Updates to 52composers.com plus composer related events and anniversaries.
1/1/1782 J C Bach died
Today is the birthday of the English composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872 - 1958)
1/10/1865 Paul Dukas born
One of the strangest stories in music history is the theft of Haydn's head by phrenologists shortly after he died,
This feisty lady was not only a talented composer but also a political activist. She played an important part in the suffragette movement and was jailed for smashing the windows of an important politician.
01/05/1904 Dvorak died
100 years ago today Enrique Granados (1867–1916) died in on his way back from the United States following the performance of Goyescas at the Metropolitan Opera on 28 January 1916. The passenger ferry in which he was travelling to England, the Sussex, was torpedoed and damaged by a German U-boat. Granados and his wife were drowned.
Next year will be the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Before the use of batons conductors used long sticks and hit those to the floor in the rhythm of the music which was the practice of the time during the Baroque era. The French composer Jean Baptiste Lully, musical director of the court of Louis XIV, also used these. On the 8th of January in 1687 when he preformed his famous "Te deum". The stick he used struck his toe by accident, creating an abscess. The wound turned gangrenous, but Lully refused to have his toe amputated and the gangrene spread, resulting in his death on 22 March. This is a scene from the motion picture "Le roi danse" ("The king is dancing") which acts out this peculiar event.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi died aged only 26 years old. Yet he left a considerable volume of work and was credited with being the 'Father of Comic Opera'.
Alexander Borodin died on 27 February 1887, age 53 while dancing at a party.
He was a truly amazing person: eminent Russian organic chemist, 'amateur' composer, poet, writer, fighter for women's rights, philanthropist.
Mikhail Glinka died on 15 February 1857, age 52.
Mikhail Glinka was the founder of the nationalist school of Russian composers and is often regarded as the father of Russian classical music. Glinka's compositions were an important influence on future Russian composers, notably the members of the Mighty Five, who took Glinka's lead and produced a distinctive Russian style of music.
Great classical composers have almost always been great romantics - and passionate love affairs are often the inspiration for great music making. Here are some of the most enduring (click the link below).
Happy Birthday Franz Schubert born in 1797. He lived only 31 years but composed over 1000 works.
Here are a few facts about his short life.
Mozart was born 260 years ago on 27 January 1756.
Click the link below for ten fun facts including what pets he had.
Giuseppe Verdi died on 27 January 1901.
The work of which he was most proud is Casa Verdi - the rest home for retired musicians which he founded and where he is buried with his wife.
Samuel Barber, the American composer, died on 23 January 1981. He is credited with composing "the saddest music ever written". See what I mean with the final scene from the film "The Elephant Man"
I have a 30% discount at my Etsy shop until the end of January. Prints and calendars including the popular Composer Anniversaries calendar.
Use the discount code HAPPY2016 at checkout.
The Italian baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni died on 17 January 1751 in Venice.
His 'Adagio in G Minor' was a big favourite of Jim Morrison of rock band The Doors. Here is his version:
The French composer Leo Delibes died on 16 January 1891.
His 'Flower Duet' was used in a successful commercial for British Airways. Here is an amusing parody of it:
Arcangelo Corelli died 302 years ago. He is buried in the Pantheon in Rome.
He has been called:
- "The Father of the Concerto Grosso"
- "Founder of Modern Violin Technique"
- "The World's Greatest Violinist"
Happy New Year!
To start with here is a list of composer anniversaries for January.
1/1/1782 J C Bach died
He was a 19th century Russian conductor, composer, educator. He was the leader of the group known as the 'Mighty Five' made up of Borodin, Mussorgsky, Cui and Rimsky Korsakov.
Happy 150th Birthday Jean!
More about the celebrations at the link below.
Stockhausen is a difficult composer for many. Here is a rare interview which may help understand what he is about.
Aaron Copland died on 2 December 1990, age 90. There is an excellent resource at the Library of Congress - link below.
Happy Birthday to the King of Ragtime.
The link below will take you to a good resource including a lot of downloadable sheet music of Joplin's works.
Happy Birthday Joaquin Rodrigo.
Best known for his 'Concierto de Aranjuez'.He was blind from the age of three.Although much of his work is for the guitar he never mastered the instrument himself.
Happy Birthday Benjamin. Born 102 years ago.
Henry Purcell died on 21 November 1695 at only 36 years old, possibly from chocolate poisoning!
Schubert died on 19 November 1828 at only 31 years old. Here is an account of his final illness and death.
Copland would have been 115 today. Happy Birthday Aaron!
Considered by some to be America's greatest composer, Copland was also a writer, music critic and teacher, devoting much of his time to encouraging young musicians. He was also in demand as a conductor.
Happy 210th Birthday Fanny!
Mendelssohn's sister Fanny was also a very talented musician but her career was damaged by the sexist attitudes of the time. Her father wrote her, “the only calling which befits a woman: that of a housewife. Music should be an accomplishment, an adornment, and never a career for women.”
In spite of this she did go on to produce an impressive body of work.
Rossini loved life to the full and food was an important part of it for him. Read about this passion of his and make his favourite dish.
Borodin's day job was as an organic chemistry research scientist.
He was also a poet, a writer, a philanthropist and a fighter for women's rights. An amazing man.
Happy Birthday Alexander.
Did Tchaikovsky commit suicide on 6 November 1893?
The cause of his death has long been the subject of speculation. The link below describes four of the theories.
Happy Birthday to the March King!
Another brilliant composer to die in his thirties. He died on 4 November 1847 aged only 38.
Here below is an interesting blog entry which describes his last days.
Vincenzo Bellini was born in Sicily on 3 November 1801 and died in Paris only 33 years later.
He was one of the proponents of 'bel canto' opera together with Rossini and Donizetti.
It is also the birthday of Georges Bizet today. Happy Birthday Georges. What a pity you died so young at 36.Click the link for 10 facc ts about him.
Happy Birthday Johann Strauss ll
The composition of the Strauss family gives rise to some confusion as to who did what, not helped by there being three Johanns.
Franz Liszt was born on 22 October 1811 in this house. Click on the link below for an interesting site about his relationship with other composers, friends and family.
Chopin died at the age of only 39 on 17 October 1849.
He was afraid of being buried alive and specified in his will that his heart should be taken out and pickled in alcohol. It was taken to Warsaw by his sister, while his body was buried in Paris.