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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
February 29
Can You Guess? Louis Armstrong's hugely popular recording of Hello Dolly made its premiere February 29, 1964. Armstrong's gravelly voice is instantly recognizable, but if you're not familiar with him, you may not realize that he also played an instrument. Can You Guess what instrument Armstrong played?

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What Else
1596 - Philippe Rogier,  Franco-Flemish composer, died in Madrid.

1792 - Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Italian opera composer, was born in  Pesaro.

1828 - Premiere of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber's La muette de Portici (Masaniello) at the Paris Opera.

1836 - Premiere of Giacomo Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots in Paris.

1852 - Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen, British composer, was born.

1932 - Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers teamed up to record Shine.

1996 - Wes Farrell, pop songwriter, died.
Igor Stravinsky
1882 - 1971
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Stravinsky's song cycle The Faun and the Shepherdess premiered February 29, 1908.

Igor Stravinsky was born in Russia in 1882.  He grew up in a musical atmosphere and studied with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.  In 1909 Sergei Diaghilev heard some of Stravisnky's music, was impressed, and asked him to orchestrate some of Chopin's piano pieces.  He very much liked the results, and commissioned an original ballet.  The resulting ballet, The Firebird, premiered in 1910, and was immediately popular, as was the ballet Petrushka in 1911.
The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky's third ballet, premiered in Paris in 1913.  The resulting shock at the piece's dissonance, rhythms and percussiveness, caused outrage and confusion in the classical music community, but even then the piece was perceived as a masterpiece. 

In 1930, the prestigious German publishing house, Schott, approached Stravinsky with the idea of his composing a violin concerto.  The story of that composition can be read here.

Stravinsky found France's influence on his music was beginning to decline. He became a French citizen in June, 1934, and applied to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.  He was denied admission, and was deeply humiliated.  As a result, he decided to move to America, arriving in September, 1939.

In America Stravinsky began to feel appreciated once again.  He associated with celebrities and intellectuals.  Numerous compositions followed, including The Symphony in Three Movements, Ebony Concerto, The Rake's Progress and Mass.  He undertook conducting tours and befriended Robert Craft.  Craft became the conductor whom Stravinsky trusted to evaluate new ideas and compositions.  Craft also introduced Stravinsky to serial (twelve-tone) music, which had been pioneered by Arnold Schoenberg.

Stravinsky became interested in the music of Schoenberg's student Anton Webern. He began composing his own serial music, culminating in his final composition, the Requiem Canticles.

Stravinsky passed away April 6, 1971. His funeral was held on the fifteenth, and he was buried in Venice on the island of San Michele, near his friend Sergei Diaghilev.
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The Irish Fiddle (A Complete Guide to Learning) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
The Irish Fiddle (A Complete Guide to Learning) Written by Paul McNevin. For fiddle and violin. Includes instructional book and examples CD. With introductory text, instructional text, standard notation, bowings and black & white photos. Irish, Celtic and Instructional. Series: Walton, method. 112 pages. Published by Walton's Mfg., Ltd. (MB.98360WBCD)
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Did You Guess?
Louis Armstrong played the trumpet! 

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