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 3
Did You Guess?
Can You Guess?

We mention Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice below.  Can You Guess what Disney character plays the sorcerer's apprentice in the film Fantasia?

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1870 - Henry Eichheim, violinist and composer, was born.

1897 - Premiere of Paul Dukas's Symphony in C, in Paris.  Wrote The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which was featured in Disney's Fantasia.

1936 - Jos Kunst, Dutch composer, was born.

1942 - Julius Conus, Russian composer and violinist, died.

1945 - Stephen Stills was born. He was a member of Buffalo Springfield and in 1968 teamed up with David Crosby and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills & Nash.

1953 - Zae Munn, American composer, was born.

1957 - Fats Domino recorded I'm Walkin'.

1985 - Soprano Leontyne Price's final performance with the Metropolitan Opera.
Musical humorist Victor Borge was born BÝrge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 3, 1909. His father played the violin in the Danish Symphony Orchestra. His mother began giving him piano lessons at age 3. He made his concert debut in Copenhagen at the age of eight, and later studied at the Copenhagen Music Conservatory, as well as in Vienna and Berlin.
Borge made his professional debut in 1926, and within 10 years was one of the best known stage and film stars in all of Scandinavia. His performances, combining music and comedy, were frequently satirical.

Borge was a Jew, and as the power of the Nazis grew, Borge regularly mocked Hitler from the stage. When German armed forces invaded Denmark in April, 1940, Borge was in Stockholm, and remained there. He was briefly blacklisted before fleeing to the United States aboard the S. S. American Legion, the last American passenger ship to leave Northern Europe prior to World War II
Victor Borge
Mickey of course!
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After entertaining guests at a private party he was invited to appear on the Bing Crosby radio show - and remained on it for 56 weeks.

After a triumphant tour of American cities, he took his one-man show to Broadway, where his Comedy in Music chalked up 849 performances - the longest solo run in Broadway history.

Borge's act consisted of jokes, sight gags and musical pranks. He used music to play off the snooty opinion people had of classical music, and at the same time introduce them to the great works of the past.

I learned to play on my mother's knee, we didn't have a piano."

"When most opera singers sing their heads off they improve their appearance."

He frequently "accidentally" played his music upside down. He constantly fell from the piano bench. He invented system of phonetic punctuation so that you could hear every comma, period, exclamation point and question mark.

Borge was actually a gifted pianist, and appeared with many of the world's most renowned orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic. Victor Borge's albums have been extremely popular.  He also authored two books, My Favorite Intermissions and My Favorite Comedies in Music. He continued performing past his 90th birthday. He died at home on December 23, 2000.
When Borge arrived in New York, he was almost penniless and unable to speak English. For the next year he spent much of his time at the movies, listening intently to the dialogue to teach himself English.
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