Composers

Toni Morrison, the renowned author of powerful novels about the Black experience, taught at Princeton between 1989 and 2006.

Toni Morrison's Rarely Seen Papers Will Go on View at Princeton

The university is planning a months-long series of exhibitions, programs and performances

Filmmaker David Lynch, composer Angelo Badalamenti and singer Julee Cruise in 1989

Angelo Badalamenti, Who Composed Ethereal Scores for 'Twin Peaks' and 'Blue Velvet,' Dies at 85

He was one of David Lynch's closest collaborators—and wrote one of TV's most memorable themes

Stephen Sondheim sitting in a recording control room in 1987

Cool Finds

Stephen Sondheim’s Lost College Musical Was Found Hidden in Plain Sight

Live recordings from "Phinney's Rainbow" had been sitting on a journalist's bookshelf for years

Beethoven’s handwritten manuscript for the fourth movement of his String Quartet in B-flat Major

Nazi-Looted Beethoven Manuscript Returned to Original Owners

The Czech Republic's Moravian Museum gave the document to the heirs of the Petschek family

“It was traumatizing to watch such an important icon of civilization go up in flames,” composer Julian Anderson says.

'Litanies,' Inspired by Notre-Dame Fire, Receives Prestigious Music Award

Julian Anderson’s 25-minute concerto won the 2023 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition

The Phantom of the Opera will conclude its 35-year run at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre on February 18, 2023, with a record 13,925 performances.

After 35 Years, 'The Phantom of the Opera' Will Stop Haunting Broadway

Due to declining ticket sales, Broadway’s longest-running show will close this winter

Solange Knowles giving a speech in 2020

Solange Knowles Is Composing Her First Ballet Score

The artist will be the first Black woman to write music for the New York City Ballet

Abigail Barlow (bottom left) and Emily Bear (bottom right) won a Grammy for their Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.

What the 'Unofficial Bridgerton Musical' Lawsuit Means for Fan-Created Content

Netflix has accused the songwriting duo behind the viral production of stealing copyrighted material for their own financial gain

An intercontinental ballistic missile takes flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in 2002. In 1962, the United States would confront the Soviet Union on its missile stockpiles in Cuba, edging the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.

History of Now

'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Conjures Images of Peace Everywhere—and Nuclear Annihilation

Composed at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the classic Christmas song contains another message—one of unity

A previously unknown Thomas Gainsborough portrait of composer Antonín Kammel

Cool Finds

Newly Discovered Gainsborough Portrait Reveals Likeness of Overlooked Composer

The acclaimed British artist's painting of Czech musician Antonín Kammel may be worth upward of $1.3 million

Debate over Beethoven's race sparked once again on Twitter last week. He is depicted here in a portrait by August Klober from 1818.

Was Beethoven Black? Probably Not, but These Unsung Composers Were

A music scholar examines the history of the decades-old theory, and what its permanence tells us about who is considered 'canon' in classical music

A Beethoven monument stands in Vienna's Beethovenplatz.

Following Beethoven’s Footsteps Through Vienna

For the composer’s 250th birthday, visit the apartments where he lived, the theaters where he worked and his final resting place

A Veronese official commissioned the portrait while hosting the young musician and his father during their stay in the city.

Rare Portrait of Teenage Mozart Heads to Auction

"This charming likeness of him is my solace," wrote Pietro Lugiati, the Italian nobleman who commissioned the artwork, in a letter to Mozart’s mother

Hauschka performed at the 35th Munich Filmfest on June 27, 2017, in Munich, Germany.

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

How Composer John Cage Transformed the Piano—With the Help of Some Household Objects

With screws and bolts placed between its strings, the 'prepared piano' offers up a wide range of sounds

This year marks the 333rd anniversary of J.S. Bach's birth

Are Classical Music Performances Speeding Up?

For Johann Sebastian Bach's 333rd birthday, a team looked at recordings of the composer's work over the last 50 years

'The Nutcracker' is performed across North America each Christmas season.

How 1950s America Shaped ‘The Nutcracker’

It took the marketing insight of a Russian choreographer to make it all happen

Chopin at 25, by his fiancée Maria Wodzińska.

Chopin’s Preserved Heart May Offer Clues About His Death

Scientists who recently examined the organ have suggested that Chopin died of complications from tuberculosis

Elmar Juchem, Managing Editor of the Kurt Weill Edition, was able to identify Kurt Weill's manuscript while doing archival work in Berlin.

Composer Kurt Weill's Long-Forgotten “Song of the White Cheese" Discovered in Berlin Archive

Listen to the 1931 ditty, which had gone unnoticed in the collection of a little-known actress

Sousa around 1915, about a decade after he first decried "mechanical music."

John Philip Sousa Feared ‘The Menace of Mechanical Music’

Wonder what he’d say about Spotify

J. Ralph (left) and Sting (right), the night's honorees. Visible in the foreground is Sting's 1978 Stratocaster guitar, which is now a part of the Smithsonian collections.

Acclaimed Musicians Sting and J. Ralph Spread Social Justice Through Song

The Smithsonian honors two composers whose work and philanthropy are inextricably linked

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