Music History

Teresa Carreño

Not only was Teresa Carreño the most famous pianist of her day, she is considered to be Venezuela’s first international super star. And her personal life was just as compelling as her public persona. 


Buddy Bolden and the Birth of Jazz

Bolden is often referred to as the first jazz performer, and his playing is legendary. But his life story, cluttered by lack of documentation and misinformation, played out tragically after his ascension to the apex of the New Orleans music scene. 




Dame Nellie Melba, Part 2

The second part of our episode on the Australian diva focuses on her career in the early 1900s, her charity work and her belief that singers had to work -- and work hard -- to be constantly perfecting their technique.

Dame Nellie Melba, Part 1

Born Helen Porter Mitchell in Melbourne, Australia in 1861, Nellie Melba would rise to fame as a singer. Her life was everything you'd expect from a diva: foods named for her, command performances and a scandalous royal affair.

Lisztomania

Franz Liszt was a pianist, a composer and a conductor, and basically the first rock star who drove fans into fits of swooning and screaming. Some fans even stole the detritus of his life (unfinished coffee, broken piano strings) to carry with them. Read the show notes here.