Classical Music Trivial and Answers

Challenge yourself with a Classical Music Trivial Quiz!

Hard

Austrian/American composer Arnold Schoenberg suffered from an usual phobia. What was it exactly he was afraid of?

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Answer: Fear of the Number 13
Schoenberg (1874-1951) had such a severe case of triskaidekaphobia - or fear of the number 13 - that it is theorized his depression due to such may have contributed to his death. Strangely enough, Schoenberg died on the 13th day of July 1951.

Medium

Xiang Yu is the central character in which famous Peking opera?

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Answer: "The Hegemon-King Bids His Concubine Farewell"
Xiang Yu (232 BC - 202 BC), a warlord, is a popular figure in Chinese history. For instance, in addition to having his likeness grace videogames, comic books and movies, he is also the central character in "the Hegemon-King Bids His Concubine Farewell" (1918) as well as a couple of other Peking operas.

Hard

American composer John Coolidge Adams premiered an opera in 1987 with which former US President as the main subject of it?

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Answer: Richard Nixon
John Adams' "Nixon in China", which premiered at the Houston Grand Opera in 1987, is based on the visit US President Richard Nixon made to China in 1972.

Medium

True fans of Mozart (and sweets) can enjoy a confectionary named after him called a Mozartkugeln. The city these chocolates were first produced in also happens to be Mozart's hometown. What city is this?

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Answer: Salzburg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. Likewise Mozartkugeln were created in Salzburg in 1890, and descendants of its original producer still create handmade versions of the sweets to this day.

Hard

How old was Johann Sebastian Bach when he became an orphan?

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Answer: 10
J. S. Bach was born into a family full of professional musicians. Unfortunately both his mother and father, music director Johann Ambrosius Bach, died within eight months of each other. Johann was just 10 years old when these tragic events took place. However, he was able to further his musical studies through association with his brother, the organist Johann Christoph Bach.

Medium

John Cage's "As Slow as Possible" (1987), a musical piece that began in 2001, is scheduled to end after how many years?

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Answer: 639
The organ version of "As Slow as Possible" began at St. Burckhardt's church in Germany during 2001 and is scheduled to conclude in 2640, thus making it 639 years in duration.

Hard

In what year did US President Barack Obama host violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and other notable classical musicians in the White House to celebrate 'Classical Music Day'?

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Answer: 2009
On 4 November 2009, the White House hosted Joshua Bell, Alisa Weilerstein and a couple of other contemporary classical musicians who not only performed in celebration of 'Classical Music Day' but also held workshops for aspiring young musicians.

Easy

Renowned contemporary cellist Yo-Yo Ma traces his ancestry to which country?

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Answer: China
Though born in France and raised in the United States, Yo-Yo Ma was actually born to Chinese parents, with both his mother and father having professional music backgrounds.

Medium

How many basic groups of instruments are present in a typical symphony orchestra?

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Answer: Four
The four musical groupings in a typical symphony orchestra are the woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings.

Medium

The renowned "St. Matthew Passion" (1727) is one of two Passion settings by Bach that are still entirely extant. The other is based on the gospel of which other saint?

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Answer: St. John
Johann Sebastian Bach's other fully extant Passion setting is the "St. John Passion", which being originally performed in 1724, predates the "St. Matthew Passion".



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