Robert Winter is Distinguished Professor of Music and holds the Presidential Chair in Music and Interactive Arts at UCLA. He is about to release Music in the Air, the first all-digital history of Western music.(April 2016)


Versatile, Fearless Charles Rosen at the Piano

Charles Rosen: The Complete Columbia and Epic Album Collection

He never entered a major competition. He was uninterested in late Romantic concertos. His book Piano Notes (2002) remained conspicuously silent about his own career. A mind of insatiable curiosity produced one of the greatest writers about music from any era. No surprise that his pianism was both misunderstood and undervalued.

He Dove In and Did It

Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible

by Alan Rusbridger
Alan Rusbridger confesses to having “mucked around on the piano” from the age of eight, replete with a mother’s ritual exhortations to practice more. Instead he became a competent clarinetist, playing in local amateur orchestras. Between his teens and his mid-forties he was no more than a keyboard dabbler. His path to the passionate pursuit of the piano began, as is so often the case, with an epiphany.

Good Listening—And Bad

Joseph Cornell: Untitled (Le Piano), circa 1948

The Cambridge History of Musical Performance

edited by Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell
< blockquote>To have gone [to the concert] would have meant committing himself to a personal opinion of Beethoven; it would have meant being physically involved in the tremendous excitement which Beethoven aroused. This was just what Leseur [a composition teacher at the Paris Conservatory], without admitting it, did not wish …

Piano Man

Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist

by Charles Rosen
I first heard Charles Rosen performing around 1970 at Symphony Hall in Chicago. If my memory is correct, he substituted at the last minute for a more widely known pianist. What good fortune for the nearly packed house. For me it was my first exposure to the intoxicating world of …

A Musicological Offering

Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology

by Joseph Kerman
By some etymological quirk music is the only art that adds the suffix “-ologist” to identify some of its professional students. We encounter biologists, physiologists, and entomologists in the sciences, but no corresponding “dramatologists,” “sculptologists,” or “choreologists.” There is a certain irony in this, especially for those who view music …