MYS Oregon to Iberia

PuzzleWatch: Namely Known

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

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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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