Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tomorrow 2012 arrives. Here are the major anniversaries for composers:

Classical Composer Anniversaries

Gabrieli 400th anniversary of his death on 12 August
Delius 150th birthday on 29 January
Debussy 150th anniversary of his birth on 22 Auguust 1812
John Cage centenary of birth on 5 September
Massenet centenary of his death on 13 August
John Ireland 50th anniversary of his death on 12 June

You can find a far more comprehensive list of anniversaries at

Friday, 30 December 2011

St Hildegard of Bingen

Here is my portrait of the first female classical composer - Blessed Hildegard von Bingen. One of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages.
The central image is a photoetching and the border is a collagraph. 
I have just uploaded a profile of her on my website at
There is an increasing interest in her music and there is plenty to see on YouTube. There is an interesting BBC documentary available on DVD at Amazon and a full length German biopic 'Vision'.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

November Anniversaries of Classical Composers

Great Classical Composer
3/11/1801 Bellini born
4/11/1847 Mendelssohn died
4/11/1924 Fauré died
6/11/1854 Sousa born
6/11/1893 Tchaikovsky died
8/11/1890 César Franck died
12/11/833 Borodin born
13/11/1868 Rossini died
14/11/1805 Fanny Mendelssohn born
14/11/1900 Copland born
15/11/1787 Gluck died
18/11/1786 Weber born
19/11/1828 Schubert died
20/11/1894 A.Rubinstein died
21/11/1695 Purcell died
22/11/1900 A.Sullivan died
22/11/1913 Britten born
23/11/1585 Thomas Tallis died
24/11/1868 Scott Joplin born
28/11/1829 A.Rubinstein born
29/11/1643 Monteverdi died
29/11/1797 Donizetti born
29/11/1924 Puccini died

Monday, 10 October 2011

Classical Music Calendars

It's October. Time to start publishing my new  classical music calendars.

This year I am making them available again on Zazzle. (click to see them)
In addition I am selling them on Etsy (click to see them). The first one uploaded today.

The Zazzle ones are printed in the USA and therefore for North American buyers it makes sense to order from them to avoid any postage delays and customs duties.

The Etsy one instead are printed by myself here in London and therefore is recommended for UK and European buyers, again to avoid postage delays, VAT and customs duty.

Opera composers uploaded to Etsy today.  It is already on Zazzle.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

October classical composer anniversaries

Great Classical Composer

1/10/1865 Paul Dukas born
2/10/1920 Max Bruch died
3/10/1931 Carl Nielsen died
5/10/1880 Offenbach died
9/10/1813 Verdi born
9/10/1835 Saint-Saëns born
11/10/1896 Bruckner died
12/10/1872 Vaughan Williams born
14/10/1990 Bernstein died
17/10/1849 Chopin died
18/10/1893 Gounod died
20/10/1874 Charles Ives born
22/11/1811 Liszt born
24/10/1725 A Scarlatti died
25/11/1825 J Strauss Jr born
25/11/1838 Bizet born
26/11/1685 D Scarlatti born
27/11/1782 Paganini born

Friday, 2 September 2011

September classical composer anniversaries

September already. Summer almost finished. Here are this month's birthdays and death anniversaries of the great classical composers:

Great Classical Composer

4/9/1824 Bruckner born
4/9/1892 Milhaud born
4/9/1907 Grieg died
5/9/1735 J Christian Bach born
5/9/1912 John Cage born
8/9/1813 Gesualdo died
8/9/1841 Dvorak born
8/9/1949 Richard Strauss died
10/9/1659 Purcell born
13/9/1819 Clara Schumann born
13/9/1874 Schoenberg born
17/9/1179 Hildegard von Bingen died
20/9/1957 Sibelius died
21/9/1874 Holst born
23/9/1836 Bellini died
25/9/1906 Shostakovich born
25/9/1849 J Strauss Sr died
26/9/1898 Gershwin born
26/9/1945 Bartok died

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Back to school - Great Classical Composers Calendar

Summer is going fast and the shops are full of Back to School promotions which made me think that I should do a calendar starting in September instead of January.
So here it is: September 2011 to August 2012 Great Composers with 12 of my prints:
Sibelius, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Brahms, Grieg, Bach and Shostakovich.
I'll do another version Jan - Dec 2012 later when the Christmas promotions start.

It is available now at Etsy
Click on the above link or on the image.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra by Gabriel Prokofiev

Next Saturday's BBC Prom at the Albert Hall will feature a performance of the 'Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra' by Gabriel Prokofiev who just happens to be the grandson of the great Sergio Prokofiev.
I have featured it as Video of the Week on the home page of my 52composers site.
It is an interesting piece combining classical symphonic music with hip-hop.

August anniversaries of classical composers

Great Classical Composer

?/08/1653 Pachelbel
18/08/1750 Salieri
22/08/1862 Debusssy
22/08/1928 Stockhausen
25/08/1918 Bernstein
/08/1834 Ponchielli
2/08/1945 Mascagni
8/08/1975 Shostakovich
09/08/1919 Leoncavallo
10/08/1928 Janacek
12/08/1992 John Cage
13/08/1912 Massanet
26/08/1958 Vaughan Williams
28/08/1959 Martinu

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

June Anniversaries for Classical Composers

It's June so here is my list of some composer birthdays and death anniversaries for the month:
  Great Classical Composer
01/06/1804 Glinka born
02/06/1857 Elgar born
03/06/1875 Bizet died
03/06/1899 Strauss J died
06/06/1903 Khachaturian born
08/06/1810 Schumann born
21/06/1908 Rimsky Korsakov died
10/06/1934 Delius died
11/06/1864 Strauss R. born
14/06/1671 Albinoni born
15/06/1843 Grieg born
17/06/1818 Gounod born
17/06/1882 Stravinsky born
20/06/1819 Offenbach born
25/06/1767 Telemann died

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Films about Composers

Occasionally I get asked if there is a film about a particular composer. There are a lot of feature films and TV documentaries and I have just built a page on my 52composers website on the subject.
The two British directors Ken Russell and Tony Palmer have been prolific with this genre.
Some, notably those by Tony Palmer, are incredibly well researched and true to the facts. Others have varying proportions of fantasy.
Yale University has published a book 'Composers in the Movies' by Prof.John C.Tibbetts and with a forward by Simon Callow. I haven't seen it yet but it looks interesting.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Vivien Noakes 1937 - 2011) - biographer of Edward Lear

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Vivien Noakes, the leading expert on the life and works of Edward Lear, king of nonsense and the limerick.
She wrote his definitive biography and curated the 1985 Lear exhibition at the Royal Academy.
There is a very good obituary in the Guardian.

Some years ago I started an Edward Lear website which I have neglected. I really must get back to it.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Great Composer Anniversaries for March

Great Classical Composer

?/03/1706 Pachelbel died
1/03/1810 Chopin born
2/03/1824 Smetana born
4/03/1678 Vivaldi born
5/03/1953 Prokofiev died
6/03/1932 Sousa died
7/03/1875 Ravel born
8/03/1566 Gesualdo born
8/03/1803 Berlioz died
8/03/ 1983 Walton died
16/03/1736 Pergolesi died
18/03/1844 Rimsky-Korsakov born
21/03/1685 J S Bach born
21/03/1839 Mussorgsky born
22/03/1687 Lully born
25/03/1881 Bartok born
25/03/1918 Debussy died
26/03/1827 Beethoven died
28/03/1881 Mussorgsky died
28/03/1943 Rachmaninoff died
29/03/1902 Walton born
31/03/1732 Haydn born

Monday, 21 February 2011

Leoncavallo - 1895 item

I found this old photo of Leoncavallo in an old copy of the weekly magazine 'Photos- The Popular Album' dated August 17 1895.
It is accompanied by an amusing text comparing him with Mascagni.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Gallery Rage

This month I went to the huge Gauguin exhibition at Tate Modern and last week I went to the Cezanne's Card Players exhibition at the Courtauld Galleries in Somerset House. Both exhibitions close this weekend so I am glad I managed to see them - very worthwhile seeing.
But what a difference in terms of gallery 'experience'. The Gauguin was a true 'blockbuster' with over 120 of his works. It has been the Tate's most successful exhibition ever as far as visitors is concerned. And that is the problem - too many visitors turn it into a frustrating experience. Exhausting.
In contrast the Cezanne exhibition was a delight. Not  crowded, plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the works. Not too big an exhibition. No pressure to move on to the next picture. Inspiring.
Interestingly the Observer had an article on just this topic this morning:

If you missed the exhibitions in London you will be able to see the Gauguin exhibition in Washington DC from February to June and the Cezanne Card Players will be at the Met in New York also from February.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Vivian Maier - the discovery of a wonderful street photographer

I just came across the amazing story of Vivian Maier - nanny and extraordinary amateur street photographer.
In 2007 a Chicago estate agent, John Maloof, went to a furniture and antiques  auction and bought some boxes full of old photos, negatives and rolls of film. This sparked in him an interest in photography and the more he studied it the more he realised how good these photos were. He  managed to buy the rest of the boxes that were at the auction and now has over 100,000 images.
He did some research to find out who the mystery photographer was and found it was a French nanny who lived in Chicago and New York in the fifties and sixties.
Her photos are great. You can see some and read her story on the blog/website at . Watch the Chicago Tonight video you will find there
Other interesting sites/articles: (click on the 'more photos' link under the photo for a slideshow)

A feature length documentary 'Finding Vivian Maier' is planned for 2012 more info at Kickstarter

Saturday, 1 January 2011

January Classical Composer Anniversaries

Great Classical Composer

1/1/1782 J C Bach died
2/1/1837 Balakirev born
2/1/1905 M Tippett born
4/1/1710 Pergolesi born
6/1/1838 Max Bruch born
7/1/1899 Poulenc born
8/1/1713 Corelli died
8/1/1990 M Tippett died
11/1/1801 Cimarosa died
16/1/1886 Ponchielli died
16/1/1891 Delibes died
17/1/1751 Albinoni died
18/1/1835 Cesar Cui
23/1/1981 S.Barber died
27/1/1756 Mozart born
27/1/1813Verdi died
29/1/1862 Delius born
30/1/1963 Poulenc died
31/1/1797 Schubert born

2011 Composer Anniversaries

There are only two major annniversaries in 2011:
Mahler centenary of his death on May 11 1911
Liszt 200th anniversary of his birth on October 22 1811