Monday, September 13, 2010

Eduard Hanslick

One of the most important musical figures of the late 1800s was born in Prague but was not himself a composer, though he’d had some composition training. Eduard Hanslick (1825 – 1904) was the most influential music critic of the day. Son of a Prague music teacher, young Hanslick first studied law before taking up music. For nearly fifty years, this native of Prague dominated the musical world in Vienna, making and sometimes almost breaking careers with his mostly conservative views. Although he couldn’t change Wagner, he could surely try, and those who earned his favor – Brahms and Dvořák amongst them – gave thanks for Hanslick’s informed commentaries. Over a century later, they still make for good reading.

-Betsy Schwarm, long-time announcer/producer for KVOD and music professor

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