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Music History: February 2008 Archives

Recreating the Face of Bach

The team at Dundee University scanned a cast of Bach's skull to build this picture

Experts "Rebuild" Bach's Face

The face of Johann Sebastian Bach has been recreated by experts at Dundee University more than 250 years after the German composer's death. It is believed that only one portrait he sat for still exists.

However, forensic artists at the university built up a picture of his appearance using a bronze cast of his skull and documents from the time.

The face will go on display at the Bachhaus museum in Bach's hometown of Eisenach next month.

Read more about this at the BBC website:

Olivier Messiaen Centennial

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

by Tim Page

For more than half a century, Messiaen really mattered – both within the world of music and, increasingly, to the general public as well. Messiaen inspired no little controversy during his time, but there was one point on which both his admirers and detractors could agree: there was nobody like him, and, once he was gone, nobody could take his place.

Read the complete introduction along with other articles at the Carnegie Hall website:

Artists in Exile & The Stravinsky Project

George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky

How to Become an American

By Joseph Horowitz

Editor's Note: The new book Artists in Exile, written by the noted music critic and lecturer Joseph Horowitz, analyzes the ways in which emigre artists made an impact on American culture and were in turn influenced by it. In these excerpts from the chapter "How to Become an American," Horowitz, who will be guest speaker in a free public lecture March 7 (and in preconcert lectures March 8-9) at Stanford Lively Arts' "The Stravinsky Project," compares the American experiences of choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky, whose artistic collaboration began at Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (with Le Chant du Rossignol in 1925) and continued at Balanchine's New York City Ballet.

Read more at The Classical Voice: