Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Beethoven in 1812, from a life mask made by the sculptor Franz Klein

Music History Monday: Beethoven and the Human Voice

May 23rd, 2022
Beethoven in 1812, from a life mask made by the sculptor Franz Klein We mark the premiere on May 23, 1814 – 208 years ago today – of Ludwig van Beethoven’s one-and-only opera, Fidelio, at the Kärntnertor Theater in Vienna.  While Beethoven (1770-1827) had composed two preliminary versions of the opera, which had been performed…

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The interior of the Teatro la Fenice in 2015

Music History Monday: The Phoenix Rises!

May 16th, 2022
The interior of the Teatro la Fenice in 2015 We mark the opening on May 16, 1792 – 230 years ago today – of Venice’s principal opera house, the Teatro la Fenice, meaning the “The Phoenix Theater.” Excepting, perhaps, the magnificent phallus that is the Washington Monument, dedicated as it is to “The Father of…

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Making of a Great Course

Join me on Klatch on May 18, 2022

May 11th, 2022
I have joined up with a wonderful new operation called “Klatch,” which means, literally, “a gathering characterized usually by informal conversation.” Klatch’s mission statement: “Klatch is an all-in-one platform for live, highly interactive workshops across every topic. Our Facilitators are building unique communities for curious, life-long learners who are interested in taking up a new…

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Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), circa 1925

Dr. Bob Prescribes El Amor Brujo

May 10th, 2022
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), circa 1925 This is the third of three posts celebrating the Spanish director Carlos Saura’s spectacular “Flamenco Trilogy”, his set of three movies in which the stories are told primarily through flamenco music and dance. My Dr. Bob Prescribes post for March 7 of this year addressed the first of these…

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Richard Wayne Penniman in 1972

Music History Monday: Little Richard: The King and Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll

May 9th, 2022
Richard Wayne Penniman (1932-2020) in 1972 We mark the death on May 9, 2020 – just two years ago today – of the American musician, singer, and songwriter Richard Wayne Penniman, known universally by his stage name of “Little Richard.” Born on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia, he died at his home in Tullahoma,…

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Ain’t Misbehavin’ original Broadway cast, left-to-right: Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, Charlaine Woodward, Andre DeShields, and Nell Carter

Dr. Bob Prescribes Thomas “Fats” Waller: “Ain’t Misbehavin”

May 3rd, 2022
Ain’t Misbehavin’ original Broadway cast, left-to-right: Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, Charlaine Woodward, Andre DeShields, and Nell Carter Original Broadway cast performance, directed by Richard Maltby, Jr., broadcast on NBC-TV on June 12, 1982: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE8_MxJCsqg Thomas “Fats” Waller (1904-1943) in 1938 No matter the source, the word that keeps coming up in any description of Thomas…

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Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), circa 1863

Music History Monday: Giacomo Meyerbeer and French PopOp

May 2nd, 2022
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), circa 1863 We mark the death on May 2, 1864 – 158 years ago today – of the German-born opera composer Jacob Liebmann Beer, also-known-as Giacomo Meyerbeer.  Born in Berlin on September 5, 1791, he died in Paris during the rehearsals for the premiere of his opera L'Africaine – “The African” –…

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Dr. Bob Prescribes Sal Mosca

April 26th, 2022
Salvatore (“Sal”) Joseph Mosca (1927–2007) Let’s say it upfront: Salvatore (“Sal”) Joseph Mosca (1927–2007) is the greatest jazz musician you’ve likely never heard perform. Readers of my posts have heard of Maestro Mosca, as I’ve mentioned him repeatedly as being among my favorite, best-of-the-best jazz pianists ever. But I would hazard to guess that the…

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Turandot Poster

Music History Monday: Puccini’s Turandot: An Opera That Almost Wasn’t

April 25th, 2022
We mark the premiere performance on April 25, 1926 – 96 years ago today – of Giacomo Puccini’s twelfth and final opera, Turandot.  The premiere took place at Milan’s storied La Scala opera house and was conducted by Puccini’s friend (and occasional nemesis!) Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957).  At the time of the premiere, Puccini himself had…

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Morrison Hall, with the U.C. Berkeley campanile (bell tower) on the upper right

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Robert M. Greenberg — Collected Yiddish Songs

April 19th, 2022
As begun in yesterday’s Music History Monday post, we will continue to trace what I think of as my compositional apprenticeship up to my 30th birthday, and then on to some music! California and Graduate School I arrived in Berkeley, California on September 9, 1978, to attend graduate school in music composition at the University…

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