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
April 24
  Did You Guess?
The play for which Bernstein wrote the incidental music was Peter Pan!
Can You Guess?
On this date in 1950 Leonard Bernstein's incidental music for a play which tells a well-known children's story, was premiered. Can You Guess what that story was?  By the way, have any of you seen my shadow?  It must be Lost Boys.
Look at the bottom of the page for the answer.
     What Else
Happened Today?

1801 - Haydn finished his oratorio The Seasons. It was performed the same day in Vienna.

1934 - Laurens Hammond patented the electric organ.

1942 - Singer Barbra Streisand was born in New York City.

1957 - First performance of Charles Ives's String Quartet No. 1 in New York City.

1959 - There Goes My Baby was  released by The Drifters, supposedly the first Rock 'n' Roll song to use a string section.

1959 - James Brown debuted at the Apollo Theater in New York City.

1961 - Bob Dylan first appeared on a recording. He played harmonica on Harry Belafonte's Midnight Special album.

1970 - James Matheson, US composer, was born.

1992 - Premiere of Joan Tower's Violin Concerto.  Elmar Oliveira soloist.

2003 - Premiere of David Lang's Difficulty, performed by the Ethyl String Quartet.
Born December 8, 1882 in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico, Manuel Maria Ponce was raised in Aguascalientes. 

Ponce was a musical prodigy.  When he was just 3 or 4 years old, he listened to a piano class his sister was taking.  Althought he had never had any musical training, Manuel walked to the piano, and interpreted the piece he had just heard. His parents immediately enrolled him in piano and notation classes.

Manuel Maria Ponce
In 1901 Ponce entered the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City.  He stayed there for two years, then returned to Aguascalientes.  In 1904 he went to Bologna, Italy for two more years of training, followed by another two years in Germany.

He returned to Mexico, where he became a composer and teacher of music history.  In 1912 he composed his work
Estrellita, which means "Little Star."   He became quite nationalistic in his outlook on music, and many of his works reflected his love of Mexico.  He wrote many of his pieces around themes and rhythms from Mexico, and began to be called Creator of the Modern Mexican Song."  Besides Estrellita, some of the works that gained him this "title" were La Pajarere, Marchita el Alma, Una Multitud Más, and Alevántate.

But Ponce's work did not remain stuck in Mexico.  Many of his compositions have worked their way into the repertoire of singers and musicians from around the world.

Ponce was very fond of the guitar, and became a close  friend of guitarist Andres Segovia.  Ponce wrote almos all of his guitar music for Segovia, and his guitar compositions are now standards in the modern guitar repertoire.

He received the National Arts and Science Prize in 1948.  He died in Mexico City on April 24, 1948.
Perlman plays Estrellita
on this Album.  There is a Sound Clip at Amazon.

Bernstein's Peter Pan Sound Clips at Amazon
Haydn, The Seasons
Segovia Plays Ponce
Sound Clips at Amazon
Mom Loves the Violin Shirt
Mom Loves the Violin
Haydn: The Seasons
Mothers Day Gifts
Some Mother's Day Gift Suggestions
for Your Violinist Mom or the
Mom of a Violinist!