In 1951, Arnold Schoenberg died. And I was born. Which hardly constituted a fair exchange on the Muses’ creativity balance sheet. But the year itself has always intrigued me by its habit of popping up in history’s list of milestones, … Read More →


Supernatural. Super music.

Imagine a bygone era when an existence without religion and superstition would be unthinkable, in which the souls of the departed were believed to exist among the living as a matter of course. In our lives today, surrounded by technology … Read More →


Vital organs

Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899–1968) made a big noise, literally, at one of this year’s BBC Promenade Concerts. How so? With a rare performance of his Organ Concerto Op. 7. Completed in 1930 after a 13-year gestation, the work was … Read More →


October’s in the airs

October features in a number of classical works, and not only in response to its seasonal characteristics. To take an example, it’s nearly a hundred years since that seismic event known as the Russian October Revolution took place, one which … Read More →



2015 marks milestone anniversaries for a number of significant classical composers, including Sibelius, Bartók, Glazunov, Franck and Arvo Pärt. Today, however, we consider a trio of other composers who were born on today’s date: 25 September. If you’re an organist, … Read More →