10 composers who smokedmain
1 Maurice Ravel on the go
2 Puccini lighting up
3 Mahler has a pull, in New York
4 Gershwin can’t compose without it
5 Not in rehearsal, Lenny, please…
6 Debussy, always at it
7 Arthur Honegger smoked a pipe
8 Arnold Schoenberg inhales
9 Sibelius, with cigar
10 DSCH gets a light
all pictures from LebrechtMusic&Arts
Were there any great composers who didn’t smoke (cigarette, cigar, pipe)?
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.
I don’t smoke 😉
(hopefully, one day I’ll be considered “great”)
Bohuslav Martinu was a heavy smoker.
I like the dry and uninspired ‘Honegger smoked a pipe’…
Matches his music.
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.
I’m pleased you chirped in with that or this feature comes close to promoting smoking.
Well, hardly. It’s more an observation, rather like the post on composers and cars a while back. Let’s not get too PC.
And how about Brahms???? http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40644/40644-h/images/illo_005.jpg
Stravinsky, Chabrier, Dukas, Kurt Weill, Eisler…
Fauré was hardly ever seen without a cigarette either.
How about a smoking singer – what’s more during a recording session. Here’s a film of Raimund Herincx with Charles Mackerras and the ECO in the 1966 recording the end of “The Trumpet shall sound” from Handel’s for EMI:
And don’t forget the greatest tenor of all time- Caruso smoked two packs a day! Blek
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.
I believe Bach and Schubert smoked pipes, as well.
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.
Didn’t drink or smoke?? Au contraire! In The Bach Reader is a letter regarding a gift of either wine or ale (can’t remember which). Plus water was not that safe back then. Also he wrote a piece titled “Gentle Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker. Oh yes, he indulged in both.