How the mighty have fallen: Fatal infectious diseases of divine composers

Ernst T. Rietschel, Mireille Rietschel, Bruce Beutler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations


Their music is immortal, but famous composers of the last centuries were not. Up to 50 years ago, microbial infections were a major cause of mortality and showed composers no special mercy. They died of various infectious diseases. By application of modern intensive care measurements and effective antibiotics, many of them would have been saved. Disease and painful death brought the work of these divine artists to the level of immortal creations that both inspire and astonish the mortal audience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-339
Number of pages29
JournalInfectious disease clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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