Which great Austrian composer is reported to have exclaimed to the English music publisher John Bland after a particularly unsatisfactory shave: “I would give my best string quartet for a decent razor”?

Haydn.  Bland allegedly gave the composer his razor and received the string quartet Op. 55, No. 2 in F minor, now nicknamed The Razor, in exchange!


At a party thrown by the English composer Stephen Storace in the 1780s a performance was given by a quartet comprising the composers Mozart, Haydn, Dittersdorf and Vanhall.  Which instrument did each play?

Haydn played first violin, Dittersdorf played second violin, Mozart played viola, and Vanhall played the cello


The slow movement of Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76/3 in C and Schubert’s String Quartet in D minor, D810, are both sets of variations on the melodies of songs by the respective composers.  Name the songs.

Haydn: Emperor’s Hymn of 1797
Schubert: Death and the Maiden
of 1817


Who was the first child in 100 years (since 1900) to perform on the violin Mozart played as a child?

Maria-Elizabeth Lott, born in Germany, June 2, 1987.  She began playing the violin when she was 3!


Who did Maynard Solomon identify as Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”?

Antonie Brentano


A lock of Beethoven’s hair was sold at Sotheby’s in 1994 and subsequently underwent scientific examination.  What were the results?

It was determined that Beethoven suffered from lead poisoning.  The lock of hair in question, secreted out of Nazi Germany by an unknown Jew in 1943, remained in the hands of a local doctor until it was sold.


In 1977 NASA included a recording of “Sounds of Earth” in the information carried by the Voyager 2 space probe.  Among the 90 minutes of music was some for string quartet.  What was the music, the composer, and who played it?

The music was the Cavatina from Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 130 played by the Budapest Quartet.




The pioneer, the creator, the innovator


Brought the new forms to a state of perfection


The revolutionary


The Life of a Musician in the Classical Era 1750-1825





Then What?





Public Opera Houses





Still Job Hunting





Church Musicians






More Public Demand for Music






The first public concerts





What of the Young Musician?





The Free Lance Composer





The money