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
December 12
1792 - Beethoven paid Franz Joseph Haydn for his first music lesson, in Vienna.

1891 - Premiere of Brahms's Clarinet Quintet, Op 115, at the Singakademie, by Richard Mühlfeld and Joachim Quartet in Berlin.

1932 - Premiere of Benjamin Britten's Phantasy Quartet No. 2 for oboe and strings. Leon Goossens and the International String Quartet in London.

1940 - Dionne Warwick (Grammy Award-winning singer: Do You Know the Way to San Jose 1968, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again 1970, Then Came You, Walk on By, I Say a Little Prayer) was born.

1948 - Premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Violin Concerto No. 1, in Baden-Baden.

1964 - The Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling was released.

1984 - The group known as Band Aid (38 of Britain’s top rock musicians) recorded Do They Know It’s Christmas? to help Ethiopian famine victims.

2001 - Premiere of Henry Brant's Pulitzer Prize winning (2002) Ice Field for orchestra. San Francisco Symphony.

2001 - Flutist James Galway received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
Can You Guess? One of Joachim's students became a famous teacher himself, and taught such violinists as Efrem Zimbalist, Nathan Milstein, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz.  Can You Guess who Joseph Joachim's student was?

See the answer at the bottom of the page.
What Else
At the age of seven, Joachim was sent to Vienna, where he studied violin with Joseph Böhm and Georg Hellmesberger Senor -- concertmaster of the royal court opera. He played in Joseph Hellmesberger’s Children’s Quartet, attended the Vienna Conservatory, finishing his studies there when he was 12.

Moving to Leipzig, Joachim studied under Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who would become his role model.  Mendelssohn made sure that Joachim studied violin, but he was equally adamant that Joachim should study composition as well as the humanities. He took Joachim to London, where Joachim performed Beethoven’s violin concerto to wide critical acclaim. As Joachim studied Mendelssohn’s concepts of art, music and the artistic personality, he began to develop a deep admiration for Mendelssohn and his ideals.

But when Joachim was 16 years old Mendelssohn suddenly died. The loss of his friend and mentor was extremely difficult for Joachim. In 1849 he went to Weimar, where he met Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. Joachim became concertmaster and composed. More importantly, here he determined to dedicate himself to his mentor's ideals.

In the fall of 1852, Joachim moved to Hannover.  It was in Hannover that he formed his friendships with Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Brahms consulted him extensively as he composed his violin concerto.  Joachim was at the baton when Brahms's First Symphony was introduced in London.  At this time Joachim also championed Beethoven's violin concerto to the extent that the Beethoven became cornerstone in the standard violin repertoire. He served in Hannover as concertmaster, musical director, and soloist.  He became such a good friend of King George V, that the King became Joachim's godfather.  He also met and married the famous opera singer Amalie Schneeweiss.  He composed.  He performed the works of the famous composers of years before as well as those of his contemporaries.  And his virtuosity on the violin grew.  It was said that Joachim was in service to no man, but was in service to his art . . . to music itself.

In 1866 Joachim left Hannover.  In 1868 he became the founding director of the Royal Academy of Music, in Berlin.  There he established the legendary Joachim Quartet.

When Joseph Joachim died on August 15, 1907 he had been active as a performer and teacher for almost 40 years.  Among his compositions are various works for the violin (including three concertos) and overtures to Shakespeare's Hamlet and Henry IV. He also wrote cadenzas for a number of other composers' concertos (including the Beethoven and Brahms).  

In 1991, the Hannover International Violin Competition of the Foundation of Lower Saxony was "Dedicated to Joseph Joachim."
December 12, Joseph Joachim and the Joachim Quartet premiered Brahms' Clarinet Quintet, Op 115, at the Singakademie in Berlin.  The clarinetist was Richard Mühlfeld.

Joseph Joachim was born on June 28, 1831, in Kittsee, near Pressburg (Austria-Hungary) , the son of a Jewish merchant family.   In 1833, the family moved to Budapest, where Joseph child was given his first violin lessons by the Polish concert master of the Pest Royal Opera. His talents were immediately apparent and it became clear that music was to be his future.
Joseph Joachim
Joseph Joachim
This Recording Features Three 19th Century Masters.  Great Sound Clips at the Amazon Site so You Can Hear the Style Common at the Time.  Primitive Recording, but Noteworthy!
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Did You Guess?
Joachim's student was Leopold Auer!

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