It’s the last full week of 2014.
1808 – Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano). Hell of a concert….
1883 – Edgard Varèse, French-American composer (d. 1965)
2006 – Galina Ustvolskaya, Russian composer (b. 1919) Didn’t she have some kind of relationship with Shostakovich?
2000 – Victor Borge, Danish-American actor, conductor, and pianist (b. 1909)
1941 – Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858) Only possibly related to Charles Valentin-Alkan. Not sure if or how.
2010 – Eino Tamberg, Estonian composer (b. 1930)
1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, gives its first performance.
1745 – Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Caribbean-French violinist, composer, and conductor (d. 1799) First classical composer of African ancestry, and also apparently a “champion fencer”…
1938 – David Borden, American composer and academic- classical? /shrug/
2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano (b. 1918)
1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years. (It’s an opera, okay?)
1988 – Pablo Sorozábal, German-Spanish composer (b. 1897)
1906 – Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972) This guy commissioned Schoenberg’s piano concerto
1907 – Willem van Otterloo, Dutch conductor and composer (d. 1978)
1960 – Donald Nally, American conductor and academic
1956 – Nigel Kennedy, English violinist. I know he has a reputation, and I know the Sibelius symphony cycle with Rattle and CBSO isn’t considered like, definitive, but I fell in love with their recording of the Sibelius concerto with Kennedy…. first one I heard.
1962 – Niel van der Watt, South African composer and educator