DECEMBER 25 Today in classical music history


  • 1583 Baptismal of English composer and organist Orlando GIBBONS in Oxford. d-5 JUN 1625. Search Orlando GIBBONS.

  • 1711 Birth of French composer Jean-Joseph Cassanea de MONDONVILLE in Narbonne. d-Paris, 8 OCT 1772. Search Jean-Joseph Cassanea de MONDONVILLE.

  • 1723 FP of Bach's Magnificat in Leipzig. CD-Bach: Magnificat, BWV.243/Jauchzet Gott In Allen landen, BWV.51.

  • 1724 FP of Bach's Sacred Cantata No. 91 Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ performed Christmas Day as part of his second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig 1724-25. CD-Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ.

  • 1725 FP of Bach's Sacred Cantata No. 110 Unser Mund sei voll Lachens performed on Christmas Day as part of his third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig 1725-27. CD-Bach: Sacred Cantatas 3

  • 1728 Birth of German composer Johann Adam HILLER (HY'ler) in Wendisch-Ossig. d-Leipzig, 16 JUN 1804. Search Johann Adam HILLER.

  • 1728 FP of Bach's Sacred Cantata No. 197a Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe. Asummed to be performed on Christmas Day in Leipzig as part of Bach's fourth annual Sacred Cantata cycle with texts by Christian Friedrich Henrici, aka Picander during 1728-29 season. CD-Les Lumières de Noël (Christmas Lights) (Box Set)

  • 1734 FP of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Part 1 Jauchzet, frohlocket of the 6-part oratorio S. 248. CD-Bach - Christmas Oratorio / Gardiner

  • 1739 Birth of French composer Joseph Jun BOULOGNE, Chevalier de Saint-Georges in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe. d-Paris, 9/10 JUN 1799. Known as the black Mozart.

  • 1762 Birth of Irish singer Michael KELLY in Dublin. d-Margate, 9 OCT 1826. Debut as Count in Buona Figliuola (Piccinni) 1779 Teachers:- Giuseppe Aprile, Finaroli, Passerini, Venanzio Ruzzini Niccolo Peretti Created Basilio & Don Curzio in Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) Euphemio of Ephesus in Equivico (Storace) Corrade in Una Cosa Rara (Martin y Soler) Iarbus in Dido Queen of Carthage(Storace) Lord William in Haunted Tower (Storace) Telemachus in Ulysses (Smith J C) Lord William in Haunted Tower (Storace) Valente in Sposa Malcontenti (Storace)

  • 1815 FP of Beethoven's cantata Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt and the Namensfeier Overture, Op. 115, conducted by Beethoven at the Redoutensaal, a benefit for the Citizens' Hospital Fund, in Vienna. CD-Beethoven: Cantatas, Opferlied, Meeresstille | Beethoven: Complete Overtures

  • 1815 First concert of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston.

  • 1818 FP of Franz Gruber's Silent Night composed on Christmas Eve 1818, in St. Nicholas Church, Obendorf, Germany. Words by Josef Mohr. CD-The John Rutter Christmas Album

  • 1821 Beethoven finishes his Hammerklavier Sonata.

  • 1829 Birth of American composer Patrick Sarsfield GILMORE. d-1892. Search Patrick Sarsfield GILMORE

  • 1839 Birth of tenor Ferdinand Jager Tenor in Hanau.   Died 13 Jun 1902, Debut 1865 Teachers:- Thiele, Ferdinand Heyne Pupil :- Marie Dietrich.

  • 1845 Death of German composer Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach, in Berlin at age 86. The oldest surviving son of J.S. Bach. Westphalens Freude ihren vielgeliebten König Friedrich Wilhelm bey sich zu sehen. Eine Cantate ... Clavierauszug, etc.

  • 1858 Birth of American bass Hermann Devries  in New York Died 24 Aug 1949 Debut as Meru in Africaine (Meyerbeer) Teacher :- Jean-Baptiste Faure Pupil :- Ralph Errole.

  • 1859 Birth of American composer Charles Whitney COOMBS in Bucksport, ME. d-Orange, NJ 24 JAN 1940. Search Charles Whitney COOMBS

  • 1870 FP of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, Christmas morning as his gift to his wife Cosima. Hans Richter playing trumpet and Wagner conducting the ensemble from the top of staircase. Named for their son who also became a composer who was six months old on that Christmas morning. CD-Wagner: Tannhäuser/Siegfried-Idyll/Tristan und Isolde

  • 1873 Birth of mezzo-soprano Tilly Koenen in Java.  Died 4 Jan 1941, Teacher :- Cornelie Van Zanten

  • 1874 Birth of soprano [Natalina] Lina Cavalieri in Viterbo. Died 8 Feb 1944, Debut as Mimi in Boheme (Puccini) 1900 Teacher :- Maddelena Mariani-Masi Created Ensoleillad in Cherubin (Massenet). MET Opera.d-in air raid on Florence, 8 FEB 1944. Photos. and Postcards.

  •  Portrait of Lina Cavalieri, circa 1901 Artists Giclee Poster Print by Giovanni Boldini, 12x16Lina Cavalieri: The Life of Opera's Greatest Beauty, 1874-1944Lina Cavalieri Italian Singer Photographic Poster Print, 30x40

  • 1874 Leopold Damrosch and the Oratorio Society of NYC give their FP of Handel's Messiah.

  • 1876 Birth of Italian baritone Giuseppe De LUCA in Rome. d-NYC, 26 AUG 1950. Debut as Valentin in Faust (Gounod) 6 Nov 1897 Teachers:- Ottavio Bartolini, Antonio Cotogni, Venaslao Persichini Pupils :- Gianna D'Angelo, Berhard Sonnerstadt, Leonard Warren Scipio Colombo Created Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) Paquiro in Goyescas (Granados) Schicci in Gianni Schicci (Puccini) Gledy in Siberia (Giordano) Sang in premiere of El Sueno d'Alma (Buchardo). Search Giuseppe De LUCA.

  • 1877 Birth of soprano Gabriela Horvatova in Varazdin. Died 1967, Teacher :- Resse Pupil :- Bozena Kozlikova.

  • 1883 Birth of Croatian-Yugoslav composer Fran LHOTKA in Wocice. d-Zagreb, 26 JAN 1962.

  • 1885 Birth of American composer Gisella Augusta ZUCKERMANN aka 'Mana Zucca'. d-1981. Search Mana Zucca.

  • 1897 John Philip Sousa finishes his Stars and Stripes Forever march. Search Stars and Stripes Forever

  • 1900 Birth of American mezzo-soprano Gladys SWARTHOUT in Deepwater, MO. d-Florence, 7 JUL 1969. Debut as Shepherd in Tosca (Puccini) 1924 Teacher :- Leopoldo Mugnone, Dino Bigalli Sang in premiere of Merry Mount (Hanson). Search Gladys SWARTHOUT Legendary Voices: Gladys Swarthout

  • 1902 FP of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Kastchei the Immortal. Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting, in Moscow. CD-Rimsky-Korsakov: Kashcey the Immortal

  • 1914 Death of German pianist and conductor Bernard Stavenhagen in Geneva. b-Greiz, 24 NOV 1862. Search Bernard Stavenhagen.

  • 1916 Birth of tenor Artur Frinberg in Mellugin Latvia. Teacher :- R Berzin.

  • 1917 Birth of soprano Miluse Dvorakova in Prague. Debut as Pamina in Zauberflote (Mozart) 1941 Teachers:- Apollo Granforte, Tino Pattiera Sung in premiere of Kraluv Mincmistr (Vostrak).

  • 1924 Birth of French composer Noël LEE.

  • 1923 Birth of conductor Louis Gardner Lane was in Eagle Pass, Texas. He studied composition with Kent Kennan at the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his bachelor’s in music degree in 1943, and with Bohuslav Martinů at the Tanglewood Music Center (summer 1946), and with Bernard Rogers at the Eastman School of Music (master’s degree in music, 1947). He also studied opera with Sarah Caldwell (1950). Copland: Fanfare, Rodeo & Appalachian Spring
  • 1925 Birth of tenor Eugenio Fernandi in Turin.  Died 15 Aug 1991, Debut in Figlia del Diavolo (Mortari) 1954 Teacher :- Aureliano Pertile.

  • 1928 Birth of German composer Heinrich POOS in Seibersbach.

  • 1931 First national broadcast of an entire opera, by the MET Opera from NYC. Performing E. Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

  • 1932 Birth of Italian bass Bonaldo GIAIOTTI in Ziracco Udine Debut 1957 Teacher :- Alfredo Strano. Search Bonaldo GIAIOTTI.

  • 1934 FP of D. Shostakovich's Cello Sonata, by cellist Viktor Kubatsky, the composer at the piano in Leningrad. CD-Rachmaninov & Shostakovich: Cello Sonatas.

  • 1936 Death of Swiss composer Pierre Maurice in Geneva. b-Geneva, 13 NOV 1868.

  • 1937 Arturo Toscanini conducts his first NBC concert broadcast. Music of Vivaldi, d minor concerto; Mozart, g minor symphony and Brahms first symphony. Search Arturo Toscanini.

  • 1938 Birth of American composer David BORDEN. Search David BORDEN.

  • 1940 Death of baritone Carl Richter. Born 3 July 1885 Stockholm. Debut as Amonasro in Aida (Verdi) 1911 Teachers:- Gillis Bratt, Agnes Edholm, Vittorio Vanzo. 

  • 1941 Birth of American composer Ronald PERERA. Search Ronald PERERA.

  • 1942 (? 24 NOV 1939) Birth of Italian soprano Maria CHIARA in Oderzo.

  • 1943 Death of soprano Ilona Durigo. Born 13 May 1881in Budapest. Debut 1906 Teachers:- Philipp Forsten, Bianca Maleczky Pupil :- Maria Stader. 

  • 1952 Birth of Canadian pianist Jon Kimura PARKER in Vancouver. Search Jon Kimura PARKER.

  • 1963 Death of tenor Josef Gostic. Born 5 Mar 1900 in Stara Loka, Slovenia. Debut 1929 Created Midas in Liebe der Danae (Strauss).

  • 1963 Death of tenor Fritz Vogelstrom. Born 4 Nov 1882 in Herford, Westphalia. Debut as Tamino in Zauberflote (Mozart) 1903 Teacher :- Dora Erl

  • 1964 Birth of English tenor Ian BOSTRIDGE in London Debut as Lysander in Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten) 1994. Search  Ian BOSTRIDGE.

  • 1969 Birth of American composer Tom SCHNAUBER. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse: A Play for Children of All Ages.

  • 1969 FP of John Antill's opera The First Christmas on an Australian radio broadcast.

  • 1977 Birth of American composer Brendan EPSTEIN-HYNES in Houston TX.

  • 1977 Death of English composer, actor, comedian aka The Little Tramp Charles Chaplin at age 88 in Vevey, Switzerland. b-London, 16 APR 1889. BOOK-Charlie Chaplin: A Photo DiaryThe Film Music of Charles Chaplin.

  • 1979 Death of tenor Mario Filippeschi. Born 7 June 1907 in Pisa. Died 25 Dec 1979, Debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) Jul 1937 Teachers:- Arturo Pessina, Vicidomini. Lebendige Vergangenheit: Mario Filippeschi

  • 1982 Death of tenor Gerhard Witting. Born 23 Sep 1889 in Bromberg. Debut 1912 Created Second Beggar in Rembrandt van Rijn (Klenau) Andres in Wozzeck (Berg).

  • 1989 Leonard Bernstein conducted Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in East Berlin's Schauspielhaus (Playhouse) as part of a celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He had conducted the same work in West Berlin the previous day. The concert was broadcast live in more than twenty countries to an estimated audience of 100 million people. For the occasion, Bernstein reworded Friedrich Schiller's text of the Ode to Joy, substituting the word Freiheit(freedom) for Freude (joy). Bernstein, in his spoken introduction, said that they had "taken the liberty" of doing this because of a "most likely phony" story, apparently believed in some quarters, that Schiller wrote an "Ode to Freedom" that is now presumed lost. Bernstein added, "I'm sure that Beethoven would have given us his blessing." [M. Steinberg contribution]
  • 1995 Death of music historian and editor of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, Nicolas Slonimsky at the age of 101. Some sources indicate date as 26th or 27th. b-St. Petersburg, 27 APR 1894. BOOK-Slonimsky's Book of Musical Anecdotes Search Nicolas Slonimsky.Thesaurus Of Scales And Melodic Patterns (Text)Nicolas Slonimsky: Writings on Music, Volume TwoPerfect Pitch: An Autobiography
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