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"The greatest Masterpieces in Music will be found to contain sensuous, emotional, and rational factors, and something beside: some divine element of life by which they are animated and inspired" ~ W.H.Hadow
There are many great musicians in a world's musical library that impressed us with their personality and individual achievement. In order to understand their art and work much better we need to know how they lived their lives.

In every classical musical career described in this section, from the old masters represented by Bach and Beethoven to the musical prophets of our own day, there is a wealth of inspiration and practical guidance for students, musical readers and artist in any field.

While the aim has been to make the story-sketches and life story presentations interesting to young people, we hope that they may prove valuable to readers of all ages.

Through their struggles, sorrows and triumphs, divine melody and harmony came into being, which will bless the world for all time to come. A
lthough some of the great composers remained unmarried, many of them were influenced by women, and the effect is frequently visible in their compositions. Dedications of musical works to women are apparently a matter of little moment, but often they are surface indications of some deep feeling underneath, which is expressed in the music. Browse the  pages about world's greatest musical talents and enjoy learning more about them and their unique life.
Guido of Arezzo - The most important writer upon music in the eleventh century, and one of the most famous in the history of the art, was a monk named Guido, living at Arezzo, in Tuscany, a Benedictine in the abbey of Pontose.
Johann Sebastian Bach - The memory of Bach is enduring, his fame immortal and the love his beautiful music inspires increases from year to year, wherever that music is known, all over the world.
Christoph Willibald Gluck - Gluck has been called the "regenerator of the opera" for he appeared just at the right moment to rescue opera from the deplorable state into which it had fallen.
George Frederick Handel - Handel was always generous in assisting those who needed aid, and he helped found the Society for Aiding Distressed Musicians.
Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina - Palestrina's name will be revered for all time as the man who strove to make sacred music the expression of lofty and spiritual meaning. Among his greater works are ninety-three masses, a very large number of motettes, forty-five hymns for the whole year, sixty-eight offertories, and a large number of litanies, magnificats and madrigals.
Josef Haydn - In Haydn we have one of the classic composers, a sweet, gentle spirit, who suffered many privations in early life, and through his own industrious efforts rose to positions of respect and honor, the result of unremitting toil and devotion to a noble ideal.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sunshine and success had followed the gifted boy; but now shadows and disappointments were to come, due to jealousy, intrigue and indifference of those in power who might have helped him but failed to recognize his genius.
Ludwig Van Beethoven - The Shakespeare of the realm of music.
Carl Maria Von Weber - He learned stage language with his earliest breath; it is no wonder he turned to writing for the stage as to the manner born.
Franz Schubert - The most poetical composer who ever lived.
Felix Mendelssohn - Bartholdy - Mendelssohn has often been named "Felix the Happy," and he truly deserved the title.
Robert Schumann - His life was important and instructive for its moral and intellectual grandeur, its struggles for the noblest, loftiest subjects as well as for its truly great results.
Frederic Chopin - His music touches the heart always rather than the head, the emotional message far outweighs the intellectual meaning.
Hector Berlioz - He won a noble place in art through many trials and hardships. His music is the expression, the reflection of the mental struggles of a most intense nature.
Franz Liszt - The king of pianists, a composer whose compositions still glow and burn with the fire he breathed into them.
Giuseppe Verdi - He was one of the noblest of men as well as one of the greatest composers.
Richard Wagner - One of the most gigantic musical geniuses the world has yet known was Wagner.
César Franck - Franck is enamored of gentleness and consolation; his music rolls into the soul in long waves, as on the slack of a moonlit tide. It is tenderness itself.
Johannes Brahms - Little Johannes, or Hannes as he was called, was surrounded from his earliest years by a musical atmosphere, and must have shown a great desire to study music.
Edward Grieg - From every point of view Grieg, "the Chopin of the North," is one of the most original geniuses in the musical world of the present or past.
Peter Ilyitch Tschaikowsky - Among the numerous composers of modern Russia, the name of Peter Ilyitch Tschaikowsky stands out most prominently.
Edward MacDowell - Edward MacDowell has been acclaimed America's greatest composer. If we try to substitute another name in its place, one of equal potency cannot be easy found.
Claude Achille Debussy - "Art is always progressive; it cannot return to the past, which is definitely dead. Only imbeciles and cowards look backward. Then—Let us work!" DEBUSSY
Niccolo Paganini - As a violinist Paganini far surpassed all other players who ever lived; and when one follows the story of his life, the fact is apparent that he succeeded because he worked.
Bedrich Smetana - A brilliant Czech composer whose great value lies in his awakening of the Bohemians to musical creation. He was also great influence on Antonin Dvorak, who similarly used Czech themes in his works. Smetana's work influenced many other Czech composers who came after him, and continues to inspire many musicians today.
Antonin Dvorak - The most brilliant name in Bohemian music, and the one most valued by the world in general, is that of Antonin Dvorak born in Nelahozeves, near Prague (then Austrian Empire, today the Czech Republic).
Niels Wilhelm Gade - He was considered one of the most important Danish musicians of his day. After a thorough musical education Gade received in his native city, he attracted wider attention in 1841 by taking the prize for his concert overture, "Night Sounds from Ossian," the judges being Fr. Schneider and Spohr, the violinist. This gave Gade a royal stipendium, with which he immediately betook himself to study at Leipsic, where he came under the personal influence of Mendelssohn, an influence which he never outgrew.
From Life of Arturo Toscanini - He was been described as the world's most patient and impatient orchestral director. In rehearsal he would take the men through a passage, a mere phrase, innumerable times to achieve a certain tonal or dynamic effect. But he would explode when faced with stupidity or stubbornness.
From Life of Leopold Stokowski - Everybody knows that Leopold Stokowski was one of the world's really great orchestra conductors, a true poet of the stick (though he has dispensed with the baton in recent years), and that he has made the name of the Philadelphia Orchestra synonymous with superb singing, beauty of tone and dazzling brilliance.
From Life of Serge Alexandrovitch Koussevitzky - In the official biographies of Serge Alexandrovitch Koussevitzky you will find that the boss of the Boston Symphony learned the art and mystery of conducting at the Royal Hochschule in Berlin under the great Artur Nikisch...
Wives of the Composers - Among the women who have influenced music without actually creating it, none have had greater chances to use their power than the wives of the famous composers.
Beginnings of Instrumental Music - The beginning of instrumental music, apart from vocal, is to be found in the latter part of the sixteenth century, but the main advances toward freedom of style and spontaneous expression were made during the seventeenth, and, as we might expect, originally in Italy, where the art of music was more prosperous, and incitations to advance were more numerous and diversified.

Orlando De Lassus
The most gifted of Netherlandish masters was Orlando de Lassus, who was born in Belgium, educated at Antwerp, spent some time in Italy, and finally settled at Munich, where he lived for about forty years, as musical director and composer. The compositions of this talented man fill many volumes. He distinguished himself in every province of music, being equally at home in secular madrigals, masses and other heavy church compositions, and instrumental works. He was a cultivated man of the world who held an honored position at court and made a great mark in the community. He founded the school at Munich which, with rare good fortune, has occupied a distinguished position ever since, and has been one of the most important musical centers in Europe. In Lassus we begin to have the spontaneity of the modern composer. The quaintness of the Middle Ages still lingers to some extent, and learning he had in plenty when it suited him to use it, but he was also capable of very simple and direct melodic expression and quaint and very fascinating harmony. While the tonality is still vague, like that of the church modes, the music itself is thoroughly chordal in character, and evidently planned with reference to the direct expression of the text. A large number of madrigals have come down to us from this great master; among them is the one called "Matona, Lovely Maiden," which is one of the most beautiful part songs in existence. The life of Lassus was full of dignity and honor. He was extremely popular in Munich and in all other parts of Europe. He is to be considered the first great genius in the art of music.