Monday, March 27, 2017

Today's Birthdays

Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931)
Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946)
Ferde Grofé (1892-1972)
Anne Ziegler (1910-2003)
Sarah Vaughn (1924-1990)
Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007)
Paul Ruders (1949)
Maria Ewing (1950)
Bernard Labadie (1963)

and

Henri Murger (1822-1861)
Heinrich Mann (1871-1950)
Edward Steichen (1879-1973)
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)
Budd Schulberg (1914-2009)
Louis Simpson (1923-2012)
Julia Alvarez (1950)
John O'Farrell (1962)


And from the Composers Datebook:
On this date in 1808, Franz Joseph Haydn makes his last public appearance at a performance of his oratorio "The Creation" in Vienna in honor of the composer's approaching 76th birthday. Beethoven and Salieri attend the performance and greet Haydn.

From the New Music Box:
On On March 27, 1914, 20 year-old Leo Ornstein shocked audiences and critics at his Steinway Hall recital in London during which he performed his revolutionary Three Moods for solo piano and Danse Sauvage. The critic for the London Daily Mail described the event as a "wild outbreak," while another reviewer wrote, "We have never suffered from such insufferable hideousness, expressed in terms of so-called music." However, based on the attention that concert received, Schott published some of Ornstein's music for the first time. Famous as a wunderkind, Ornstein would compose into his 90s and live until 2002 to become the oldest composer in American music history.

From The Writer's Almanac:
It's the birthday of the woman who wrote "Happy Birthday to You," Patty Smith Hill, born in Anchorage, Kentucky (1868). Most of her life was spent as a kindergarten teacher. She began teaching in Louisville, Kentucky, and it was there, in 1893, that Hill first wrote the lyrics to the song. But it was originally meant as a welcome to start the school day and was first called "Good Morning to All." Hill's sister Mildred, an accomplished musician, provided the melody. Hill was only 25 when she wrote the lyrics to the famous song.

It became popularized with the invention of radio and sound films. The song appeared in the Broadway musical "The Band Wagon" (1931), and was used for Western Union's first singing telegram in 1933. A third sister, Jessica Hill, noticed the similarities between "Happy Birthday to You" and the song her sisters wrote, and she was able to prove it in a court of law. The song was copyrighted in 1935 and remains under copyright to this day. According to Forbes magazine, the song produces about $2 million in licensing revenue each year. "Happy Birthday to You" is still one of the most popular songs in the English language, along with "Auld Lang Syne" and "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Today's Birthdays

Josef Slavík (1806-1833)
Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969)
André Cluytens (1905-1967)
Harry Rabinowitz (1916-2016)
Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
Kyung Wha Chung (1948)

and

Edward Bellamy (1850-1898)
A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Joseph Campbell (1904–1987)
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
Gregory Corso (1930-2001)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today's Birthdays

Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783)
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
Haydn Wood (1882-1959)
Magda Olivero (1910-2014)
Sir Elton John (1947)

and

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)
Gloria Steinem (1934)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1949, Shostakovich (accompanied by KGB "handlers") arrives in New York for his first visit to America, for the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. His anti-Western statements and criticism of Igor Stravinsky embarrassed his American sponsors, including Aaron Copland, and later provided political fodder for the notorious Red-hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Recommended classical concerts for springtime in today's Oregonian

Today's Oregonian published a list of classical music concerts in its spring guide. I hope that it has a few events that will capture your fancy. The paper published the same article a few days ago online here. I wrote the article and would liked to have included more performances, but the paper has its space requirements.

Today's Birthdays

John Antes (1740-1811)
Maria Malibran (1808-1836)
Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)
Christiane Eda-Pierre (1932)
Benjamin Luxon (1937)

and

Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)
Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919)
Dario Fo (1926-2016)
Ian Hamilton (1938-2001)
Martin Walser (1927)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1721, J.S. Bach dedicates his six "Brandenburg" Concertos to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg, whose orchestra apparently never performed them.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oregon Symphony announces recording of Haydn symphonies

From the press release:

The Oregon Symphony today announced that its upcoming CD – the fourth under the musical direction of Carlos Kalmar – is set for a local release today and an official international release on April 7.
                                                                                                                  
This latest CD, entitled Haydn Symphonies, follows Spirit of the American Range (2015) which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance; This England (2012); and Music for a Time of War (2011), which garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered album. This latest CD, like its three predecessors, was recorded in hybrid multichannel Super Audio CD format for Pentatone. This recording brings the total number of recordings by the Oregon Symphony to 20.
 
The new CD features three symphonies by Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 53 (The Imperial), Symphony No. 64 (Tempora Mutantur), and Symphony No. 96 (The Miracle). It was recorded live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in 2013 (Symphony No. 64) and 2016 (Symphonies Nos. 53 and 96) by Sound Mirror recording engineers John Newton and Blanton Alspaugh, both of whom engineered the three previous CDs.           
 
Music Director Carlos Kalmar said, “It is my great pleasure to share our newest recording with classical music lovers all over the world. I believe our orchestra is consistently proving it has something important to say musically. We appreciate our relationship with Pentatone and their partners at Sound Mirror who do such a great job of recording us live. We are already at work on our next recording.”
 
“We are very excited about this new release,” Pentatone’s Vice-President for Artist and Repertoire Renaud Loranger said. “It further documents the relationship between the Oregon Symphony and its music director, Carlos Kalmar, in performances beaming with vitality and stylistic acumen, and will no doubt become another milestone of our collaboration.”

Haydn Symphonies will receive its first radio broadcast on Portland’s own 24/7 classical music station, All Classical Portland (89.9 FM and streaming internationally at allclassical.org), at 7 pm today, March 23.
 
The recording was made possible in part through a generous gift from Cliff and Karen Deveney and by the James DePreist Fund for Broadcast and Recording.
 
Following its local release today, Haydn Symphonies will be available for purchase at the Symphony Ticket Office (909 SW Washington) or at the Pentatone website (pentatonemusic.com) until its official international release on April 7, 2017, when it will become available at most music outlets.
 
HAYDN SYMPHONIES
Haydn: Symphony No. 53 in D Major (The Imperial)
Haydn: Symphony No. 64 in A Major (Tempora Mutantur)
Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D Major (The Miracle)

Today's Birthdays

Léon Minkus (1826-1917)
Eugène Gigout (1844-1925)
Franz Schreker (1878-1934)
Josef Locke (1917-1999)
Norman Bailey (1933)
Boris Tishchenko (1939-2010)
Michael Nyman (1944)
David Grisman (1945)

and

Roger Martin du Gard (1881-1958)
Louis Adamic (1898-1951) 
Erich Fromm (1900-1980)
Kim Stanley Robinson (1952) 
Gary Joseph Whitehead (1965)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today's Birthdays

Carl Rosa (1842-1889)
Hamisch MacCunn (1868-1916)
Joseph Samson (1888-1957)
Martha Mödl (1912-2001)
Fanny Waterman (1920)
Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986)
Stephen Sondheim (1930)
Joseph Schwantner (1943)
George Benson (1943)
Alan Opie (1945)
Rivka Golani (1946)
Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948)
Edmund Barham (1950-2008)

and

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)
Louis L'Amour (1908-1988)
Edith Grossman (1936)
James Patterson (1940)
Billy Collins (1941)
James McManus (1951)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1687, Italian-born French composer Jean Baptiste Lully, age 54, in Paris, following an inadvertent self-inflicted injury to his foot (by a staff with which he would beat time for his musicians) which developed gangrene.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today's Birthdays

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Modeste Moussorgsky (1839-1881)
Eddie James "Son" House (1902-1988)
Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949)
Paul Tortelier (1914-1990)
Nigel Rogers (1935)
Owain Arwel Hughes (1942)
Elena Firsova (1950)
Ann MacKay (1956)

and


Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978)
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) 
Ved Mehta (1934)

From the New Music Box:
On March 21, 1771, the Massachusetts Gazette published an announcement for a musical program including "select pieces on the forte piano and guitar." It is the earliest known reference to the piano in America.