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Opus 4: Episode 2 – Bend It Like Beethoven


In the second episode of Opus 4 of The Counterpoint Club, Bend It Like Beethoven, the Skyros Quartet examines competition in music and how to incorporate good sportsmanship into your music-making. In the history segment, Willie looks at instances when well-known composers could have demonstrated more sportsmanship towards other composers. Next, all four members of Skyros offer reflections and advice on how to demonstrate good sportsmanship to your musical colleagues. Sarah and Willie are joined by our special guest, Anthony Molinaro, Naumburg International Piano Competition winner and director of the music department at Loyola University, who shares his thoughts on competition and parallels between athleticism and music. In the chat, Skyros shares personal stories about their experiences in competitive situations with colleagues and thoughts on how to handle these situations.
History Segment
Willie looks at instances when well-known composers have been less than ideal colleagues with each other. While on the surface, composers’ insults to each other can be quite humorous, they can also reveal insight into a composer’s thoughts, processes, likes and dislikes as we interpret their music.

But the real question is, do you agree with Aaron Copland? Is Ralph Vaughan William’s Fifth Symphony really like staring at a cow for 45 minutes?


Technique Lesson
TCC WorksheetIn the technique portion of the podcast, the Skyros Quartet have a roundtable discussion and share their thoughts about how to be a better peer and colleague. Download the worksheet for a list of their tips.
Guest Interview
Sarah and Willie share a fantastic conversation with pianist Anthony Molinaro about competitive situations, sportsmanship with musical colleagues, and parallels between athleticism and musicianship.

Anthony Molinaro

Anthony MolinaroAnthony Molinaro is the 1997 winner of the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition and one of the most versatile pianists of his generation. Acclaimed for his “edge-of-the-seat brilliance” and “musically imaginative mind,” Mr. Molinaro has appeared as soloist with over fifty symphony orchestras, headlined at major jazz clubs throughout the world, and composed and arranged music in both the classical and jazz genres. He has released five albums and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Downbeat magazine and in the 2010 book, The New Face of Jazz. He is an Associate Professor and the Director of Music at Loyola University Chicago and was recently awarded The Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence, “the very highest honor that the Loyola University College of Arts and Sciences bestows for the very best in teaching and research.” In the twenty-year history of the award, he is the first ever winner from the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.” Away from music, Mr. Molinaro is an avid runner and plant-based fitness enthusiast who has run eleven marathons, breaking the three-hour mark for the first time at the Houston Marathon in January 2019.

For more information about Anthony, visit his website.

Anthony performing George Gershwin’s Prelude #3.

And here is a performance of Lady Madonna, as also heard on Anthony’s album of Beatles tunes, Here, There and Everywhere.

Here, There and Everywhere is available online on all major streaming platforms.


Do you have a story to share about a competitive situation? What did you do, and what did you learn? We’d love to hear your stories!

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