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 4
1739 - Premiere of Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt. It ran for only three performances.

1752 - Niccolo Zingarelli,  Italian composer was born.

1875 - Pierre Monteux,  French, was born.  See 1955 below.

1875 - Premiere of Bedrich Smetana's The Moldau. Deafness prevents composer from hearing performance and audience reaction.

1897 - Premiere of Ernest Chausson's PoŤme for violin and orchestra at a Colonne Concert with Eugene Ysšye as soloist in Paris.

1905 - Eugene Bozza,  French conductor and composer, was born.

1922 - Elmer Bernstein, US composer, was born.  Wrote film scores of Thoroughly Modern MillieTen CommandmentsTo Kill a Mockingbird, The Magnificent Seven. In total, over 200 major film and television scores.

1954 - Arturo Toscanini conducted his last concert with the NBC Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. It ended a 17-year association with the orchestra.

1955 - Premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Greeting Prelude. Performed to honor the 80th birthday of conductor Pierre Monteux. Boston Symphony conducted by Charles Munch.

1975 - Premiere of George Rochberg's Violin Concerto. Pittsburgh Symphony, Isaac Stern was soloist.

2002 - Premiere of Daniel Asia's String Quartet No.2 by the Cypress Quartet at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Can You Guess?
We read below about Elmer Bernstei
n, who composed the music for many films.  I've also written about legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.  Can You Guess how they are related?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else

April 4, 1867 premiere of Saint-Saens first violin concerto, with Pablo Sarasate soloist at Salle Pleyel in Paris.

Saint-SaŽns was born October 9, 1835 in Paris, France.  His father, a clerk, died when he was three months old.  His mother's aunt, Charlotte Masson, moved in and started teaching Camille the piano when he was two.
Saint-SaŽns was a child prodigy. He had perfect pitch and began composing almost immediately. His first composition, a piece for the piano dated March 22, 1839, is kept in the BibliothŤque nationale de France. Saint-SaŽns' could read and write by age 3 and had learned Latin by age 7.

Saint-SaŽns gave his first public piano performance at age 5, when he accompanied a Beethoven violin sonata.  At 10 he gave his debut recital at the Salle Pleyel, playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat major and works by Handel, Kalkbrenner, Hummel, and Bach.  He offered to play any of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas by memory for his encore.

In the late 1840s he entered the Paris Conservatory to study organ and composition. He won many top prizes, but did not to win the prestigious Prix de Rome in both 1852 and 1864. He met Franz Liszt, who became one of his closest friends. At 16, he wrote his first symphony; his second, published as Symphony No. 1 in E-flat major, was performed in 1853, amazing many critics and fellow composers. Hector Berlioz, who became one of Saint-SaŽns' good friends, said, "He knows everything, but lacks inexperience."

Saint-SaŽns played the organ at various churches in Paris. In 1857, he replaced Lefťbure-Wely as organist at the …glise de la Madeleine. He stayed until 1877. His improvisations at the organ earned Liszt's 1866 observation that Saint-SaŽns was the greatest organist in the world.

From 1861 to 1865, Saint-SaŽns held his only teaching position, professor of piano at the …cole Niedermeyer. The conservative curriculum did not suit him, so he included contemporary works by Liszt, Gounod, Schumann, Berlioz, and Wagner. Among his students were Andrť Messager and Gabriel Faurť, who became his closest friend.

In 1871 he co-founded the Sociťtť Nationale de Musique in order to promote a new French music.  The Society premiered works by members like Faurť, Franck, Lalo, and Saint-SaŽns himself.

1886 brought two of Saint-SaŽns' greatest compositions: Le Carnaval des Animaux and the third symphony, dedicated to Franz Liszt, who had died that year.

Saint-SaŽns was truly astonishing intellectually. He studied geology, archaeology, botany, and lepidoptery. He was an expert at mathematics. He wrote scholarly articles on acoustics, occult sciences, Roman theater decoration, and ancient instruments. He wrote  a volume of poetry, and La Crampe des ťcrivains, a successful play. He was also a member of the Astronomical Society of France; he gave lectures on mirages, had a telescope made to his own specifications, and even planned concerts to correpsond to astronomical events such as solar eclipses.   In recognition of his accomplishments, the government of France awarded him the Legion of Honour.

Camille Saint-SaŽns died of pneumonia December 16, 1921.
Violinist Jascha Heifetz plays Saint Saens
Vengerov Plays
Saint-Saens, Lalo
and Ravel
Violinist Jascha Heifetz plays Saint Saens
Did You Guess?
Trick question.  As far as I can tell they were not related at all!

Did You See the C
olor Clues?
Jascha Heifetz
Incuding Saint-Saens
The Older the Fiddler/Bees Shirt
The Back of This Shirt
Might Surprise You