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Did you know?

Although Beethoven never married, it was not for want of trying.  In 1809 he was given an annual stipend of some 4000 florins (about HK$90,000 at today's values) and decided that, with such wealth, he could afford to support a wife.  Accordingly he wrote to a friend–Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein–asking him to find a suitable young woman to be his wife.


When asked what his music tried to say, Aaron Copland replied; "The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, Yes. And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, No.


Gershwin once asked Ravel to give him some lessons in composition. In reply Ravel asked him; "How much do you earn each year from your compositions?" Gershwin replied "Around $10,000". Ravel replied; "in that case, it should be you who gives me lessons"!


For a composer who went on to write four concertos for the instrument, as a young boy Mozart had an absolute horror of the French Horn. It was said that merely holding a horn towards him terrified him as much as if it had been a loaded gun.


Whenever Mozart composed he liked to have a glass of wine to hand. His neighbour in Vienna had a well-stocked wine-cellar and whenever he heard the sounds of Mozart working at his piano through the thin wall separating their houses, he would send his servant round with a bottle of wine for the composer.


Saint-Saëns was a very prolific composer;  "Composing for me", he once said, "is as natural as it is for an apple tree to produce apples". He was also the first major composer to write film music. He composed the score for the movie L'Assassinat du Duc de Guise, which was released in 1908.


The first music ever to be performed in outer space was Shostakovich's song Rodina Slyshit, Op.81 No.1. The Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, sang it as he orbited the Earth on 12th April 1961.