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 22
Did You Guess?
There had been no weddings for six months!

Did You See the C
olor Clues?
Can You Guess?
What Else
French composer Henri Dutilluex was born January 22, 1916, in Angers, France.  He was born into an artistic family, with a great grandfather a noted painter and a grandfather a composer, organist and director of the Roubaix Conservatoire.

Henri was brought up in Douai, studying harmony, counterpoint and piano with Victor Gallois at the local conservatory.   Gallois also encouraged Henri to play percussion in a local orchestra.
In 1933, Henri moved to Paris to study at the Paris Conservatoire.  Among his teachers were Jean Gallon (harmony), Noel Gallon (fugue), Maurice Emmanuel (history of music), Gaubert (conducting) and Busser (composition).  He won the Prix de Rome at his third attempt in 1938 with the cantata L'anneau du Roi.

Henri was aware that his Conservatoire education did not feature contemporary music and lacked an analysis class, so he studied d'Indy's treatise on composition as well as Stravinsky and Roussel.  He only stayed in Rome four months, and returned to France before the outbreak of World War II. He was enlisted as a stretcher-bearer.  He was realeased from service in August, 1940. He worked as Chef de Chant at the Paris Opera during the Occupation.
Henri Dutilleux
In Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Ruddigore there is a group of women who are professional bridesmaids, but at the start of the opera they are having major troublesCan You Guess what the problem they face is?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
1887 - Premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta Ruddigore.

1904 - Birth of Russian ballet master George Balanchine in St. Petersburg

1944 - Birth of Italian violinist Uto Ughi.

1959 - Buddy Holly made his last recordings alone with an acoustic guitar and tape recorder. The songs were released after his death.

1966 - The Beach Boys recorded Wouldn't It Be Nice.

1998 - Premiere of Bright Sheng's Postcards. Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Hugh Wolff conducting.

2004 - Premiere of Leo Brouwer's Concerto for Two Guitars. John Christopher Williams and Costas Kotsiolis, soloists.
Dutilleux Violin Concerto
Dutilleux Violin Concerto
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Henri was director of music productions at French Radio from  1945 to 1963, when he resigned to devote his time to composition.  He was professor of composition at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1961 to 1970, and taught at the Paris Conservatoire in 1970.  He has frequently attended summer schools (including Tanglewood) as a guest teacher.
Henri wrote his Piano Sonata (1946/48) for his wife, Genevieve Joy, the Cello Concerto Tout un monde lointain for Rostropovitch and the Violin Concerto L'arbre des songes for Isaac Stern. Although his First Symphony was uncommissioned, most of his major works were commissioned by American organizations.

Henri is a great lover of painting, and claims to have written Timbres, espace, mouvement with van Gogh's La nuit etoilee in mind.  The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II was behind his orchestral work The Shadows of Time.

Dutilleux believes the physical appearance of his scores is very important.  The manuscripts are actually calligraphy, and there is "strong visual stimulus" behind certain passages in his works.  He is considered among the most important French composers of the Twentieth Century.