Curse of the Ninth

In classical music the curse of the ninth is a fear of a ninth symphony among composers. The evidence of the curse is the surprising number of major composers who died after completing nine symphonies, or even in the course of writing their ninth. Beethoven, Dvořák and Vaughan Williams fall in the former category; Bruckner in the latter. Schubert completed his ninth symphony, but left his eighth unfinished. Schnittke did not finish his ninth symphony, though it was first performed, in unfinished form, less than two months before his death.

(via Kottke)

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