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DECEMBER 20 Today in classical music history


  • 1680 Birth of French organist Nicolas COUPERIN in Paris. St. Gervais from 1733. Cousin of Francois. d-Paris, 25 JUL 1748.

  • 1721 FP of G. F. Handel's opera FloridanteCD-Handel: Floridante.

  • 1722 FP of Domenico Scarlatti's serenade The Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne in Lisbon.

  • 1728 Birth of composer Franz Xaver POKORNY. d-2 JUL 1704.

  • 1738 Death of French composer Jean Joseph Mouret in Charenton, age 56. b-Avignon, 11 APR 1685. Search Jean Joseph Mouret.

  • 1764 Swiss author and composer Jean Jacques Rousseau finishes his music dictionary. Search Jean Jacques Rousseau.

  • 1775 Mozart finishes his 5th Violin Concerto, Turkish, K. 219, he later performs the work, as solist, in Salzburg.

  • 1783 Death of Spanish composer and organist Padre Antonio Soler at the monastery of El Escorial, age 54. aka Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, b-Olat, Gerona 3 DEC 1729. Search Padre Antonio Soler.

  • 1793 Death of French tenor Joseph Legros. Born 7 Sep 1739 in Monampteuil. Debut as Titon in Titon et Aurore (Mondeville) 1764 Created Medor in Roland (Piccinni) Rinaldo in Armide (Gluck) Pylades in Iphigenie en Tauride (Gluck) Kynirus in Echo et Narcisse (Gluck) Renaud in Renaud (Sacchini) Sandomir in Ernelinde Princesse de Norvege (Philidor) Pilade in Iphigenie en Tauride (Piccinni) Atys in Atys (Piccinni).

  • 1816 Birth of German pianist Leopold von MEYER in Baden. d-Dresden, 5 MAR 1883.

  • 1819 Birth of American composer John William DADMUN. d-1890. 

  • 1823 FP of Schubert's opera Rosamunde in Vienna. CD-Schubert: Rosamunde / von Otter, Abbado, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

  • 1826 Birth of American composer Otto DRESEL. d-1890. Search Otto DRESEL.

  • 1862 Birth of Polish baritone Juan Luria in Warsaw. Died 1942, Debut 1885 Teachers:- Joseph Gansbacher Pupils :- Kathe Heidersbach, Elfriede Marherr, Gotthelf Pistor Michael Bohnen Sang in premiere of Rose von Liebesgarten (Pfitzner).

  • 1871 Birth of American composer and conductor Henry Kimball HADLEY in Somerville, MA. d-NYC, 6 SEP 1937. Search Henry Kimball HADLEY.

  • 1872 Birth of Italian priest, conductor and composer of oratorios Lorenzo PEROSI in Tortona. d-Rome, 12 DEC 1956. Search  Lorenzo PEROSI.

  • 1879 FP of P. I. Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite No. 1, in Moscow.

  • 1881 Birth of Dutch baritone Carel Van Hulst in Amsterdam. Died 30 April 1937, Debut as Silvio in Pagliacci Teacher :- Cornelie Von Zanten.

  • 1886 FP of J. Brahms' Piano Trio No. 3 in c, Op. 101, in Budapest. CD-Johannes Brahms: Complete Trios.

  • 1889 Death of Polish soprano Konstanya Gladkovska. Born 10 Jun 1810 in Warsaw. Teacher :- C E Soliva Debut in Agnese di Fitz-Henry (Paer).

  • 1892 Birth of Spanish tenor Miguel Villabella in Bilbao. Died 28 June 1954, Debut as Spoletta in Tosca (Puccini) 1920 Teachers:- Jacques Isnardon, Lucien Fugere. Search Miguel VillabellaLe crucifixMiguel Villabella - Prince of French Lyric Tenors

  • 1895 Birth of Czech soprano Hildegard Ranczek in Witkowitz. Debut 1918 Teacher :- Irene Schlemmer-Ambros Created Clarion in Capriccio (Strauss).

  • 1901 FP of Hadley's Second Symphony The Four Seasons . NY Philharmonic under Emil Paur.

  • 1905 Birth of Czech baritone Vaclav Bednar in Ostrava. Died 12 Nov 1987, Debut 1928 Teachers:- T Grunwald, Karel Kugler, M Ullanowsky Sang in premiere of Bud (Ostcil).

  • 1905 FP of Glazunov's Third Symphony. By The Russian Symphony Orchestra, in NYC.

  • 1906 Birth of American soprano Thelma Votipka in Cleveland, Ohio. Died 24 Oct 1972, Debut as Countess in Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) 1927 Teacher :- Lila Robeson, Anna Schoen-Rene.

  • 1907 Birth of American soprano Marion Talley in Nevada. Died 3 Jan 1983, Debut as Gilda in Rigoletto (Verdi) 17 Feb 1926 Teachers:- Frank La Forge, Alberto Caffo. The Vocal Artistry of Marion TalleyPhoto (S): Marion Talley, 1927

  • 1909 Birth of Danish composer and music critic Vagn HOLMBOE in Horsens. d-Denmark, 1 SEP 1996. Search Vagn HOLMBOE.

  • 1910 Death of Austrian baritone Angelo Neumann. Born 18 Aug 1838 in Vienna. Debut 1859 Teacher :- Therese Stilke-Sessi Pupils :- Gertrude Forstel, Werner Alberti.

  • 1915 Conducting debut of Igor Stravinsky conducting his Firebird Ballet Suite at a benefit concert organized by Diaghilev in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 1918 Birth of Austrian tenor Ernst Gruber in Vienna. Died 24 Aug 1979, Debut as Max in Freischutz (Weber) 1946 Teachers:- Hans Depser, Karl Rossl-Majdan.

  • 1928 Birth of English bass Donald ADAMS. d-8 Apr 1996 Teacher :- Hedley Goodall.

  • 1928 Birth of Italian mezzo-soprano Bianca Berini in Trieste. Debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (Puccini) 1963 Created Mother in Metamorfosi di Bonaventura (Malipiero).

  • 1928 FP of Ernest Bloch's symphonic rhapsody America. By the NY Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • 1933 Birth of American composer Gordon GETTY.

  • 1934 FP of Ernst Toch's Big Ben. By Boston Symphony Orchestra. CD-Toch: Big Ben, Piano Concerto No. 1, Peter Pan.

  • 1938 Birth of American composer and conductor John HARBISON in Orange, New Jersey. Search John HARBISON.

  • 1942 Birth of Australian pianist Roger WOODWARDSearch Roger WOODWARD.

  • 1942 Death of German composer and conductor Jean GILBERT aka Max Winterfeld. b-Hamburg, 11 FEB 1879. Search Amazon.com for Jean GILBERT

  • 1948 Birth of Japanese pianist Mitsuko UCHIDA in Tokyo. Search Mitsuko UCHIDAMozart: The Piano Concertos [Box Set]Mitsuko Uchida Plays Schubert [Box Set]

  • 1949 Birth of American composer Edward P. MASCARI in Paterson, NJ.

  • 1958 Birth of English composer Nicholas SIMPSON in Manchester.

  • 1959 FP of Igor Stravinsky's Double Canon Raoul Dufy in memoriam at Town Hall, during a Stravinsky Festival in NYC. CD-Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky.

  • 1961 Death of Nicaraguan composer Luis Abraham Delgadillo in Managua. b-Managua, 26 AUG 1887.

  • 1969 Death of German bass Adolf Vogel. Born 18 Aug 1897 in Munich. Debut as Daland in Flying Dutchman (Wagner) 1923 Teachers:- Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, J Kiechle Pupils :- Norman Bailey, Rudolf Christ, Kurt Equiluz, Peter Wimberger Regine Lang-Hitzelberger, Einojuhani Rautawaara Sang in premiere of Schwarze Orchidee (D'Albert).

  • 1974 Death of French composer André Jolivet in Paris, at age 69. b-Paris, 8 AUG 1905. Search  André Jolivet.

  • 1982 Death of Polish-born American pianist Artur Rubinstein, at age 95. b-Lodz, Poland 28 JAN 1887. aka ArthurBOOK-Rubinstein: A Life | DVD-Rubinstein plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4.

  • 1989 Death of German bass Kurt Bohme. Born 5 May 1908 in Dresden. Debut as Caspar in Freischutz 1929 Teachers:- Walther Soomer, Inge Heincke Created Dominik in Arabella (Strauss) Vanuzzi in Schweigsame Frau (Strauss) Farfallo in Schweigsame Frau (Strauss) Mendicant Monk in Sim Tjong (Yun Isang) Carnot in Play of Love & Death (Cikker) Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Sutermeister) Prospero in Zauberinsel (Sutermeister) Odysseus in Penelope (Liebermann) Aleel in Irische Legend (Egk) Sang in premiere of Hochzeit des Jobs (Haas).

  • 1996 Death of  Italian tenor Luciano Saldari. Born 9 Dec 1933 in Ascoli, Piceno. Debut as Duke in Rigoletto (Verdi) 1957 Teacher :- Antonio Melandri.

  • 1999 FP of John Harbison's opera The Great Gatsby at the MET, NYC. New York. Jerry Hadley as Gatsby and Dawn Upshaw as Daisy, James Levine conducting.

  • 2002 FP of Rodion Shchedrin's The Enchanted Wanderer Shchedrin: The Enchanted Wandererfor vocalists, chorus and orchestra. New York Choral Artists and New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel conducting.

  • 2010 Death of English choral director and conductor John Alldis. b-10 August 1929.
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