Classical 91.5

Dialogue on Disability Week, January 8-14, 2018

Jan 3, 2018


Through the centuries and today, many classical composers and performers have overcome challenges in order to create and perform the music we love.  Throughout the week of January 8-14, 2018 Classical 91.5 hosts will be celebrating these individuals by presenting music by composers and performers who have overcome challenges. 

We also invite you to read Mona's blog post, Shaky Plays the Classics and listen to our Dialogue on Disability Musicians of Rochester interview with Gaelen McCormick.

Below is a small sampling of the musicians who may be heard throughout the week.

Notable musicians that we are familiar with today who are/were deaf or had significant hearing loss include:  Ludwig Van Beethoven, Gabriel Faure, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, Frederick May, Bedřich Smetana and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

These musicians all dealt with some degree of vision loss, many occurring later in life or as a result of illness or injury, including: Johann Sebastian Bach, tenor Andrea Bocelli, Antonio de Cabezon, George Frederic Handel, Friedrich Kuhlau, Maria Theresa von Paradis, Vlado Perlemuter, Joaquin Rodrigo, mezzo soprano Laurie Rubin, Franz Schubert, Bedrich Smetana, organist/composer John Stanley, Van Cliburn winner (2009) Nobukui Tsujii and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Many others dealt with some degree of depression or mental disorders, often misdiagnosed or not addressed due to the stigma that has long surrounded mental illness.  These include: Anton Arensky, Irving Berlin, Hector Berlioz, Anton Bruckner, Ernest Chausson, Jeremiah Clarke, Hugo Distler, John Dowland, Edward Elgar, Stephen Foster, Carlo Gesualdo, Mikhail Glinka, Glenn Gould, Gustav Holst, Charles Ives, Otto Klemperer, Orlando de Lassus, Edward MacDowell, Gustav Mahler, Modest Mussorgsky, Cole Porter, Sergey Rachmaninov, Giocchino Rossini, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin, Peter Tchaikovsky, Peter Warlock, Hugo Wolf, to name a small selection.

Still others deal with physical disabilities, including focal dystonia, which may limit mobility or use of hands, legs, arms etc.  These include:  pianists Misha Dichter, Leon Fleisher, Janina Fialkowska, Otakar Hollmann, João Carlos Martins, Nicholas McCarthy, Géza Zichy and Gary Graffman, guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, oboist Alex Klein and trumpeter Phil Smith.  

Others with physical disabilities or disabling illnesses have included pianist Paul Wittgenstein, violinists Rachel Barton Pine, Nigel Kennedy and Itzhak Perlman, flutist Catherine Branch-Lewis (Rochester native and Eastman alum), cellists Jacqueline Du Pre and Alisa Weilerstein, mezzo-soprano Lois Marshall, composers Hildegard von Bingen, Maurice Ravel and John Tavener.