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Often thought of as a challenging repertoire for both performers and audiences, Russian opera represents a diverse and impressive body of work. From opulent historical dramas to absurd philosophical fairy tales, there's something to please all kinds of opera lovers. Today we're swapping our "toi, toi, toi" for "Ни пуха, ни пера" as we dive right into the rich repertoire with a playlist of our favorite Russian operas...
In her book Shostakovich: A Life, Laurel E. Fay describes the memorable first lesson Dmitri received from his piano teacher mother, Sofya. “Within minutes,” Fay writes, “she recognized that she was dealing with a youngster of precocious musical ability, possessing perfect pitch and a phenomenal memory.” He progressed on the piano with ridiculous ease, and also started composing from the age of nine.
“I’ve got rather large hands, and everybody tells me… you should be a cellist, you should be a bass player, you should be a pianist—anything but a violinist!”—Itzhak Perlman
A central figure of the New York scene during much of the twentieth century, Leonard Bernstein led a truly fascinating life. A known charmer with a passion for entertaining, he was often the life of any party he attended. What better way to celebrate the magnetic maestro than a list of fun facts to whip out at your next dinner party?
In honor of what would have been Van Cliburn's 88th birthday today, let's look back at the moment he shot to international fame 60...