Stories

10 Czech Composers You Should Know (Who Aren’t Antonín Dvořák)

Medieval castles. Prehistoric pottery. The original Pilsner beer. Clearly, the Czech Republic is home to a vibrant history and culture. But when it comes to Czech composers, most are familiar only with Antonín Dvořák. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s independence, here are ten Czech composers that we think you should know!

Auschwitz museum gets Nazi death camp conductor’s baton

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Auschwitz museum has obtained a new relic from the death camp that Nazi Germany operated during World War II: the baton of the inmate orchestra’s conductor. The 13-inch wood-and-ivory baton with a plaque reading “F. Nierychlo 1940 (A)” was obtained from a private individual, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said Wednesday. Franciszek Nierychlo, a postal ...

Grammy-Winning Violinist Gil Shaham’s Advice for Young Musicians

Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham made his professional debut at age 10, an age when most are hardly even thinking about professional work of any kind.

‘I’m a white composer, living in white privilege, setting the poetry of Langston Hughes’

In 2009, composer Laura Karpman unveiled a new work, Ask Your Mama, during Carnegie Hall’s HONOR! Festival that celebrated African American music and culture. Inspired by Langston Hughes’s poem of the same name, Ask Your Mama is a multimedia exploration of the black experience. But Karpman herself is not black. “I’m a white composer, living in white privilege, setting the ...

New Opera Exposes Horrors of My Lai Massacre

“The story of Hugh Thompson in My Lai and the opposition of the Vietnam War is what led me from high school into adulthood,” said Jonathan Berger, composer, and professor at Stanford University. Hugh Thompson was a Warrant Officer in the United States Army who attempted to stop American soldiers from murdering over 500 innocent civilians in Vietnam on March 16, ...