Webern vs. Berg: 20th-Century Composer War, Battle 1

Written by Stephen J. Trygar Cover photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash Anton Webern’s days as a schoolboy was brimming with animosity. Fellow schoolmates shunned him, and his teachers neglected him in consequence to his poor spelling and mathematics skills; his cello and piano lessons consoled him. Although his aristocratic father expected him to study agriculture and oversee…

The Music and Majesty of the Sea

Time and time again, composers have marveled at the ocean; their experiences with the vast, mysterious waters are immortalized in the masterpieces they left behind.

Romantic Composer War: Battle 1

Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel Claude Debussy was born on August 22nd, 1862 in St Germaine-en-Laye to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement. Debussy displayed enough musical talent to be admitted into the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of ten. At the Concervatoire, he began studying piano with Antoine François Marmontel,…

Classical Composer War: Battle 1

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart vs. Franz Joseph Haydn Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27th, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. At an early age, he displayed prodigious musical abilities, and by the age of five he had already begun composing. His father, Leopold Mozart, an accomplished musician himself, managed concert tours for the young Wolfgang and…

Takes My Breath Away

Regardless of what genre of music you enjoy, there are always moments that take our breath away. Sometimes these moments are triggered by the sheer power being blasted into our ears, while other moments are so tranquil and serene that absolute silence is needed to fully appreciate the beauty.

Being a Musicologist/Music Historian

If you desire to pursue a career in music history, don’t limit yourself. Of course you can become a professor at a university and inspire students like your professors did before you, but take it from someone who tried and steered away from that route. There are other roads to travel, even if you have to make one for yourself.

Shostakovich Symphony Cycle

Russian-born, 20th-Century composer Dmitri Shostakovich is one of the world’s most controversial and well-known composers. With a repertoire spanning from piano to opera, it is his symphonies that stand out the most. For this composer I have designed a 15 day cycle on my Instagram feed (stephenjtrygar) celebrating his 15 earth shattering symphonies. Thus far…