Today in 1897 at 6am, approximately 100 people gathered onto the first train to travel beneath the city of Boston. This subway line was the first in the United States following the establishment of similar systems in London, Glasgow, and Budapest. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the music inspired by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Today in 1785 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated a set of string quartets to his musical mentor, Joseph Haydn--father of the string quartet. How did Mozart demonstrate his own mastery of the genre through this set of quartets? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1918, Filipino composer Lucrecia Roces Kasilag was born in San Fernando, the capital city of La Union Province on the north-east coast of the island of Luzon. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the composer's use of native Filipino traditions in her neo-classical works.
Today in 1987 Michael Jackson's music video for "Bad" premiered on primetime network television. How were Martin Scorsese, Richard Price, and Wesley Snipes involved? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1992, the Low Symphony by Philip Glass had its premiere in Munich, with Dennis Russel Davies conducting the Young German Chamber Philharmonic. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Glass's first symphony -- a reconfiguration of songs from the 1977 album Low by David Bowie and Brian Eno.
It was on this day in 1993 that the first episode of The Late Show with David Letterman premiered on CBS. On today's "A Day in the Life" we revisit the rivalry between Leno and Letterman and explore the late night legacy of The Ed Sullivan Theater.
Today in 1952, John Cage’s experimental composition 4-33 had its premiere in Woodstock, New York. Pianist David Tutor gave the first performance--he walked onto the stage, sat down at the piano bench, and began the piece...by closing the keyboard’s lid. Learn what happened next and how the piece was initially received on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
It was on this day in 1977 that Ronnie Lee Adkins informed Memphis police that he had infiltrated a small group of men who were planning to steal the body of Elvis Presley and then ransom it back to the Presley family. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the twisty tale in all of its nonsensical glory.
Today in 1846, Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah had its premiere at the Birmingham festival in England. What inspired Mendelssohn to write an oratorio on the Old Testament prophet? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life"
Today in 1968, Jimi Hendrix opened up Electric Lady Studios in New York City's Greenwich Village. What musicians played in this space before and after it became Hendrix's personal space for creativity? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1893, African American musicians performed Western classical music in a concert on Colored American Day at the Chicago World’s Fair. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn who performed and the general reception to African American musicianship in the last years of the 19th Century.
It is the birthday of Gene Simmons, born as Chaim Witz on this day in 1949. How did he come to be the long-tongued bassist for KISS? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his final sonata for violin, K. 526 in A Major. It is by far the most technical of his violin sonatas and is characterized by a hard-driving, rhythmic energy emergent from the opening moments of its first movement. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we delve into the sonata and explore its connection to German composer Carl Friedrich Abel.
Today we celebrate the birthday of Leon Theremin--born on this day in 1894--by exploring his singular contribution to the sound world of the 20th century: The Theremin. How did this spy influence The Beach Boys? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1964, the American composer Lou Harrison's Symphony on G had its premiere. That's right - ON G, not IN G. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the symphony and Harrison's playful titling philosophy.
It was on this day in 1912 that triple-threat singer, dancer, and actor Gene Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Born into a working class family, far from the starry spotlight into which he would eventually step. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore Kelly's rise to stardom.
Today in 1929 Walt Disney Productions released the first of 75 short films from its “Silly Symphony” series. Titled, “Skeleton Dance,” this first short black and white animated film begins with two cats fighting on top of a gravestone. Soon skeletons emerge from the graves and start to dance around. On today's "A Day in the Life" we meet the man responsible for the music, Carl Stalling.
Today in 1812--as part of the War of 1812--an American ship named the USS Constitution defeated the British HMS Guerriere, some 175 leagues due east of Boston in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore music inspired by this naval battle and other tunes inspired by armed conflict in 1812.
Today is the birthday of former President Bill Clinton. When did he first become interested in music and when did he first pick up the saxophone? And how might that saxophone have swayed his 1992 presidential victory? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1572, Queen Margaret of Valois and Henry of Navarre got married in Paris. The interdenominational marriage — Marguerite was Catholic, and Henry was a Huguenot — should have helped bridge the gap between Protestants and Catholics in France. It did not. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the opera it inspired Giacomo Meyerbeer to write.
Today in 1997 Patrick Swayze received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the anniversary of Dirty Dancing. Learn about the film's music and Swayze's own contributions to the soundtrack on today's "A Day in the Life."
Today, in 1883, “Himno Nacional”, the national anthem of the Dominican Republic, made its debut. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the origins of the anthem and its content, which champions the non-colonial indigenous tradition of the island and rebukes the occupation of foreign powers.
The first commercial compact disc was made on this day in 1982. Who was featured on this first recording and what was next for this new technology? Find out on this episode of "A Day in the Life."
On this day in 1328, the Gonzagas took over the duchy of Mantua in Northern Italy, inaugurating a nearly 400-year period of dominance there for the Gonzaga family that featured some of the most important figures in music. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical output of Mantua from Marchetto Cara to Claudio Monteverdi.
It was on this day in 1974 that the Ramones took the stage for the first time at CBGB in Manhattan's East Village. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out what Paul McCartney had to do with the naming of the band.