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 20
Did You Guess?
That band was the Rolling Stones!

Did You See the Color Clues?
Can You Guess?
January 20, 1965 the rock band The Kinks debuted on the short-lived ABC television show Shindig along with another group who still perform today and would have the satisfaction of becoming rock n roll legendsCan You Guess what other band appeared on the show?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
1894 - Walter Hamor Piston, US composer, was born.

1941 - Premiere of B. Bartók's String Quartet No. 6, by the Kolisch Quartet, in NYC.

1944 - Premiere of Paul Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis on a Theme of Carl Maria Von Weber. New York Philharmonic, Artur Rodzinski conducting.

1961 - Premiere of F. Poulenc's Gloria in Boston, MA.

1964 - The album Meet the Beatles was released in the U.S. on Capitol Records. It was their U.S. debut LP

1969 - Elvis Presley recorded "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds." It was the first time he had recorded in Memphis since 1956.

1979 - Premiere of G. Rochberg's String Quartets Nos. 4-6 of The Concord Quartets, by the Concord Quartet at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia
Mischa ( Mikhail Saulovich) Elman was born January 20, 1891 in Talnoye, a small village near Kiev, Russia. His family was poor, but they had a strong faith.

Mischa's grandfather, Josef, was a klezmer, a folk musician, who played the violin and was famous for the beauty of his tone. In fact, people who heard both the grandfather and grandson said that Mischa "inherited" his tone from Josef.

When Mischa was still very young it became apparent that he was very talented.  He had perfect pitch.  Despite misgivings, his father got him a miniature violin, and Mischa had soon taught himself several tunes.

By the time Mischa was 6 his father had realized the depth of Mischa's talent.  He took Mischa to the city of Odessa, where he became a student of Fidelmann and Brodsky at the Imperial Academy of Music.  Pablo de Sarasate stated that Mischa had the talent to become one of the greatest performers in Europe, and wrote a recommendation for him.

His progress was remarkable. When he was 11 years old, Mischa's father took him to a hotel where the famous violinist Leopold Auer was staying. Auer agreed to listen to the boy play.  Mischa performed the Wieniawsky Concerto No. 2 and Caprice No.24 by Paganini. Auer was amazed and immediately had Mischa admitted to the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he became one of Auer's students.

In 1904 he made his debut in St. Petersburg with sensational acclaim; on Oct. 14, 1904, he made a brilliant Berlin debut; on March 21, 1905, he made his first appearance in London to great acclaim. On Dec. 10, 1908, he made his U.S. debut as soloist in the Tchaikovsky concerto with Altschuler and the Russian Symphony Orchestra in New York City.  The performance was very well received.  Elman played with every important symphony orchestra in the U.S.

In the following years, he played all over the world. Elman and his contemporary, Jascha Heifetz, became a known as the epitomes of the virtuoso violinist. Elman's tone was sweet and flowing, but resonant.  Elman specialized in the  Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Wieniawski Concertos, but maintained the Beethoven and Mozart concertos in his repertoire as well.

In addition to performing, Elman also composed several works for violin and arranged others for violin, specializing once again in Classical and Romantic pieces.

Mischa Elman died in New York City, April 5, 1967.
Mischa Elman
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Mischa Elman
Mischa Elman
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