Three Geniuses That Died Young

Three Geniuses That Died Young BY LAWRENCE TOPPMAN   Three geniuses who died young   Any artist who still has a creative spark dies too early, whether he’s 56 (Beethoven) or 69 (Wagner) or even 87 (Verdi). But we mourn most deeply the ones who don’t reach half a...

Siblings — but without the rivalry

Siblings -- but without the rivalry BY LAWRENCE TOPPMAN   Siblings — but without the rivalry   They’re all in their 30s, they all went through Juilliard as pianists — after starting before elementary school — and they’ve toured for 13 years as the...

Is ‘Star Wars’ classical music? You bet your lightsaber.

Is 'Star Wars' classical music? You bet your lightsaber. BY LAWRENCE TOPPMAN   Is ‘Star Wars’ classical music? You bet your lightsaber.   Which of these does not belong? a) Chopin b) Mozart c) Stravinsky d) Beethoven e) Williams (yes, John)   It’s a trick question:...

Five brains, 50 fingers, one mighty sound

Five brains, 50 fingers, one mighty sound BY LAWRENCE TOPPMAN   You’re onstage with four siblings, blazing through an adaptation of “The Rite of Spring,” rocking 440 piano keys with Stravinsky’s ever-shifting rhythms. What does that sound like? To tell the truth,...

What Was Dvořák Doing in Iowa?

What Was Dvořák Doing in Iowa? BY PAUL ANDERSON   Antonín Dvořák, the world-famous Czech composer, spent the summer of 1893 with his family in Spillville, Iowa, a small town with a population of about 350. “What was Dvořák doing in Iowa?” you might ask. Here’s the...