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A Philosopher, Humanitarian, and Musician: Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), one of the exemplary inspirational figures of the early and middle decades of the 20thcentury, founded in 1913 and (with brief interruptions) for decades thereafter managed, a hospital in Lambaréné in the Central African rainforest, in the territory of what in 1960 became the independent nation of Gabon.

Yet Schweitzer was more than a humanitarian and physician. He was a distinguished scholar in both philosophy and theology. He coined the phrase “reverence for life” as his central philosophical … Continue Reading

A Brief Performance History of Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Simone Dinnerstein - JS Bach Goldberg Variations

The standard account of Johann Sebastian Bach’s composition of his famous ‘Goldberg Variations’ comes from a biography of Bach, by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, which first appeared in 1802. Forkel says that Bach wrote these works as an insomnia cure for a patron, Count Keyserlingk. Specifically, he wrote them for the performances of a former student of his, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, in the Count’s employment.

They seem to have worked! Goldberg would play them in the … Continue Reading

Romanticism and Beethoven: Part One

Return of the Repressed?

In this year, 2011, we might take a moment to mark an important event in music history, one that took place 230 years ago. For it was at some time in 1781 that Ludwig van Beethoven, who was then 11 years of age, came under the tutelage of Christian Gottlob Neefe.

Neefe, the composer for example of the Allegretto in C Major played by a 5 year old girl in a charming video here, was the court organist … Continue Reading

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685 - 28 July 1750)

Born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, Germany in 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach was the youngest of eight children. He came from a family of musicians in which all of his uncles played professionally and his father was a director of the town’s musicians. Although he learned the violin and harpsichord from his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, it was his uncle Johann Christoph Bach who taught him to play the organ, the instrument for which … Continue Reading

Top 10 most famous composers on the internet


Johannes Brahms

(7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897),
Starting with number 10 and also one of the hardest number on the list with a lot of competition from other famous composers like Tchaikovsky, Joseph Haydn and George Frederic Handel which were all very close on becoming number 10.

Most popular on the internet are his symphonies which he wrote 4 and off course his Hungarian dances which were also his most profitable compositions.

While being number 6 on most ‘famous … Continue Reading