Johann Sebastian Bach was 30 when he became head of music in Anhalt-Cöthen, in what is now Germany. Here he started an uncharted experiment in classical music: solo works for string instruments.
Boris Kustodiev, The Bolshevik, 1920.
Sergei Rachmaninoff fled the Russian revolution 100 years ago. Spending the remainder of his life in the US, he composed what is perhaps his greatest work in 1940, the Symphonic Dances.
The 1976 memorial at the Babi Yar massacre site only recognised Soviet victims, despite the killing of more than 30,000 Jewish people. In 1991 a Jewish memorial was installed nearby.
On September 29 1941, Nazis murdered more than 30,000 Jews in a ravine outside Kiev. Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, Babi Yar, is a damning critique of the Soviet Union's lack of recognition of the massacre, and a condemnation of Stalinism.
In Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (winter’s journey), a man steps out on a mid-winter night to rid himself of his lost love.
Image from www.shutterstock.com
A year before his death at 31 Franz Schubert published 'Winterreise' or 'winter's journey', a series of 24 poems set to music exploring unrequited love. Schubert described them as 'truly terrible'.
Swedish organist Anna von Hausswolff.
Other than church, the pipe organ is often perceived as belonging in horror movies. But there's more to the instrument that spans most musical genres.
George Dreyfus, centre, holding a bassoon and Walter Wurzburger, far left, holding a clarinet.
JC Williamson production 1949
In the late 1930s, Australia sought to restrict the flow of refugees, ruling that musicians were 'unsuitable' as migrants. Yet some talented Jewish musicians did arrive here and their work has enriched our cultural life.
Debussy’s Clair de Lune belongs to the Impressionist movement, which included visual artists like Claude Monet.
Debussy's Clair de Lune, meaning 'moonlight', is one of the most easily recognised pieces of music, but its origins are complex. The piece was influenced by poetry, Baroque music and the Impressionist movement.
Pied butcherbirds, such as this one, sing solos, duos and trios.
© Duade Paton
Is birdsong simply a hard-wired, functional, primitive sound – or could we call it 'music'? Australia's pied butcherbirds show there are surprising overlaps between birds' and humans' musical abilities.
The world seems convinced that Venezuela's famous national orchestral programme is turning on the government. Why?
Composing a symphonic landscape: Caspar David Friedrich’s 1818 oil painting, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.
With An Alpine Symphony, Richard Strauss achieved something remarkable: the painting of the German alps, complete with cow meadows and waterfalls, in sound.
Brahms’ piano quartet in G minor was composed for a piano, a violin, a viola and a cello.
The 29-year old Johannes Brahms had his first major public success with his piano quartet in G minor, but not everyone gave it glowing praise.
Franz Liszt in his home in Weimar, 1884.
Bergen Public Library Norway/Flickr
Whoever finds it beautiful is beyond help, quipped critic Eduard Hanslick upon hearing Franz Liszt’s Sonata in B minor for the first time. Fortunately, posterity did not agree with him.
Carl Seffner’s 1908 statue of J.S. Bach in front of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, Germany.
Johann Sebastian Bach's The Art of Fugue is a work of high art. But in keeping with the late works of artists such as Shakespeare, Beethoven and Goya, it contains elements of pathos, humour, gravity, exuberance and tragedy.
Best Classical Album winners Flight Facilities, playing at the ARIA award ceremony last year.
High-profile awards ceremonies are often only as interesting as the controversies they create. The 2016 ARIA Awards has started strongly in this area. Although the main ceremony is still a month away…
Trump’s use of a Puccini aria has caused some raised eyebrows.
Michael Reynolds/EPA // Wikimedia Commons
Donald Trump has been accused of using a 'fascist' Puccini aria at rallies. But labelling this music as fascist is deeply problematic.
Has student learning kept pace with the changing way of listening to music?
The way we experience music has changed. So, what should the 21st-century music classroom look like?
Women face serious barriers to reaching the upper echelons of classical composing and conducting.
The rate of female composers working in Australia hasn't risen in seven years. At one leading ensemble, 41 of 47 composers commissioned have been men. What's going wrong, and how can it be fixed?
© Sarah Nicholls
Is this the future of the piano?
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Symposium, 1894 (Sibelius sits on far right).
In his 150th anniversary year it seems appropriate that Sibelius and his reception receive a critical re-evaluation.
French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand presents Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (centre) with the highest decoration in France, Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, in 2011.
Arvo Pärt created contemplative and innovative music during the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union.