Zen Buddhism on the conductor's platform

Sergiu Celibidache conducted according to the principle of ichigo ichie

Alexander Scriabin was the composer who wanted to compose us all into nirvana. Sergiu Celibidache was the conductor who wanted to conduct us into enlightenment. Celibidache brought Zen Buddhism to the conductor’s podium along with ...

Wave of the baton creates political intrigue

Daniel Barenboim's global approach has displeased major powers

Politics in classical music is not new. Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Shostakovich, and countless other composers were politically active and, at times, censored. Almost every mid-20th-century conductor, singer, and instrumental soloist was politicized by World War ...

Absorbed in history-rich Berlin

The city's chock-full of culture, monuments and off-the-beaten-path finds.

Berlin was always on our list of places to go someday, but the timing just never seemed right for one reason or another. As it turned out, May 2015 was the 70th anniversary of the ...

Mignon isn't just a cut of beef

Esoteric pick of the week is a Schumann rarity

Esoteric pick of the week: Requiem für Mignon by Robert Schumann. Schumann is not an esoteric composer, but Mignon is definitely a specialized topic of interest. In Europe she is considered the most successful heroine ...

Berlin in 7 Days or Less

I knew Berlin was a big city, but I never knew how big until I explored it on foot. I had seven days to see the major and not-so-major sites. Since the fall of its ...

Summer of Wagner

Bayreuth has been the big festival for decades.

July and August are Wagner months on account of the annual Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany. The festival has been running since 1876, and has been impossible to attend for most of that time. However, ...

Bamberg, Germany: the "beer city"

Nine breweries and a UNESCO designation make it a Bavarian must-stop.

The nearly four-hour train journey north from Munich whipped us past a landscape of farmland, old Bavarian villages and rolling hills. Our destination: the historic city of Bamberg. We booked a small room at the ...

Münich's surfers

Finding a Bavarian surf "break" miles from any ocean.

Sitting near the base of the Alps in southern Germany, Münich's nearest coastline would be where Venice slowly sinks into the Adriatic some 300 miles away. But while one might make the case a gondolier ...

Saarbrücken, Germany

International history, international flavor.

Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland that’s right on the French border, was part of an independent nation-state created after WWI. It changed political control back and forth: at times it was ...

Brahms versus Schutz

The World Cup of Composers.

We’re going to go Bach versus Bach here in the second match of Germany’s World Cup of Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach (papa Bach) versus his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. CPE Bach was a classical ...

Quiet streets of Bamberg, Germany

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