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
TODAY IS
January 24
Can You Guess?
A viola looks like a big violin, but it is tuned differently.  A violin's strings (low to high) are G, D, A and E.  Can You Guess what notes a viola's strings are tuned to?
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Yuri Bashmet was born Jan. 24, 1953 in Russia. He studied violin at his mother's request (he preferred guitar & listened to the Beatles), but changed to viola when a friend told him, “You would make a talented viola player--you would need much less time to practise . . . then you will have more time for your guitar!”
Yuri Bashmet    
1953-       
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1712 - Birth of Prussian Crown Prince Frederick aka Frederick the Great, composer and statesman, King of Prussia.

1813 - Founding of London's Royal Philharmonic Society.

1919 - Leon Kirchner, US composer, pianist, conductor was born.

1926 - Debut of conductor Otto Klemperer in U.S.

1939 - Ray Stevens, singer songwriter (The Streak, Ahab the Arab, Mississippi Squirrel Revival), was born.

1957 - Elvis Presley recorded Teddy Bear. (Album: Loving You)

1969 - Jethro Tull plays first US concert-opens for Led Zeppelin.

1999 - American choral director-conductor Robert Shaw died.
He began his Moscow Conservatory studies at 18, first with Vadim Borisovsky (violist of the Beethoven Quartet) then Feodor Druzhinin. He became the youngest professor ever at the Moscow Conservatory. He won first prize at the 1976 International Viola Competition in Munich.

Several composers have written for Bashmet. He premiered Alfred Schnittke's Viola Concerto in 1986. The work has since become firmly established in the repertoire.

In 1992 Bashmet began working with a new group, Moscow Soloists, which he directs himself. This group is composed of musicians nominated by professors at the Moscow Conservatoire as the cream of the new generation of string players.

He has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras. The London Symphony Orchestra gave a 4-concert Yuri Bashmet festival in 1993 at the Barbican.  Yuri has also had the honor to be the first violist ever to give a solo recital in several of the world's major concert halls, including La Scala in Milan and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

He lives in Moscow, founded the Yuri Bashmet International Foundation, which offers the Shostakovich Prize annually, and teaches at festivals in Siena and Elbe.
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Did You Guess?
A viola's strings are tuned to C, G, D and A.
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