Tag Archives: Michael Yafi

Sergei Rachmaninoff: the dichotomy of life and music

Michael Yafi Chaden Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Rachmaninoff. Photo by Bain News Service. between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920. Library of Congress Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), a Russian composer, was known for having very large hands. With a span that covered twelve white keys on the keyboard (the interval of a thirteenth), he could […]

Shostakovich, shrapnel, and chronic poliomyelitis

Michael Yafi Houston Texas, United States   Illustration by Elena Toponogova Pianist, London, U.K The life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has fascinated artists, musicologists, and physicians who have tried to make a connection between his medical history and musical repertoire. Having once said, “When I hear about someone else’s pain, I feel pain too,” Shostakovich […]

Epidemics from plague to Coronavirus

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel [i.e Dr. Beak], a plague doctor in seventeenth-century Rome. From the Internet Archive’s copy of Eugen Hollände Die Karikatur und Satire in der Medizin: Medico-Kunsthistorische Studie von Professor Dr. Eugen Holländer. circa 1656. Throughout history humanity has faced many epidemics and pandemics that caused […]

Mahler’s endocarditis and broken heart

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Austrian composer, and his wife Alma (1879–1964) near Toblach.. Unknown photographer. 1909. ÖNB, Bildarchiv Austria, Austrian National Library Gustave Mahler (1860-1911) suffered from personal setbacks throughout his life. Despite receiving more acclaim in early 1900, the death of his daughter Maria from scarlet fever and […]

Did Salvador Dali follow the prolactin discovery in his painting of the fountain of milk?

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society © 2019 The Fountain of milk spreading itself uselessly on three shoes by Salvador Dali remains one of his most enigmatic works. It shows a nude woman on a pedestal, milk flowing from her breasts, while an emaciated man is […]

Edvard Munch: the child who never grew up

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas   Figure 1: The Dead Mother The paintings of Edvard Munch are often used as an example of the association between creativity and mental illness. Can we, however, analyze them from the perspective of the feelings of a child? Traumatized by the death of his mother when he was only five […]