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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
February 15
Can You Guess? Some people who come to this site play the fiddle.  Some play the violin.
Can You Guess
the difference between the instruments?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else
1885 - Leopold Damrosch, German conductor, composer, violinist, died.  Founded the New York Symphony Society.  Also conducted the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera.

1887 - Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, died.

1947 - Premiere of E. W. Korngold's Violin Concerto. St. Louis Symphony Jascha Heifetz was soloist.

1947 - John Adams , US composer, was born.  Wrote the opera Nixon in China.

1965 - Nat King Cole, US singer, died.

1975 - You Are So Beautiful, by Joe Cocker, was released.

1992 - William Schuman, US composer, died. He won the Pulitzer Music Prize, 1943 for Walt Whitman cantata A Free Song.

2003 - Premiere of Robert Martin's Water of the Flowery Mill for Guitar, Flute, String Trio, and Percussion, at the Kennedy Center.
Charles Martin
Charles Martin Loeffler's composition Music for Four Stringed Instruments premiered February 15, 1919.

Loeffler was born January 30 1861,in  Schoeneberg, near Berlin, Germany (some sources indicate Alsace, France).  The family followed his father, an engineer, to Russia, Hungary and Switzerland, arriving in Paris in 1879. He began to study violin when he was 9, and decided by age 13 that he wanted to be a professional violinist. At the Berlin Hochschule he was a pupil of the renowned Joachim, and started to study composition with Woldemar Bargiel, who was Clara Schumann’s half-brother.
Music for Four
Stringed Instruments
by Charles Martin Loeffler
at Amazon
Irish Fiddle Shirt
Great for St. Pat's
Green Irish Fiddle Shirt
He Was a Fiddler and Consequently a Rogue
In Paris, Loeffler studied under the great violinist Lambert Massert.  He also continued to study composition under Ernest Guiraud (adding himself to such luminaries as Debussy and Perne).  At this time there was a great deal of political persecution of Germans in France.  In order to escape this persecution, Loeffler declared that he was French, and had been born in Mulhouse.  He became a great proponent of  French language and culture.

For some time he was a member of various orchestras  in and around Paris, including the Pasdeloup.  Finally, he moved to the United States for professional reasons.  Loeffler became an American citizen in 1887.

Initially a member of Leopold Damrosch's Orchestra (see the note in "What Else Happened Today") in New York, Loeffler moved to Boston in 1882.  There, he became the second violin soloist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  He remained with the Boston Symphony for 20 years.

Loeffler continued to compose, and his music was often played in the United States. He also made frequent trips back to Europe, where he often performed as a soloist for various orchestras.

Loeffler had strong ties in Europe.  One of his close friends was Gabriel Fauré.  Fauré had been head of the Paris Conservatory, but was released from his position there.  The result was extreme financial hardship.  Loeffler came to his friend's aid.  Fauré dedicated his second sonata for cello and piano to Loeffler, offering him manuscripts as an expression of his gratitude.

In 1903 Loeffler decided to concentrate exclusively on composing.  As a result, he left the orchestra moved to a farm in rural Massachusetts.  There he lived a peaceful live until he died , having spent a year in Paris, moved to Massachusetts where he had a farm and horses.  In his later life Loeffler developed a strong interest in jazz, and composed several pieces.  He was a friend of violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and composer Ferruccio Benvenuto Busoni. 

Besides his numerous orchestral and chamber works (some of which feature extremely novel groupings of instruments -- ex. The Lone Prairee, a "paraphrase" on two cowboy songs for saxophone, viola d'amore and piano), Loeffler wrote one opera.  He was on the board of directors of the Boston Opera.  He was also involved in the creation of the Juilliard School of Music.

Upon his death, May 19, 1935, he bequeathed his wordly possessions to the Paris Conservatory and the Académie Française.
Rogue Fiddler Shirt
Violinist Hilary Hahn and Baltimore Symphony at Amazon
Click Photo to See Recordings of
Loeffler's Work at Amazo
Irish Fiddle
Charles Martin Loeffler
Fiddle Dances Shirt
An Excellent Tradtional
Irish Fiddle Collection
St. Patrick's Day Page
Click the Fiddlin Leprechaun
to See More!
Did You Guess?
There is no difference.  They are the same instrument, the difference is just the style in which the instrument is played.
(I once heard that the difference between a violin and a fiddle is "The nut at the end of the bow!")