Stories

Spears, Smith to write ‘Castor and Patience’ for Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) — Composer Gregory Spears and U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith have been commissioned by the Cincinnati Opera to write Castor and Patience, a story of black cousins in the American South who disagree about the future of land they inherited. The company said Tuesday that the work will premiere at the Corbett Theater in July 2020. Smith’s ...

Tchaikovsky Memorial to Be Installed in the Heart of Chicago’s Boystown

Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be honored with a memorial exhibit as part of the Legacy Walk, Chicago’s outdoor LGBTQ history museum. Located along 3245–3705 Halsted Street in the heart of Boystown, the museum features rainbow pylons with biographical plaques that honor the diverse contributions of LGBTQ people. From any smartphone, visitors can access videos, study guides, and other resources ...

Beethoven’s Smile: Yes, He Had One

“After the final chord, I looked up. The Master’s darkly glowing gaze was fixed upon me penetratingly. Yet suddenly a benevolent smile broke up his gloomy features, Beethoven became quite close, bent over me, laid his hand on my head and repeatedly stroked my hair. ‘Devil of a fellow’ he whispered, ‘such a young rascal!’ I suddenly plucked up courage. ...

Composer Exploration: Jacques Ibert

Jacques Ibert was born in Paris in 1890; his father was a businessman; his mother was a pianist. She began teaching him piano and violin at age 4. When young Jacques finished grade school, he found a job in a movie house, playing piano for silent films. In 1910 he enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, joining Arthur Honegger and Darius ...

Art and Music: Mendelssohn’s Watercolors

Felix Mendelssohn was a beacon in his world, whether as a conductor, composer, scholar, or painter. As a painter, he wallowed in images of man in dialogue with nature: landscapes with buildings or people under trees. The image to the right is of an unknown subject, but brings to mind the mysterious, churning sounds of his Hebrides Overture, and offers ...