One of classical music's great friendships ended abruptly in 1915, when, with the world at war, Alexander Scriabin died at just 43.
In 2010, the bicentenary of Chopin's birth, Warsaw spearheaded a year-long festival – not to propagate Chopin’s music but, according to culture minister Bogdan Zdrojewski, ‘to present an image of Poland today to the world, through the music of Chopin’. Poland was not only celebrating its most famous son: it was appropriating him as a symbol of national identity.
This time of year celebrates the 245th birthday of one of the most renowned cultural heroes of the Western world. Ludwig van Beethoven’s name has long been elevated to legendary status, as composer of some of the most thought-provoking and exhilarating musical works of all time.
The “big four” piano manufacturers are frequently regarded as Bechstein, Blüthner, Bösendorfer and Steinway. Something they have in common the fact that they all began in Europe at a time when piano was beginning to dominate the concert stage.