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
April 7
What Else
1724 - Premiere of Bach's St. John Passion in Leipzig.
1763 - Italian composer Domenico Dragonetti, was born.

1783 - Ignaz Holzbauer, German composer, died.

1792 - French composer Rouget de Lisle completed La Marseillaise. Click HERE to hear a MIDI version. (Sound quality is not good,  but the performance at THIS LINK is STUNNING! Right Click and Choose "Save Target As")

1805 - Premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No 3, Eroica . A MIDI of the first movement is available HERE.

1863 - US Premiere of Mozart's Symphony No. 40. Brooklyn Philharmonic, Theodore Thomas conducting.

1876 - Premiere of Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda including the popular Dance of the Hours in Milan.

1893 - Premiere Margaret Ruthven Lang's Dramatic Overture by the Boston Symphony. First major orchestra performance of a work by an US woman.

1915 - Billie Holiday, US jazz singer, was born.

1920 - Birth of Indian sitar player / composer Pandit Ravi Shankar. Father of pop-diva Nora Jones.

1949 - Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific 's Broadway debut. Ran 1925 performances.

1951 - Janis Ian, US folk singer, was born.

1975 - Metropolitan Opera debut of American soprano Beverly Sills, in Rossini's The Siege of Corinth.
Harbison joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where, in 1984, he was named Class of 1949 Professor of Music and, in 1994, the Killian Award Lecturer in recognition of “extraordinary professional accomplishments”; he has also taught at the California Institute of the Arts and Boston University and is currently on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival. In 1991, he was the Mary Biddle Duke Lecturer in Music at Duke University. In 1998, Harbison was named winner of the Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities.  He also received the Kennedy Center Friedheim First Prize of 1980 for his Piano Concerto, and a MacArthur Fellowship in 1989. With his wife Rose Mary Harbison, for whom he has composed much of his violin music, he runs the Token Creek Music Festival on his family's farm in Wisconsin.

As a composer, John Harbison has written for every type of concert performance.  One can see the influence of music styles from jazz to Stravinsky to Prokofiev to Bach in his works. Among other works,he has produced four string quartets, three symphonies, the cantata
The Flight into Egypt (1987 Pulitzer Prize for music), and three operas including The Great Gatsby, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and first performed to great acclaim in December 1999.  Besides the Met, his works have been commissioned by The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, the Boston Symphony and the Insraeli Consulate of Chicago.

Harbison has conducted many leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. He was Creative Chair with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1990-92. He was music director of the Cantata Singers in Boston. He also worked with  the Handel and Haydn Society. For many years he has been principal guest conductor of Emmanuel Music in Boston, leading performances of Bach cantatas, seventeenth-century motets, and new music.

Harbison has a particular interest in furthering the work of younger composers, and serves on the boards of directors of the American Academy in Rome  and the Koussevitzky Foundation, He is president of the Copland Fund, and has servied on juries of the Fromm Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
John Harbison
John Harbison's Cello Concerto premiered April 7, 1994. Seiji Ozawa conducted the Boston Symphony, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist.

Harbison was born December 20, 1938 into a musical family.  By age 5 he was imporovising on the piano and formed a jazz band when he was 12.  He studied violin, viola, piano, tuba, and voice, while attending Princeton (N.J.) High School. Harbison did undergraduate work at Harvard.  He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at Princeton University.
Can You Guess?
The singer of such classics as Night and Day and They Can't Take That Away From Me, Billie Holiday may have been the best jazz singer of all time.  Can You Guess what her nickname was?

Look at the bottom of the page for the answer.
Violinist Mischa Elman
fiddler crab(by) teacher shirt
Violinist Mischa Elman
Includes Harbison's
Cello Concerto
Violinist Mischa Elman
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Did You Guess?
They called Billie Holiday "
Lady Day."

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