image of DSLR camera for article on the fundamentals of photography
Arts

What Are the Fundamentals of Photography?

For most of us, our best photographs were a result of luck and a little bit of…more luck. But as the experts can tell you, you can maximize your chances of getting that perfect shot by learning the fundamentals of photography. […]

Close up photograph of a Steinway & Sons piano keyboard
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: An American Success Story

Born Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, Henry Steinway’s life and accomplishments are a textbook example of the great American success story: of an immigrant and his family who by dint of the hardest work, ambition, sacrifice, artistry, and no small bit of genius created something of true and lasting import. […]

Watercolor portrait of Frédéric Chopin
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: An Auspicious Debut

That event took place in September of 1831, when Chopin was 21. He might have been a small, slim, young, physically unprepossessing provincial from Warsaw, but by the time he arrived in Paris to seek his fame and fortune he was a fully formed composer and already one of the best pianists in the world.
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Portrait of George Frederick Handel
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: A Model Citizen

On this day in 1727, the nearly 42 year-old Georg Friedrich Händel was transformed into George Frederick Handel when he was became a naturalized British subject by order of the crown. […]

Bronze statue of Giuseppe Verdi seated on a chair
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: The Opera That Almost Wasn’t

On this day 131 years ago—February 5, 1887—Giuseppe Verdi’s 25th and penultimate opera, Otello, received its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala (“La Scala”) in Milan. The premiere was the single greatest triumph in Verdi’s sensational career. But it was a premiere—and an opera—that almost didn’t happen. […]

Watercolor portrait of Franz Schubert sitting with book in right hand
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: Death and the Maiden

At the beginning of the song, it is cast in D minor as a funeral march, one that invokes the impending death of the maiden. But when the passage returns to conclude the song, it is set in D major. The effect is so powerful as to make us gasp: with this seemingly simple switch from minor to major, everything is transfigured… […]

Black and white portrait of Dimitri Shostakovich
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: A Very Dangerous Opera

And then on January 26, 1936, the sky fell. Joseph Stalin…attended a performance of Lady Macbeth at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. It was a performance that nearly cost Shostakovich his life. […]

Bronze statue of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Simferopol, Russia
Music History Monday

Music History Monday: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major

No one likes to be criticized. And no major composer ever received more damning criticism than did Peter Tchaikovsky. Given his incredibly sensitive nature, and the fact that he was, as a homosexual in Tsarist Russia, leading virtually a double life, well, you’ve got a prescription for a most challenging emotional life. […]

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