Monday, May 31, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Marin Marais (1656-1728)
Louise Farrenc (1804-1875)
Billy Mayerl (1902-1959)
Alfred Deller (1912-1979)
Akira Ifukube (1914-2006)
Shirley Verrett (1931-2010)
Peter Yarrow (1938)
Bruce Adolphe (1955)
Marty Ehrlich (1955)

and

Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853)
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Clint Eastwood (1930)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Riccardo Zandonai (1883-1944)
Benny Goodman (1909-1986)
George London (1920-1985)
Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012)
Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)
Zoltan Kocsis (1952)
Anne LeBaron (1953)

and

Howard Hawks (1896-1977)
Colm Toibin (1955)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 30, 1923, 26-year-old composer and conductor Howard Hanson, who would later be one of the founders of the American Music Center, led the world premiere performance of his Nordic Symphony, the first of his seven symphonies and still one of his best-known works, in Rome during his residence as first holder of the American Rome Prize.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Francesco Fanciulli (1853-1915)
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
Rudolf Tobias (1873-1918)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)
Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)
Helmuth Rilling (1933)
Michael Berkley (1948)
Linda Esther Gray (1948)
Melissa Etheridge (1961)

and

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936)
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Steven Levitt (1967)

and

from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1913, Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du printemps" (The Rite of Spring) received its premiere performance in Paris, by Diaghilev's Ballet Russe, Pierre Monteux conducting.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Thomas Arne (1710-1788)
Josiah Flagg (1737-1795)
Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914)
Sir George Dyson(1883-1964)
T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)
Nicola Rescigno (1916-2008)
György Ligeti (1923-2006)
John Culshaw (1924-1980)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012)
Richard Van Allan (1935-2008)
Maki Ishii (1936-2003)
Elena Souliotis (1943-2004)
Levon Chilingirian (1948)

and

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936)
Ian Flemming (1908-1964)
May Swenson (1913-1989)
Walker Percy (1916-1990)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 28, 1957, after several discussions, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (NARAS) was born at a meeting at Hollywood's legendary Brown Derby Restaurant.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jacques Halévy (1799-1862)
Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882)
Louis Durey (1888-1979)
Claude Champagne (1891-1965)
Ernst Wallfisch (1920-1979)
Margaret Buechner (1922-1998)
Thea Musgrave (1928)
Donald Keats (1929-2018)
Elizabeth Harwood (1938-1990)
James Wood (1953)

and

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)
Wild Bill Hickok (1837-1876)
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
John Cheever (1912-1982)
John Barth (1930)
Linda Pastan (1932)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Al Jolson (1886-1950)
Eugene Goossens (1893-1962)
Ernst Bacon (1898-1990)
Vlado Perlemuter (1904-2002)
Moondog (Louis Thomas Hardin) (1916-1999)
François‑Louis Deschamps (1919-2004)
Peggy Lee (1920-2002)
Joseph Horovitz (1926)
Miles Davis (1926-1991)
Teresa Stratas (1938)
William Bolcom (1938)
Howard Goodall (1958)
Armando Bayolo (1973)

and

Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837)
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965)
Frankie Manning (1914-2009)
Alan Hollinghurst (1954)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 26, 1953, Aaron Copland appeared before the Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) of the U.S. House of Representative.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Emotional performance by Zuill Bailey puts a bow on season closer for the Vancouver Symphony

Zuill Bailey gave an impassioned performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major on Saturday afternoon at Skyview Concert Hall in the season-finale for the Vancouver Symphony. His ardent playing amplified the joyful sentiment of the piece, which also served to welcome the return of the orchestra’s music director, Salvador Brotons, after an absence of 14 months due to the world-wide pandemic. To top that off, there was apparently a very small yet enthusiastic audience that made itself known at the conclusion of each piece – a harbinger perhaps of brighter days to come!

With very robust fortes and the tenderest of pianissimos, Bailey seemed to push the boundaries of the Haydn’s concerto into the territory of Romanticism, which made the piece a lot of fun to hear. Right from his initial entry, Bailey made himself known with bold playing and a big, rich sound. He demonstrated impeccable articulation and agility that was expertly shown via camera-close-ups during the fast segments of the piece when his fingers were dancing on the strings and his bow vibrating like the wings of a butterfly.

Bailey’s cadenza at the end of the first movement sort of deconstructed one of the main melodies and then put it back together in a triumphant and exciting way. In the second movement, he created a longing sound that was nicely embraced by the orchestral violins. He executed endless runs of notes that blitzed through the third movement and brought the piece to a thrilling conclusion. During the applause, he exchanged a fist bump with maestro Brotons and an elbow tap with concertmaster Eva Richey.

Speaking extemporaneously with microphone in hand, Bailey dedicated the second piece on the program, Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” to health workers and those who have lost a loved one because of the COVID virus. In an arrangement for cello quartet by Edward Laut, this rendition of “Kol Nidrei” featured Bailey as the soloist accompanied by Vancouver Symphony cellists: Dieter Ratzlaf, Erin Ratzlaf, and Jonah Thomas. Bailey produced a soulful sound that sang ardently against a subtle and solemn backdrop from his three colleagues. The last theme whispered like a prayerful farewell, closing with pillowy soft tones.

Brotons and the orchestra returned in the second half with Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” in an arrangement for 13 instruments plus a couple extra strings (to give a fuller sound as Brotons mentioned in an interview shown during intermission). The ultra-soft sounds from Igor Shakhman’s clarinet perfectly introduced the feeling of a sunrise, and the violins wonderfully sprang into action with striking, almost slashing notes. Lovely contributions by Rachel Rencher and Margaret McShea added to the marvelous ambiance. The ensemble deftly conveyed the daydreamy end of the piece, as if relaxing into a meadow of flowers. Ah!

The concert ended with a solid performance of Ernst Bloch’s “Concerto Grosso” No. 1 for String Orchestra with Piano Obbligato. The strings and piano, expertly played by Michael Liu, got off to a strong start in the first movement, Prelude. This was followed by a gentle and sweet second movement, Dirge, with a meditative solo by concertmaster Richey. The third movement, Pastorale and Rustic Dances, alternated marvelously between plaintive and lively melodies before arriving at a deceptively grand ending. The final movement, Fugue, was celebratory and a joy to experience. And the piece was crowned with exuberant cheering from the audience – a welcome sound that certainly boosted hopes for the hall will again be filled with listeners this fall. That will, indeed, be a celebration to witness.

Today's Birthdays

Thomas "Blind Tom" Bethune (1849-1908)
Miles Davis (1926-1991)
Beverly Sills (1929-2007)
Franco Bonisolli (1937-2003)

and

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
Raymond Carver (1938-1988)
Jamaica Kincaid (1949)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1944, Arturo Toscanini conducts the combined NBC Symphony and New York Philharmonic in a benefit concert of music by Wagner, Verdi, and Sousa at the old Madison Square Garden. The concert raised $100,000 for the Red Cross. During an intermission auction, New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia auctioned off Toscanini's baton for $10,000.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Paul Paray (1886-1979)
Joan Hammond (1912-1986)
Hans‑Martin Linde (1930)
Maurice André (1933-2012)
Harold Budd (1936)
Bob Dylan (1941)
Konrad Boehmer (1941-2014)
Fiona Kimm (1952)
Paul McCreesh (1960)

and

William Trevor (1928-2016)
Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)
Declan Kiberd (1951)
Michael Chabon (1963)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Andrea Luchesi (1741-1801)
Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870)
Louis Glass (1864-1936)
Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
Artie Shaw (1910-2004)
Jean Françaix (1912-1997)
Alicia de Larrocha (1923-2009)
Robert Moog (1934-2005)
Joel Feigin (1951)

and

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)
Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952)
Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Johann Schrammel (1850-1893)
Minna Keal (1909-1999)
Sun Ra (1914-1993)
George Tintner (1917-1999)
Humphrey Lyttelton (1921-2008)
Claude Ballif (1924-2004)
John Browning (1933-2003)
Peter Nero (1934)

and

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) Laurence Olivier (1907-1989)
Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 21, 1893, in an lengthy article published in the New York Herald titled "Real Value of Negro Melodies," Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorak, during his three-year sojourn in the United States, prognosticated that the future of American music should be based on "negro melodies" and announced that the National Conservatory of Music, where he was serving as Director at the time, would be "thrown open free of charge to the negro race." It was to be the first of a total of seven articles in the Herald in which Dvorak expounded these ideas which provoked comments ranging from incredulity to denunciation by composers and performers around the world including Anton Bruckner, Anton Rubinstein and John Knowles Paine.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Joseph Parry (1841-1903)
Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904-1943)
Gina Bachauer (1913-1976)
Heinz Holliger (1939)
Rosalind Plowright (1949)
Linda Bouchard (1957)

and

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989)
Robert Creeley (1926-2005)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Preview of weekend VSO concerts with Zuill Bailey and Salavdor Brotons in The Columbian

My latest preview of this weekend's Vancouver Symphony (WA) concert with Grammy-award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey and the orchestra's maestro Salvador Brotons is now available to read in the online edition of The Columbian newspaper here. The concert marks the return of Brotons from his hometown of Barcelona, Spain to lead the VSO for the first time in 14 months because of the pandemic.



Today's Birthdays

Hephzibah Menuhin (1920-1981)
George Hurst (1926-2012)
Karl Anton Rikenbacher (1940-2014)
Tison Street (1943)
Joe Cocker (1944-2014)
Cher (1946)
Sue Knussen (1949-2003)
Jane Parker-Smith (1950)
Emma Johnson (1966)

and

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667)
Nellie Melba (1859-1931)
Kerstin Thorborg (1896-1970)
Sandy Wilson (1924-2014)
Pete Townshend (1945)
Stephen Varcoe (1949)

and

Malcom X (1925-1965)
Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965)
Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1886, the American premiere of J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (11 selections) was given during the May Festival in Cincinnati, conducted by Theodore Thomas. The next documented performance (12 sections) was given in Boston on February 27, 1887, by the Handel and Haydn Society, with Carl Zerrahn conducting a chorus of 432 and an orchestra of 50. In both the 1886 Cincinnati and 1887 Boston performances, the famous 19-century German soprano Lilli Lehmann appeared as one of the soprano soloists. The first complete performance of the work was apparently given either at the Moravian Church in Bethlehem on Mar 17, 1900, by the Bach Choir under J. Fred Wolf, or at Carnegie Hall in new York on April 5, 1900, by the Oratorio Society, Frank Damrosch conducting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667)
Francesco Maria Piave (1810-1876)
Karl Goldmark (1830-1915)
Ezio Pinza (1892-1947)
Henri Sauguet (1901-1989)
Meredith Willson (1902-1984)
Sir Clifford Curzon (1907-1982)
Perry Como (1912-2001)
Boris Christoff (1914-1993)
Mikko Heiniö (1948)

and

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
Walter Gropius (1883-1969)
Frank Capra (1897-1991)
Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991)
Tina Fey (1970)

Monday, May 17, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Werner Egk (1901-1983)
Sandor Vegh (1905-1997)
Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005)
Dennis Brain (1921-1957)
Peter Mennin (1932-1983)
Taj Mahal (1942)
Paul Crossley (1944)
Brian Rayner Cook (1945)
Bill Bruford (1949)
Ivor Bolton (1958)

and

Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957)
Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959)
Gary Paulsen (1939)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 17, 1846, Belgian-born instrument builder and clarinetist Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone, an instrument that would have a profound impact on American jazz. Over a century later, on May 17, 1957, a computer was used to make music for the first time.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Richard Tauber (1891-1948)
Ivan Vishnegradsy (1893-1979)
Jan Kiepura (1902-1966)
Woody Herman (1913-1987)
Liberace (1919-1987)
Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000)
Betty Carter (1930-1998)
Donald Martino (1931-2005)
Robert Fripp (1946)
Monica Huggett (1953)
Andrew Litton (1959)

and

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)
Louis "Studs" Terkel (1912-2008)
Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)

and from the New Music Box:

On May 16, 1907, Miller Reese Hutchison filed an application at the U.S. Patent Office for his invention, the motor-driven Diaphragm Actuated Horn and Resonator, for use in automobiles. The patent was granted on May 3, 1910. The carhorn would later be used as a musical instrument by numerous composers ranging from George Gershwin in An American in Paris (1928) to Wendy Mae Chambers who developed a Car Horn Organ in 1983.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Michael William Balfe (1808-1870)
Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
Arthur Berger (1912-2003)
John Lanchbery (1923-2003)
Ted Perry (1931-2003)
Richard Wilson (1941)
Brian Eno (1948)

and

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931)
Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980)
Peter Shaffer (1926-2016)
Jasper Johns (1930)
Laura Hillenbrand (1967)

and from The New Music Box:

On May 15, 1972, the Concord Quartet premiered George Rochberg's String Quartet No. 3 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Rochberg, an established serialist composer, shocked the compositional scene by returning to tonality in this composition. Many cite this premiere as the birth of neo-romanticism.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Otto Klemperer (1885-1973)
Sidney Bechet (1897-1959)
Lou Harrison (1917-2003)
Aloys Kontarsky (1931-2017)
Peter Skellern (1947)
Maria de La Pau (1950)
Helen Field (1951)
David Byrne (1952)

and

Hal Borland (1900-1978)
Mary Morris (1947)

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)
Constantin Silverstri (1913-1969)
William Schwann (1913-1998)
Gareth Morris (1920-2007)
Ritchie Valens (1941-1959)
Jane Glover (1949)
Stevie Wonder (1950)
David Hill (1957)
Tasmin Little (1965)

and

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989)
Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989)
Kathleen Jamie (1962)

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1875, the American premiere of J.S. Bach's "Magnificat" took place during the May Festival in Cincinnati, conducted by Theodore Thomas. The Cincinnati Commercial review of May 14 was not favorable: "The work is difficult in the extreme and most of the chorus abounds with rambling sub-divisions. We considering the ‘Magnifcat' the weakest thing the chorus has undertaken . . . possessing no dramatic character and incapable of conveying the magnitude of the labor that has been expended upon its inconsequential intricacies. If mediocrity is a mistake, the ‘Magnifcat' is the one error of the Festival". Thomas also conducted the next documented performance in Boston on Mar. 1, 1876 (for which composer John Knowles Paine performed as organ accompanist to a chorus of 300).

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Johann Baptist Wanha (Vanhal) (1739-1813)
Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812)
Giovanni Viotti (1755-1824)
Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)
Burt Bacharach (1928)
Anthony Newman (1941)
Dalmacio Gonzalez (1945)
Doris Soffel (1948)

and

Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Rosellen Brown (1939)

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jan Václav (1791-1825)
Anatoly Liadov (1855-1914)
Alma Gluck (1884-1938)
Irving Berlin (1888-1939)
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
Ross Pople (1945)
Judith Weir (1954)
Cecile Licad (1961)

and

Martha Graham (1894-1991)
Mari Sandoz (1896-1966)
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Francisco "Paco" Umbral (1932-2007)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Carlos Kalmar hired as Director of Orchestral & Conducting Programs and Principal Conductor at the Cleveland Institute of Music


Carlos Kalmar has a new gig to go with his position as the artistic cirector and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. You can read all about it here.

Today's Birthdays

Jean‑Marie Leclair (1697-1764)
Max Steiner (1888-1971)
Dmitri Tiomkin (1894-1979)
Maybelle Carter (1909-1978)
Artie Shaw (1910-2004)
Richard Lewis (1914-1990)
Milton Babbitt (1916-2011)
Maxim Shostakovich (1938)
Lori Dobbins (1958)

and

Karl Barth (1886-1968)
Fred Astaire (1899-1987)
Barbara Taylor Bradford (1933)

and from The New Music Box:

On May 10, 1987, David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe produced the first-ever Bang on a Can Marathon, a twelve-hour concert at the SoHo gallery Exit Art combining music by Milton Babbitt, Steve Reich, John Cage, George Crumb, Lois V Vierk, Lee Hyla, Aaron Kernis, Phill Niblock and others.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)
Adolph von Henselt (1814-1889)
Jacques Singer (1910-1980)
Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005)
Nigel Douglas (1929)
Billy Joel (1949)
Michel Beroff (1950)
Joy Harjo (1951)
Linda Finnie (1952)
Anne Sofie von Otter (1955)
Alison Hagley (1961)

and

James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937)
Alan Bennett (1934)
Charles Simic (1938)

Saturday, May 8, 2021

"Flight” soars in filmed version by Seattle Opera

Sharleen Joynt as the Controller | Video still by Kyle Seago

Seattle Opera’s film production of “Flight” soared with excellent singing, acting and storytelling, taking this not-so-well-known opera on a new trajectory across laptops and tablets in living rooms around the globe. Directed by Brian Staufenbiel, this innovative, cinematic presentation of Jonathan Dove’s opera made terrific use of The Museum of Flight, repositioning it as an airport lounge and the deck of the traffic controller. Through a variety of close-ups, wide shots, split screens, and other visual wizardly – thanks to film director and sound designer Kyle Seago – “Flight” connected terrifically as a modern comic gem.

Commissioned by Glyndebourne and written in 1998 by Dove with a libretto by April De Angelis, “Flight” is based loosely on the real-life drama of an Iranian refugee, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived for 18 years in Charles de Gaulle Airport. In “Flight” the role of the Refugee was beautifully expressed by Randall Scotting, whose mellifluous countertenor expressed dreams and hopes that exist far beyond the departure lounge.

But “Flight” does not revolve merely around the predicament of the Refugee. Rather, it conveys the experience of nine additional characters as they crisscross each other at the airport terminal. There’s Bill and Tina, sung persuasively by Joshua Kohl and Karen Vuong, respectively, seeking to rekindle their love for each other despite ongoing doubts by taking a vacation to a romantic destination.

Another couple, the Minksman and the Minskwoman, had their own set of troubles. Aubrey Allicock was terrifically convincing as the self-centered diplomat who looked forward to his promotion to the cold, gray capital city in a remote land, but he was countered equally perfectly Karin Mushegain as the pregnant wife, whose last-minute refusal to board their plane stuck her overnight at the airport.

Margaret Gawrysiak, marvelously created the Older Woman, who hoped to meet a much younger lover. With effervescent smiles and ready-to-please demeanor, Sarah Larson as the Stewardess and Joseph Lattanzi as the Steward cheerfully covered any issue when it was announced that all flights would be delayed because of violent weather.

Sharleen Joynt’s coloratura soprano travels amazingly sky-high when describing the wonder of jets coming and going, and she easily put a glint of steel into her voice when conveying disgust at the randy assignations between the Steward and Stewardess.

Damien Geter embodied an understanding Immigration officer with a resonant bass-baritone. The Refugee has a magic stone that his gives away, but that gesture has unanticipated consequences.

Randall Scotting as The Refugee and Damien Geter as the Immigration Officer | Philip Newton photo

 The chamber orchestra, conducted expertly by Viswa Subbaraman, sounded excellent throughout. One of the big ensemble numbers was wonderfully presented as a configuration of Zoom-like boxes on the instrument console of a plane.

Although this opera is lightweight, it proved to be an excellent anecdote for those of us who, like the otherworldly Refugee, are stuck at home. The libretto is witty for the most part and the music is very accessible with some segments – such as the opening when planes are taking off – that remind me a lot of John Adams’ style.

The high quality of the film makes me wonder what other operas can be undertaken with a cinematic lens. Perhaps the operatic film could become a new genre unto itself. There are certainly a lot of possibilities especially for new works that have yet to be imagined.

Today's Birthdays

Carl Philipp Stamitz (1745-1801)
Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)
Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981)
Heather Harper (1930-2019)
Carlo Cossutta (1932-2000)
Keith Jarrett (1945)
Felicity Lott (1947)

and

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)
Edmund Wilson (1895-1972)
Gary Snyder (1930)
Thomas Pynchon (1937)
Roddy Doyle (1958)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Anton Seidl (1850-1898)
Edmond Appia (1894-1961)
Elisabeth Soderstrom (1927-2009)
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981)
Philip Lane (1950)
Robert Spano (1961)

and

Olympe de Gouge (1748-1793)
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1962)
Angela Carter (1940-1992)
Peter Carey (1943)

and from The New Music Box:

On May 7, 1946, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering is founded with about 20 employees. The company, later renamed Sony, would eventually invent the home video tape recorder, the Walkman and the Discman, as well as take-over Columbia Records, later CBS Records, which under the leadership of composer Goodard Lieberson (1956-1973) released numerous recordings of music by American composers.

and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1824, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 ("Choral") was premiered at the Kärntnertor Theater in Vienna, with the deaf composer on stage beating time, but with the performers instructed to follow the cues of Beethoven's assistant conductor, Michael Umlauf.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Jascha Horenstein (1898-1973)
George Perle (1915-2009)
Godfrey Ridout (1918-1984)
Murry Sidlin (1940)
Ghena Dimitrova (1941-2005)
Nathalie Stutzmann (1965)

and

Robert Peary (1856-1920)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)
Orson Wells (1915-1985)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872)
Hans Pfizner (1869-1947)
Maria Caniglia (1905-1979)
Kurt Böhme (1908-1989)
Charles Rosen (1927-2012)
Mark Ermler (1932-2002)
Tammy Wynette (1942-1998)
Bunita Marcus (1952)
Cédric Tiberghien (1975)

and

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Nellie Bly (1864-1922)
Christopher Morley (1890-1957)
James Beard (1903-1985)
Kaye Gibbons (1960)

From the New Music Box:

On May 5, 1891, Walter Damrosch led the New York Philharmonic in the very first concert in the large auditorium at Carnegie Hall, now called Stern Auditorium. The program consisted entirely of European repertoire: Beethoven’s "Leonore Overture No. 3," Berlioz’s "Te Deum," Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky "Festival Coronation March" (with the composer making a guest appearance on the podium), the hymn "The Old One Hundred" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (then America's unofficial national anthem although the tune is that of the British anthem "God Save The Queen").

This was not actually the first concert in the building, however. On April 1, Liszt-pupil Franz Rummel had already given an all-European solo piano recital in the space that now holds Zankel Hall. The oldest known program for the third of Carnegie's stages, what is now called Weill Recital Hall, a chamber music concert produced by the Society for Ethical Culture, dates back to October 31, 1891 and included the song "At Twilight" by the American composer Ethelbert Nevin.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Marianne (Anna Katharina) von Martínez (1744-1812)
Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)
Emil Nikolaus Von Reznicek (1860-1945)
Mátyás Seiber (1905-1960)
Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924-1993)
Roberta Peters (1930-2017)
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1931)
Marisa Robles (1937)
Enrique Batiz (1942)
Peter Ware (1951)

and

Horace Mann (1796-1859)
Frederick Church (1826-1900)
Graham Swift (1949)
David Guterson (1956)

Monday, May 3, 2021

Article about Oregon Symphony's Studio125 available online



The Oregon Symphony has a lot of digital content that you can access gratis online. I have written an article about this, and it was published in Oregonlive here. It will appear in the printed edition of The Oregonian this Friday.

Today's Birthdays

Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682)
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901)
Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Bing Crosby (1903-1977)
Sir William Glock (1908-2000)
Léopold Simoneau (1916-2006)
Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
John Lewis (1920-2001)
James Brown (1933-2006)
Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012)

and

Niccol Machiavelli (1469-1527)
Jacob Riis (1849-1914)
May Sarton (1912-1995)
William Inge (1913-1973)
Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000)

From the New Music Box:

On May 3, 1943, William Schumann received the very first Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Secular Cantata No. 2 - A Free Song, a work published by G. Schirmer and premiered by the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Serge Koussevitzky on March 26, 1943.
and from the Composers Datebook:

On this day in 1971, debut broadcast of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" was made with an electronic theme by composer Don Voegeli of the University of Wisconsin (In 1974, Voegeli composed a new electronic ATC theme, the now-familiar signature tune of the program).

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Jean‑Baptiste Barrière (1707-1747)
Ludwig August Lebrun (1752-1790)
Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874)
Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922)
Lorenz Hart (1894-1943)
Alan Rawstorne (1905-1971)
Jean‑Marie Auberson (1920-2004)
Arnold Black (1923-2000)
Philippe Herreweghe (1947)
Valery Gergiev (1953)
Elliot Goldenthal (1954)

and

Jerome K Jerome (1859-1927)
Dr. Benjamin Spock (1904-1998)

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Today's Birthdays

Marin Marais (1656-1728)
Louise Farrenc (1804-1875)
Billy Mayerl (1902-1959)
Alfred Deller (1912-1979)
Akira Ifukube (1914-2006)
Shirley Verrett (1931-2010)
Peter Yarrow (1938)
Bruce Adolphe (1955)
Marty Ehrlich (1955)

and

Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853)
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Clint Eastwood (1930)