10 Composers in fast cars

rachmaninov car

Rachmaninov takes the wheel

puccini car

Puccini waits for driver

schoenberg car

Schoenberg shows the wife

britten car

Britten takes the boys out for a ride


prokofiev car

Prokofiev (2l.) takes a lesson


Alban Berg takes a spin with Alma Mahler

copland car

Copland changes a wheel

john cage car

John Cage gets child-locked


Kurt Weill, back fender driver

Richard-Strauss mercedes

Richard Strauss drove a Mercedes.


Any more?


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  • Delightful, but can we be so sure that these cars were ‘fast’? …they look quite stately to me. Design-wise,the modern car is anodyne in comparison (except Fiat) notwithstanding the cowering to the oil industry.

  • If I remember correctly, Rachmaninoff toured the United States in 1909 (where he premiered his Third Concerto) to earn enough money to buy an automobile.

  • Prokofiev was a hasty driver at first — until he bowled over a few unfortunate bicyclists on the way to Monte Carlo. After that, he was painfully slow and cautious, supposedly. Ah, all these Futurists who began their careers with joy in speed and the loud action of pistons — and then had to put on the brakes in the Thirties …

  • When cars are mentioned, I think of Sir John Tavener, as almost every article I’ve read about him noted that he liked cars. It’s funny that I’ve never seen a photograph of him with one.

  • I LOVE these old photos! I am totally digging Prokofiev – or Vernon Duke (whoever he is, he looks like he’s going undercover, and he’s got a hot babe waiting for him in the back seat) – and Weill (casual to the point of total coolness)!

    From where can I obtain copies of them, and others like them, in a larger digital format?

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