And here we are once again for another week of historical events. I’m quite glad I decided to do this by the week, since it gives me the opportunity to prepare ahead of time to write something based on or associated with any momentous events or otherwise exciting types of things. I certainly won’t always be able to keep pace with what’s happened in history every week, but it could come in handy when I’m not quite sure how to proceed or what to post next. It could be good for some suggestions. Let’s see if there’s anything good this week.
1875 – Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen receives its première at the Opéra-Comique in Paris.
1869 – Henry Wood, English conductor
1891 – Federico Moreno Torroba, Spanish composer
1913 – Margaret Bonds, American pianist and composer (not classical)
1944 – Lee Holdridge, Haitian-American composer and conductor
1706 – Johann Pachelbel, German organist and composer (something about a canon)
1768 – Nicola Porpora, Italian composer
1932 – Eugen d’Albert, Scottish-German pianist and composer
1988 – Henryk Szeryng, Polish-Mexican violinist
2000 – Toni Ortelli, Italian composer and conductor
2003 – Goffredo Petrassi, Italian composer and conductor
A couple of important people in the list for this day. d’Albert has a sonata that’s been on and off in my rotation for a while. He apparently also had a long list of ex-wives (I think that was him).
No events. Births:
1492 – Francesco de Layolle, Italian organist and composer
1678 – Antonio Vivaldi, Italian violinist and composer (famous much?)
1838 – Paul Lacôme, French composer
1877 – Alexander Goedicke, Russian pianist and composer
1886 – Paul Bazelaire, French cellist and composer
1915 – Carlos Surinach, Spanish-Catalan composer and conductor
1921 – Halim El-Dabh, Egyptian-American composer (electronic music from an old Egyptian? maybe worth checking into)
1921 – Kaljo Raid, Estonian composer, cellist and clergyman
1925 – Paul Mauriat, French conductor
1928 – Samuel Adler, German-American composer and conductor
1929 – Bernard Haitink, Dutch violinist and conductor (one of my favorites)
1932 – Sigurd Jansen, Norwegian pianist, composer, and conductor
1934 – Mario Davidovsky, Argentinian-American composer
1936 – Aribert Reimann, German pianist and composer
1943 – Zoltán Jeney, Hungarian pianist and composer
1947 – Pēteris Plakidis, Latvian pianist and composer
1925 – Moritz Moszkowski, Polish-German pianist and composer
1999 – Miłosz Magin, Polish pianist and composer
2008 – Leonard Rosenman, American composer and conductor
Everyone knows Vivaldi, and Haitink is an important one. He’s a fantastic conductor, and I have much of his Tchaikovsky, some of his Mahler. I find him to be a reliable interpreter of almost everything, or at least a good place to start. I find him to be quite an enjoyable person to listen to in interviews and things as well.
1868 – Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito receives its première performance at La Scala.
1748 – William Shield, English violinist and composer
1751 – Jan Křtitel Kuchař, Czech organist, composer, and educator (quite a name there)
1887 – Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer
1914 – Philip Farkas, American horn player
1931 – Barry Tuckwell, Australian horn player
1948 – Richard Hickox, English conductor
1954 – Jack Stamp, American conductor and composer (played some of this guy’s pieces before).
1991 – Daniil Trifonov, Russian pianist (this kid is sickeningly talented, or sickeningly young, or maybe they exacerbate one another. Amazing).
1778 – Thomas Arne, English composer
1947 – Alfredo Casella, Italian pianist, composer, and conductor
1953 – Sergei Prokofiev, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (this guy is important; he also apparently died the same day as Stalin, like within hours of each other.)
1984 – Pierre Cochereau, French organist and composer
And that’s it for this day. Moving on to 3/6
No musical events. Births:
1785 – Karol Kurpiński, Polish composer and conductor
1914 – Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor
And that’s about it. On to deaths:
1860 – Friedrich Dotzauer, German cellist and composer
1932 – John Philip Sousa, American conductor and composer
1967 – Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian composer
Well, not a lot happened today, did it? Sousa is important, and I’ve heard of Kondrashin, but I forget in the conducting/recording of what rare piece I couldn’t find anywhere else. Oh, and that guy who wrote like, every march that an American could hum if requested to do so. Would more than likely be Sousa.
Nothing to see here. Births:
1663 – Tomaso Antonio Vitali, Italian violinist and composer
1875 – Maurice Ravel, French composer (What a guy. Featured him recently already, and if I weren’t trying to branch out and keep things a bit fresher, I’d feature one of his pieces. I still may…. I still may)
Also, my piano teacher, apparently.
1981 – Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor (This guy was born earlier in the week. Just the previous day, in fact. He lived to be a day over 67 years old).
1983 – Igor Markevitch, Ukrainian conductor and composer
Slim pickings this week…. That Ravel, though…
There haven’t been many events lately. I always find those to be the most exciting.
1566 – Carlo Gesualdo, Italian composer
1714 – Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, German composer (know this guy)
1904 – Nikos Skalkottas, Greek classical composer (I’m glad they listed him this way so I didn’t have to go look him up and decide whether he merited inclusion.)
1911 – Alan Hovhaness, Armenian-American composer (Hovhaness made a recent appearance as well, for the only piece of music of his that I have. I need to get my hands on some more).
1869 – Hector Berlioz, French composer
1957 – Othmar Schoeck, Swiss composer and conductor
1961 – Thomas Beecham, English conductor (Important conductor, but apparently not such a nice guy. I remember reading that during a famous performance [I think actually a recording] of Sibelius 1, he can be heard yelling at the orchestra from the podium…)
1983 – William Walton, English composer
Seriously, not a lot going on this week.
1842 – Giuseppe Verdi‘s third opera, Nabucco, receives its première performance in Milan; its success establishes Verdi as one of Italy’s foremost opera writers.
Okay, well maybe just one. Births:
1839 – Phoebe Knapp, American organist and composer
1910 – Samuel Barber, American pianist and composer (Featured here more than once, also important. Want to get around to some of his solo works).
1999 – Harry Somers, Canadian composer
2000 – Jean Coulthard, Canadian composer and educator (not a great day for Canadian music, eh?)
2013 – Tengiz Amirejibi, Georgian pianist (best known for his interpretations of Chopin)
And that’s it for this week’s events. I’m not sure that there’s anything new or exciting enough to spur a related post, but we shall see.
Two things about the process of composing this feature every week:
- It gets me to thinking about the history and future of music. It’s interesting to see how things fall into place in history, what things happened relative to one another, and what things may or may not have affected or influenced others. This is part of the serendipity of music that fascinates me. Who heard what as a child or who studied with whom and on and on. Some of this bears itself out in the dates and events I see here and I find it interesting.
- It also serves as an interesting to do list of some important people or things to look up. I’ll read some of these Wikipedia articles as I’m going through them and read about what seem to be some captivating people of whom I have never heard. Perhaps that one glance at a name like Nikos Skalkottas above (whom I intend to investigate further) is all it takes to discover something wonderful and new. Perhaps in among all these names, all four of my readers could discover something fresh or intriguing. That would be nice.