Anton Dvorak

ANTON DVORAK, the Bohemian composer who has risen so suddenly into prominence, was born at Mülhausen, near Prague, Sept. 8, 1841. His father combined the businesses of tavern-keeper and butcher, and young Dvorak assisted him in waiting upon customers, as well as in the slaughtering business. As the laws of Bohemia stipulate that music shall […]

Charles Francois Gounod

CHARLES FRANCOIS GOUNOD was born in Paris, June 17, 1818. His fame has been made world-wide by the extraordinary success of his opera “Faust,” and yet more than almost any other operatic composer of modern times he has devoted himself to sacred music. His earlier studies were pursued in Paris at the Conservatory, under the […]

Hector Berlioz

HECTOR BERLIOZ, one of the most renowned of modern French composers, and an acute critic and skilful conductor as well, was born, Dec. 11, 1803, at La Côte St. André, in France. His father was a physician, and intended him for the same profession. He reluctantly went to Paris and began the study of medicine […]

Johannes Brahms

JOHANNES BRAHMS, one of the most eminent of living German composers, was born at Hamburg, May 7, 1833. His father was a double-bass player in the orchestra in that city, and devoted his son at a very early age to his own profession. His first piano teacher was Cossell; but to Eduard Marxsen, the Royal […]

Michael Costa

MICHAEL COSTA, the eminent conductor and composer, was born at Naples, Feb.4, 1810. Having displayed musical aptitude at a very early age, he was placed in the Royal Academy of Music. Before his twenty-first year he had composed several works, among them a mass for four voices, a ” Dixit Dominus,” three symphonies, an oratorio, […]


GENERAL sketch of the life and musical accomplishments of Beethoven has already appeared in the companion to this work, ” The Standard Operas.” In this connection, however, it seems eminently fitting that some attention should be paid to the religious sentiments of the great composer and the sacred works which he produced. He was a […]

William Sterndale Bennett

WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT, one of the most gifted and individual of Enghsh composers, was born at Sheffield, April 13, 1816. His musical genius displayed itself early, and in his tenth year he was placed in the Royal Academy of Music, of which in his later years he became principal. He received his early instruction in […]

Pianist, Composer, and Conductor Franz Liszt

FRANZ LISZT, the most eminent pianist of his time, who also obtained world-wide celebrity as a composer and orchestral conductor, was born at Raiding, Hungary, Oct. 22, 1811. His father was an accomplished amateur, and played the piano and violoncello with more than ordinary skill. He was so impressed with the promise of his son […]

Joseph Haydn

JOSEPH HAYDN, the creator of the symphony and the stringed quartet, was born at Rohrau, a little Austrian village on the river Leitha, March 31, 1732. His father was a wheelwright and his mother a cook, in service with Count Harrach. Both the parents were fond of music, and both sang, the father accompanying himself […]

Johann Sebastian Bach

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, the most eminent of the world’s organ-players and contrapuntists, was born at Eisenach, March 21, 1685, and was the most illustrious member of a long line of musicians, the Bach family having been famous almost from time immemorial for its skill in music. He first studied the piano with his brother, Johann […]