Today in classical music history August 17


  • 1686 Birth of Italian composer and singing teacher Nicola PORPORA in Naples. Teacher of Benegetta Emilia Agricola. Pupils were Giuseppe Appianino, Gaetano Caffarelli, Domenico Corri, Farinelli, Caterina Gabrielli, Regina Mingotti, Antonio Montagnana, Venanzio Rauzzini, Felice Salimboni, Antonio Umberti, Francesco Bernardi (Senesino), Benedetta E Agricola. Biography. d-Naples, 3 MAR 1768. He composed about 50 operas. He also taught Haydn in Vienna. Was a rival of Handel in London.
  • 1752 English newspaper General Advertiser reports blindness of Handel.
  • 1775 Birth of composer Philippe Libon
  • 1779 Birth of composer Franz de Paula Roser
  • 1786 Death of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, flute player and amateur composer at age 74, in Potsdam. b-Berlin, 24 JAN 1712.
  • 1806 Birth of composer Johann Kaspar MERTZ in Pressburg, Bratislava Slovak Republic. d-Prague, 14 OCT 1856.
  • 1822 Birth of tenor Louis Gueymard in Chapponay. Died July 1880 Debut as Robert in Robert le Diable (Meyerbeer) 1848 Created Jonas in Prophete (Meyerbeer) Adoniram in Reine de Saba (Gounod) Arrigo in Vespri Siciliennes (Verdi) Phaon in Sapho (Gounod) Rodolphe in Nonne Sanglante (Gounod) Roland in Roland a Recevaux (Mermet) Pierre in Pierre de Medicis (Poniatowski) Rene in Magicienne (Halevy) Rodolphe in Maitre Chanteur (Limnander) Sang in premiere of Hamlet (Thomas) Herculanum (David)
  • 1822 FP of CARAFA: "Le Solitaire" Paris (1822).
  • 1828 Birth of American composer George William WARREN in Albany, NY. d-NYC, 17 MAR 1902.
  • 1832 FP of RICCI: F. "Un duello sotto Richelieu" Milan (1839).
  • 1935 Birth of Latvian tenor Janis Zabers. d. May 25, 1973.
  • 1834 or 1835 Birth of Belgian composer Peter BENOIT in Harelbeke. d-Antwerp, 8 MAR 1901.
  • 1838 A group of 138 singing teachers traveled to Boston, MA to attend the first music convention in US.
  • 1839 Birth of American composer Hubert Platt MAIN in Ridgefield, CT. d-Newark, NJ 7 OCT 1925.
  • 1846 Birth of French pianist and teacher Marie Trautmann JAËLL in Steinseltz, Alsace. d-Paris, 4 FEB 1925. She also studied composition under both Saint-Saëns and César Franck. m-1866 to Austrian pianist Alfred Jaëll.
  • 1852 FP of JULLIEN: "Pietro il Grande" London, CG (1852).
  • 1857 Birth of Rumanian musicologist Eusebius MANDYCZEWSKI in Czernowitz. Edited Haydn symphonies and Schubert songs. d-Vienna, 13 JUL 1929. Photo.
  • 1876 FP of Wagner's Die Gotterdammerung as part of the first Ring Cycle performance at Bayreuth.
  • 1880 Death of Norwegian composer Ole Bull in Lysø. b-Bergen, 5 FEB 1810.
  • 1880 Birth of composer Leo Ascher
  • 1898 Death of Austrian composer Carl Zeller in Baden. b-St. Peter, 19 JUN 1842.
  • 1901 Birth of French composer Henri TOMASI in Marseilles. d-Paris, 13 JAN 1971.
  • 1902 FP of Saint-Saëns: "Parysatis" Béziers (1902).
  • 1903 Birth of American pianist, composer, writer, WQXR commentator and teacher Abram CHASINS in NYC. d-NYC, 21 JUN 1987.
  • 1903 Birth of Irish tenor James Johnston, in Belfast. d. Belfast, Oct. 17, 1991. Debut as Duke in Rigoletto (Verdi) 1940 Created Hector de Florac in Olympians (Bliss)
  • 1905 Birth of soprano Nanette Guilford.
  • 1907 Birth of composer Marian Viktorovich Koval
  • 1908 Birth of composer Kurt Hessenberg
  • 1910 Birth of composer Eric Aaltonen
  • 1912 Birth of bass-baritone James Atkins in Hinchley, Leicester. Died 15 Aug 1990. Debut 1949 Created Alcinous in Castaway (Berkeley).
  • 1913 Birth of Polish soprano Miliza Korjus in Warsaw. Died Aug 1980. Debut as Gilda in Rigoletto (Verdi) 1934
  • 1912 FP of Armen Tigranian's Anush in Alexandropol.
  • 1913 Birth of Bulgarian bass Ljubomir Pantscheff, in Sofia. d. 2002
  • 1916 Birth of soprano Eleanor Steber. 1948 Opera Soprano Eleanor Steber Photo Booking Print Ad (Music Memorabilia) (51817) 
  • 1926 Birth of English singer and music writer George MELLY.
  • 1928 Birth of American composer T. J. ANDERSON in Coatesville, PA. 1990, he became Austin Fletcher Professor of Music. Operetta: "The shell Fairy" (1977); "Soldier Boy, Soldier" (Bloomington, 1982).
  • 1928 Death of Italian soprano Emma Carelli. Born 12 May 1877 in Naples. Debut in Vestale (Mercadante) Teacher, Beniamino Carelli Created Stella in Stella (De Nardis) Sang in premiere of Collana di Pasqua (Luporini) Felma (Smareglia) Anton (Galeotti)
  • 1928 Composer Kurt Atterberg wins Schubert Centenary Prize for his Symphony in C.
  • 1930 FP of FRIML: "Luana" New York (1930).
  • 1932 Birth of French tenor Robert Andreozzi.
  • 1932 FP of GAITO: "La Sangre de las Guitarras" Buenos Aires.
  • 1934 Birth of Polish composer Marian BORKOWSI in Pabianice.
  • 1934 Birth of Scottish bass Bill McCue, in Allanton. d. Sep. 10, 1999 of cancer. Created Gordon in Mary Queen of Scots (Musgrave) Crassus in Catiline Consptacy (Hamilton).
  • 1936 Birth of Bulgarian bass Nikolai Ghiuselev in Pavlikeni, Bulgaria. Debut as Timur in Turandot (Puccini) 1960 Teacher, Christa Brambarov.
  • 1936 Death of French composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud in Debrecen, Hungary. b-Chasseley, nr Lyon, 6 JAN 1900.
  • 1936 Birth of composer Ivan Parik.
  • 1937 FP of John Ireland's A London Overture at a Proms Concert conducted by Sir Henry Wood at Royal Albert Hall in London.
  • 1941 Birth of German mezzo-soprano Gertraud Eckert.
  • 1943 Birth of English composer and conductor Edward COWIE in Birmingham.
  • 1944 Birth of French pianist and conductor Jean-Bernard POMMIER in Beziers.
  • 1946 FP of Arthur Honegger's Symphonie Liturgique No. 3, conducted by Charles Munch, dedicatee, in Zürich.
  • 1948 Birth of American baritone John CHEEK in Greenville, SC. MET: Début: June 6, 1977 [Fernando] Il Trovatore, 20 seasons (1976-93, 95- 96, 97-99) 324 perf., 28 works.
  • 1949 Birth of American soprano Linda Zoghby, in Mobile, Alabama. MET: Début: Jan. 19, 1982 [Mimi] La Bohème, 4 seasons (1981-83, 84-86) 18 perf., 2 works.
  • 1950 Birth of American composer and guitarist Anton Del FORNO in NJ.
  • 1951 Birth of American soprano Sharon Sweet, [Sharon Abel] in Gloversville, NY. MET: Apr. 27, 1990 [Leonora] Il Trovatore, 10 seasons (1989- 90, 91-2000) 88 perf., 8 works.
  • 1952 Birth of German composer Heiner GOEBBELS.
  • 1953 Birth of Franch tenor Thierry Dran in Paris. Debut in Mamelles de Tiresias (Poulenc) 1981 Teacher,  Michel Senechal Created Colin in Ecume des Jours (Denisov)
  • 1953 FP of von Einem's opera Der Prozess 'The Trial' at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. Based on the novel by Franz Kafka.
  • 1954 FP of Liebermann: "Penelope" Salzburg.
  • 1955 FP of Werner Egk's opera Irische Legende 'Irish Legend', at the Salzburg Festival in Austria.
  • 1958 Death of French composer Florent Schmitt at age 87, in Neuilly-sur-Seine. b-Blamont, 28 SEP 1870.
  • 1961 Death of French-American harpist and composer Carlos Salzedo in Waterville, ME at age 76. b-Arcachon, 6 APR 1885.
  • 1968 Birth of Portugese pianist Arthur PIZARRO.
  • 1973 Death of French composer Jean Barraqué in Paris. b-Paris, 17 JAN 1928.
  • 1974 FP of K. Penderecki's Magnificat for bass solo, chorus, and orchestra, in Salzburg, Austria.
  • 1981 Death of American composer, arranger and orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett in NYC. b-Kansas City, 15 JUN 1894.
  • 1983 Death of American lyricist Ira Gershwin in Beverly Hills, CA at age 86. b-NYC, 6 DEC 1896.
  • 1984 Death of baritone Mostyn Thomas. Born 14 Jan 1896 in Blaina, Wales. Teacher, Marie Rosing.
  • 2000 Death of Italian composer Franco Donatoni in Milan. b-Verona, 9 JUN 1927. Ricordi Publisher.
  • 2001 Death of Greek soprano Zoe Vlachopoulos. b. Athens, 1917.
  • 2004 Death of French baritone Gerard SOUZAY The Art of Gerard Souzay(Gerard Marcel Tisserand). b-Angers, 8 DEC 1918.
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