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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
TODAY IS
March 24
Can You Guess? We read of the first London performance of Handel's Messiah.  During the performance a tradition was established by the King. Can You Guess what that tradition is?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
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What Else
Happened
Today?
1731 - Premiere of Bach's St. Mark Passion performed at Vespers on Good Friday, in Leipzig.

1743 - First London performance of Handel's Messiah.

1750 - Birth of Johann Matthias Sperger, German composer and contrabass player.

1792 - Premiere Haydn's Surprise Symphony #94 in G in London.  Click the link to go to Amazon.  In the section that allows you to listen to tracks from the CD, go to the second track on Disc 2 . . . marked "Andante."  Turn up you speakers.  Click the link for track two.  Then listen for the Surprise!

1828 - Premiere of  Beethoven's String Quartet in F, Op. 135, posthumously by the Schuppanzigh Quartet, in Vienna.

1860 -  Joachim's Violin Concerto ("Hungarian"), premiered in Hannover, Germany

1868 - "Fiddlin'" John Carson was born. Between 1923 and 1931, Carson made over 150 recordings for the Okeh Label.

1944 - Premiere of Henry Cowell's Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 2 for strings.

1985 - We Are The World, by USA For Africa, was released.
Dorothy DeLay
1917 - 2002
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Dorothy DeLay, died March 24, 2002.

To many of you her name is unfamiliar, but the list of Miss Delay's students includes some of the world's greats.  Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers, Shlomo Mintz, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, Nigel Kennedy, Robert McDuffie, Sarah Chang, Mark Kaplan, Rachel Lee, Gil Shaham, Midori, and Kyoko Takezawa and  violinists of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Tokyo, American, Mendelssohn, Takács, Blair, Fine Arts, and Vermeer String Quartets studied with her.  She taught concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and Chicago Symphony.
Dorothy Delay was born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, on March 31, 1917.  She began playing the violin when she was 4 and gave a recital at her church when she was 5. When she was 16, she enrolled at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, where she studied the violin under Raymond Cerf, who had studied under Belgian virtuoso and composer Eugčne Ysaye.  A year later she transferred to Michigan State University (graduating in 1937), and then moved on to what was then called The Juilliard Graduate School, where she studied with Louis Persinger, Hans Letz and Felix Salmond.  While in New York she began giving recitals and traveling with a chamber ensemble and Leopold Stokowski's All American Youth Orchestra.  During a trip she met writer Edward Newhouse, and the two were married in 1941.  DeLay's concertizing was interrupted by her husband's transfers to several air force bases throughout World War II, and after the war the couple moved to Rockland County, New York and DeLay decided to return to Juilliard for further studies.
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Ivan Galamian was DeLay's teacher.She became his assistant, both at his summer camp, Meadowmount, and at Juilliard. Galamian became the inspiration that caused DeLay to change her own focus from performing to teaching.  She remained with Juilliard for the rest of her life.
Even though she was married, her students called her Miss DeLay.

Miss DeLay was quite demanding in prescribing a study regimen.  It was quite typical for a student's practice sessions to last five hours.  At least one hour was devoted to technical elements of playing . . . etudes, repertory pieces and works by J. S. Bach.  She did permit a 10-minute break once an hour.
Teaching Genius Dorothy DeLay
Galamian
A Very Good Biography of One of the Great Violin Teachers of Our Time
This is an EXCELLENT resource for students at or above the intermediate level.  It is a MUST READ for all teachers!
Did You Guess?
During the performance King George II stood as the Hallelujah Chorus was played.  Protocol said that when the King stood, everyone else had to.  The King remained standing through the entire chorus.  To this day it is traditional for the audience to stand when the Hallelujah Chorus is sung.

Hallelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah!
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Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg described Miss DeLay, saying, "I think the greatest things about Dorothy DeLay is that she has the ability to look at a young student or an old student and pretty much size up their character and the way that they think — their personality, basically — and how in a short period of time what's the best door to use to get them into here. And that's her method — that fact that there is really no method."

Beyond the technique Dorothy DeLay tried to train her students to think for themselves, trust their own instincts and realize that even in the strictest of environments they still had choices.

DeLay and Galamian experienced a serious falling out in 1970 when DeLay chose to teach for the summer at Aspen instead of Meadowmount.  Galamian never spoke to her again.

In addition to her work at Juilliard, Dorothy DeLay taught at Sarah Lawrence College from 1947 to 1987. She also taught at the University of Cincinnati, the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, the New England Conservatory, and the Royal College of Music in London.
In spite of the amount of work imposed, Miss DeLay was known for her easygoing, almost homey, manner.  She never imposed her own views on her students.  If they appeared to be on the wrong path, she would gently steer them right.