|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
|Did You Guess?
A bouzouki is a musical instrument common in Greece. Click the picture of the bouzouki to learn more.
|Can You Guess?
God Bless You!
No, I didn't sneeze. A bouzouki is a musical instrument, and we read that Athena plays it!
Can You Guess what a bouzouki looks like?
For the answer go to the bottom of the page.
|January 12, 2002 marked the debut Athena Adamopoulos' Soliloquy for cello and piano. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Christopher O'Riley performed it on the radio program From the Top. (By the way, be sure to look for the program on your local public or classical radio station. It is a great showcase for young artists.) She plays cello and piano, and attended the pre-college program of the Juilliard School in New York City. She is now a student at Harvard.|
|Athena began studying piano when she was six, and has been composing for as long as she can remember. "I never really decided to compose," she says. "Composing came through me. I would just sit down at an instrument -- the piano or a keyboard or whatever happened to be in my toy stash -- and play the tunes I had in my head and improvise." Athena remembers being in trouble at school for not concentrating on her work because she was too distracted by compositions going through her head! "One time in first grade I was supposed to be taking a math test, and instead of writing down my answers, I was composing. My teacher, Mrs. Karp, came over to me and wanted to know what I was doing. I explained to her that I could not think about math because I had to write down what was in my head. I could think of nothing else but music."
Athena's work has interrested people for quite some time. She played one of her first compositions, Tango, on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show in an episode about outstanding young performers when she was eight. At the age of 9, she made her orchestral debut with the Jupiter Symphony in New York. Since then she has performed with Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary, the Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center, and the Chopin Foundation of New York. CNN, ABC, and NBC television, as well as NPR, have broadcast her work.
In 2002, she recieved of the Morton Gould Young Composers’ Award presented by ASCAP for her composition Theme and Dance of the Regiment, scored for full orchestra (which was commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony ).
We've talked about cello, piano and composing, but that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Athena's music interests. "I would like to continue my studies in composition and piano, and I also enjoy opera and would like to continue with voice lessons. Conducting is awesome. I enjoy playing other instruments as well, like cello, and my latest addition, the French horn. I also have a guitar, a bouzouki, an accordion and a viola, which I play in the InterSchool Orchestras of New York."
But music is not Athena's entire life. She enjoys writing and poetry, and has earned a National Scholastic Medal for excellence in writing.
Regarding Soliloquy, Athena remembers, "It's the most touching feeling in the world. When I heard the piece in my head originally I heard it something like this, but not quite... and this is about ten times better!"
Variations on a Theme
of Robert Schumann
|1723 - Premiere of Handel's opera Ottone.
1737 - Birth of Italian composer Brizio Petrucci.
1821 - Birth of Russian composer Nikolai Afanisev.
1864 - Premiere of J. Brahms's Variations on a Theme by R. Schumann Op. 23, for piano four-hands.
1884 - Birth of composer Louis Horst.
1894 - Premiere of A. Dvorák's String Quintet in Eb, Op. 97 American in NYC.
1900 - Birth of Finnish composer Vaino Hannikainen.
1905 - 'Tex' Ritter, 'Hillcountry' Singer was born.
1917 - Birth of American conductor Walter Hendl in West Orange NJ.
1921 - Leo Smit, US pianist and composer, was born.
1926 - Ray Price, C&W Vocals/leader was born.
1928 - American debut of pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Played Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with NY Philharmonic.
1952 - Ricky Van Shelton, C&W Vocals, was born.
1957 - Harry Belafonte's Banana Boat Song (Day-O) was released.
1964 - Premiere of Henry Cowell's Concerto Grosso for chamber orchestra.