On this day: Week of March 24, 2014

History is interesting as long as it isn’t boring. 
March 24
1721 – Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated six concertos to Christian Ludwigmargrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, now commonly called the Brandenburg concertos, BWV 1046-1051. (How’s that for a significant event?)
1962 – Angèle Dubeau, Canadian violinist
Seriously? That’s it? Granted, there were a few I decided not to include.
1653 – Samuel Scheidt, German organist and composer
1916 – Enrique Granados, Spanish pianist and composer
And that’s it for day one. Granados is a pretty important dude. Well, I’ve heard of him. 
March 25
Nothing. Births:
1867 – Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor 
1881 – Béla Bartók, Hungarian pianist and composer
1930 – David Burge, American pianist, composer, and conductor
1620 – Johannes Nucius, German composer
1738 – Turlough O’Carolan, Irish harp player and composer
1917 – Spyridon Samaras, Greek composer
1918 – Claude Debussy, French composer
1967 – Renato Cellini, Italian conductor 
1980 – Walter Susskind, Czech-English conductor
Toscanini, Bartok and Debussy. I’ve listened through Bartok’s three piano concertos and they are not my favorite, but are growing on me. He’s made an appearance here before with his Concerto for Orchestra, though it probably needs a revisit. 
March 26
Nothing exciting happened. Again. But people
were born:
1634 – Domenico Freschi Italian composer and priest
1884 – Wilhelm Backhaus, German pianist
1925 – Pierre Boulez, French pianist, composer, and conductor (we will see something involving this dude this week)
1827 – Ludwig van Beethoven, German pianist and composer  (Heard of him?)
Boulez and Beethoven. And Backhaus. I didn’t know Boulez was born on Beethoven’s birthday. That was almost an alliteration. Not intentionally. We will see something from Boulez this week, (not one of his own compositions, but I am working on getting through a few of those too), but unfortunately Beethoven won’t make it into the rotation yet. In fact, he hasn’t made a single appearance thus far; I’m rather intimidated by the idea, for some reason. Oh, perhaps it’s because he’s one of the most famous and most-recognized composers ever to live ever. That could have something to do with it. 
March 27
1416 – Antonio Squarcialupi, Italian organist and composer (that’s just about the squirreliest Italian name I’ve ever seen. Say it. Just say it. You won’t regret it.)
1702 – Johann Ernst Eberlin, German organist and composer
1709 – William Flackton, English organist, viola player, and composer
1710 – Joseph Abaco, Belgian cellist and composer 
1804 – Giacomo Panizza, Italian conductor and composer
1851 – Ruperto Chapí, Spanish composer, co-founded Sociedad General de Autores y Editores 
1892 – Ferde Grofé, American pianist and composer 
1912 – Robert Hughes, Scottish-Australian composer (the description of this guy’s works sounds interesting…)
1927 – Mstislav Rostropovich, Russian cellist and conductor 
1949 – Poul Ruders, Danish composer (dubious inclusion)
Holy crap a lot of people were born this day. And I knew none of them except for Rostropovich… 
1757 – Johann Stamitz, Czech violinist and composer 
1924 – Walter Parratt, English organist and composer 
March 28
No happenings. Births, though:
1621 – Heinrich Schwemmer German composer and educator
1871 – Willem Mengelberg, Dutch conductor
1903 – Rudolf Serkin, Czech-American pianist
1906 – Murray Adaskin, Canadian violinist, composer, and conductor
1919 – Jacob Avshalomov, American composer and conductor
1687 – Constantijn Huygens, Dutch poet and composer 
1818 – Antonio Capuzzi, Italian violinist and composer
1881 – Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Russian composer
1910 – Édouard Colonne, French violinist and conductor
1937 – Karol Szymanowski, Polish pianist and composer
1943 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (Awww…. that’s super sad. What a guy. Made an appearance or two for his symphonies, but there’s plenty more from this guy in the future.)
1949 – Grigoraș Dinicu, Romanian violinist and composer (Heifetz said this guy is the best violinist he’d ever heard)
2012 – Alexander Arutiunian, Armenian pianist and composer (a pianist who wrote a trumpet concerto…)
March 29
Again. Births:
1747 – Johann Wilhelm Hässler, German pianist and composer
1902 – William Walton, English composer
1936 – Richard Rodney Bennett, English composer
1692 – Nicolaus Bruhns, Danish-German organist, violinist, and composer 
1888 – Charles-Valentin Alkan, French pianist and composer (Liszt claimed this guy was the best pianist he’d ever heard. Contemporary of Liszt and Chopin.)
1911 – Alexandre Guilmant, French organist and composer 
1924 – Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer and conductor
1965 – Zlatko Baloković, Croatian violinist 
March 30
1727 – Tommaso Traetta, Italian composer
1750 – John Stafford Smith, English organist and composer
1926 – Werner Torkanowsky, German conductor 
1864 – Louis Schindelmeisser, German clarinet player, conductor, and composer 
1935 – Romanos Melikian, Armenian composer
1955 – Harl McDonald, American pianist, composer, and conductor 
1960 – Joseph Haas, German composer and educator
1963 – Aleksandr Gauk, Russian conductor and composer 
1977 – Levko Revutsky, Ukrainian composer and educator
Some excitingly big names in this week’s rundown. Shame I can’t address them all this week. But I will in due time. Just not in such a conveniently timely manner. I’m on another train of thought for the next few weeks, flushing out a few things I’ve been trying to get around to for a while, and I think I’m finally getting there. We shall see. 

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