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 3
1750 - Death of Austrian composer Mathias Georg Man in Vienna.

1816 - Schubert finished his 5th Symphony in B-flat.

1822 - Premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's Consecration of the House Overture, Op. 124, for the opening of the Josephstadt Theater in Vienna.

1826 - Beethoven finished his F-Major String Quartet, Op 135.

1860 - Premiere of Johanness Brahms's Serenade No. 1 in D, Op. 11, in Hanover.

1872 - Birth of American composer Edward Schneider.

1888 - Birth of American composer Roy Webb.

1888 - Premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Yeoman of the Guard at the Savoy Theater, London.

1892 - Birth of French cellist Maurice Marechal.

1923 - Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Polish-American conductor and composer, was born.

1929 - Premiere of Sir William Walton's Viola Concerto. Walton conducted Queen's Hall Orchestra, London, with soloist Paul Hindemith.

1931 - Death of Danish composer Carl Nielsen.

1944 - Founding of the New York City Opera.

1968 - Premiere of William Schuman's To Thee Old Cause. New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Work dedicated to memory of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

1996 - Premiere of James MacMillan's Cello Concerto. Mstislav Rostropovich and the London Symphony, Sir Colin Davis conducting.

1997 - Premiere of Anthony Davis' Jacob's Ladder. St. Paul Sunday radio host Bill McGlaughlin conducting Kansas City Symphony.

2003 - Premiere of Augusta Read Thomas' Rainbow-Bird. Antigoni Goni, guitar.
Can You Guess?
What Else
Happened
Today?
Ruggiero Ricci was the soloist in the first performance of Alberto Ginastersa's Violin Concerto ON October 3, 1963.  Leonard Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ruggiero Ricci was born in July 24, 1918.  He was the third child of seven. His famliy, not being rich was oriented to music. His father, an Italian immigrant and musician, urged his children to become musicians.  As it turned out, three of the seven would become professional musicians.

Ruggiero's father was his first teacher.  By the time he was 7, Ruggiero was being taught by Louis Persinger. After winning a gold-medal in a local contest, Ruggiero gave his first public performance in San Francisco on Nov. 15, 1928 (age 10), playing works by Wieniawsky and Vieuxtemps. Persinger accompanied him on the piano. On October 20, 1929, Ruggiero made his New York City debut, playing with the Manhattan Orchestra conducted by Henry Hadley.

His New York debut was followed by a national concert tour, then (in 1932) an international tour to England and Germany.
During his career, Ruggiero became famous for his performance of works by Paganini.  He also became known for playing scales with exceptionally unusual and difficult fingerings as well as playing works originally written for piano (such as the Chopin Etudes) on his violin.  Ruggiero would later say that he learned tremendously from these, and would recommend them to his students.

During World War II Ricci served in the US Army Air Corps as an "entertainment specialist."  Paganini played a central role during this period. Ricci followed the tradition of Vasa Prihoda, the Cech virtuoso, who performed Paganini as a central part of his repertoire.  He worked out a substantial repertoire that allowed him to perform without an accompanist.  Ruggiero left the army in 1945.

After the end of the war, Ricci returned to the concert stage.  In addition to his work in the US, he traveled to South America, Australia, Japan, and Russiaduring several world tours. He developed a formidable repertoire of about 60 violin concertos, including all the violin works of Paganini; edited the newly discovered manuscript of Paganini's early Violin Concerto, presumed to have been composed c. 1815, and gave its first N.Y. performance with the American Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 7, 1977.  He also gave the first performances of violin concertos by several modern composers including  Alberto Ginastera (1963) and Gottfried von Einem (1970).  During his 70 year career he gave more than 6000 concerts.

Ricci was devoted to violin education and gave master courses at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York.  He also taught in Assisi and Berlin.

Ricci's book, Left Hand Technique was written over a ten year period.  It was published by Schirmer.

In 1998, Ricci gave a "Golden Jubilee" recital at Wigmore Hall in London on the occasion of his 80th birthday. His program included works by Wieniawski, Ysaye, Paganini and Bach. For the first time in his career, Ricci chose to sit during the performance.  But the Chaconne by Bach caused him to rise to his feet, commenting that there was no way that he could play it seated.

Ricci owned and played a 1734 Guarnerius del Gesł violin. He died August 6, 2012.
Ruggiero Ricci
1963-2012
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I mentioned Beethoven's String Quartet in F, below.  Can You Guess how many String Quartets Beethoven wrote?

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Did You Guess?
Beethoven has 16 numbered quartets plus his "Grosse Fuge" for a total of 17.