Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today's Birthdays

Constanza Mozart (1762-1842)
Frederick Converse (1871-1940)
Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951)
Reginald Smith-Brindle (1917-2003)
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995)
Laszlo Heltay (1930)
Alfred Brendel (1931)
Maurizio Pollini (1942)


Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt (1921-1990)
W. D. Snodgrass (1926-2009)
Umberto Eco (1932)
Charlie Rose (1942)

From the New Music Box:

On January 5, 1939, the voder (later called the vocoder), a machine that synthesizes the human voice, was demonstrated publicly for the first time at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia by Homer Dudley. On that same day, the Philadelphia La Scala Opera mounted a production of Horus, an opera in 4 acts by Hungarian-American composer Gabriel Von Wayditch (1888-1969), who composed a total of 14 operas including one that is 8 1/2 hours-long and is cited as the longest opera ever composed in the Guiness Book of World Records. The performance of Horus, conducted by Gustav Mahler's nephew Fritz, turned out to be the only one ever of one of Wayditch's operas performed in his lifetime. Umberto Eco (1932)

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