Articles on Composers

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Two manuscripts of the visionary, writer and composer St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) survived the Dresden bombings after a librarian stashed them in a bank vault. (Avraham Pisarek/Deutsche Fotothek/Wikimedia)

How two women pulled off a medieval manuscript heist in post-war Germany

Two precious manuscripts hidden in a bank vault survived the Allied bombing of Dresden, but one wound up in Soviet hands — until it was smuggled home.
Happy birthday Beethoven, 250 this year. Here, artist Ottmar Hoerl’s sculptural tribute in Bonn, Germany. Shutterstock

Friday essay: Beethoven - an icon at risk of overexposure?

This year Ludwig van Beethoven turns 250. Though some of his creations have been overexposed, they are indisputably brilliant. And there are still others waiting to be discovered by music lovers.
Two female models face off in a production of The Magic Flute at Texas A&M University. Above, the Queen of the Night is up to no good, while the passive Pamina awaits her rescuer. Wikimedia

The tale of two queens: flipping the script on the ‘princess culture’ in opera

Princess movies and opera alike reveal the limited number of models available to women. "Le Dernier Sorcier", composed by Pauline Viardot in 1869, shows that a much richer world is possible.
George Dreyfus, centre, holding a bassoon and Walter Wurzburger, far left, holding a clarinet. JC Williamson production 1949

Loss, trials, and compassion: the music of Australia’s Jewish refugees

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.

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