StarkConductor Blog

The StarkConductor blog has been around since August 2020, and since then a number of articles have come together. To make browsing as convenient as possible, this page is divided into three sections: At the top you can use the search function to find articles. After that, you will always find the 3 most recent articles. Finally, you will find all articles sorted by category.

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Have fun reading!

Jonathan Stark

The 3 most recent articles

Here you will always find the 3 most recently published articles.

Mini-Experiences

The Mini-Experiences are anecdotes from classical music in story format. Four of them are published per year.

Composers

These articles are about everything to do with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and many other composers.

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Mozart’s Assistants (2/2)

Mozart’s days were packed with work. How was that to be accomplished? The answer: he had assistants. Two of them remained loyal to him until his last breath.
The first article in this two-part series was about Joseph Weigl, a Kapellmeister with whom Mozart liked to rehearse his operas. Today’s article focuses on a man who was especially helpful to Mozart in composing.

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Lortzing’s Operas (List)

Albert Lortzing (1801–1851) is one of the lesser-known composers today, although he played a decisive role in shaping the genre of German Spieloper. His work “Zar und Zimmermann”, for example, is still popular today. In this list you will find all Lortzing operas with the corresponding work number.

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Orchestras and concert halls

This is where classical music resounds! Interesting facts about orchestras and concert halls from all over the world.

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Boston Symphony Orchestra: Shaped by 6 cultures

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is a cultural melting pot. In the orchestra’s long history, various cultural influences have been reflected in the orchestra’s sound. This is one of the reasons why the Boston Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the best orchestras in the world today.

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Opera and opera houses

Would you like a little more singing? Then this is the right category for you.

Lortzing's Operas List_featured_ENG

Lortzing’s Operas (List)

Albert Lortzing (1801–1851) is one of the lesser-known composers today, although he played a decisive role in shaping the genre of German Spieloper. His work “Zar und Zimmermann”, for example, is still popular today. In this list you will find all Lortzing operas with the corresponding work number.

Read more »
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Tamino, Who Are You?

Tamino must pass difficult tests to win Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute. In this blogpost you will learn more about Tamino and his role in perhaps Mozart’s most famous opera.

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Bizet’s Operas (List)

Georges Bizet is best known for Carmen – one of the most performed operas to date. But Bizet created other operas that are less well known. Many were not even performed during the composer’s lifetime. In this list you will find all the operas by Georges Bizet, including the year and place of the premiere.

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Sarastro, Who Are You?

Sarastro is the counterpart to the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute. In this blogpost you will learn more about Sarastro and his role in perhaps Mozart’s most famous opera.

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Music theory light

Musical background knowledge, presented in an understandable way.

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Understanding Tempo (Music) Step by Step

Tempo is a significant factor in music. It is more influential in shaping the effect of a piece of music than almost any other aspect. In this article, you will learn everything about tempo in music, step by step. By the end, you will be able to understand any tempo indication.

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Dynamics (Music) Explained (+ Cheat Sheet!)

What does dynamics mean in music? Dynamics describes the volume in music. It indicates how loud or soft a passage in a piece of music should be played. In the following, I explain dynamics in music as well as the most important dynamic indications. You will read a definition of dynamics in music, hear audio examples and get a PDF Cheat Sheet.

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Articulation Music_featured

Articulation (Music) Explained (+ Cheat Sheet!)

What does articulation mean in music? Articulation describes two things: first, how a tone is formed, second, how several tones are joined together. Below is a more detailed explanation of articulation in music, an overview of the main types of articulation with matching audio examples (and a cheat sheet!), and answers to the most important questions about articulation in music.

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The 67 most important tempo markings in music

In music, there are many ways to indicate a tempo. Over time, however, some tempo markings have become established and are used over and over again. Discover 67 different tempo markings in the four musical languages Italian, English, German and French here.

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Music world

News from the classical music industry, interviews with colleagues and more of everything that is happening in the exciting world of classical music.

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Bayreuth Festival 2021: all operas, all stars

The Bayreuth Festival 2021 starts on July 25, 2021 and delights all opera fans with the works of German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) until August 25. So here on the StarkConductor blog I’m giving an overview of the Bayreuth Festival 2021. In the course of this you can read here which pieces will be performed this year and who is in the cast.

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Pawel Markowicz (c) Theresa Pewal

Pianist Pawel Markowicz: Philip Glass’ Music as an “Exciting Mystery”

The pianist Pawel Markowicz has achieved what many soloists dream of – he is considered a specialist for a certain repertoire. Pawel’s focus is on the works of the American composer Philip Glass, whose Symphony No. 8 he arranged for piano solo in years of detailed work and released as an album in August 2020. In the StarkConductor Interview Pawel gave me an insight into his work.

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Deutschlands Kulturbaustellen

Germany’s Cultural Construction Sites

In today’s blog post I present three cultural construction sites in Germany. These are “construction sites” in the truest sense of the word – the opera houses in Bayreuth and Stuttgart are being renovated, and a new concert hall is being built in Munich.

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Operetta Composers: Four World Stars Form the Core Repertoire

Even if you are not a big operetta fan, the titles Die Fledermaus, Die lustige Witwe and Die Csárdásfürstin might be familiar to you. Do you also know the operetta composers? They are Strauss, Lehár and Kálmán. Together with another colleague – Offenbach – these operetta composers are responsible for the core operetta repertoire.

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Conducting

Insights into the mysterious craft/art of conducting.

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Conductor’s Tools 2: the Tailcoat

Along with the baton, the tailcoat is probably the most eye-catching trademark of a conductor – even though not all conductors wear tailcoats regularly any more. A few thoughts on the history, meaning and purpose of this festive garment.

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