It’s Mozart’s Birthday!

mozart-birthday

 

 

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Theophilus Mozart lived between 1756 and 1791. He is considered to be a classical composer. Mozart, born in Salzburg, Austria, began composing before most children go to kindergarten. By the time he was six he had played the piano and violin in public.

A Wunderkind, a prodigy of the first rank before the age of five, Mozart astounded the musical world with compositions of unsurpassed brilliance. His father Leopold had recognized his talent at the age of three and immediately set out to teach him to play the harpsichord, violin, and organ. Mozart and his sister made their debut in Munich when he was just six and traveled about Europe together, performing at courts and before royalty, always with success. While still a little child Mozart was inventing symphonies, sonatas, and his first opera. Legends abound about how Mozart could hear an entire work in his head and write everything down without making even one change.

As a child performer he was often treated as a freak. People would cover his hands as he played the piano, make him compose tunes on the spot and perform all sorts of other musical tricks.

In 1787 Mozart became court composer to Joseph II. He played for royalty, received commissions from aristocrats and in his short lifetime composed nearly a thousand masterpieces, including symphonies, operas, serenades, sonatas, concertos, masses, vocal works, and church works.

Mozart was a prolific composer writing masterpieces using every form of music, including his operas “The Marriage of Figaro” (based on a play by Pierre Beaumarchais), “Don Giovanni”, “Cosi fan tutte” and “The Magic Flute”. His mastery of instrumental and vocal forms, from symphony to concerto and opera, was unrivalled in his own time and perhaps in any other.

Composing the Requiem Mass commissioned for Count Walsegg, he felt he was writing his own requiem and he died before it was finished.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, died in Vienna Austria at the age of 35, penniless, on December 5th, 1791, of malignant typhus. Mozart, the precocious child prodigy, composed several pieces that are deemed central to the classical era. Though he ranked as one of the greatest musical genius, he did not live a life of affluence as none of his compositions earned him a decent commission but the world is forever enriched by such works as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Symphonies No. 38 through 41 and the Coronation Mass.

In the year 2000, there have were some new discoveries about Mozart’s death

     Mozart’s birthday

     Mozart’s son, Wolfgang Amadeus Franz Xavier Mozart

     Listen to Mozart’s music.

You might be surprised to hear what “Ah Vous Dirais-je Maman” is!


     Read quotes by and about Mozart

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     Guess what my li’l Chopin played today

     History of the Piano

     Mozart’s first public concert with his sister

     Books and CD’s by Mozart

         Mozart for Children

     Read Amazon.com’s Get Started in Classical feature

University offers opera instead of traditional discipline

 

 

Duke Ellington’s Birthday

ellington-bd
Duke Ellington (1899 to 1974) was a composer, bandleader, and pianist. He was born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C.

From an early age, the handsome, sharply dressed teenager (that’s where he got the nickname, Duke) was headed for success. At first it was art. He won a poster-design contest and an art scholarship, left school and started a sign-painting business. But it was his natural piano-playing ability that attracted the young women, so Duke Ellington headed in that direction. He developed his keyboard skills by listening to local black ragtime pianists; he composed his first piece, Soda Fountain Rag, around 1915. A successful professional musician by the early 1920s, he left Washington in the spring of 1923 for New York, which was his home base for the rest of his life. Between December 1927 and 1931 his orchestra held forth at Harlem’s Cotton Club, where regular radio broadcasts, together with an active recording schedule, helped him establish a nationwide reputation. Take the “A” Train was his “signature song”.

In such compositions as Black and Tan Fantasy (1927), Mood Indigo (1930),Solitude (1934), and Echoes of Harlem (1935), Ellington emerged as a distinctive composer for his ensemble, employing the rhythms, harmonies, and tone colors of jazz to create pieces that vividly captured aspects of the African-American experience. At the same time, he sought to broaden jazz’s expressive range and formal boundaries in such extended works asReminiscing in Tempo (1935), Black, Brown, and Beige (1943), and Harlem(1951).

An essential feature of Ellington’s composing method was to write with specific instrumentalists in mind, often drawing them into the creative process by building entire pieces out of their musical ideas.

He wrote scores for big band pieces, film scores, operas, ballets, Broadway shows, gospel music, musicals, films, television, and ballet and in the 1960s produced a series of sacred concerts combining his orchestra, choirs, vocalists, and dancers. He would work with each section of his orchestra as an entity unto its own and then bring them together to create the unique sounds such as, Mood Indigo. Over 1,000 musical pieces are credited to the great Duke Ellington. James Lincoln Collier studied the Duke and his Orchestra, comparing Duke Ellington to a “master chef who plans the menus, trains the assistants, supervises them, tastes everything, adjusts the spices … and in the end we credit him with the result.”

Ellington was successful, as few others have been, in reconciling the practical function of a popular entertainer with the artistic aspirations of a serious composer. His rich legacy consists of hundreds of recordings, his many pieces that have entered the standard repertory, and his musical materials now preserved in the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. There is a statue of Duke Ellington in New York.

 Ellington’s birthday

 anniversary of Ellington’s death

Ellington’s works were played in an Grammy Winning performance, Forty-Second Annual Awards

Read quotes by and about Ellington

 News Item about Ellington

Happy Birthday, Mozart!

mozart-birthday

 

 

Putting Mozart on the Map

What better way to get things started than with a party?

At Wolfie, that means the first worldwide event in honor of Mozart’s birthday – taking place this Tuesday, January 27th! Every musician – concert pianist or 2nd-grader – playing a score on the Wolfie app on January 27th will automatically appear on an interactive world map at www.wolfiepiano.com.

Share this special event with colleagues and inspire your students by enabling them to take part in a worldwide event that will connect them to piano players around the world! It all starts by joining the event, here.

Finally, we’d love to hear from you. You, Mozart’s ambassadors, are keeping his legacy alive and instilling the gift of music appreciation into young peoples’ lives every day.

See you on Tuesday – on the map!

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Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Theophilus Mozart lived between 1756 and 1791. He is considered to be a classical composer. Mozart, born in Salzburg, Austria, began composing before most children go to kindergarten. By the time he was six he had played the piano and violin in public.

A Wunderkind, a prodigy of the first rank before the age of five, Mozart astounded the musical world with compositions of unsurpassed brilliance. His father Leopold had recognized his talent at the age of three and immediately set out to teach him to play the harpsichord, violin, and organ. Mozart and his sister made their debut in Munich when he was just six and traveled about Europe together, performing at courts and before royalty, always with success. While still a little child Mozart was inventing symphonies, sonatas, and his first opera. Legends abound about how Mozart could hear an entire work in his head and write everything down without making even one change.

As a child performer he was often treated as a freak. People would cover his hands as he played the piano, make him compose tunes on the spot and perform all sorts of other musical tricks.

In 1787 Mozart became court composer to Joseph II. He played for royalty, received commissions from aristocrats and in his short lifetime composed nearly a thousand masterpieces, including symphonies, operas, serenades, sonatas, concertos, masses, vocal works, and church works.

Mozart was a prolific composer writing masterpieces using every form of music, including his operas “The Marriage of Figaro” (based on a play by Pierre Beaumarchais), “Don Giovanni”, “Cosi fan tutte” and “The Magic Flute”. His mastery of instrumental and vocal forms, from symphony to concerto and opera, was unrivalled in his own time and perhaps in any other.

Composing the Requiem Mass commissioned for Count Walsegg, he felt he was writing his own requiem and he died before it was finished.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, died in Vienna Austria at the age of 35, penniless, on December 5th, 1791, of malignant typhus. Mozart, the precocious child prodigy, composed several pieces that are deemed central to the classical era. Though he ranked as one of the greatest musical genius, he did not live a life of affluence as none of his compositions earned him a decent commission but the world is forever enriched by such works as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Symphonies No. 38 through 41 and the Coronation Mass.

In the year 2000, there have were some new discoveries about Mozart’s death

     Mozart’s birthday

     Mozart’s son, Wolfgang Amadeus Franz Xavier Mozart

     Listen to Mozart’s music.

You might be surprised to hear what “Ah Vous Dirais-je Maman” is!


     Read quotes by and about Mozart

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     Guess what my li’l Chopin played today

     History of the Piano

     Mozart’s first public concert with his sister

     Books and CD’s by Mozart

         Mozart for Children

     Read Amazon.com’s Get Started in Classical feature

University offers opera instead of traditional discipline