Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
April 15
1688 - Johann Friedrich Fasch, German composer, was born.

1728 - Premiere of Bach's St. Matthew Passion in the Thomaskirche, Leipzig.

1738 - Premiere of Handel's opera Xerxes .

1739 - Premiere of Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt.

1902 - Premiere of Ravel's Pavanne for a Dead Princess.

1912 - Legend says 8 British musicians died playing Nearer My God to Thee, as the S.S. Titanic sank.

1918 - Prokoviev performed the premiere of his Piano Sonata No. 3 and Visions fugitives Op. 22.

1927 - Premiere of Frederich Converse's orchestral fantasy Flivver Ten Million to mark the production of Ford's millionth automobile.

1929 - The Victor Talking Machine Company awarded prizes for composition. The judges said that none of the entries deserved the full $25,000 prize, giving $5000 each to Ernest Bloch, Aaron Copland, and Louis Gruenberg, and $10,000 to Robert Russell Bennett for submitting 2 works.

1931 - Premiere of Copland's A Dance Symphony.

1968 - Aretha Franklin recorded Think.

1971 - Funeral Mass for composer Igor Stravinsky in Venice.

1976 - Premiere of William Schuman's Concerto on Old English Rounds for viola, women's chorus and orchestra, in NYC.

1981 - Premiere of John Adams's Harmonium with text by Emily Dickinson.

2000 - Premiere of Steve Mackey's Tuck and Roll Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra.
Can You Guess?
We read below about Aretha Franklin recording Think.  The song is included in a famous comedy. Can You Guess what movie the song is in?  See You Later, Bro!  I'm hungry, think I'm gonna go get me 4 fried chickens, a coke and dry toasted white bread.

To see the answer look at the bottom of the page.
What Else
Happened Today?
April 15, 1924 Sir Neville Marriner was born in London.

Marriner studied at the Royal College of Music in London from the age of 13.  He later entered the violin class at the Paris Conservatoire taught by René Benedetti. He spent a season at Eton college (1947-48), and then became second violinist in the Martin Quartet.
Sir Neville Marriner
1924 -  

Click Photo to See His Work at Amazon
In 1949 Neville Marriner founded the Virtuoso String Trio, and together with harpisichordist Thurston Dart, he founded the Jacobean Ensemble. Dart's philosophy concerning early music affected Marriner profoundly.  Dart believed that music should be played "at the nimble pace" of their time, rather than slowed down by the "accumulated weight of awe and reverence" that we so often see today.  Marriner adopted the philosophy, very much to the delight of his audiences.

From 1949 to 1950 Marriner taught the violin at the Royal College of Music and at the same time attended summer courses in orchestral conducting held by Pierre Monteux in the US state of Maine.
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He joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1952 and went to the London Symphony Orchestra in 1956 as principal second violin, staying there until 1968. Playing with major London orchestras let him play under legendary conductors Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Guido Cantelli and Herbert von Karajan.
While still playing as principal second violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra Neville Marriner founded the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1959, and from the concertmaster's seat as the director of this ensemble he gravitated towards conducting. Marriner thus cultivated a lean, taut, unsentimental sound on modern-day instruments, which delighted his audiences with light and sprightly rhythms.  Pierre Monteux became his mentor. He makes numerous concert tours with this ensemble and many recordings.

From 1969 to 1979, Neville Marriner was also musical director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, from 1971 to 1973 deputy conductor of the Northern Symphony Orchestra, from 1979 to 1986 musical director of the Minnesota Orchestra and from 1986 to 1989 principal conductor of South German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Although the majority of his opera and symphonic performances and recordings are with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, one of the most comprehensively recorded chamber orchestras in the world, he works consistently with major orchestras throughout the world.

Neville Marriner has twice been honoured for his services to music. In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 1985 he received a Knighthood. In addition, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1995 by the French Ministry of Culture for his outstanding lifelong commitment to French cultural life.
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Did You Guess?
Aretha sang Think to her husband, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, as he was about to leave their restaurant to go on the road with Jake and Elwood in The Blues Brothers.  Click the image below and Amazon has a sound sample!
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