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
December 17
1953 - Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, by the Leningrad Philharmonic, Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting.

1954 - Premiere of Vincert Persichetti's Symphony No. 4, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting.

1982 - Leonid Borisovitch Kogan, Russian violist, died at age 58.
Can You Guess?
In 1913 Arthur Fiedler formed a music ensemble named the Fiedler Trio.  The Fiedler Trio was unique due to an unusual property.  Can You Guess just what made them so different?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
One of the most popular conductors in the United States, actually in the world, conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for 48 years! Instantly recognizable by the shock of white hair,

Fiedler was loved by popular music fans, although some serious Classical fans believed that Fiedler was doing a disservice to the public by feeding them a diet of lightweight fluff rather than more "substantial" fare. But Fiedler's fans adored him and flocked to his concerts.
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Arthur Fiedler
1894 - 1979

"It's nice to eat a good hunk of beef, but you want a light dessert too!"
                                                   --Arthur Fiedler

Arthur Fiedler, an American violinist and conductor, was born in Boston, MA on December 17, 1894.Fiedler's father, Emanuel Fiedler, was a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 25 years.  His uncle, Benny, also played in the orchestra. Fiedler received his first music lessons from his mother, a pianist, and studied violin with his father.  He said that he found practicing a chore.

Fiedler was raised in Boston until his father retired from the BSO and took the family back to Austria. While in Austria, Fiedler worked in publishing houses in Vienna and Berlin.  He entered the Royal Academy in Berlin in 1909 to study violin with Willy Hess, piano and chamber music with Ernst von Dohnsnyi, and conducting.   In 1913 he formed the Fiedler Trio.

In 1915, at the outset of World War I, Fiedler returned to Boston.  He took a position as a second violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Karl Muck, where his father and uncle had palyed.  Fiedler also filled in on celesta, piano, organ, and percussion. In 1924 he organized the 25-member Arthur Fiedler Sinfonietta. The group toured New England.  In 1929 he organized a series of free outdoor summer concerts at the Esplanade, in which he conducted light classical works and popular American tunes.

The BSO took note of the dynamism of their young violinist, and appointed Fiedler the eighteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1930. Fiedler held the position until his death in 1979.  This meant that he conducted the orchestra five years longer than the previous seventeen conductors combined!!!

Fiedler had too many to list here.
*  During Fiedler's tenure the Boston Pops made more
   recordings than any other orchestra in the world.  Total
   sales of Boston Pops recordings top 50,000,000!
*  While conducting the Pops Boston Symphony Orchestra,
   the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland
   Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York
   Philharmonic, besides conducting internationally in
   Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, and Canada.

*  The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
*  The Freedoms Foundation American Exemplar Award.
*  Honorary degrees from Harvard and Dartmouth, among
*  The Morality in Media Award,
*  The Sword of Loyola.

Arthur Fiedler died in Boston July 10, 1979, His wife, Ellen Bottomly Fiedler, died in November 1984.  Fiedler was replaced at the helm of the Boston Pops by
John Williams, of Star Wars and Harry Potter fame.
Best of Fiedler

A biography of Arthur Fiedler and the Fiedler family written by his daughter.
Christmas Sheet Music for piano, violin and all the instruments
Find Christmas
Sheet Music for...
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Boston Pops Christmas
A Christmas Festival
Arthur Fiedler
and the Boston Pops
  Did You Guess?
All three members of the Fiedler Trio were named Fiedler! But the others were not related to Arthur!
1737 - Premiere of G. F. Handel's anthem The Ways of Zion do Mourn at King Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, during the funeral service for Queen Caroline in London.

1838 - Birth of composer Berthold Tours.

1865 - Premiere  (posthumously), of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony No. 8 in b, 42 years after it was finished. Johann Herbeck conductor, Vienna Friends of Music concert. He traced the existence of the work, the last movement of Schubert's Symphony No. 3 was used as a finale.

1879 - Premiere of Antonin Dvorak's String Quartet No. 10, Op. 51, in Prague.

1894 - Birth of Conductor Arthur Fiedler.
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