classical music

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These Wine Grapes Listened to Mozart, to Their Benefit

Inside an interesting experiment in Italy

(Newser) - A taste of black cherry, leather, and just a hint of G minor? In the hills of Montalcino in Tuscany, winemaker Giancarlo Cignozzi has, for more than a decade, been playing Mozart 24 hours a day to a section of Sangiovese grapes growing in his vineyard, reports CBS News . At... More »

Human Remains Found Under 100-Year-Old Music Venue

Cincinnati Music Hall stands on an old burial ground

(Newser) - Workers renovating a century-old performance hall discovered human remains under the orchestra pit and now archeologists are planning to analyze the bones, the AP reports. The property under Cincinnati Music Hall was a public burial ground in 1818, and bones have been popping up since construction began for the building... More »

Husband 'Arrested' in Murder of Concert Pianist

Natalia Strelchenko was found with fatal injuries at home

(Newser) - Police have arrested the husband of a world-renowned concert pianist after she died yesterday from severe injuries in Manchester, England. Police responded to emergency calls just after midnight "following reports that a woman had been assaulted" and found Natalia Strelchenko, 38, in need of medical attention at her home,... More »

Musician: By Law, Bad Review Must Be Pulled

Pianist Dejan Lazic asks Washington Post to remove article

(Newser) - Ah, the life of a high-flying soloist: Tour the world, wine and dine with musical greats ... and get an occasional bad review. Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic doesn't much like the last part, so he's asked the Washington Post to remove an online review under the European Union's... More »

'Child Prodigy' Conductor Dies at 84

Lorin Maazel's glittering career spanned 75 years

(Newser) - The controversial but undeniably brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel has died at the age of 84—some 75 years after he began conducting orchestras as a 9-year-old child prodigy. Maazel, who conducted an average of two orchestras a week during his long career and performed with more than 200 orchestras, died... More »

Crowd-Surfing Scientist Kicked Out of Classical Concert

I wasn't drunk, just American, he says

(Newser) - The audience at a classical music concert in the UK was urged to loosen up a bit—but an American scientist who loosened up so much he attempted to crowd-surf ended up being ejected by his fellow classical music fans. During the "Hallelujah Chorus," Dr. David Glowacki, a... More »

Stradivarius No Match for New Violins, Test Finds

Soloists assess renowned instruments with surprising results

(Newser) - Musicians have long been captivated by the instruments of the Stradivari family; centuries after they were built, they've become the stuff of legend. Yet new blind tests seem to shatter the notion that a Stradivarius is actually superior to today's violins. In fact, the tests found expert violinists... More »

'Japan's Beethoven': I Can Hear 'a Little'

Mamoru Samuragochi apologizes for 'life of lies'

(Newser) - Word recently got out that "Japan's Beethoven"—famed classical composer Mamoru Samuragochi—hadn't been writing his own music and might not actually be deaf . Now, Samuragochi is lending some credence to the claims of music professor Takashi Niigaki, the real composer behind his works. "The... More »

'Japan's Beethoven' Admits 18-Year Fraud

Mamoru Samuragochi lost hearing at age 35

(Newser) - The success of 50-year-old composer Mamoru Samuragochi, who is deaf, has prompted the nickname "Japan's Beethoven." Trouble is, it turns out he hasn't written his own music in decades. "I started hiring (a) person to compose music for me around 1996, when I was asked... More »

World's 'Finest' Interpreter of Art Songs Dead at 86

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau excelled at Schubert lieder

(Newser) - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, perhaps the 20th century's greatest singer of art songs, died yesterday at home in Bavaria, the New York Times reports. He was 86. The German son of a classical scholar and a schoolteacher, Fischer-Dieskau (pronounced FEE-sher DEES-cow) studied voice in Berlin and had two years of unexpected... More »

Stradivarius' Powers Just a Musical Myth

Researchers show that even pro musicians can't tell the difference

(Newser) - They’re famed far and wide as the finest violins on the planet (one recently sold for $16 million) , but do Stradivarius violins actually sound better? A study suggests they don’t, NPR reports. Researchers assembled a group of six violins—two Stradivariuses, a Guarneri, and three modern violins—and... More »

Lost Beethoven Piece Performed After 2 Centuries

Movement reconstructed using composer's sketches

(Newser) - After Beethoven scrapped a movement from a string quartet, it was lost to the world’s ears for two centuries. No longer: A music professor in Britain has recreated the piece using the composer’s sketches for every measure. The movement of String Quartet in G, Opus 18, No. 2... More »

How to Save Record Labels

Lessons from a tiny Swedish firm that's raked in $10M

(Newser) - As the music industry navigates a path for the digital era, a tiny Swedish label has proven itself an excellent guide. Though it has just 43 employees, X5 Music Group topped the classical charts last year, its sales on par with Universal, the biggest label there is. Its strategy is... More »

So You're a Piano Virtuoso? Get in Line

More and more musical geniuses crowding the field

(Newser) - So you can effortlessly play all of Chopin's piano études with flawless precision, style, and personality. Join the club. Being a young piano virtuoso is not the amazing feat as it used to be, writes Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times . "The overall level of technical... More »

Yes, Classical Music Can Still Change the World

New symphony a 'call to action' on the environment: DB Grady

(Newser) - Before YouTube or Twitter, composing a symphony was a great way to get your revolution going—the French one inspired Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, and Shostakovich wrote such controversial music that he would wait outside for the Soviet regime to arrest him so his family wouldn't be disturbed.... More »

Epilepsy Likely Fueled Chopin's Visions

Composer saw creatures emerging from piano

(Newser) - The 19th-century composer Frédéric Chopin suffered frightening hallucinations, ranging from ghosts to creatures coming out of his piano. Now, researchers believe the visions may have been prompted by temporal lobe epilepsy, the Daily Telegraph reports. The disease can cause short, detailed hallucinations, and “could easily have been... More »

Beach Boy Wilson to Complete Gershwin Songs

Project a 'weird dream come true' for fans of 2 seminal American composers

(Newser) - Beach Boys songster Brian Wilson will put a gloss on unfinished tunes by revered Jazz Age composer George Gershwin. Gershwin’s estate tells the Los Angeles Times that dozens of fragments, from “a few bars to some almost finished songs and everything in between,” have been in limbo... More »

LA Shows the Love to 28-Year-Old Maestro

Gustavo Dudamel takes up baton at leading American orchestra

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Philharmonic greeted its new music director yesterday with waves, cheers, and bursts of brass and strings, and cameras tailed the new boss as he hugged his principal musicians. It wasn't a standard first day, but Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuela isn't a standard maestro—he's only 28 years... More »

Strep Throat Likely Killed Mozart

'Minor epidemic' hit Vienna

(Newser) - Some have speculated Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died of eating undercooked pork; others have said he was poisoned. Now researchers believe he may have died of strep throat, Reuters reports. There was a “minor epidemic” of strep in Vienna when Mozart died, and findings suggest “Mozart was one of... More »

Newfound Mozart Works Written in Sister's Book

(Newser) - Two pieces by a 7- or 8-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart went undiscovered for more than a century because they were written in his father Leopold’s hand, the New York Times reports. Austrian researchers have disclosed new details about the works after announcing the finding in July: The music consists... More »

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