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
September 18
1693 - Antonio Vivaldi entered clergy in Venice at age 15.

1700 - Vivaldi became deacon of the church in Venice at age 22.

1763 - An instrument named the spinet (the first in America) was mentioned in The Boston Gazette newspaper. John Harris made the spinet, a small upright piano with a three to four octave range.

1765 - Oliver Holden, American hymn composer, was born. His popular tune was Coronation, to Edward Perronet's hymn All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

1910 - Leon Stein, American composer, was born.

1917 - The Honolulu Ad Club patented the ukulele.

1971 - Pink Floyd, who toyed with classical music elements throughout their career, became the first rock group to appear at the Montreux Festival of  Classical Music in Switzerland. The quartet performed its symphonic work Atom Heart Mother.

1986 - First performance of John Corigliano's Fantasia on an Ostinato by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta.

1998 - First performance of Bright Sheng's Spring Dreams with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Seattle Symphony


Did You Guess?
Ukuleles have 4 strings.  They are traditionally tuned to G, C, E and A, but alternative tunings are common.
Can You Guess? The ukulele is a small instrument shaped like a guitar.  Can You Guess how many strings a ueklele has?

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What Else
Happened
Today?
September 18, 2003, Joshua Bell premiered John Corigliano's Violin Concerto. Joshua Bell with Baltimore Symphony.

Corigliano was born in New York, February 16, 1938. His father was concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic from 1943 to 1966 and his mother was an accomplished pianist. Corigliano holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York and, in 1991, was named to the faculty of The Juilliard School.
Corigliano was also elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1991.  In 1992, Musical America named him their first "Composer of the Year." The National Arts Club in New York City honored him with their Gold Medal in March 2002.

John Corigliano, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Symphony No. 2.  The symphony is an expansion and rewriting of his  1995 String Quartet.  The work was premiered by the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa in November, 2000.  Its first recording will be on Ondine Records with John Storgårds conducting The Helsinki Philharmonic.

In March 2000, Corigliano won another coveted prize: the "Oscar," the Academy Award, for "The Red Violin," his third film score. He was the second classical composer, after Aaron Copland, to be so honored. Esa-Pekka Salonen leads soloist Joshua Bell and the strings of the London Philharmonia in Sony Classical's recording of the soundtrack, which also features the first recording of The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra, an 18-minute movement for violin and full orchestra introduced in 1997 by Bell with the San Francisco and Boston symphonies. Corigliano's first film score, for "Altered States," was nominated for an Academy Award in 1981.  His second film score was for the British "Revolution.,"

When the violin concerto debuted on this date in 2003, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation, but at least one critic (Stephen Wigler) was not so kind, stating that much of the work simply presented already familiar themes, both by Corigliano and many other composers ("Bach, Brahms, Bruch, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Paganini, Barber and others").  He did, however, compliment the Chaccone and Scherzo portions of the work.  The piece was co-commissioned by the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, and the San Francisco Ballet who presented a choreographed version in Spring, 2005.
John Corigliano
1938 - 
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Corigliano and Joshua Bell, Red Violin
Corigliano and Joshua Bell, Red Violin
The Red Violin Caprices are derived from John Corigliano's music for The Red Violin, which received the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Score. The Caprices were composed especially for Joshua Bell. 'These Caprices, composed in conjunction with the score for Francois Girard's film The Red Violin, take a spacious, troubadour-inspired theme and vary it, intentionally evoking Baroque, Gypsy, and arch-Romantic themes.
Another Collaboration Between
John Corigliano
and Joshua Bell
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