Today in classical music history August 12


  • 1612 Death in Venice of Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli. b-Venice, c. 1555.
  • 1626 Birth of Italian composer Giovanni LEGRENZI in Clusone. d-Venice, 27 MAY 1690.
  • 1633 Death of Italian composer Jacopo Peri in Firenze. b-Rome, 20 AUG 1561.
  • 1644 Birth of Bohemian composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von BIBER in Wartenberg. d-Salzburg, 3 MAR 1704.
  • 1644 Birth of composer Georg Christoph Leuttner
  • 1696 Birth of English composer and organist Maurice GREENE in London. d-London, 1 DEC 1755.
  • 1751 Birth of composer Johann Baptist Lasser
  • 1760 Death of Italian tenor Annibale Po Fabri. Born 1697 Bologna. Debut in Alarico Re Dei Gori (Bassani) 1697 Teacher, Francesco Antonio Pistocchi Created Emilio in Partenope (Handel) Alessandro il Grande in Poro Re Dell'Indie (Handel) Berengario in Lotario (Handel)
  • 1818 FP of GENERALI: "Il servo padrone" Parma (1818).
  • 1825 Birth of English composer Sir Frederick Arthur Gore OUSELEY in London. d-Hereford, 6 APR 1889.
  • 1826 FP of HÉROLD: "Marie" Paris (1826).
  • 1838 Birth of English organist, conductor and composer Joseph BARNBY in York. d-London, 28 JAN 1896.
  • 1845 FP of G. Verdi's opera Alzira at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
  • 1853 Birth of German pianist, conductor and composer Jean-Louis NICODE' nr Posnan. d-Langbruck, 5 OCT 1919.
  • 1859 Birth of American author and instructor Katherine Lee BATES, professor of English Liturature at Wellesley College. Author of the poem America The Beautiful.
  • 1859 FP of Grisar: "Voyage autour de ma chambre" Paris, 1859.
  • 1875 Birth of Argentinian composer Héctor (Ettore) PANIZZA in Buenos Aires. d-Milan, 27 NOV 1967. MET: Début: Dec. 22, 1934, Aida, 8 seasons, 304 perf., 28 works.
  • 1875 Birth of Italian composer Mezio AGOSTINI in Fano. d. Apr. 22, 1944
  • 1877 Formal date of Thomas Alva Edison patent on a device called a gramophone that records sound. It becomes popular as the phonograph.
  • 1880 Death of Eugenie Garcia Soprano Born 1818 Paris Died 12 Aug 1880 Teacher, Manuel Garcia Jnr (husband) Created Ester D'Engaddi in Ester D'Engaddi (Pacini)
  • 1881 Birth of composer Vaclav Vackar
  • 1885 Birth of composer Alexander Albrecht
  • 1891 Birth of Spanish tenor Antonio Cortis, [Antonio Tomás Montón Corts]  Onboard a sailing ship between Algiers and Alicante. d. Valencia, Apr. 2, 1952; His father had died a week previously. Antonio entered the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, at the age of 8, studying composition, violin and theory. In 1909, Cortis entered the Municipal Conservatory and received vocal tuition. He began with the chorus of the Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona (1911). In 1917, he toured South America as [Arlecchino] opposite Caruso's Canio, in Pagliacci) Cortis claimed that Caruso, after the South American tour, invited him to return to New York with him. Cortis declined because of the birth of his daughter Carmencita. He never had a teacher, except for Caruso who gave him advice. Naples (1919); Rome (1920); Buenos Aires (1924); San Francisco (1925); La Scala (1930); CG (1931); his final appearance took place at Zaragoza; Puccini: Tosca (1951). Debut as Cassio in Otello (Verdi) 1912 Teachers, Nicolau, Daniel Sang in the premiere of Petronio (Giovanetti) Maruxa (Vives) Avapies (Del Campo)
  • 1892 Birth of Polish soprano Maria OLSZEWSKA in Augsburg. d. Baden, Austria, May 17, 1969: MET: Début: Jan. 16, 1933 [Brangãna] Tristan und Isolde, 3 seasons (1932-35) 57 perf., 12 roles, 11 works. Debut as Page in Tannhauser (Wagner) 1915 Teacher, Karl Erler Pupils, Josephine Veasey Created Obscura in Prinzessin Auf Der Erbse (Fleck) Brigitta in Tote Stadt (Korngold)
  • 1897 Birth of Spanish, Catalan, composer Manuel BLANCAFORT in Barcelona. d-Barcelona, 1987.
  • 1897 Birth of composer Ramon Gonzalez Barron
  • 1900 Birth of American mezzo-soprano Coe Glade in Chicago Died 23 Sep 1985 Debut as Amneris in Aida (Verdi) 1926 Teacher, Homer More. OBIT
  • 1900 Death of German bass-baritone Franz Betz. Born 19 Mar 1835 in Mainz. Deb Heinrich in Lohengrin (Wagner) 1856 Pupil, Johannes Bischoff Created Hans Sachs in Meistersingers (Wagner) Judah in Maccabees (Rubinstein) Wotan in Siegfried (Wagner)
  • 1900 Birth of composer Jose Ignacio Prieto Arrizubieta
  • 1901 Birth of American choral conductor Olaf C. CHRISTIANSEN in Minneapolis. Son of Frederik Melius Christiansen, founder of St. Olaf Choir. d- Northfield MN, 12 APR 1984.
  • 1910 Birth of Swiss composer Heinrich SUTERMEISTER in Feuerthalen. d-16 MAR 1995.
  • 1910 Birth of German soprano Trude Eipperle, in Stuttgart.
  • 1910 Birth of Alexei Khrivchenya Bass Born 12 Aug 1910 Odessa Died 10 Mar 1974 Teacher, Selyavina Created Vershinin in Armoured Train (Kabalevsky)
  • 1911 Birth of American music critic, writer, and lecturer Edward Thomas DOWNES in Roxbury, Ma nr Boston. d-NYC, 26 DEC 2001. Was best known as host of the "Texaco Opera Quiz" heard during live Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, 1958-96. Ph.D. Harvard, professorship of music Queens College, author of the New York Philharmonic program notes. Son of Edwin Olin Downes (music critic). (Not to be confused with English conductor Edward Thomas Downes).
  • 1919 Birth of choreographer, dancer (It’s Always Fair Weather, Smile) Michael KIDD (aka Milton Greenwald).
  • 1922 First live broadcast of a concert by the New York Philharmonic on New York radio station WJZ. Broadcast from Lewisohn Stadium during the orchestra's summer series. Music by Dvorák, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn, Rimksy-Korsakov, Brahms, and Gluck. Conducted by Willem van Hoogstraten, the orchestra's regular summer-event director.
  • (1922 is sometimes noted as the birth date of American composer, pianist and conductor Lukas FOSS. He says the year of his birth is not documented, he has no birth certificate. Born in Berlin he came to NYC from Paris in 1937. Most sources indicate his birth as August 15, 1922)
  • 1929 Birth of composer Joji Yuasa
  • 1928 Death of Moravian (Czech) composer and folksong collector Leos Janacek in Ostrava, Czechoslavakia at age 74. b-Moravia, 3 JUL 1854.
  • 1932 Birth of composer Sergey Mikhaylovich Slonimsky
  • 1934 Birth of American tenor Edward Sooter, in Salina, KS. MET: Début: May 25, 1979 [Tannhäuser] Tannhäuser, 9 seasons (1978-80, 81-88) 52 perf., 10 roles, 9 works.
  • 1936 Birth of composer Gerard Masson
  • 1938 Birth of Canadian mezzo-soprano Huguette Tourangeau, in Montreal. MET: Début: Nov. 29, 1973 [Nicklause] Les Contes d'Hoffmann, 4 seasons (1973-74, 75-78) 48 perf., 6 roles, 5 works. Debut Cherubino in Nozze di Figaro(Mozart) 1964 Teacher, Richard Bonynge, Ruzena Herlinger
  • 1940 Birth of composer Alexander Yossifov
  • 1940 Birth of soprano Dorothea Chryst
  • 1942 Birth of English early music specialist David MUNROE. d-Buckinghamshire, 15 MAY 1976, depression/suicide.
  • 1942 Death of Pasquale Amato Baritone Born 21 Mar 1878 Naples Died 12 Aug 1942 Debut as Germont in Traviata (Verdi) 1900 Teachers, Beniamino Carelli, Vincenzo Lombardi Created Jack Rance in Fanciulla del West (Puccini) Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano (Damrosch) Napoleon Bonaparte in Madame Sans Gene (Giordano)
  • 1944 Birth of German tenor, who sings rock, Peter HOFMANN in Marienband Debut as Tamino in Zauberflote (Mozart) 1972
  • 1954 Birth of American composer William WEBSTER-GARMAN in Oak Park, IL.
  • 1962 FP of MADERNA: "Don Perlimplin" radio opera RAI (1962).
  • 1964 FP of David Del Tredici's I Hear an Army for soprano and string quartet, from poem by James Joyce, at Tangelwood Festival in Lennox, MA.
  • 1964 FP of Panufnik's Sinfonia Sacra. Prize-winning work in an international competition sponsored by Prince Rainer III, in Monaco.
  • 1966 Birth of Álvarez, Carlos (b) Sp. b. Málaga, Aug. 12, 1966;
  • 1970 FP of BERIO:: "Opera" Santa Fe (1970).
  • 1980 Death of composer Leopold Spinner in London. b-Lwow (Lemberg, Austria) now Poland, 26 APR 1906.
  • 1984 Death of Australian composer and pianist Margaret Sutherland in Melbourne. b-Adelaide, 20 NOV 1897.
  • 1984 FP of L. Berio's opera Un Re in ascolto 'A King Listening', conducted by Lorin Maazel at the Salzburg Festival.
  • 1992 Death of American composer John Cage at age 79, in NYC. b-LA, CA 5 SEP 1912. Obituary.
  • 2001 FP of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Foreign Bodies. Finnish Radio Symphony conducted by Esa-Pekka Saraste at the Schlewswig-Holstein Festival in Germany.
  • 2003 FP of Hans Werner Henze's opera L'upupa at The Salzburg Festival in Austria.
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