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 30
1755 - Francesco Durante, Italian teacher and composer, died.

1791 - Premier of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, at the Freihaustheater auf der Wieden in Vienna.

1863 - Premier of Georges Bizet's opera Les Pecheurs de Perles 'The Pearl Fishers' in Paris.

1879 - Henri Casadesus, French violist and conductor, was born.  Founded Society of Ancient Instruments of Paris.

1897 - Gaspar Cassado, Catalan cellist, was born in Barcelona, Spain.

1935 - Premier of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess with book by DeBose Heyward. At Boston's Colonial Theater.

1944 - Premier of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Oboe Concerto, soloist Leon Goosens.

1963 - Andrew Rindfleisch, US composer, was born.

1968 - Lisa Bielawa,  American composer, was born.

1989 - Premier of Daniel Asia's Piano Quartet. Domus ensemble in London.

1989 - Virgil Thomson,  American composer and music critic, died in New York at age 92.

1999 - Premier of Michael Tilson Thomas' Whitman Songs for Orchestra. San Francisco Symphony.

Did You Guess?
Mozart wrote Variations on Ah vous dirais-je, Maman,  K.265 which is the melody to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!
Can You Guess? We read that Mozart's The Magic Flute premiered today in 1791.  You may not know it, but every Suzuki student shines playing a tune made famous by Mozart.  Can You Guess the name of a childhood song whose melody Mozart employed?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else
Happened
Today?
David Fjodorowitsch Oistrach was born in Odessa, in the  Ukraine September 30, 1908.  His father was an amateur musician, his mother was a soloist at the opera house. He said that he could never remember being without a violn.  At the age of 3 he received a toy violin and pretended to be a street musician.  At 5 he was given a 1/8 violin and started his first lessons with Pyotr Stoljarski, his first and only mentor, at the local school of  music.
After graduating from the Odessa Music and Drama Institute in 1926, he continued learning to play from all the great violinists of the day but no single performer in particular.

The Odessa Music and Drama Theater was not regarded as a very prestigious music school, and this was one of the reasons why Oistrakh's career took off rather slowly. Later, many musicians would regret having failed to appreciate the true stature of this violinist from the very start.

David Oistrakh moved to Moscow in 1929. At that time the capital was the center of Russias violin school. Young Oistrakhs first solo success was the performance of Mendelssohns violin concerto. 1929 also marked the beginning of the shaping of Oistrakhs individual style. Like all musicians Oistrakh had serious problems to overcome. The secret of his success was a highly critical attitude to his own playing.

In the first half of the 1930s Oistrakh won first place in two national competitions, in Kharkov and in Leningrad. He also began to play in a trio with Knushevitsky and Oborin.

Oistrakh entered the 1937 Ysaye Competition in Brussels.  In this competition Oistrakh was pitted against the leading young violinists of the day. Despite illness and a sub-par first round performance, Oistrakh moved on.  He was prepared to play the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in the final round, but on the day of the performance helearned that he would be required to play the entire concerto. But when the performance ended, the jury stood up and applauded in violation of tradition.  He took first place.

Following the competion, Oistrakh undertook a European tour, which was a triumph.

Words used to describe Oistrakh's playing were majestic, regal, and masterful.  He played the classics like the Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius concertos, but took on the task of introducing works of contemporary composers like  Aram Khachaturian, Dmitry Shostakovich, and Sergei Prokofiev.

Oistrakh was also an outstanding teacher.  Among his students were his son Igor Oistrakh, Valery Klimov, Viktor Pikaizen, Gidon Kremer and others.

Oistrakh began conducting relatively late in his career, not starting until 1961.  He continued his touring, recording and teaching.

Oistrakh was invited to conduct Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Prague Spring Festival in 1975. However, it was not to be. On October 24, 1974, David Oistrakh died in Amsterdam and was buried in Moscow.

David Oistrakh
1908-1974
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When I was a Lad
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And I Played All My Twinkles
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Christmas Favorites (Violin) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Christmas Favorites (Violin) For violin solo. Format: violin solo songbook. With standard notation. Christmas. 55 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.843376)
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It's Not Too Early to Start Thinking About Christmas Music!