Today in 1609, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua wrote a letter to Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi, asking him to return to the Duke's employ. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we explore Monteverdi's relationship with his benefactor and the music that resulted from it.
It was on this day in 1928 that the 20th century's most thrilling pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, had his debut performance in America. Learn how his performance was received on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1990 that American composer William Bolcom's 5th Symphony had its world premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we explore Bolcom's influences - from ragtime to Richard Wagner.
Today in 1833, the Boston Academy of Music was founded with the goal of training vocal music teachers. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we explore its short but influential existence and its first professor, a man who would become known as the "Father of Public School Music."
Today in 1933, construction began on San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate bridge. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," explore the music that has been inspired by the bridge and music that has actually used the bridge, itself, as an instrument.
It was on this day in 1886 that the American Opera Company had its grand opening at the Academy of Music in New York. The first performance was the American premiere of the German opera - "The Taming of the Shrew." On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," discover whatever became of this venture and who was the driving force behind it.
It was on this day in 1935 that French writer, poet, and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, crashed his plane in the Sahara. He would survive the crash and use the experience as inspiration for his memoir "Wind, Sand and Stars." It would also serve as inspiration for his best known work, "The Little Prince." On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we relive the crash and explore the music of "The Little Prince."
On this day in 1829, the German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer signed a contract with the Paris opera house -- marking the beginning of the brief golden age of French Grand Opera. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," journey along with us as we explore "The Huguenots," "The African Woman," and more!
Today in 1065, Westminster Abbey was consecrated. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we visit upon those luminaries who are buried or otherwise memorialized in the Abbey from Henry Purcell to Noel Coward.
Today in 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" was broadcast live across the United States from NBC Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. The opera tells the story Amahl, a young boy living in Bethlehem around the time of the birth of Jesus. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," learn more about the televised opera that became a bit of a holiday tradition in the middle part of the 20th century.
On this day in 1938, music impresario John Hammond hosted the first of two concerts at Carnegie Hall titled "From Spirituals to Swing." On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we hop from the holy roller hymns of Mitchell's Christian Singers to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Count Basie Orchestra.
Today in 1789 the Viennese Society of Musicians premiered Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major. Tour the four movements of the piece and learn more about Anton Stadler, the clarinetist who played the premiere and for whom Mozart originally composed the work on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
On this day in 1893, the New York Philharmonic debuted the 9th Symphony by composer Antonín Dvořák at Carnegie Hall. Why is it known as the "New World Symphony" and what inspired the Czech composer living in the United States to create it? Find out the answers to these questions and more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1828 that the 6th Symphony of Austrian composer Franz Schubert had its first performance. Not to be confused with Schubert's other C Major symphony, the 9th, in today's "A Classical Day in the Life" find out what makes one "great" and the other "little".
Today in 1907, Belgian composer and sometime confectioner, Norbert Rosseau was born in Ghent. Rosseau was a violin prodigy as a child who transitioned to compositional pursuits following a wound he received while fighting in World War I. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore Rosseau's interest in early electronic music and dodecaphonics.
On this day in 1854, the oratorio L’Enfance du Christ, or the Childhood of Christ, by the French composer Hector Berlioz, had its first performance in Paris. Find out why Berlioz's countrymen liked the fake alter ego he created more than him in today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1865 that Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" find out what Sibelius' Seventh Symphony has in common with Samuel Barber’s First Symphony and the Doctor Atomic Symphony by John Adams.
When 1875's version of December 4th occurred, Bohemian-Austrian poet Ranier Maria Rilke was born unto this world. Known for works such as Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, he also had something to say about music. Find out which composer Rilke was especially interested in on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1883 that Austrian composer Anton Webern was born. Webern was a member of the so-called Second Viennese School: a group of composers known for their forays into atonality. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 1804, at Notre Dame in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor of the French. Come along with us on a musical voyage of discovery as we visit the likes of Jean Francois Lesueur, Ludwig van Beethoven and, of course, ABBA.
Today in 1944, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra had its first performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. How do Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony and an operetta loved by Adolf Hitler figure into Bartok's concerto? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 1915, American piano virtuoso Earl Wild was born. A renowned interpreter of Rhapsody in Blue, he also pioneered live broadcasting--both on television and online. Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."
It was on this day in 1882 that Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera Iolanthe debuted in London and New York. Was it merely a tale of fairy love or was it a political satire? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
On this day, in 1960, American bassist and composer, Edgar Meyer was born. His work ranges from bluegrass to jazz and brings forth the often overlooked soloistic capacity of the double bass. What do renowned artists Béla Fleck, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jerry Douglas have in common? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."
Today in 1889 witnessed the premiere of Gustav Mahler's first symphony. The sonic combination of birdsong, peasant dances, arresting melodies, and distant fanfares set the stage for all future works by this late-Romantic composer. Today's "A Classical Day in the Life" explores all of this as well as Mahler's unsettling incorporation of Frère Jacques.