Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for announcement

New Course Coming Soon

It has been a long time since I last blogged. I have an excuse (sort of) which I’d share, and in doing so request your help. I have been writing a new, 24-lecture course for The Teaching Company/The Great Courses, and have only today – this morning, in fact – finished the first draft. I began work in December, so the draft (which runs about 140,000 words, about the length of a 450 page book) took seven months to write. I’ll need another three months to rewrite, by which time the course will run about 120,000 words. It has been, by far, the toughest survey I’ve ever written. The working title is “Big History and Great Music.” The premise is as follows. Each lecture features a different piece of music. Each piece of music was written as a direct response to a historical event. The bulk of each lecture, then, will explore that event and the manner in which the music under study reflects that event. For example. Lecture 17 focuses on a piano sonata by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček (pictured below as a young dude with his wife Zdenka), a piece entitled Piano Sonata I. X. 1905 (meaning […]

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Announcing A New Series for Ora TV — “Conspiracies, Peccadilloes, and Dirty Little Secrets! Fun and Games with the Great Composers”

I have been busy with a new project that I am now in the position to share with you! I have been writing a series of fifteen eight-minute episodes (1100-1150 words each) for Ora TV, an on-demand digital television network founded in 2012 by Carlos Slim (Forbes Magazine’s 2013 “richest man in the world”) and Larry King. The CEO of Ora TV, a fine gent named Jon Housman, contacted me after reading my December 4 post on Mozart’s death on this very site. Together, we have developed a show entitled: “Conspiracies, Peccadilloes, and Dirty Little Secrets! Fun and Games with the Great Composers” in which each episode focuses on a conspiracy, or a peccadillo, or a dirty little secret from the life of a composer. Aside from the purely salacious, voyeuristic joy of dishing dirt on famous dead people, the point of this series is to render composers, who for reasons mysterious to me are among the most hallowed of historical figures, more real, more human, and more accessible. By doing so, this series is ultimately intended to make their music – which is so often treated like some supra-human thing – more real, more human, and more accessible as […]

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