Sunday, January 31, 2021

Today's Birthdays

François Devienne (1759-1803)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Caroline Miolan‑Carvalho (1827-1895)
James Huneker (1857–1921)
Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950)
Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940)
Nathan Milstein (1904-1992)
Benjamin Frankel (1906-1973)
Alan Lomax (1915-2002)
Jaap Schröder (1925-2020)
Odetta (1930-2008)
Philip Glass (1937)
Stephen Cleobury (1948)
Donna Summer (1948-2012)
George Benjamin (1960)
Jennifer Higdon (1962)

and

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Zane Grey (1872-1939)
John O'Hara (1905-1970)
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773)
Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935)
Walter Damrosch (1862-1950)
Mitch Leigh (1928-2014)
Lynn Harrell (1944)
Silvia Marcovici (1952)
Gerald Finley (1960)

and

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989)
Shirley Hazzard (1931-2016)
Richard Brautigan (1935-1984)

Friday, January 29, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777)
Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (1782-1871)
Frederic Hymen Cowen (1852-1935)
Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
Havergal Brian (1876-1972)
Blanche Selva (1884-1942)
Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
Myer Fredman (1932-2014)
Malcolm Binns (1936)
Cho-Liang Lin (1960)

and

W. C. Fields (1880-1946)
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1826 was the premiere of Schubert's String Quartet in D minor, "Death and the Maiden," as a unrehearsed reading at the Vienna home of Karl and Franz Hacker, two amateur musicians. Schubert, who usually played viola on such occasions, could not perform since he was busy copying out the parts and making last-minute corrections.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Antonio Bartolomeo Bruni (1757-1821)
Ferdinand Herold (1791-1833)
Alexander Mackenzie (1822-1892)
Arthur Rubinstein (1887-1982)
Vittorio Rieti (1898-1994)
Michael Head (1900-1976)
Ronnie Scott (1927-1996)
Acker Bilk (1929-2014)
Sir John Tavener (1944-2013)
Richard Danielpour (1956)

and

Colette (1873-1954)
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
Claes Oldenburg (1929)
David Lodge (1935)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Juan Crisostomo Arriage (1806-1826)
Edouard Lalo (1823-1892)
Jerome Kern (1885-1945)
Jack Brymer (1915-2003)
Skitch Henderson (1918-2005)
Helmut Zacharias (1920-2002)
Fritz Spiegl (1926-2003)
John Ogdon (1937-1989)
Jean-Philippe Collard (1948)
Emanuel Pahud (1970)
James Ehnes (1976)

and

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
Dmitry Mandeleyev (1834-1907)
Mikhail Baryshnikov (1948)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795)
Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905-1987)
Stéphane Grappelli (1908-1997)
Jimmy Van Heusen (1913-1990)
Warren Benson (1924-2005)
Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987)
Frédéric Lodéon (1952)
Mikel Rouse (1957)
Gustavo Dudamel (1981)

and

Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905)
Seán MacBride (1904-1988)
Jules Feiffer (1929)
Christopher Hampton (1946)
Ellen DeGeneres (1958)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1790, Mozart's opera, "Così fan tutte," was premiered in Vienna at the Burgtheater.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jan Blockx (1851-1912)
Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954)
Julia Smith (1905-1989)
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Alfred Reed (1921-2005)
Etta James (1938-2012)
Russell Peck (1945-2009)

and

Robert Burns (1759-1796)
W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Farinelli (Carlo Maria Broschi) (1705-1782)
Frederick II the Great (1712-1786)
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822)
Evelyn Barbirolli (1911-2008)
Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008)
Gottfried von Einem (1918-1996)
Leon Kirchner (1919-2009)
Neil Diamond (1941)
Yuri Bashmet (1953)
Warren Zevon (1947-2003)

and

William Congreve (1670-1729)
Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Desmond Morris (1928)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)
Rutland Boughton (1878-1960)
Django Reinhardt (1910-1953)
Milton Adolphus (1913-1988)
Eli Goren (1923-2000)
Cécile Ousset (1936)
Teresa Zylis-Gara (1936)
John Luther Adams (1953)
Mason Bates (1977)

and

Stendhal (1783-1842)
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1894, Czech composer Antonin Dvorák presents a concert of African-American choral music at Madison Square Concert Hall in New York, using an all-black choir, comprised chiefly of members of the St. Philip's Colored Choir. On the program was the premiere performance of Dvorák's own arrangement of Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home," which featured vocal soloists Sissierette Jones and Harry T. Burleigh.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Young artists and Ioannides shine in VSO concert

The Vancouver Symphony topped its previous livestream performances with an impressive outing (January 17) by the winners of last year’s young artist competition and the guest conductor Sarah Ioannides. The youth, pianist Jacob Nenow, violinist Hanami Froom, and oboist Ben Price, had to wait a year before they finally got their chance to take the spotlight at Skyview Concert Hall. If that weren’t enough, they also had to learn a new piece of music, because the pandemic has forced the orchestra into a strings-only formation. Wow! These kids are not only talented, they know how to persevere, and that counts for a lot in today’s world.

The concert started with Jacob Nenow’s impeccable performance of the first movement of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor (BWV 1052). Nenow, a 16-year-old sophomore at Jesuit High School, delivered clear, crystalline lines with terrific command. His fingers deftly executing runs and the numerous alterations of passages that seemed to build and build before descending and resolving to a satisfying conclusion.

Hanami Froom, who is 14-year-old freshman at the Oregon Virtual Academy, excelled in her performance of Tomaso Vitali’s “Chaconne” in G minor. Against the opening, dirge-like phrase, she projected a poignant melody that transitioned into a series of 20 variations. She executed each one flawlessly with a beautiful tone that could dance, strike a plaintive pose, skip joyfully, and just plain sing out. It was delight to hear.

The first and third movements from Ralph Vaughn William’s Oboe Concerto were exquisitely played by Ben Price. Because the oboe is a notoriously difficult instrument to play (imagine spending hours just to make reed mouthpieces), it was awesome to hear this virtuosic concerto given such an outstanding interpretation by Price, who is a 17-year-old junior at Grant High School. He created lovely sounds that conveyed a bucolic scene in the English countryside. He fashioned trills, ascended to high notes, and generated playful passages with ease, making the piece a memorable delight.

Ioannides, who is the Music Director of Symphony Tacoma, provided spot-on conducting, making sure that the orchestra never overpowered the soloists. But she shined the most when conducting the orchestra-only pieces: Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony.”

Before playing the “Adagio,” Ioannides spoke directly to the online audience and dedicated the performance to all those who have been affected by the pandemic. After putting her mask on, she urged the orchestra with incisive commitment and passion so that the music became an inspired expression of sadness and hope. The stirring crescendo at the climax was truly striking and heartrendingly contrasted with the hushed diminuendo that followed. It was some of the most emotive playing that I have ever heard from the strings.

It is totally fitting that this knockout performance was rebroadcasted by PBS NewsHour, and you can still watch it online by clicking here.

Ioannides also led the orchestra in an invigorating performance of the “Simple Symphony.” The first movement, “Boisterous Bourrée,” had a lively and infectious spirit. The second, “Playful Pizzicato,” offered a delightfully lithe exchange of picking and strumming. The third, “Sentimental Sarabande,” transitioned seamlessly from a heavy, tragic sentiment to a lighter waltz before returning to the serious side, which concluded with a searing statement from the bass violins. The fourth, “Frolicsome Finale,” wrapped things up with a wink and a nod. A highlight of this movement was a brief, rowdy passage when the camera caught Ioannides puffing up her shoulders as if to imitate a group of guys. That was brilliant conducting!

The sound quality of this performance was the best yet. I don’t know if the VSO technicians are changing things or if my ears are just getting more attuned to the sound from my laptop. In any case, I could hear the bass a lot better and the pizzicatos and strumming came across clearly. There is nothing like the concert hall, but until COVID-19 subsides and disappears, the quality of the online concerts are improving greatly. Kudos to the VSO.

Today's Birthdays

Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727-1799)
Charles Tournemire (1870-1939)
Hans Erich Apostel (1901-1972)
Robin Milford (1903-1959)
Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981)
Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013)
William Warfield (1920-2002)
Leslie Bassett (1923-2016)
James Louis ("J.J.") Johnson (1924-2001)
Aurèle Nicolet (1926-2016)
Uto Ughi (1944)
Myung-whun Chung (1953)

and

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781)
Lord Byron (1788-1824)
August Strindberg (1849-1912)
Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948)
Howard Moss (1922-1987)
Joseph Wambaugh (1937)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day, in 1907, the Metropolitan Opera production of Richard Strauss' opera "Salome," with soprano Olive Fremstad in the title role, creates a scandal. The opera is dropped after a single performance, and not staged at the Met again until the 1930s.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Henri Duparc (1848-1933)
Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977)
Webster Booth (1902-1984)
Placido Domingo (1941)
Richie Havens (1941-2013)
Edwin Starr (1942-2003)
Suzanne Mentzer (1957)
Frank Ticheli (1958)

and

Louis Menand (1952)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630)
Ernest Chausson (1855-1899)
Julius Conus (1869-1942)
Józef Hofmann (1876-1957)
Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly) (1889-1949)
Walter Piston (1894-1976)
Eva Jessye (1895-1992)
Yvonne Loriod (1924-2010)
David Tudor (1926-1996)
Antonio de Almeida (1928-1997)
Iván Fischer (1951)

and

George Burns (1896-1996)
Alexandra Danilova (1903-1997)
Federico Fellini (1920-1993)
Edward Hirsch (1950)
Tami Hoag (1959)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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 (1931-2019)
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)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Portland Chamber Orchestra celebrates women composers in livestreamed concert

The music of Louise Farrenc, Nadia Boulanger, Florence Price, and Maria Theresia von Paradis highlighted a livestreamed concert (January 16) presented by Portland Chamber Orchestra at Nordia House. Because of their gender and/or race, these composers have long been overlooked and neglected. So, it was refreshing to hear a number of rare pieces expertly played as part of the PCO’s “Shared Horizons” program.

Two movements from Farrenc’s Quintet No. 1 bookended the concert, opening with the second and closing with the first. Farrenc (1804-1875) was an acclaimed concert pianist and taught at the Paris Conservatory for 30 years, but her works have been languishing in obscurity until the interest in women composers over the last couple of decades.

The PCO ensemble, featuring violinists Lily Burton, violist Shauna Keyes, cellist Katherine Schultz, bass violinist Marc Bescond, and pianist Maria Garcia, performed the two movements from the Quintet with great sensitivity, delivering a very balanced sound across all instruments. Schultz’s warm cello added a lot of character to the lovely melodic lines, which were exchanged at times between the players. Garcia deftly ran over her fingers all over the keyboard in the exciting finale.

Boulanger (1887-1979) earned international acclaim as the teacher of a long list of great composers of the Twentieth Century. But early in her career she wrote number of gems, including “Trois pièces” (“Three pieces”), which received an outstanding performance by Schultz and Garcia. They created dance-like textures, then built up tension that resolved into an ethereal stream before returning to the dance-like theme at the beginning of the piece.

Schultz and Garcia also collaborated wonderfully in the “Sicilienne” of von Paradis, establishing a calm yet refined mood. Von Paradis (1759-1824) was a brilliant pianist who lost her eyesight at an early age but stlll was able to learn 60 concertos and other works because of her accurate hearing and exceptional memory. Among her many compositions, the “Sicilienne” is probably the best known.

In 1993, the Chicago Symphony premiered the Symphony in E minor by Florence Price (1887-1953), making her the first African-American woman to have a work played by a major orchestra. Yet, although she had successes, her work was totally forgot and almost eliminated until a trove of manuscripts were found in a run-down house in rural Illinois. Garcia teamed up with Bescond to deliver a soothing interpretation of Price’s “Adoration.”

Garcia spoke about her time in Norway when she gave a recital on Edvard Grieg’s piano at his summer home. She also mentioned the piano that she used in this concert, a refurbished grand that had belonged to Boris Sirpo, the founder of the PCO. This introduction nicely segued to her playing a selection of Grieg’s “Lyric Pieces.” Garcia excelled with a dreamy “Arietta,” followed by a lively folk melody, then a fluttering “Sommerfugl” (“Butterfly”), and ending with an enchanting “Notturno.”

Keyes and Schultz reached back to the Baroque era to give an evocative sarabande and aria by Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco. With Bescond, they then switched things up with an expressive “La Vie en rose” in tribute to French chanteuse Édith Piaf.

With a nod to heritage of Nordia House, we got a dose of Scandinavian fiddle music. Burton, Keyes, and Bescond performed a “walking tune” in which musicians would walk from town to town to bring people together almost like a pied piper. They also played the toe-tapping polka number.

Each musician took turns introducing at least one piece on the program. Their commentary contained a lot of valuable and entertaining information that added context and a bit of personal flair.

The chat window provided an excellent way for the audience to communicate applause for the performers and for listeners to communicate with each other.

Overall, the sound quality was very good, which speaks well of the technical staff and the quality of the room in Nordia House. I have to admit that I would like to hear a concert there in person – after the pandemic is gone.

Today's Birthdays

César Cui (1835-1918)
Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894)
John Laurence Seymour (1893-1986)
Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1996)
Anthony Galla-Rini (1904-2006)
John O'Conor (1947)
Anthony Pople (1955-2003)
Christoph Prégardien (1956)

and

Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869)
Rubén Darío (1867-1916)
A. A. Milne (1882-1956)
Oliver Hardy (1892-1957)

FYI: Roget's "Thesaurus" has never been out of print since it was first published in 1852.

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1958, "What Does Music Mean?", broadcast, the first of a series of televised New York Philharmonic "Young People's Concerts" on CBS-TV hosted by Leonard Bernstein. The series continued until 1972, with 53 different programs hosted by Bernstein

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
John Stanley (1712-1786)
Johann Gottfried Müthel (1728-1788)
François‑Joseph Gossec (1734-1829)
Henk Badings (1907-1987)
Oscar Morawetz (1917-2007)
Annie Delorie (1925-2009)
Donald Erb (1927-2008)
Jean Barraqué (1928-1973)
Sydney Hodkinson (1934)
Dame Gillian Weir (1941)
Anne Queffélec (1948)
Augustin Dumay (1949)
Nancy Argenta (1957)
Gérard Pesson (1958)

and

Anne Brontë (1820-1849)
William Stafford (1914-1993)
Luis López Nieves (1950)
Sebastian Junger (1962)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Preview of young artists concert in The Columbian

Friday's issue of The Columbian newspaper contains my preview of this weekend's Vancouver Symphony concert. The concert features the winners of last year's Young Artist contest. These winners had to wait twelve months before they could perform with the orchestra. So this weekend, they will be livestreamed from the Skyview Concert Hall with members of the orchestra. Sarah Ioannides, Music Director of Symphony Tacoma, will conduct.

Today's Birthdays

Niccoló Piccinni (1728-1800)
Daisy Kennedy (1893-1981)
Ernesto Halffter (1905-1989)
Roger Wagner (1914-1992)
Ernesto Bonino (1922-2008)
Pilar Lorengar (1928-1996)
Marilyn Horne (1934)
Richard Wernick (1934)
Gavin Bryars (1943)
Brian Ferneyhough (1943)
Katia Ricciarelli (1946)

and

Robert Service (1874-1958)
Anthony Hecht (1923-2004)
William Kennedy (1928)
Susan Sontag (1933-2004)
Mary Karr (1955)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (1980)

Friday, January 15, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Ivor Novello (1893-1951)
Elie Siegmeister (1909-1991)
Malcolm Frager (1935-1991)
Don "Captain Beefheart" Van Vliet (1941-2010)
Aaron Jay Kernis (1960)

and

Molière (1622-1673)
Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872)
Andreas William Heinesen (1900-1991)
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1941 Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" was premiered at Stalag VIII-A, a German prisoner of war camp in Görlitz (Silesia), with the composer at the piano and fellow-prisoners Jean Le Boulaure (violin), Henri Akoka (clarinet), and Etienne Pasquier (cello).

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Ludwig von Köchel (1800-1877)
Jean de Reszke (1850-1925)
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
Louis Quilico (1925-2000)
Zuzana Ruzickova (1927-2017)
Siegmund Nimsgern (1940)
Mariss Jansons (1943)
Kees Bakels (1945)
Nicholas McGegan (1950)
Ben Heppner (1956)
Andrew Manze (1965)

and

John Dos Passos (1896-1970)
Emily Hahn (1905-1997)
Maureen Dowd (1952)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Inauguration Fanfare for Joe and Kamala to be livestreamed Jan 19th

YAY! From the press release:

In celebration of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Classical Movements, in collaboration with world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop, has formed the Hope & Harmony Ensemble.

The 14 musicians represent the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Peabody Institute, South Asian Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony.

The virtual “Fanfare for Joe & Kamala” features two masterpieces of American classical music that perfectly represent our President- and Vice President-Elect: Aaron Copland’s iconic “Fanfare for the Common Man”; and Joan Tower’s dynamic “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.”

Conceived and produced by Classical Movements, join us for this powerful “Inauguration Fanfare for Joe and Kamala,” streaming on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, January 19 at 12pm EST.

Teaser video!

Today's Birthdays

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749)
Vassili Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
Richard Addinsell (1904-1977)
Daniil Shafran (1923-1997)
Renato Bruson (1936)
Paavo Heininen (1938)
William Duckworth (1943-2012)
Richard Blackford (1954)
Wayne Marshall (1961)
Juan Diego Flórez (1973)

and

Horatio Alger (1832-1899)
Lorrie Moore (1957)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Recommendations for livestreamed concerts in The Oregonian

My list of recommended livestreamed concerts for Portlanders is available in The Oregonian online here. The print version will appear on Friday. I hope that you enjoy reading the aritcle.

Today's Birthdays

Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739)
Jacques Duphly (1715-1789)
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948)
Pierre Bernac (1899-1979)
William Pleeth (1916-1999)
Leo Smit (1921-1999)
Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
Salvatore Martirano (1927-1995)
Anne Howells (1941)
Viktoria Postnikova (1944)
Lori Laitman (1955)

and

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Jack London (1876-1916)
Haruki Murakami (1949)

Monday, January 11, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Christian Sinding (1856-1941)
Reihold Glière (1875-1956)
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Mark DeVoto (1940)
York Höller (1944)
Drew Minter (1955)
Alex Shapiro (1962)

and

William James (1842-1910)
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)
Alan Paton (1903-1988)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1925, Copland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra was premiered at Aeolian Hall in New York City by the New York Symphony conducted by Walter Damrosch, with Nadia Boulanger the soloist.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jean Martinon (1910-1976)
Sidney Griller (1911-1993)
Dean Dixon (1915-1976)
Milton Babbitt (1916-2011)
Max Roach (1924-2007)
Sherrill Milnes (1935)
Rod Stewart (1945)
James Morris (1947)
Mischa Maisky (1948)
Rockwell Blake (1951)
Charles Norman Mason (1955)
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (1961)

and

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)
Philip Levine (1928-2015)
Stephen E. Ambrose (1936-2002)

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Today's Birthdays

John Knowles Paine (1839-1906)
Rudolf Bing (1902-1997)
Herva Nelli (1909-1994)
Henriette Puig‑Roget (1910-1992)
Pierre Pierlot (1921-2007)
Joan Baez (1941)
Scott Walker (1944)
Jimmy Page (1944)
Waltraud Meier (1956)
Hillevi Martinpelto (1958)
Nicholas Daniel (1962)

and

Karel Čapek (1890-1938)
Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935)
Richard Halliburton (1901-1939)
Brian Friel (1929-2015)
Michiko Kakutani (1955)

Friday, January 8, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jean Gilles (1668-1705)
Lowell Mason (1792-1872)
Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871)
Hans von Bülow (1830-1894)
Jaromir Weinberger (1896-1967)
Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
Giorgio Tozzi (1923-2011)
Robert Starer (1924-2001)
Benjamin Lees (1924-2010)
Elvis Presley (1935-1977)
Zdeněk Mácal (1936)
Robert Moran (1937)
Evgeny Nesterenko (1938)
Elijah Moshinsky (1946)
Paul Dresher (1951)
Vladimir Feltsman (1952)

and

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)
Bronislava Nijinska (1891-1972)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1923, the first broadcast in England of an opera direct from a concert hall took place, Mozart's "The Magic Flute" via the BBC from London.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Clara Haskil (1895-1960)
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
John Brownlee (1900-1969)
Nicanor Zabaleta (1907-1993)
Günter Wand (1912-2002)
Ulysses Kay (1917-1995)
John Lanigan (1921-1996)
Jean-Pierre Rampal (1922-2000)
Tommy Johnson (1935-2006)
Iona Brown (1941-2004)
Richard Armstrong (1943)

and

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
Hugh Kenner (1923-2003)
Nicholson Baker (1957)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1955, Marian Anderson made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Ulrica in Verdi's "Un Ballo in Mascera" (A Masked Ball). She was the first African-American singer to perform as an opera soloist on the Met stage. Subsequent distinguished African-American singers who performed as members of the Met company included Robert McFerrin, Sr. (Bobby McFerrin Jr.’s father), Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Kahtleen Battle and Jessye Norman.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Max Bruch (1838-1920)
Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924)
Georges Martin Witkowski (1867-1943)
Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)
Karl Straube (1873-1950)
Earl Kim (1920-1998)
David Bernstein (1942)
Alexander Baillie (1956)

and

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)
Wright Morris (1910-1998)
E. L. Doctorow (1931-1915)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1733, this notice appears in the Leipzig newspaper Nachtricht auch Frag u. Anzeiger: "Tonight at 8 o'clock there will be a Bach Concert at the Zimmermann Coffeehouse on Catharine Street". This presumably featured secular vocal works, chamber music and concertos performed by the Leipzig Collegium, an ensemble directed by J.S. Bach.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755)
Constanza Mozart (1762-1842)
Peter Wolle (1792-1871)
Frederick Converse (1871-1940)
Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951)
Nicolai Roslavets (1881-1944)
Reginald Smith-Brindle (1917-2003)
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995)
Laszlo Heltay (1930-2019)
Alfred Brendel (1931)
Maurizio Pollini (1942)

and

Stella Gibbons(1902-1989)
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990)
W. D. Snodgrass (1926-2009)
Umberto Eco (1932-2016)
Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938)
Charlie Rose (1942)

Monday, January 4, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Giovanni Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774)
Josef Suk (1874-1935)
Frank Wess (1922-2013)
Grace Bumbry (1937)
Joseph Turrin (1947)
Margaret Marshall (1949)
Ronald Corp (1951)
Peter Seiffert (1954)
Boris Berezovsky (1969)

and

Sir Issac Newton (1642-1727)
Jacob Grimm (1785-1863)
Louis Braille (1809-1852)
Augustus John (1878-1961)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (1943)

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1950, RCA announces it will produce long play records as Columbia did two years earlier (RCA had unsuccessfully attempted to compete with Columbia's new 33.3-rpm LPs by issuing some of their classical catalog as multiple disc 45-rpm sets).

Sunday, January 3, 2021

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)

Saturday, January 2, 2021

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.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Today's Birthdays - Happy New Year

Charles Racquet (1598-1664)
Frederick William Gaisberg (1873-1951)
Edwin Franko Goldman (1878-1956)
Artur Rodzinski (1892-1958)
Erich Schmid (1907-2001)
Trude Rittmann (1908-2005)
Milt Jackson (1923-1999)
Richard Verreau (1926-2005)
Maurice Béjart (1927-2007)
Bernard Greenhouse (1916-2011)
Alberto Portugheis (1941)

and

And from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1585, composer Giovanni Gabrieli became the second organist at St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. His uncle, the composer Andrea Gabrieli, was the first organist.

On this day in 1908, Gustav Mahler made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, leading a performance of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde."