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
August 7
Can You Guess?
The singing group Chanticleer recorded Augusta Read Thomas's Love is a Beautiful Dream.  The group takes its name from a character in Chaucer's story The Nun's Priest's Tale. Can You Guess what kind of animal Chanticleer is?

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1818 - Henry Charles Litolff, English composer, was born.

1829 - Mendelssohn visited Fingal's Cave in the Hebrides Islands west of Scotland coast and started composing the Hebrides Overture.

1868 - Sir Granville Ransome Bantock,  British composer and teacher, was born.

1881 - Georges Enescu, Romanian composer, was born in Liveni-Virnav.

1921 - Karel Husa, of Czech born  American composer and conductor, was born in Prague.

1926 - Stan Freberg was born. During the 1950s, he had more novelty record hits than any other artist. Made hundreds of radio and television commercials.

1963 - The movie Beach Party, with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, debuted.

1965 - California Girls, by The Beach Boys, was released.

1965 - It's The Same Old Song, by the Four Tops was released.

1981 - Premiere of John Harbison's Piano Quintet, with Edward Auer, piano;, Daniel Phillips and Ani Kavafian, violin; Walter Trampler, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello, at the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico.
Murmurs in the Mist of Memory, by Augusta Read Thomas, premiered August 7, 2001 at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado,

Augusta Read Thomas, was born in 1964 in Glen Cove, New York,   Formerly an Associate Professor on the composition faculty at the
Eastman School of Music, she became the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1997 - 2006).
Augusta Read
1964 -
Thomas studied at Northwestern University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins; Yale University, with Jacob Druckman; and at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Six months after she gave up a full graduate scholarship at Yale University to pursue her work as a composer, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra contacted 23-year old Thomas asking to play Wind Dance, an orchestral piece she'd entered in a student competition before leaving Yale.  Ms. Thomas had already composed 20 symphonies (all of which had been read or performed), plus chamber and choral music, by the time the Philharmonic contacted her.

Thomas has now composed more than 400 works, but withdrew the majority of them from publication and performance including Wind Dance.

"I always want to put my best foot forward," she says. "I tend to like pieces that have perfect rhythm, perfect counterpoint and perfect orchestration it has to all be perfect.

"For my music, I like dazzling, passionate performances.

"My favorite moment in any piece of music is the moment of maximum risk and striving. Whether the venture is tiny or large, loud or soft, fragile or strong, passionate, erratic, ordinary or eccentric! Maybe another way to say this is the moment of exquisite humanity and raw soul. All art that I cherish has an element of love and recklessness and desperation. I like music that is alive and jumps off the page and out of the instrument as if something big is at stake and I like my players to perform with this spirit. Have an excellent technical command of the music and then play it from the heart like a solo cadenza!"

As composer in residence, Ms. Thomas not only writes music for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but reviews scores sent to the orchestra by other composers, recommending deserving pieces for performance.

Thomas has received many awards and prizes from such groups as ASCAP, BMI, the National Endowment for the Arts (1994, 1992, 1988), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (2001, 1994, 1989), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation (1999), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1998) and many, many others.
violin mug - quote augusta read thomas
Chanticleer -- Love is a Beautiful Dream, Thomas
Includes Augusta Read Thomas's
Love is a Beautiful Dream
Violin Mug With Quote from
Augusta Read Thomas
"Bravo to those of us who understand
that old music needs new music
and new music needs old music."
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Did You Guess?
In Chaucer's story Chanticleer was a rooster.

Did You See the Color Clues?
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