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
July 20
Did You Guess?
Leonard Slatkin was the much beloved conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra!

Did you see the c
olor clues?
Can You Guess?
Before Leonard Slatkin was with the National Symphony or the BBC Orchestra he conducted a well-known Midwest symphony orchestra.  Can You Guess what orchestra that was?

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What Else
Happened
Today?
Luigi von Kunits was born in Vienna, Austria July 20, 1870.

In Vienna von Kunits studied violin with Jakob Gruen and Otakar Sevcik, composition with Bruckner, and music history with Hanslick.  By the time he was 11 he played the violin so well that Brahms asked him to play second violin in one of his quartets.
1752 - John Christopher Pepusch, German born English composer and conductor (arranged The Beggar's Opera), died.

1781 - Anthony Philip Heinrich, American composer, was born.

1920 - Premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Grande Suite from the staged work "The Soldier's Tale."

1924 - Premiere of Arnold Schoenberg's Serenade for chamber ensemble, in Donaueschingen, Germany.

1940 - "Billboard" magazine published its first listing of best-selling singles

1947 - Carlos Santana was born.

1954 - Elvis Presley made his first public appearance.

1965 - Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" was released by Columbia records

2004 - Premiere of Zhou Long's The Immortal for orchestra. BBC Proms concert, BBC Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting.
When von Kunits was 21 years old he played his own violin concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic. He went to the US with an Austrian orchestra to play at the 1893 World's Fair and stayed to teach violin in Chicago until 1896 and in Pittsburgh until 1910. He was Pittsburgh Symphony's concertmaster and assistant conductor 1897-1910.

In 1910 von Kunits returned to Europe and was a touring virtuoso.  His repertoire consisted of his own concerto and concertos by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Paganini.  He toured Europe with great success, but was not forgotten by those whom he had met in North America.

In 1912 von Kunits was invited to become the Philadelphia Orchestra's conductor.  Almost simultaneously he was invited to teach at the
Canadian Academy of Music in Toronto. He took the Canadian position, and remained there until 1924. He founded the Academy String Quartet (A quartet affiliated with the Academy in which von Kunits played first violin, Milton Blankstein played second violin, Alfred Bruce played viola, and George Bruce played cello.  The group championed contemporary music.  The quartet disbanded in 1927.),  and the New Symphony Orchestra (which would later become the Toronto Symphony Orchestra).

He founded the Canadian Journal of Music, contributed to periodicals, and  wrote a book on Beethoven. His compositions include two violin concertos, a string quartet, a lullaby for violin and orchestra, and a viola sonata

He died in Toronto October 8, 1931.
Luigi von Kunits
1870-1931
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Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony play Copland
Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony play Mahler
Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony play Tchaikovsky
Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony  --  What a Combination!