|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
1703 - Johann Christian Bach, German composer and son of Johann Sebastian Bach, died.
1732 - Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born.
1784 - Premiere of W. A. Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K. 451. Mozart was soloist.
1794 - Premiere of Haydn's Symphony No. 100 Military, conducted by the composer on his 62nd birthday.
1841 - Premiere of Robert Schumann's Spring Symphony No. 1 Mendelssohn conducted.
1901 - Premiere of Dvorak's opera Russalka in Prague..
1935 - Herb Alpert, leader/trumpet of The Tijuana Brass, was born.
1984 - To All The Girls I've Loved Before, by opera star Julio Iglesias and country singer Willie Nelson, was released.
2001 - Premiere of Peter Lieberson's Piano Quintet, with pianist Peter Serkin and the Orion String Quartet.
|Can You Guess?
Willie Nelson, who sang with Julio Iglesias, sings songs about things like cowboys, is mentioned in a song about Luckenbach, and started the Farm Aid concert series. Can You Guess in what state Willie was born?
Go to the Bottom of the Column for the Answer
|Henryk Wieniawski died March 31, 1880.
Henryk was born July 10, 1835 in Lublin, Poland. His mother, Regina, was a professional pianist.
Henryk began violin lessons when he was only 5 years old. When he was 8 he had progressed to the point where he was admitted to the Paris Conservatory. It was clear very early that Henryk was a child prodigy. His mother moved to Paris with him, and remained the driving force behind his education.
|Henryk completed an accelerated course of study at the conservatory despite his young age and the fact that he was not learning in his first language. He graduated with a gold medal.
After graduation Henryk remained in Paris. He continued studies under professor Joseph L Massart, with whom he studied advanced technique. While in Paris he met Adam Mickiewicz, the famous poet, and Fryderyck Chopin, the composer. It was during this period that Henryk completed his first compositions, although they are viewed as quite immature, it must be remembered that he was only 13 when these works were produced!
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|Henryk returned to the Paris Conservatory to study composition. He was joined there by his brother, Josef. They remained there until 1850. Upon leaving the conservatory Henryk began a series of concerts. The schedule was very demanding, and it was to set the pattern for the rest of his career.|
|While traveling Henryk met many fellow musicians. Among them were Belgian violinist and composer Henri Vieuxtemps; Stanislaw Moniuszko (who was also from Poland), to whom he dedicated Allegro de Sonate op. 2; Karol Lipinski, another virtuoso Polish violinist; Robert Schumann and Anton Rubinstein.
Rubinstein was very impressed with Henryk. He helped Henryk obtain a three year contract to the Court of St Petersburg, as well as the Court Theater there. He became the violin soloist in 1860, and was so well-received that his contract was extended not just once, but three more times. While in St. Petersburg Henryk became a teacher in the Russian Music Society (which was run by his friend Anton Rubinstein) and founded a string quartet. Through these positions Henryk became extremely influential in the development of the Russian school of violin. Henryk and his family remained in St. Petersburg until 1872.
|Throughout his stay Henryk continued to travel extensively during the Spring and Summer. He took this opportunity to maintain his career as a soloist. When he had fulfilled his last contract in St. Petersburg, he resumed the life of the traveling virtuoso with a two-year tour of North America.|
|In 1875 Henryk returned to Europe. He became professor of violin at the prestigous Brussels Conservatory, but still continued to perform throughout Europe.
Henryk's exhausting schedule during his North American trip and taken its toll, and his health began to deteriorate. He began to decline almost immediately, and never recovered. This did not, however, prevent Henryk from continuing to tour. He died of heart failure while on tour in Moscow, March 31, 1880, at the age of 45.
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