The Devil’s Violinist and His One String
Nicolo Paganini, by Richard James Lane (died 1872), published 1831. See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery.

The Devil’s Violinist and His One String

Nineteenth century composer and violinist Niccolò Paganini remains one of the most influential composers and musicians in history. Paganini was more ‘fondly’ known as the ‘Devil’s violinist’, for both his uniquely brilliant skills and his appearance. (more…)

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‘Maybe I Can Sing’: Remembering the Voice of Anita O’Day
Anita O'Day at Newport Jazz Festival 1958. Still from Jazz on a Summer's Day by Bert Stern.

‘Maybe I Can Sing’: Remembering the Voice of Anita O’Day

When we hear mention of the great female vocals of jazz, most will tend to think of Ella Fitzgerald and the great Lady Bird herself. Less frequently, we think of Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughn. The true aficionado will have their own favorite great lady of jazz come to mind. One of our favorites is the oft forgotten Anita O’Day. (more…)

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Tatum, Horowitz and Tea for Two

If you like what you see and enjoy what you hear on the Viva Virtuoso website, give our official YouTube channel a whirl and tell us what you think.

Most know him as one of the jazz greats, while some have flat out called him the greatest jazz pianist ever.

Born in Toledo, Ohio at the turn of the 20th century, Art Tatum, Jr. was almost entirely blind by age four. Not only did this serious impairment not prevent him from having a successful career and very interesting life, it may even have been a contribution to his impeccable hearing and, in turn, his music.

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Viva Virtuoso YouTube Picks of the Month November

With the second episode of Viva Virtuoso under our belts, it’s safe to say that we’re all enjoying the experience of creating a variety show web series. Sure, none of us were entirely clear on the hours and hours of work producing the show would involve until we were neck deep in the process. But that hasn’t scared us away. If anything, it has only made us appreciate other musical content that various creators offer up online – and free of charge.

Today, we’re recommending a few more of our favorite YouTube channels, perhaps a little more grateful for the effort put into them than we were before. Though Viva Virtuoso’s production team is in no way affiliated with these channels, we invite you to follow them and on a regular basis. Well worth your time, if you’re into classical masterpieces and all that jazz.

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How One Pianist Defined Celebrity – in the 19th Century

Celebritate sua sat notus.” This line, which translates to “through his celebrity sufficiently known,” was the sole description in Franz Liszt’s passport, issued by authorities of the Austrian crown in the mid-19th century.

The young pianist retired by the age of 35, leaving behind him one of the wealthiest and most riveting musical careers known to mankind. Attending one of Liszt’s famed performances in 1844, German poet, critic and journalist Heinrich Heine dubbed what he saw ‘Lisztomania.’ This Liszt fever was a phenomenon we have almost become accustomed to by now, watching audiences scream, swoon, and faint at the sight of the Elvises and Beatles we have seen since – but in the 19th century, this was a first and Liszt was the first and sole cause of such reactions. (more…)

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