Made for the stage: The incredible life and career of dancer and dramatic actress Ida Rubinstein … and her 20-year collaboration with French composer Florent Schmitt.

In every era, there are always a few people in the arts whose life and career seem like something out of a movie or novel. Such a characterization is wholly apt in the case of dancer and dramatic actress Ida Rubinstein, the Russian-Jewish femme fatale who commanded the limelight in Paris for nearly half a century. Born in 1885 […]

Florent Schmitt and Igor Stravinsky: A Consequential Musical Relationship

Throughout his long life and composing career, Florent Schmitt would forge many personal friendships with his counterparts.  He was at the center of musical life in Paris, maintaining particularly close relationships with Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Gabriel Pierné, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu and numerous other French composers. He also had decades-long friendships with composers from other […]

Oriane et le Prince d’Amour: Florent Schmitt’s Final ‘Orientalist’ Composition (1933)

One of the most memorable aspects of French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical output is his artistic work in the “orientalist” realm.  In fact, in this aspect it could be claimed with some justification that Schmitt had no peer, notwithstanding the efforts of other fine composers in France (Saint-Saens, Bizet, Lalo, d’Indy, Roussel, Rabaud, Ravel, Delage, Aubert, etc.) and elsewhere […]