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
September 8
1698 - Francois Francoeur, violinist, composer, music director for Louis XV, was born. (Music Samples at

1824 - Jaime Nuno-Roca, Mexican composer, was born. He composed the Mexican national anthem. Heres a Great national anthem site.

1852 - First performance of Mendelssohn's unfinished oratorio, Christus, in Birmingham, England.

1934 - Patsy Cline, country music legend, was born.

1971 - First performance of Leonard Bernstein's
Mass A Theater Piece at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

1972 - Jim Croce started a five week run at No.1 on the US album chart with You Don't Mess Around With Jim.

2000 - First performance of Tan Dun's Water Passion after St. Matthew, One of four passion settings commissioned by the International Bach Academy to honor the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.
Can You Guess?
Despite his musical training, Dvorak had an interest in a specific industry.  Can You Guess what industry he tracked with such enthusiasm?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Antonin Dvorāk was born September 8, 1941 in Muhlhausen, Bohemia.  His father was a butcher/innkeeper who loved music.  As a boy Dvorāk took violin lessons with the village schoolmaster and "fiddled" in the village band with his father. 

Dvorāk's father wanted him to continue in the inkeeping business.  To do this Antonin needed to learn German, so his father sent him to a nearby village to study the language. 
Antonin Dvorāk
While away to study German, Antonin met a friend of his uncle's who was a musician. The friend taught Dvorāk viola (which became his favorite instrument), piano and organ.  In 1857, when he was just sixteen, Dvorāk went to study music in Prague.  While in Prague he headed the viola section of the Bohemian Provisional Theatre Orchestra, which was directd by the Czech composer Smetana.  Dvorāk taught music and only composed as a sideline until, at age thirty-one, he won the Austrian State Stipendium three times while Brahms was on the jury. Then, with the positive encouragement of Brahms, he devoted most of his life to composition.  He soon became famous as a composer, and was able to make a living composing and teaching composition at the Prague Conservatory.

In 1892, Dvorak came to America to be the head of the National Conservatory of Music. While he was in the United States, he wrote the famous "New World Symphony" and other pieces which show his deep interest in American folk tunes. Some listeners claim to be able to pick out bits and pieces of Yankee Doodle and Swing Low Sweet Chariot in his works.

He made several trips to England where he was very popular and much admired.  He received many honors in his own country and resisted invitations by Brahms to move to Vienna where he was only grudgingly accepted.

He died in May 1, 1904 at Prague at the age of 62, shortly after the first performances of his last opera,

Visit THIS LINK to hear some samples of Dvorak's work.
Dvorak Violin Concerto, Isabelle Faust
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Did You Guess?
Dvorak had a strong interest in trains and railroading.  He was often seen at the Prague railroad station where he studied schedules and visited with railroad engineers.