Oregon Cultural Trust

PuzzleWatch: Namely Known

From the "Moonlight Sonata" to the "Hebrides Overture," test your knowledge of the most famous nicknames in classical music.


Fingal's Cave
Fingal’s Cave in the Scottish Hebrides, which inspired a famous overture by Felix Mendelssohn.

A friend recently mentioned how much they were looking forward to hearing pianist Simon Trpčeski perform the “Rach Paganini” with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. I knew immediately what they meant. 

Have you had this experience? Recognizing a composition by its nickname alone? If I say “Eroica” do you immediately think Beethoven’s Third Symphony?  How about “Hebrides”?  Did you recognize that as a famous overture by Mendelssohn?  

Have fun in this puzzle matching the nickname to the composer and the composer to the nickname. Some are a snap – like “L’Adieu” if you are a fan of Chopin. But who in the world has a symphony nicknamed “The Bear”?  Enjoy finding out. 

And that “Rach Paganini” by the way…exhilarating. Bravo tutti.

Namely Known – Click here for an interactive puzzle you can fill out in your web browser

Download the puzzle as a printable PDF

Download the answer key


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Photo Joe Cantrell

Daryl Browne is a music educator, alto, flutist and writer who lives in Beaverton, Oregon.


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