This day in 1662 saw the first documented performance featuring the comic puppet Punch. Punch came to Covent Garden in London that day as Pulcinella, courtesy of an Italian puppeteer and as a stock character from the Italian comedy tradition. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we envelop ourselves in the darkness of Punch while exploring the 20th century musical connections.
Today in 1889, the World's Exposition opened in Paris. Famous for bringing the Eiffel Tower into existence, it also had a significant impact on music. Find out how it inspired the compositional output of Claude Debussy on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today is May the fourth, the day of the year when aficionados of all things Star Wars lispingly proclaim their continuing dedication to hokey religions and ancient weapons. On Today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the origins of this unlikely holiday.
It was on this day in 1863 that the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy was born in Alexandria, Egypt. Coincidentally, it was also on this day in 1933 that he died. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the themes of Cavafy's poetry and a musical piece that British composer John Tavener wrote in tribute to the poet.
Today in 1720, a violin was purchased for a young woman named Anna Maria. She has no known last name, as Anna Maria was an orphan, residing the entirety of her life at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, Italy. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore Vivaldi's connection to the ospedale and the music he composed for Anna Maria.
Today is “Earth Day”, the international holiday that celebrates our planet. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the origins of the holiday and listen to musical selections apropos of the occasion.
Today in 1949, actress and singer extraordinaire, Patti LuPone was born in Northport, New York. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore LuPone's career from Broadway to television and back to Broadway.
It was on this day in 1746 that Giacomo Casanova was adopted by a nobleman in Venice, Italy. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the music during the time in which Casanova lived.
Today in 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Find out about the musical response created by Buddy Johnson, today on "A Day in the Life."
Today in 1958, the front page of the Los Angeles Times ran two headlines emblematic of the cold war era anxieties between The Soviet Union and the United States. The first headline dealt with the re-entry of Sputnik 2, the second Soviet satellite launched into orbit, the second reported that a young Texan named Van Cliburn had won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we transport ourselves back to the uncertainty of 1958.
On this day in 1964, Sydney Poitier won the Academy Award for best actor— becoming the first African-American to do so. The film was Lilies of the Field, and on today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical side of the film.
Today in 1909, the Notre Dame marching band played the school’s now-famous “Victory March” for the very first time. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", discover the origins of this iconic and instantly recognizable tune.
Today in 1986, American actor, film director, and musician, Clint Eastwood, was elected Mayor of Carmel, California. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the lesser-known side of Eastwood - his work as a composer and jazz pianist.
It was on this day in 1770 that the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the musical side of the poet.
It was on this day in 1825, in Bavaria, that Irene Krapp began what would be the longest bow stroke in history. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the world of competitive bow stroking.
Today in 1928, at the Mogador Theater in Paris, duo-pianists Jean Wiéner and Clémont Doucet undertook a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the history of the duo-pianists and we learn a little something about "Le Boeuf sur le Toit".
Today in 1839, German composer and pianist Robert Schumann received a letter informing him that his brother Eduard was deathly ill. At the time he was at work on a set of piano pieces that he had tentatively titled “Corpse Fantasia.” Under the advice of his wife Clara, he changed the name to Nachtstüke, or “Night Pieces.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we illuminate the work, movement by movement.
Today in 1436, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers was consecrated in Florence, Italy. Did Renaissance composer Guilaume Dufay utilize a series of ratios that mirror the architectural proportions of the cathedral's dome in a motet he wrote for the cathedral's dedication ceremony? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
This exemplar of the Baroque languished in obscurity for nearly a century after its composition… And in 1977 it was shot into space! Find out how, exactly, Bach ended up voyaging through space on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
On this day in 2001, the Russian Space Station Mir - or whatever pieces were left of it after it re-entered the atmosphere - fell into the Pacific Ocean. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we take a Mir-eyed view of the music and culture of our planet.
It was on this day in 1920 that Fanny Waterman, founder of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, was born. Waterman, an accomplished pianist and teacher, was inspired by the many great pianists that performed in her home town of Leeds during her childhood. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".
Today in 1967, composer Philip Glass attended a concert at the Park Place Gallery in New York City featuring the works of fellow composer, Steve Reich. Both together and separate, these men would become two of the most influential creators of new music in the second half of the 20th century. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we go all in, in a minimalist sort of way.
On this day in 1733, Handel's opera "Deborah" made its debut at the King's Theatre in London. On today's "A Classical day in the Life", we learn about Handel's upbringing and the opera that very nearly ruined him.
On this day in 1928, Christa Ludwig, the great German mezzo-soprano, was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", listen to Ludwig perform everything from Bach to Mahler and Beethoven to Brahms.
Today in 1900, composer and ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee was born in Montreal, Canada. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore McPhee's pioneering work on the music of Bali, a culture with which he first came into contact through recordings of the Balinese gamelan in the late 1920s.