Artistic Anecdotes

Michelangelo’s Broken Nose

March 2, 2020

by Leticia Marie Sanchez  In light of the Getty Center‘s new exhibit, Michelangelo, Mind of the Master, an insight into the maestro that first appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour a few years ago: As a teenager, Michelangelo Buonarroti suffered a…

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The Christmas fruitcake fiasco: Puccini versus Toscanini

December 1, 2019

In the spirit of the season Cultural Cocktail Hour will share a holiday favorite! In her revealing book, Secret Lives of the Great Composers, Elizabeth Lundy described a fruity fiasco between two rivals: opera composers, Giacomo Puccini and conductor Arturo Toscanini: “During the years…

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Young Verdi: Altar Boy

January 20, 2019

By Leticia Marie Sanchez       Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark In his Book of Musical Anecdotes, Norman Lebrecht relates a revealing incident from Verdi’s childhood. The seven-year-old Verdi, born into a modest family, once served as an altar boy…

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Rossini’s Risky Business

November 22, 2018

“Please don’t throw me out the window!! I’m a MAESTRO!” Does Procrastination lead to Defenestration? Professor Robert Greenberg, in a wonderful lecture for the Teaching Company, read a letter in which opera composer Gioachino Rossini (nicknamed “The Italian Mozart”) confessed his last minute…

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Life of an artist…Philip Glass..

September 17, 2018

Philip Glass, the creative and celebrated modern composer, courageously blazed a trail despite all the absurdities facing artists. According to Elizabeth Lundy, in Secret Lives of Great Composers, Mr. Glass took on sundry jobs to pay the bills during the 60′s and…

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Henri Matisse- Don’t touch the fruit!

August 12, 2018

by Leticia Marie Sanchez According to Kathleen Krull, in her book “Lives of the Artists,” Henri Matisse subsisted on a strict diet of rice-only when he first started out as a painter. Not Rice-A-Roni. Just plain boiled rice. Matisse refused…

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Beyond Civilized- Von Bulow vis a vis Wagner

July 24, 2018

Cosima Liszt, the daughter of the illustrious composer Franz Liszt, married conductor and pianist Hans Von Bulow. While married to Von Bulow, she became pregnant three times with the offspring of German composer Richard Wagner, bearing Wagner three children: Isolde, Ava, and Siegfried. Although…

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Salvador Dalí and the Cauliflower-stuffed Rolls Royce

July 21, 2018

by Leticia Marie Sanchez         Salvador Dalí mastered the art of creating his own image. Dalí shocked audiences everywhere with his flamboyant persona. A limousine or taxi was just too dull for the outrageous surrealist. So Mr.…

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Roman Emperor Caligula loved horsing around…

April 18, 2018

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? by Leticia Marie Sanchez Salvador Dalí s painting, “Le Cheval de Caligula” depicts Incitatus, pampered pony of blood-thirsty Roman emperor Caligula. The often-violent Caligula became so enraptured with his stallion that he giddily showered him with 18 servants,…

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Bach and the Nanny-Goat Bassoonist

March 23, 2018

Some celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  on March 21st, some on March 31st (due to the differences in the Gregorian and the Julian calendar). We here at Cultural Cocktail Hour celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  all month long! In honor of his birthday, here is an anecdote about the musical…

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