|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? Julius Fucík is sometimes called "The Bohemian Sousa."|
|Can You Guess?
Julius Fucík spent most of his life as director of military bands in Czechoslovakia. Most of his compostions were for those groups. Can You Guess what his nickname among musicologists is?
Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
|July 18, 1972 marked the first performance of Andrzej Panufnik's Violin Concerto. Sir Yehudi Menuhin was the soloist.
Yehudi Menuhin was born April 22, 1916 in New York City. In 1918 the family moved to San Francisco. When Yehudi was five he began studying the violin with Sigmund Anker, and he gave his first performance that same year.
In 1923 Menuhin began studying with Louis Persinger, concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and he made his first public performance the next year. Yehudi played Bériot’s Scčne de Ballet, with Persinger accompanying him on the piano.
|1872 - Birth of Czechoslovakian composer Julius Fucík.
1927 - Birth of German conductor Kurt Masur. He joined the New York Philharmonic as conductor in 1981.
1954 - Tobias Picker, US composer, was born in New York City.
1960 - Hank Ballard and the Midnighters released The Twist. The song wasn't a hit until later in the year when Chubby Checker covered it.
1964 - The Beatles album A Hard Days Night was released.
1976 - Premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's multi-media piece Sirius at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
2003 - First performance of a piano piece by French composer Claude Debussy. Found in 2001, it was composed in 1917 during World War I. Debussy gave the piece to his coal supplier for keeping his house warm during the winter in Paris. Entitled: The evening that was lit up by the embers, played by French pianist Jean-Pierre Armengaud.
|"The violinist is that peculiarly human phenomenon distilled to a rare potency-half tiger, half poet."
"The violinist must possess the poet's gift of piercing the protective hide which grows on propagandists, stockbrokers and slave traders, to penetrate the deeper truth which lies within."
|When Persinger moved to New York the Menuhin family followed. He gave a recital at the Manhattan Opera House in 1926. That same year Persinger directed the San Francisco Orchestra and Yehudi played solo in a performance of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole.
In 1927 Menuhin made his Paris début in 2 concerts with the Lamoureux Orchestra. He again played Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, but also played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto He also started lessons with Enescu in Paris and Romania.
By 1928 Yehudi was making recordings for Victor.
Until 1928 Menuhin played on a borrowed Guadagnini a borrowed Guarnerius, but when Menuhin was 12 years old, Henry Goldman, a philanthropic friend, offered him any violin of his choice. Menuhin chose a Stradivarius - the 'Prince Khevenhueller,' along with a Tourte bow.
In 1929 Menuhin went to Basel where he began studies with Adolf Busch. On April 12, 1929 he gave his first concert in Berlin, where he played three violin concertos - Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Albert Einstein was in the audience and afterwards rushed up to Menuhin exclaiming: "Now I know there is a God in heaven."
With that talent and the ability to move listeners, Menuhin's career only skyrocketed from there.
After Lalo conducted a 1932 performance of his Symphonie Espagnole he commented, “The way that boy plays my concerto is amazing.” In 1937 gave the US premičre of the Violin Concerto by Schumann. In 1943 Menuhin met and played for Bartók. He commissioned a violin sonata. When he played the piece for the composer Bartók said, “I did not think that music could be played like that until long after the composer was dead”
Among Menuhin's accomplishments were
- Played for inaugural United Nations assembly in San Francisco
- World premičre of Walton's Violin and Piano Sonata
- Concert tour of India in aid of Famine Relief, where he heard sitar player Ravi Shankar and met yoga teacher BKS Iyengar
- Established the Bath Festival Orchestra
- Established Yehudi Menuhin School in London.
- President of International Music Council, UNESCO (for three successive terms
- Established Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition (later London International String Quartet Competition, the leading event of its kind)
- Performed at Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, USA
- Received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1986
In 1996 Menuhin turned 80 years old. That year he conducted 110 concerts.
Active until the end, Yehudi Menuhin died March 12, 1999 while on tour with the Sinfonia Varsovia.
|Jazz Violin with Yehudi Menuhin
and Stephane Grappelli
|Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole Composed by Edouard Lalo (1823-1892), edited by Yehudi Menuhin. For violin and piano. Opus 21. Format: set of performance parts (includes separate pull-out violin part). With solo part and piano reduction. Romantic Period. 44 pages. 7.5x10.5 inches. Published by C.F. Peters. (PE.P03797a)
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