On this day: week of December 22, 2014

It’s the last full week of 2014.

December 22
1808 – Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and performs in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth SymphonySixth SymphonyFourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano). Hell of a concert….
Births:
1723 – Carl Friedrich Abel, German viol player and composer (d. 1787)
1819 – Franz Abt, German composer and conductor (d. 1870)
1858 – Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer (d. 1924)
1874 – Franz Schmidt, Austrian cellist, pianist, and composer (d. 1939)
1883 – Edgard Varèse, French-American composer (d. 1965)
1901 – Andre Kostelanetz, Russian-American conductor and composer (d. 1980)
Deaths:
1992 – Harry Bluestone, English violinist and composer (b. 1907)
2006 – Galina Ustvolskaya, Russian composer (b. 1919) Didn’t she have some kind of relationship with Shostakovich?
December 23
1893 – The opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck is first performed.
Births:
1582 – Severo Bonini, Italian organist and composer (d. 1663) 
1597 – Martin Opitz, German poet and composer (d. 1639)
1689 – Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French composer (d. 1755)
Deaths:
1950 – Vincenzo Tommasini, Italian composer (b. 1878)
2000 – Victor Borge, Danish-American actor, conductor, and pianist (b. 1909)
December 24
Births:
1625 – Johann Rudolph Ahle, German organist, composer, and theorist (d. 1673)
1679 – Domenico Sarro, Italian composer (d. 1744)
1726 – Johann Hartmann, Danish composer (d. 1793)
1837 – Cosima Wagner, German daughter of Franz Liszt (d. 1930)
1928 – Lev Vlassenko, Georgian-Australian pianist and educator (d. 1996)
Deaths:
1935 – Alban Berg, Austrian composer (b. 1885)
1941 – Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858) Only possibly related to Charles Valentin-Alkan. Not sure if or how. 
1975 – Bernard Herrmann, American composer and conductor (b. 1911)
2010 – Eino Tamberg, Estonian composer (b. 1930)
December 25
1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society, oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, gives its first performance.
Births:
1583 – Orlando Gibbons, English organist and composer (d. 1625)
1686 – Giovanni Battista Somis, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1763)
1711 – Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, French violinist and composer (d. 1772)
1728 – Johann Adam Hiller, German composer and conductor (d. 1804)
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
1903 – Antiochos Evangelatos, Greek composer and conductor (d. 1981)
1938 – David Borden, American composer and academic- classical? /shrug/
Deaths:
2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano (b. 1918)
December 26
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?)
Births:
1687 – Johann Georg Pisendel, German violinist and composer (d. 1755)
1926 – Earle Brown, American composer (d. 2002)
Deaths:
1988 – Pablo Sorozábal, German-Spanish composer (b. 1897)
1992 – Nikita Magaloff, Georgian-Russian pianist (b. 1912)
2009 – Felix Wurman, American cellist and composer (b. 1958)
December 27
1572 – Johannes Vodnianus Campanus, Czech poet, playwright, and composer (d. 1622)
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
Deaths:
1858 – Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, French pianist and composer (b. 1785)
1919 – Achilles Alferaki, Russian-Greek composer (b. 1846)
2009 – Isaac Schwartz, Ukrainian-Russian composer (b. 1923)
December 28
Births:
1651 – Johann Krieger, German organist and composer (d. 1735)
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
Deaths:
1558 – Hermann Finck, German organist and composer (b. 1527)
1736 – Antonio Caldara, Italian composer (b. 1670)
1916 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian violinist and composer (b. 1835)
1937 – Maurice Ravel, French pianist and composer (b. 1875)
1963 – Paul Hindemith, German violinist, composer, and conductor (b. 1895)

1971 – Max Steiner, Austrian-American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1888)
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