period, music was a trade just like metalwork or shoe making. And for the Bachs, music was the family business, stretching back several generations. more “10 Interesting Facts About Johann Sebastian Bach”

10 Interesting Facts About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

by Jacy Burroughs

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791)

Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart_1-revert

1. Mozart was baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. (Imagine trying to learn to write that name!) His first two names, Johannes Chrysostomus, represent his saint’s name, following the tradition of the Catholic Church. This saint’s name was in all likelihood chosen because Mozart’s birthday, January 27th, was the feast day of Saint John Chrysostom. Wolfgangus, or Wolfgang in German, means more “10 Interesting Facts About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”

Composer Success Story: David Burndrett

David Burndrett’s musical career started at an early age. During his first years at high school, he supported many amateur operatic societies and orchestras, playing either cello or double bass.

David attended Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England for four years, and was awarded the Ida Carroll string prize during his final year. He played in the National Youth Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra from 1993 to 1995. David left Chetham’s in 1996 to broaden his musical training at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied solo classical and orchestral technique with Thomas Martin. Additionally, David was accepted onto the jazz course where he was able to form alliances with many players. David and his colleagues formed the Tom Allen Quintet, who won the Perrier Jazz Award in 1999. David also arranges and composes music and sells his music internationally online.

David is a regular extra with the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, City Of Birmingham Symphony, English Symphony, Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra da Camera and others.

David Burndrett is one of the top self-publishers in the Digital Print Publishing program offered through Sheet Music Plus.  Digital Print Publishing allows composers and arrangers to upload their music to www.sheetmusicplus.com for free and earn royalties.  In an interview with Sheet Music Plus, David answered the following questions about his musical career and how Digital Print Publishing has helped him achieve success. He demonstrates that if you are arranging and composing music for your students, it is very likely that other teachers and musicians are also looking for similar pieces. Why not try to sell your music?

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