Thursday, December 31, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Caroline Miolan‑Carvalho (1827-1895)
Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950)
Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940)
Nathan Milstein (1904-1992)
Jule Styne (1925-1994)
Jaap Schröder (1925-2020)
Odetta (1930-2008)
Stephen Cleobury (1948)
Donna Summer (1948-2012)
Jennifer Higdon (1962)

and

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Nicholas Sparks (1965)
Junot Díaz (1968)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Today's Birthdays

William Croft (1678-1727)
André Messager (1853-1929)
Joseph Bohuslav Foerster (1859-1951)
Alfred Einstein (1880-1952)
Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987)
Paul Bowles (1910-1999)
Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015)
Bo Diddley (1928-2008)
Bruno Canino (1935)
June Anderson (1950)
Stephen Jaffe (1954)
Antonio Pappano (1959)

and

Theodor Fontane (1819-1898)
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Sara Lidman (1923-2004)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1879 was the premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta "The Pirates of Penzance," in Paignton at the Royal Bijou (partial preview to insure British copyright). The first full performance of the new work occurred at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York City the following day, with Sullivan conducting and Gilbert in attendance. The New York premiere was arranged to register American copyright of the new work and pre-empt unauthorized "pirate" productions in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Tomás Bretón (1850-1923)
Pablo Casals (1876-1973)
Lionel Tertis (1876-1975)
Yves Nat (1890-1956)
Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912-1990)
Billy Tipton (1914-1989)

and

William Gaddis (1922-1998)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1903 took place the first concert by the Seattle Symphony at Christensen's Hall in Seattle under the baton of violinist Harry F. West. The program includes music of Massenet, Bruch, Schubert and Rossini.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Christian Cannabich (1731-1798)
Julius Rietz (1812-1877)
B. J. Lang (1837-1909)
Francesco Tamagno (1850-1905)
Roger Sessions (1896-1985)
Earl "Fatha" Hines (1905-1983)
Johnny Otis (1921-2012)
Nigel Kennedy (1956)

and

Charles Portis (1933)

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Sir John Goss (1800-1880)
Tito Schipa (1888-1965)
Marlene Dietrich (1904-1992)
Oscar Levant (1906-1972)

and

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
Charles Olson (1910-1970)
Wilfrid Sheed (1930-2011)
Chris Abani (1966)
Sarah Vowell (1969)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1841, Franz Liszt performs at the Singakademie in Berlin. Women swooned and the general audience reacts with such uncontrolled enthusiasm that Heinrich Heine coins the term "Lisztomania" to describe their fanatical devotion to the performer, which soon swept through most of Europe

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Maurice Gendron (1920-1990)
Thea King (1925-2007)
Earle Brown (1926-2002)
Phil Specter (1940)
Wayland Rogers (1941)
Harry Christophers (1953)
Andre-Michel Schub (1953)
Gabriella Smith (1991)

and

Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
Henry Miller (1891-1980)
Jean Toomer (1894-1867)
Juan Felipe Herrera (1948)
David Sedaris (1958)

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Oregon Symphony up for Grammy

I forgot to mention that the Oregon Symphony is in the running for Grammy award in the Best Orchestral Performance category for its Aspects of America: Pulitzer Edition album. Here are the particulars:

Walter Piston (1894-1976)
Symphony No. 7 (1960) [21:43]

Morton Gould (1913-1996)
Stringmusic (1993) [27:35]

Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Symphony No. 4, Op. 34 ‘Requiem’ (1943) [21:50]

Oregon Symphony/Carlos Kalmar
recorded live, 2017/18, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, USA
PENTATONE PTC5186763 [71:08]

There are the five recordings that are under consideration for the Grammy award:

Aspects of America: Pulitzer Edition. Carlos Kalmar, conductor (Oregon Symphony)

Concurrence. Daníel Bjarnason, conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra)

Copland: Symphony No. 3. Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)

Ives: Complete Symphonies. Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Lutoslawski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3. Hannu Lintu, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Based on past awardees, the front runners are the San Francisco and Los Angeles orchestras. I hope that the OSO can break through and get the prize.

Today's Birthdays

Jean‑Joseph de Mondonville (1711-1772)
Chevalier de Saint‑George (1745-1799)
Cosima Wagner (1837-1930)
Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944)
Giuseppe de Luca (1876-1950)
Gladys Swarthout (1900-1969)
Cab Calloway (1907-1994)
Noël Lee (1924-2013)
Noel Redding (1945-2003)
Jon Kimura Parker (1959)
Ian Bostridge (1964)

and

Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855)
Clara Barton (1821-1912)
Rod Serling (1924-1975)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Jun Märkel to become Music Director of the Malaysian Philharmonic

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that Jun Märkel will become its Music Director in 2021. You can read all about it here. Märkel is one of the guest conductors who I am sure was high on the list of candidates to become the next Music Director of the Oregon Symphony. It is not impossible for him to still be in the running for the MD job with the Oregon Symphony, but the MPO offers a full season and the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Portland is probably very long and tiring.

Today's Birthdays

Peter Cornelius (1824-1874)
Nikolai Roslavets (1881-1944)
Lucrezia Bori (1887-1960)
Charles Wakefield Cadman (1881-1946)
Sir Vivian Dunn (1908-1995)
Teresa Stich-Randall (1927-2007)
Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008)
Arnold Östman (1939)
Libby Larsen (1950)
Hans-Jürgen von Bose (1953)

and

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
Anthony Fauci (1940)
Dana Gioia (1950)

and from The Writer's Almanac

Today is Christmas Eve. One of the best modern Christmas Eve stories is a true one, and it happened in 1914, in the trenches of World War I. The “war to end all wars” was raging, but German and British soldiers had been engaging in unofficial ceasefires since mid-December. The British High Command was alarmed, and warned officers that fraternization across enemy lines might result in a decreased desire to fight. On the German side, Christmas trees were trucked in and candles lit, and on that Christmas Eve in 1914, strains of Stille Nacht — “Silent Night” — reached the ears of British soldiers. They joined in, and both sides raised candles and lanterns up above their parapets. When the song was done, a German soldier called out, “Tomorrow is Christmas; if you don’t fight, we won’t.”

The next day dawned without the sound of gunfire. The Germans sent over some beer, and the Brits sent plum pudding. Enemies met in no man’s land, exchanging handshakes and small gifts. Someone kicked in a soccer ball, and a chaotic match ensued. Details about this legendary football match vary, and no one knows for sure exactly where it took place, but everyone agrees that the Germans won by a score of three to two.

At 8:30 a.m. on December 26, after one last Christmas greeting, hostilities resumed. But the story is still told, in a thousand different versions from up and down the Western Front, more than a century later.

On Christmas Eve in 1906, the first radio program was broadcast. Canadian-born Professor Reginald Aubrey Fessenden sent his signals from the 420-foot radio tower of the National Electric Signaling Company, at Brant Rock on the Massachusetts seacoast. Fessenden opened the program by playing “O Holy Night” on the violin. Later he recited verses from the Gospel of St. Luke, then broadcast a gramophone version of Handel’s “Largo.” His signal was received up to five miles away.

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1920, the last operatic appearance ever of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso took place in an evening performance of Halevy's "La Juive" (The Jewess) at the old Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Caruso would die in Naples (where he made his operatic debut on March 15, 1895) at the age of 48 on August 2, 1921.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Joseph Boismortier (1689-1755)
Ross Lee Finney (1906-1997)
Claudio Scimone (1934-2018)
Ross Edwards (1943)
Edita Gruberová (1946)
Elise Kermani (1960)
Han-Na Chang (1982)

and

Harriet Monroe (1860-1936)
Norman Maclean (1902–1990)
Robert Bly (1926)
Carol Ann Duffy (1955)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1989, Leonard Bernstein led the first of two public performances of Beethoven's Ninth at the Philharmonie in West Berlin, with an international orchestra assembled to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. The second performance occurred on December 25 at the Schauspielhaus in East Berlin.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787)
Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889)
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Franz Schmidt (1874-1939)
Edgard Varèse(1883-1965)
Joseph Deems Taylor (1885-1966)
Alan Bush (1900-1995)
Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980)
David Leisner (1953)
Jean Rigby (1954)
Zhou Tian (1981)

and

Jean Racine (1639-1699)
Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)
Donald Harrington (1935-2009)

Monday, December 21, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Zdeněk Fibich (1850-1900)
André Turp (1925-1991)
Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
Roger Lasher Nortman (1941)
Michael Tilson Thomas (1944)
András Schiff (1953)
Kim Cascone (1955)
Thomas Randle (1958)
Jonathan Cole (1970)

and

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
Maud Gonne (1866-1953)
Edward Hoagland (1932)

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Peplowski and Clairdee warm things up in Vancouver Symphony's holiday concert

In spite of the pandemic and the cold, rainy weather that has descended on us, the Vancouver Symphony teamed up with jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski and vocalist Clairdee to create a cheerful and heart-warming holiday concert last Saturday (December 12). The program had a little bit of this and that, extending from Benny Goodman tunes to Christmas-carol-inspired pieces and several soulful numbers from Clairdee. Some of the pieces were played only by the orchestra, others by Peplowski and his band. Sometimes Peplowski would play with the orchestra, and other times Clairdee would join everyone. It was fun just to watch and hear the variety of performances.

The musicians were spread across most of the stage at Skyview Concert Hall guest with conductor Ken Selden and an orchestra of string players plus a harpist in the center. Peplowski and his band (Steven Feifke on piano, Kevin Congleton on drums, and Tim Gilson on bass) were positioned a few feet away to Selden’s left, and Clairdee on his right. Everyone wore a mask except Peplowski and Clairdee, and plexiglass shields were placed in such a way to add even more protection.

Peplowski has a terrific knack for connecting with audiences, even when he can’t see the audience. He introduced several of the pieces with humorous anecdotes that provided a bit of background information. The first number that he played with the orchestra was an arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.” His style loosened the reins on the well-known music, and made me want to reach for a hot toddy. The only thing that didn’t work all that well was his clarinet making the neighing sound at the very end of the piece.

Because Peplowski had performed with Benny Goodman, he told how Goodman was quite the taskmaster during rehearsal and how he often forgot the names of famous guest soloists. That recollection led to a suite of Benny Goodman songs, which Peplowski played with the orchestra. His tone was especially wistful in “Poor Butterfly,” and his displayed a sweeping riff at the end of “The Man I Love. For “My Funny Valentine” he created a sultry tone that contrasted well with the loosey-goosey style of “Don’t Be That Way.”

The orchestra, expertly led by Selden, collaborated with Peplowski to deliver a gentle and soothing “Christmastime is Here,” which is indelibly associated with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” movie. They followed that with an up-tempo arrangement of George Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm.” It included a seamless segue to the small band before transitioning back to the orchestra for the finish.

With his band, Peplowski delved into a toe-tapping rendition of another Goodman tune, “Avalon,” in which he executed all sorts of tricky runs with ease. He settled things down with a relaxing Rogers and Hart number, “You Took Advantage of Me.” In both pieces his colleagues excelled with their solos, but the bass was unfortunately difficult to hear.

Clairdee caressed several selections with a soulful glow, starting with “This Christmas” in the first half of the program. She put a lot emotion into Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” that made it poignant and then nicely switched things up with a peppy “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

The strings opened the concert with two lively selections (“Pastores a Belen” and “Wassail Song”) from Leroy Anderson’s “Suite of Carols.” Their rendition of Johann Strauss Jr’s “Pizzicato Polka” got the dynamics just right, but the Prelude to Edvard Grieg’s “Holberg Suite” got a tad muddy. Vaughn Williams’ “Fantasia on Greensleeves” received a heart-warming performance with an evocative opening statement by concertmaster Eva Richey and enchanting strumming from harpist Kimberly Taylor.

The small band played a nifty arrangement by pianist Feifke of the “Carol of the Bells,” which of included a brief improvisation by Peplowski. In his introduction to Michel Legrand’s uplifting “You Must Believe in Spring,” Peplowski mentioned that it is a song about hope, which we all need especially at this time.

In the closing number, a Nelson Riddle arrangement of Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” Clairdee warmed us up with the famous “Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire.” Peplowski took a turn on the melody and handed it off to the orchestra, and as the music quieted down at the end, Feifke lightly finished things off with a nicely placed phrased from “Jingle Bells.”

Like the other online broadcasts that the VSO has done, this one featured brief, yet informative interviews with Peplowski and Clairdee during intermission. It also included an enlightening vignette about music therapy at PeaceHealth Medical Group. These extra features help to make the concert more enjoyable, and it would be great if the orchestra could keep some aspect of them after we return to the concert hall some day in the future.

Today's Birthdays

Henry Hadley (1871-1937)
Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
Gordon Getty (1933)
John Harbison (1938)
Roger Woodward (1942)
Mitsuko Uchida (1948)

and

Elizabeth Benedict (1954)
Sandra Cisneros (1954)
Nalo Hopkinson (1960)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Louis‑Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749)
George Frederick Bristow (1825-1898)
Fritz Reiner (1885-1963)
Paul Dessau (1894-1979)
Edith Piaf (1915-1963)
Dalton Baldwin (1931)
Phil Ochs (1940-1976)
William Christie (1944)
Marianne Faithfull (1946)
Olaf Bär (1957)
Steven Esserlis (1958)
Rebecca Saunders (1967)

and

Italo Svevo (1861-1928)
Constance Garnett (1861-1946)

and from The Writer's Almanac:

It’s the birthday of French chanteuse Édith Piaf (1915). Piaf was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Belleville, on the outskirts of Paris. Her mother was a café singer and a drug addict, and her father was a street performer who specialized in acrobatics and contortionism. Neither of them particularly cared for Piaf, so she mostly grew up with her grandmother, who ran a brothel. Piaf was looked after by prostitutes and later claimed that she was blind from the ages of three to seven because of keratitis, or malnutrition, though this was never proved.

Her father reclaimed her when she was nine and Piaf began singing with him on street corners until he abandoned her again. She lived in shoddy hotel rooms in the red-light district of Paris and sang in a seedy café called Lulu’s, making friends with pimps, hookers, lowlifes, and gamblers, until she was discovered by an older man named Louis Leplée.

Leplée ran a nightclub off the Champs-Élysées. He renamed Piaf La Môme Piaf, “The Little Sparrow,” dressed her entirely in black, and set her loose on the stage. Piaf was a hit, and recorded two albums in one year, becoming one of the most popular performers in France during World War II.

Édith Piaf died on the French Riviera at the age of 47. More than 40,000 people came to her funeral procession. Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Karachkina named a small planet after Piaf; it’s called 3772 Piaf. Her songs have been covered by Madonna, Grace Jones, and even Donna Summer.

Édith Piaf’s last words were, “Every damn thing you do in this life, you have to pay for.”

Friday, December 18, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Edward MacDowell (1860-1908)
Fletcher Henderson (1897-1952)
Rita Streich (1920-1987)
William Boughton (1948)
David Liptak (1949)
Christopher Theofanidis (1967)

and

Saki - H. H. Munro (1870-1916)
Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Christopher Fry (1907-2005)
Abe Burrows (1910-1985)

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979)
Ray Noble (1903-1975)
Art Neville (1937)

and

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939
William Safire (1929-2009)
John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)

and from The Writer's Almanac:

It's the day that The Nutcracker ballet was performed for the first time in St. Petersburg, Russia (1892). Czar Alexander III, in the audience, loved the ballet, but the critics hated it. Tchaikovsky wrote that the opera that came before The Nutcracker "was evidently very well liked, the ballet not. ... The papers, as always, reviled me cruelly." Tchaikovsky died of cholera less than a year later, before The Nutcracker became an international success.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Today's Birthdays

François Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834)
Augusta Holmès (1847-1903)
Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)
Turk Murphy (1915-1987)
Steve Allen (1921-2000)
Dame Thea King (1925-2007)
Alice Parker (1925)
Kenneth Gilbert (1931-2020)
Rodion Shchedrin (1932
Philip Langridge (1939-2010)
Trevor Pinnock (1946)
Isabelle van Keulen (1966)

and

Jane Austin (1775-1817)
George Santayana (1863-1952)
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Sir Noel Coward (1899-1973)
Noël Coward (1899-1973)
V. S. Pritchett (1900-1997)

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Michel‑Richard Delalande (1657-1726)
Lotte Schöne (1891-1981)
Stan Kenton (1911-1979)
Ida Haendel (1924-2020)
Eddie Palmieri (1936)
Nigel Robson (1948)
Jan Latham-Koenig (1953)

and

Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof (1859-1917)
Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959)
Freeman Dyson (1923-2020)
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000)
Edna O'Brien (1930)

Monday, December 14, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Maria Agata Szymanowska (1789-1831)
Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
Georges Thill (1897-1984)
Spike Jones (1911-1965)
Rosalyn Tureck (1914-2003)
Dame Ruth Railton (1915-2001)
Ron Nelson (1929)
Christopher Parkening (1947)
Thomas Albert (1948)
John Rawnsley (1949)

and

Shirley Jackson (1919-1965)
Amy Hempel (1951)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Alexis de Castillon (1838-1873)
Josef Lhévinne (1874-1944)
Eleanor Robson Belmont (1879-1979)
Samuel Dushkin (1891-1976)
Victor Babin (1908-1972)
Alvin Curran (1938)

and

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)
Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)
James Wright (1927-1980)
Lester Bangs (1948-1982)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1836, at a musical soiree at Chopin's apartments in Paris, the female writer "George" Sand, determined to make a good impression with her host, arrives wearing white pantaloons and a scarlet sash (the colors of the Polish flag). Paris Opéra tenor Adolphe Nourit sings some Schubert songs, accompanied by Franz Liszt. Liszt and Chopin play Moschele's Sonata in Eb for piano four-hands.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Andrey Schulz‑Evler (1852-1905)
Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)
Philip Ledger (1937-2012)
Donald Maxwell (1948)
Margaret Tan (1953)
Jaap van Zweden (1960)
David Horne (1970)
Evren Genis (1978)

and

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
Edvard Munch (1863-1944)
John Osborne (1929-1994)

Friday, December 11, 2020

Preview of Vancouver Symphony's holiday concert in The Columbian

The Columbian Newspaper published my preview of the Vancouver Symphony's holiday live-stream concert, which will take place with jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski, vocalist Claridee, and guest conductor Ken Selden. It was fun to interview them and write the aricle, which you can read here.

Today's Birthdays

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz (1876-1909)
Leo Ornstein (1893-2002)
Elliott Carter (1908-2012)
David Ashley White (1944)
Neil Mackie (1946)

and

Grace Paley (1922-2007)
Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006)
Grace Paley (1922-2007)
Jim Harrison (1937-2016)
Thomas McGuane (1939)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1918, Russian-born conductor Nikolai Sokoloff leads the first concert of the Cleveland Orchestra at Gray's Armory, presented as a benefit for St. Ann's Church. His program included Victor Herbert's "American Fantasy," Bizet's "Carmen" Suite, two movements of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, Liadov's "Enchanted Lake," and Liszt's "Les Préludes".

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Today's Birthdays

César Franck (1822-1890)
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
Morton Gould (1913-1996)
Sesto Bruscantini (1919-2003)
Nicholas Kynaston (1941)
Julianne Baird (1952)
Kathryn Stott (1958)
Sarah Chang (1980)

and

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Melvil Dewey (1851-1931)
Adolf Loos (1870-1933)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Emile Waldteufel (1837-1915)
Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)
Conchita Supervia (1895-1936)
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (1915-2006)
Dennis Eberhard (1943-2005)
Christopher Robson (1953)
Donny Osmond (1957)
Joshua Bell (1967)

and

John Milton (1608-1674)
Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)
Léonie Adams (1899-1988)
Ödön von Horváth (1901-1938)

From the Writer's Almanac:

Milton coined more than 600 words, including the adjectives dreary, flowery, jubilant, satanic, saintly, terrific, ethereal, sublime, impassive, unprincipled, dismissive, and feverish; as well as the nouns fragrance, adventurer, anarchy, and many more.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Claude Balbastre (1724-1799)
Frantisek Xaver Dussek (1731-1799)
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Manuel Ponce (1882-1948)
Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
Gérard Souzay (1918-2004)
Moisei Vainberg (1919-1996)
James Galway (1939)

and

Horace (65-8 B.C.)
Diego Rivera (1886-1957)
James Thurber (1894-1961)
James Tate (1948)
Mary Gordon (1949)
Bill Bryson (1951)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710)
Hermann Goetz (1840-1876)
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
Ernst Toch (1887-1964)
Rudolf Friml (1879-1972)
Richard Franko Goldman (1910-1980)
Daniel Jones (1912-1993)
Helen Watts (1927-2009)
Harry Chapin (1942-1981)
Daniel Chorzempa (1944)
Tom Waits (1949)
Kathleen Kuhlmann (1950)
Krystian Zimerman (1956)

and

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)
Willa Cather (1873-1947)
Joyce Cary (1888-1957)
Noam Chomsky (1928)
Susan Isaacs (1943)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605)
Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703)
Ira Gershwin (1896-1983)
Dave Brubeck (1920-2012)
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
Henryk Górecki (1933-2010)
Tomas Svoboda (1939)
John Nelson (1941)
Daniel Adni (1951)
Bright Sheng (1955)
Matthew Taylor (1964)

and

Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)
The Encyclopedia Brittanica (1768)
Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995)

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762)
Vitezslav Novák (1870-1949)
"Little" Richard Wayne Penniman (1935-2020)
José Carreras (1946)

Krystian Zimerman (1956)
Osvaldo Golijov (1960)

and

Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830-1894)
Joan Didion (1934)
Calvin Trillin (1935)
John Berendt (1939)
Lydia Millet (1968)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1704, George Frideric Handel (age 19) refuses to turn over the harpsichord to Johann Mattheson (age 23) during a performance of Mattheson's opera "Cleopatra," leading to a sword duel between the two. It is said that during the swordplay, Handel was saved by a button on his coat that deflected Mattheson's mortally-directed blade. The two reconciled on December 30 that year, dining together and attending a rehearsal of Handel's opera "Almira," becoming, as Mattheson put it: "better friends than ever."

Friday, December 4, 2020

Today's Birthdays

André Campra (1660-1744)
Michel Pignolet de Montéclair (1667-1737)
Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1949)
Alex North (1910-1991)
Yvonne Minton (1938)
Lillian Watson (1947)
Andrew Penny (1952)

and

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1891)
Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
Cornell Woolrich (1903-1968)

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Nicolo Amati (1596-1684)
André Campra (1660-1744)
Antonio Soler (1729-1783)
Émile Waldteufel (1837-1915)
Anton Webern (1883-1945)
Halsey Stevens (1908-1989)
Nino Rota (1911-1979)
Irving Fine (1914-1962)
Charles Craig (1919-1997)
Paul Turok (1929-2012)
José Serebrier (1938)
Matt Haimovitz (1970)

and

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Anna Freud (1895-1982)
Zlata Filipović (1980)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Today's Birthdays

Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949)
Rudolf Friml (1879-1972)
Harriet Cohen (1895-1967)
Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970)
Robert Moevs (1920-2007)
Maria Callas (1923-1977)
Jörg Demus (1928-2019)

and

Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859-1891)
T. Coraghessan Boyle (1948)
George Saunders (1958
Ann Patchertt (1963)

And from the Composers Datebook: On this day in 1717, J.S. Bach is allowed to leave the Duke’s Court at Weimar. He had been imprisoned since Nov. 6th by his former employer Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar for accepting a new post at Prince Leopold’s court at Cöthen without first asking permission.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Today's Birthdays

François‑Xavier Richter (1709-1789)
Ernest (Louis-Etienne-Ernest) Reyer (1832-1909)
Agathe Grøndahl (1847-1907)
Gordon Crosse (1932)
Lou Rawls (1933-2006)
Bette Midler (1945)
Rudolf Buchbinder (1946)
Leontina Vaduva (1960)