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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 5
Can You Guess? We read of Galamian's violin studies below.  They were so successful that they have been adapted for another orchestral instrument.
Can You Guess what instrument they were adapted for?

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What Else
1816 - Premiere of Rossini's Barber of Seville, in Rome.  Click here for a midi version of the overture from midicenter.com

1887 - Premiere of Verdi's opera Otello with Toscanini at the cello, at La Scala in Milan

1903 - Ivan Galamian, Persian violinist, teacher and author, was born in Tabriz.  Wrote a series of excellent technique building exercise books. (vol 1 here)

1945 - Jamaican singer Bob Marley was born.

1954 - Debut of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The first performance was Mozart's Don Giovanni.

1966 - California Dreamin', by The Mamas & The Papas, was released.

1970 - Premiere of Elliott Carter's Concerto for Orchestra. New York Philharmonic.

2000 - Barbara Pentland, Canadian composer, died.
Ole Bull
Ole Bornemann Bull was born in Bergen, Norway on February 5, 1810.  As a child  he showed great musical ability.  When he was 5 years old he was already so accomplished on the violin that he could play any song he heard his mother sing.  At age 9 he was already playing first violin in the Bergen theater.  By the time he was 10 he already known throughout Norway, and by his mid-twenties he was known throughout Europe as a virtuoso, possibly the equal of Paganini.

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Rabbit of Seville

Looney Tunes--Rabbit of Seville
Violinist Mouse Pad
A Great Mouse Pad
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Ole had encountered the great music of Europe in his home and in Bergen itself.  He also heard a great deal of folk music, which influenced his ideas on music.  As Bull played concerts in Europe he combined the two, and was incredibly successful as he combined the virtuosity the more conservative sought with his ability to improvise on his violin.

Having failed his examinations to enter the university in Oslo, Ole travelled to Berlin, then on to Paris, but was not initially successful at his attempts at a concert career.  But as he matured, and he combined his virtuosity and ability to play the classical literature with improvisation and his love of Norwegian music he began to have a great deal of success throughout Europe.  Eventually he became quite wealthy.

Ole travelled to the United States, where he travelled the nation and gave concerts.  He became enamored with Pennsylvania, and he bought a large tract of land there.  He sought to found a musical colony, and the town there was named Oleana in his honor.  The music colony ultimately failed, and Bull travelled back to Norway, but never lost his love for the United States.  Having been widowed, his second wife was an American, and they frequently spent the winter months touring in North America.  But he always returned to his beloved Norway for the Spring.

Ole Bull died August 17, 1880. His funeral is described as the most magnificent ever seen in Norway. “There both high and low gathered in sorrow over the loss of such a great friend”. Ole Bull's grave lies in Assistentkirkegården by Stadsporten in Bergen.

Ole Bull State Park, in Pennsylvania, is named in his honor.
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