10 composers who smoked

1 Maurice Ravel on the go

maurice ravel smoking

2 Puccini lighting up

puccini smoking

3 Mahler has a pull, in New York

mahler cigarette

4 Gershwin can’t compose without it

gershwin smoking

5 Not in rehearsal, Lenny, please…


6 Debussy, always at it

debussy smoking2

7 Arthur Honegger smoked a pipe

arthur honegger smoking

8 Arnold Schoenberg inhales

arnold-schoenberg smoking

9 Sibelius, with cigar

sibelius at home

10 DSCH gets a light


all pictures from LebrechtMusic&Arts

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    • That question posed more of a problem than i had anticipated: Benjamin Britten+Michael Tippett are the 2 composers who spring to mind.
      In more recent times, Babbitt + Carter.

  • The next obvious question is, how many died from smoking-related illnesses. Shostakovich died of lung cancer. Puccini, throat cancer followed by a heart attack. Bernstein, heart attack after having emphysema for a number of years. Probably many others.

  • Surprised no-one’s mentioned Mozart yet – who writes in his letters of enjoying ‘a pipe of good tobacco’. (Usually while playing billiards).

    Another reason to love him.

    • Bach (J.S.) did not drink, did not smoke, was a vegetarian, rised early and went to bed early, changed wigs every week, went to the gym every 2 days, and took a daily walk in Leipzig from 17:15 till 17:45. But he put all the energies left after composing into procreating: 20 children in total.

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