Tag Archives: Patronage

Vinko Dvořák and Croatian musical life

The acoustic physicist Vinko Dvořák was a gifted violinist and a tireless promoter of music in Croatia. As a member of the board of the Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod between 1913 and 1919, he took an active part in organizing and financing musical events, and the Zavod za Fiziku at the Sveučilište u Zagrebu, where he was a professor of physics, owned an extensive collection of musical forks and instruments.

Dvořák kept encouraging young Croatians to develop and succeed in music until his death, and in his will he left a notable amount of money for the education of promising music students.

This according to “Vinko Dvořák: Fizičar sa sluhom za glazbu i glazbeno darovita duša u fizici” by Branko Hanžek (Tonovi: Časopis glazbenih pedagoga XV/2:36 [prosinac 2000] pp. 41–43).

Today is Dvořák’s 170th birthday! Below, a tour of the Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod, which still looks much like it did in Dvořák’s time.

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Filed under Acoustics, Romantic era, Science

Women in early modern Florence

Cristina di Lorena

Aristocratic women exerted unprecedented political and social influence in Florence throughout the late 16th and early 17th century; during this period convents flourished and female members of the powerful Medici family governed the city for the first and only time in its history.

These women also helped shape the city’s aristocratic life, commissioning works of music, art, and theater that were inscribed with their own concerns and aspirations. Through commissions, patrons sought to promote a vision of the world and their place in it. The unique social norms, laws, educational background, and life experiences of female patrons meant the expression of a worldview that differed significantly from that of their male counterparts.

This according to Echoes of women’s voices: Music, art, and female patronage in early modern Florence by Kelley Harness (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

Above, Cristina di Lorena, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, a patron of Marco da Gagliano; below, Gagliano’s Ave Maria.

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Filed under Baroque era

Alpert and altruism


The Herb Alpert Foundation has made major grants to the UCLA School of Music and California Institute of the Arts.

In a 2010 interview, Alpert discussed his philanthropic goals, especially that of supporting educational programs that move beyond a focused concentration on the technical aspects of the musical art.

“There’s two ways to approach jazz,” he said, “you can approach it from the outside point of view where you have chords that are a little remote from the actual melody, or you can stay within the context of the song and play it from that angle. I don’t try to force any notes or rely on techniques that I’ve learned through the years. I try to just let it happen as it happens—which is the only way to approach jazz.”

This according to  “In the name of imagination” by Don Heckman (Jazz education guide 2009–2010, pp. 20–26).

Today is Herb Alpert’s 80th birthday! Above, receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013; below, back in the day.

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Filed under Jazz and blues, Popular music