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
January 19
Can You Guess?
We read below of the birth of Michael Crawford, who played the title role in Phantom of the Opera.  Most people don't remember that he played the role of a young store clerk in the movie version of a play about a matchmaker.  Can You Guess the movie? Extra Credit:  According to Crawford's character, how long does it take to fall in love?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else
1729 - Handel and John James Heidegger were permitted to produce operas at the King's Theater by The Royal Academy in London.

1787 - Premiere of Mozart's Prague Symphony.

1853 - Premiere of Verdi's opera, "Il trovatore," (The Troubador), in Rome.  Click Here to hear a MIDI version of the famous Anvil Chorus from this opera.

1873 - Premiere of C. Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1.

1895 - Premiere of first movement of P. I. Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 3, posthumously.

1909 - Ethel Merman, US singer, was born.

1942 - Michael Crawford, actor and singer, was born. Played the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera in London.

1943 - Janis Joplin, US singer, was born.

1961 - Premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Fanfare at the Inaugural Gala for President John F. Kennedy, in Washington, DC.
John Adams's Violin Concerto premiered January 19, 1994.  Jorja Fleezanis was the soloist.  Edo de Waart conducted the Minnesota Orchestra.

Adams was born in Worcester, MA February 15, 1947. He learned the clarinet from his father and played in marching bands and community orchestras. Although he did not hear orchestral music until he was a teenager, Adams began composing whe he was 10. He earned BA and MA degrees from Harvard, where he was a conductor, clarinetist, and composer. His teachers included Leon Kirchner, David Del Tredici, and Roger Sessions.
In 1972 Adams began teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, remaining there until 1983.  He also served as music adviser and composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Symphony (1978-85).  Among the works he wrote for the  symphony were Harmonium (1981), Grand Pianola Music (1982), Harmonielehre (1985) and El Dorado (1992). While there he began the orchestra's highly successful, yet controversial, “New and Unusual Music" series.

In 1985 Adams began a collaboration with poet Alice Goodman and stage director Peter Sellars.  The resulting operas, Nixon in China (see below) and The Death of Klinghoffer, were performed by opera companies around the world.

From 1987 to 1990 Adams served as creative chair of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he annually conducted four weeks of concerts and oversaw new music activities. In 1993, he was music director of the Ojai Festival. He toured Europe with Ensemble Modern in 1993, then toured America in 1996. He has been Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival and Artist in Association with the BBC Symphony. He has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Concertgebouw, and the London Sinfonietta. He was also the focus of the New York Philharmonic's Composer Week in the spring of 1997.

Adams's works have been programmed by every major orchestra in the United States as well as orchestras in Europe, Asia, and Australia. His music has also been choreographed by dance companies including Dance Theater of Harlem and the New York City Ballet. Although his operas have been controversial, they have continued to be produced regularly.  In 2003 Lincoln Center presented a festival called "John Adams: An American Master."  It was the largest Linconl Center festival ever for a living composer.
John Adams
1947 -  
Hello Dolly
Nixon in China
Phantom of the Opera
Look inside this title
Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Phantom of the Opera (Violin) - sheet music at
Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Phantom of the Opera (Violin) Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Violin solo book for violin solo. With standard notation. Broadway. 16 pages
See more info...
Did You Guess?
Michael Crawford played the role of Cornelius Hackl, a 29-year old store clerk from Yonkers who got matched up with the owner of a women's clothing store by Barbra Streisand in the movie version of Hello Dolly.  Who fell in love with Irene Molloy in a single day because, "It only takes a moment . . ."
Look inside this title
Broadway Showstoppers - Flute (C Instruments) - sheet music at
Broadway Showstoppers - (C Instruments) Flute solo songbook for flute solo (or any C instrument including violin). Series: The Chartbuster Series. 48 pages. Published by Hal Leonard.
See more info...
John Adams's Nixon in China
A Violinist Loves Me Button--Great for Valentines Day
Great for Valentine's Day
Fiddler Loves Me , Viola, Cello, Voices, and
Other Instruments Avaialable
Violin Scroll Heart Button
Wrong Bow Cupid, Violin Button
I Love Irish Fiddle Button
Kiss Me Because I'm Irish and I Fiddle Button
Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer prize for On the Transmigration of Souls (a tribute to the heroes of September 11), Adams is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He received Centennial Medal of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and was the first recipient of the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition.

Adams has been the subject of three documentary films, and is currently Composer-In-Residence at Carnegie Hall.  He regularly appears as guest conductor with major orchestras and at many music festivals.

Of special interest to readers of this site would be his recent composition The Dharma at Big Sur, for electric violin and orchestra. This was inspired by literary impressions of the California landscape by such writers as Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder and Henry Miller.