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
October 1
1644 - Birth of Italian composer Alessandro Stradella in Rome.

1832 - Henry Clay Work, American composer, was born.

1865 - Paul Dukas, French composer, was born in Paris.

1880 - John Philip Sousa was named conductor of the U.S. Marine Band.

1900 - Premiere of Joseph Suk's E-flat Symphony, in Prague.

1903 or 1904? - Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-American pianist, was born.

1913 - Premiere of  Elgar's symphonic poem, Falstaff.

1924 - Curtis Institute of Music opened. $12 Million donation from Mary Louise Curtis (Curtis Publishing,  Saturday Evening Post).

1935 - Julie Andews, Broadway and movie actress, was born.

1937 - Premiere of Nikolai Miaskovsky's Symphony No. 18.

1956 - Elvis Presley recorded an extra verse of Love Me Tender for use over the credits of the movie.

1961 - Premiere of Dimitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12 The Year 1917. Leningrad Philharmonic.

1964 - Ernst Toch,  Austrian-American composer, died.  Won a Pulitzer Prize for his 3rd Symphony (1956).   See his violin sonata here.

1975 - Premiere of Dimitri Shostakovich's Viola Sonata by Fyodor Druzhinin, viola and Mikhail Muntyan, piano.

1979 - Roy Harris, US composer, died.

1992 - Premiere of Michael Torke's Chalk (music sample on disc 6) for string quartet. Balanescu Quartet.
Can You Guess? Another famous conductor directed the St. Louis Symphony before moving on to the National Symphony and working with the BBC Symphony. 
Can You Guess who that famous composer was?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else
Happened
Today?
J. Friedrich Eduard Sobolewski  was born October 1, 1808 in Königsberg, East Prussia.

He showed promise early, and was provided a fine musical education.  Eventually he even studied under , eventually studying with Carl Friedrich Zelter (who taught Mendelssohn) and Carl Maria von Weber, the father of Romanticism in music.

In 1830, Sobolewski was appointed director of music at the Königsberg Theater, a positiong he held for five years.  In 1835 he became cantor at the Altstädtische Kirche. In 1838 the Philharmonische Gesellshaft was founded, and Sobolewski was elected conductor.  Five years later he was elected to the same position when the Musikalische Akademie, a mixed chorus, was formed. 

During this entire period he continued to compose and produce operas.  Imogen premiered in 1832, Velleda in 1835 and Der Seher von Khorassan in 1850. First locally, then in Berlin, his work received praise and his reputation grew. The Berlin Singakademie performed Sobolewski's oratorio Die Enthauptung Johannis and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra played his symphony Sud und Nord.

In addition to composing and conducting, Sobolewski was the music critic of the Ostpreussische Zeitung.  He also wrote for Robert Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, but used the pen name J. Feski.

In 1854 Sobolewski moved to Bremen, being appointed director of music at the Bremen Theater.  He stayed in Bremen for five years.  While in Bremen he continued to compose operas, and wrote commentaries on the state of music.  Franz Liszt heard of Sobolewski's opera Comala, which premiered in Bremen in 1857, and sponsored a performance at Weimar the following year.

In 1859, Sobolewski left Bremen and moved to the United States, arriving in Milwaukee in July.  He set to work composing, quickly completed the opera Mohega, which premiered October 11 performed by the Milwaukee Musikverein. Milwaukee attempted to expand its musical scene, and formed the Milwaukee Philharmonic Society, appointing Sobolewski conductor.  The venture was not successful, however.  The organization lasted only a single season (1859-60) and Sobolewski conducted its only two concerts.

The St. Louis Philharmonic Society was organized in June of 1860.  The society selected Sobolewski to be its first conductor. He conducted his first St. Louis concert a month before Hans Balatka directed the first performance of the Chicago Philharmonic Society! Sobolewski conducted a total of forty concerts for the St. Louis Philharmonic Society (Oct. 18, 1860 - April 19, 1866).  This was no easy task, as the public's attention was captured by the Civil War.  Despite this, Sobolewski promoted programs in schools which would provide a liberal arts education to their students, esepecially in the field of music.  Sobolewski resigned his post with the St. Louis Philharmonic just before the start of the organization's seventh season, and turned his attention to that which he truly loved, composition and teaching.

Sobolewski had a farm in Laddonia, Missouri.  He remained at the farm during the summer months, and would return to St. Louis for the winter.  He continued his teaching and composing until his death, May 17, 1872
J. Friedrich Eduard Sobolewski
1808-1872
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Did You Guess?
Leonard Slatkin!  Did you see the color clues? We read about Maestro Slatkin September 1!