Classical Music Magicians
We are the Classical Music Magicians, and we want to help you make beautiful music! We offer tips, tricks, and resources for classical musicians of all levels.
The piano is a popular instrument among classical music magicians. A lot of famous and successful pianists have made a name for themselves in the music industry. If you are looking to become a classical music magician, learning to play the piano is a great place to start.
Lang Lang is a Chinese-born classical pianist who has achieved international stardom. He began playing piano at age three and gave his first public performance at age five. He has won numerous competitions, including the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002, and he has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
Lang Lang’s playing style is characterized by great virtuosity and passion, and he is known for his ability to connect with audiences of all ages. He has been credited with helping to bring classical music to a new generation of listeners, and he has been an advocate for music education. In addition to his work as a concert pianist, Lang Lang is also a dedicated philanthropist, supporting various causes through his foundation.
Yundi Li is a Chinese pianist. He won first prize at the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in 2000, when he was 18 years old, becoming the first and only Chinese pianist to have received that honor. Li’s playing has been described as “full of sparkle and invention” and as having “a touch of magic”.
Yuja Wang (born February 10, 1987) is a Chinese classical pianist. Born in Beijing, she began studying piano there at age six. At age fifteen, she moved to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, from which she graduated in 2008. She has won numerous international competitions, including first prize at the Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition and the Hamburg International Piano Competition. She has performed as soloist with major orchestras around the world and released several CDs.
Hilary Hahn is one of the most celebrated violinists of her generation. She has won numerous awards and prizes, including a Grammy Award, and has released best-selling albums of both classical and crossover music.
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1979, Hahn began studying the violin at the age of three. She made her public debut aged five, and shortly thereafter began taking lessons from renowned pedagogue Shirley Givens. Hahn made her first solo recording aged 10, and gave her first full recital aged 11. She made her orchestral debut aged 12, playing the Vieuxtemps Concerto #4 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
From 1994-1999, Hahn attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Jascha Brodsky. During this time she also won top prizes at international competitions including the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1st prize) and the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1st prize). In 1999 she made her debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall playing Brahms’ Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Hahn has recorded over 30 albums for Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, and Decca Records label. These include multiple Grammy Award-winning recordings of Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas; recordings of works by Nielsen, Sibelius, Bartók, Berg; as well as crossover albums featuring music by John Adams, Mark O’Connor, Nels Cline, Edgar Meyer and Jeremy Denk. Hilary Hahn has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and South America as a soloist with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is a German violinist. She is one of the world’s leading violinists and has won numerous awards. Mutter began playing the violin when she was five years old and made her public debut when she was thirteen. She has gone on to perform with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and has made numerous recordings.
Joshua Bell is an American violinist and conductor who is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and has been awarded the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance.
Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, in 1967. His father, Alan Bell, was a professor of psychology at Indiana University, and his mother, Shirley Bell, was a homemaker. He began playing the violin when he was four years old. When he was eight years old, he made his solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. At the age of 14, he appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic.
Bell attended the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Josef Gingold. He graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Music degree. He also studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
Bell made his professional debut in 1986 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition to his successful career as a concert violinist, Bell has also conducted several orchestras including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the London Symphony Orchestra.
The cellists are a group of four young men who have taken the internet by storm with their classical music covers. They go by the name of The Cellists and they are quickly becoming a sensation with their creative renditions of popular songs.
Yo-Yo Ma is a world-renowned French cellist. He has recorded over 90 albums and won 18 Grammy Awards. He has also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts. Ma was born in Paris to Chinese parents who were both musicians. He began learning the violin at age four and the cello at age seven. At age nine, he gave his first public performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Ma has gone on to perform with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and London Symphony Orchestra. He has also played with pop, rock, and jazz musicians, such as Kate Bush, Bobby McFerrin, and Herbie Hancock. In addition to his solo work, Ma is a founding member of the Silk Road Ensemble, a collective of musicians from around the world that aims to promote cultural understanding through music.
Jacqueline du Pré
Jacqueline du Pré, OC, OBE (26 January 1945 – 27 October 1987) was a British cellist. At a young age, she was already being hailed as a virtuoso, and became one of the best-known classical performers of her time. Her performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 9 October 1965 was recorded and released to great acclaim.
Du Pré recorded all six Haydn concerti for cello and orchestra, as well as works by Brahms, Boccherini, Fauré, Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Honegger, Poulenc and others. She also played chamber music; her collaborators included Daniel Barenboim (her husband from 1967 until his death in 1999), Mstislav Rostropovich and Doriot Anthony Dwyer.
Du Pré’s career was cut short in 1973 by multiple sclerosis; she gave her last public performance in 1972 and retired from performing altogether three years later. After her retirement from performing, she continued to teach and to support educational projects for young musicians. She died at the age of 42 from the complications of MS.
Mstislav Rostropovich was a Russian cellist, pianist, and conductor. He is considered one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union. His father, Vasily Petrovich Rostropovich (1891–1942), was a celebrated singer who performed throughout Europe and America. His mother, Sofia Mikhailovna Rostropovitch (née Ushakova; 1896–1985), was a gifted amateur pianist.
Mstislav Rostropovich began playing piano at the age of four and cello at the age of ten. He made his public debut as a cellist in 1942 with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1944 he won first prize in the Soviet Union’s all-Union Music Competition. That same year he made his American debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky.
Rostropovich held principal cello positions with the Leningrad Philharmonic (1943–1945) and Moscow Philharmonic (1952–1955) Orchestras before joining the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra as principal cello in 1955, where he remained until 1965 when he took an indefinite leave of absence to pursue an international solo career.
If we think about classical music magicians, the first people who come to our minds are the conductors. These are the people who control the flow of the music, who make sure that the orchestra is playing in unison and that the music reaches the audience the way it is supposed to.
As a conductor, Bernstein was one of the first to explore the musical style of Mahler and Copland. He was also known for his championing of contemporary composers. In addition to his conducting, Bernstein was a skilled composer, penning works like the score for West Side Story and the choral symphony mass.
Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. His reputation as a commanding and controversial figure reached beyond the world of classical music.
Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic for the last time in April 1989, just a few months before his death. He died on 16 July 1989, aged 81, from a heart attack in Anif, Austria.
John Williams is one of the most popular and respected composers of our time. He has written some of the most iconic film scores in history, including Star Wars, Superman, Jaws, and E.T. His work has earned him five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAs, and 22 Grammy Awards. In a career spanning over six decades, Williams has composed music for over a hundred films and television shows. He is truly a master of his craft.