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
November 6
Did You Guess?
Tchaikovsky wrote the music forthe ballet The Nutcracker!  Clara is the name of the little girl who has the dream. 

Click Here for a GREAT Nutcracker page by the St. Louis Ballet!

By the way, did you see the color clues?
Can You Guess?
Tchaikovsky is well known around the Christmas for a certain work that millions of people go to every year that involves people's toes.  Can You Guess what that work might be, Clara?
What Else
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died November 6, 1893.  He was born May 7, 1840,  in Votkinsk, Russia. He started piano studies at the age of 5, and showed remarkable gifts.

When he was just 10 he was sent to the School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg, where the family lived for some time. His parting from his mother died when he was 14, and event that some believe inspired him to start composing music.
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
In 1863 he entered the Conservatory, in St. Petersburg, studying there, and also undertaking private teaching. Three years later he moved to Moscow with a professorship of harmony at the new conservatory there. Although the conservative music establishment was not fond of his music, the public gave his First Symphony a good reception.

By 1874, Tchaikovsky had won acclaim with his Second Symphony,  had  composed two string quartets (the first the source of the famous Andante cantabile), most of his next opera, Vakula the Smith, and his First Piano Concerto.  Tchaikovsky had originally intended for Nikolay Rubinstein, the head of Moscow Conservatory, who had encouraged him, but Rubinstein declared it to be unplayable.  Tchaikovsky then dedicated to Hans von Bulow (who gave its premiere, in Boston).

Although Tchaikovsky composed many types of music, the piece that excites violinists is his Violin Concerto.  Tchaikovsky was very fond of former student Yosif Kotek, a violinist of considerable skill, and set out to write a concerto to showcase his skills.

Within eleven days of starting, Tchaikovsky had completely sketched out the work, but was displeased with the second movement.  One day was all it took to replace that movement, then he set out to orchestrate the work.  In all, the entire concerto was written over the course of just thirty days.

Now it came time to premiere the work, but he needed a violinist of substantial stature to debut it, and his friend did not yet have that reputation.  So Tchaikovsky chose to dedicate the work to the renowned soloist Leopold Auer.  Auer said that the piece was "unviolinistic."  Other violinists also turned Tchaikovsky down before he finally persuaded Adolph Brodsky to premiere the work in Vienna in December 4, 1881.

By most accounts, Brodsky performed the piece well, but the critics were not kind. Eduard Hanslick, the most influential of Viennese critics, wrote:
The Russian composer Tchaikovsky is surely not an ordinary talent, but rather an inflated one, with a genius-obsession without discrimination or taste. Such is also his latest, long and pretentious Violin Concerto. . . . (at) the end of the first movement. The violin is no longed played; it is beaten black and blue. The Adagio is again on its best behavior, to pacify and to win us. But it soon breaks off to make way for a finale that transfers us to a brutal and wretched jollity of a Russian holiday. We see plainly the savage vulgar faces, we hear curses, we smell vodka... Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto gives us for the first time the hideous notion that there can be music that stinks to the ear."  In time critics, the public and violinists themselves have come to love the piece.  It is now a standard in most repertoires.

In 1893 Tchaikovsky wrote his Symphony no. 6 in B Minor, subsequently titled Pathetique by his brother Modeste. He conducted the piece in St. Petersburg on October 28, 1893.  Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died of cholera 9 days later, November 6, 1893.
1717 - Bach went to jail for three weeks for breaking his contract for his service in Weimar

1814 - Birth of Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in Dinant. Inventor of the saxophone in 1840.

1862 - Birth of Croatian violinist and violist Louis Svecenski. Member of the Kneisel Quartet 1885-1917.  Edited violin exercises. (Click to See.)

1910 - Arthur Cohen, US composer, conductor and author, was born.

1913 - Premiere of Camille Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra, in Paris.

1935 - Premiere of Sir William Walton's completed Symphony No. 1. BBC Symphony, Sir Hamilton Harty conducting.

1950 - First performance of Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto. Radio program with Benny Goodman and the NBC Symphony

1953 - Premiere of Nikolaus Nakokov's Cello Concerto Les Hommages. Lorne Munroe, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting.

1968 - Joe Cocker was at No.1 in the UK singles chart with his version of The Beatles 'With A Little Help From Friends'.

1999 - First performance of Elisabetta Brusa's Adagio for strings
Joshua Bell Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Nutcracker DVD
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A GREAT rendition of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  This would make an excellent Christmas or Holiday Gift!
George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, with Kevin Kline as narrator.  An excellent version of this timeless ballet for your DVD Collection.
Joshua Bell's interpretation of Camille Saint-SaŽns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra.  Very Nice!
Lady Violinist Christmas Ornament
A Very Nice Ornament to Grace Your Tree.  See Our Christmas Ornament Page by Clicking Here!
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Music Theory Flash Cards
Music Theory Flash Cards:
48 note naming cards, containing 96 notes and rests in the treble and bass clefs.