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 5
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The year, 1950.  The Number 1 hit on the Billboard charts was Gene Autry's only chart topper.  It was a Christmas song.  Can You Guess what the song was?
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Violin Concerto, Max Bruch
Max Bruch
The final version of Max Bruch's Violin Concerto was first performed January 5, 1868 in Bremen.  Karl Martin Rheintahler conducted and Joseph Joachim was the soloist.

Bruch was born in Cologne, Germany, January 6, 1838.  His mother was a famous singer, and was his first music teacher.
Bruch started composing early.  By the time he was 14 he had already written more lthan 70 pieces.  In 1852, he wrote a symphony and a string quartet.  The quartet was such high quality that he won a four year scholarship from the Frankfurt-based Mozart Foundation.  This enabled him to study with Ferdinand Breunung, Ferdinand Hiller, and Carl Reinecke.
1596 - English choir director and composer Henry Lawes was born.

1690 - Premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti's opera La Statira.

1884 - Premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta
Princess Ida in London.

1904 - Birth of Austrian born American violinist
Erica Morini (Siracusano) in Vienna.

1931 - Birth of choreographer Alvin Ailey, founder of the
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

1940 - Major E.H. Armstrong demonstrated his invention of the "FM" radio before the US Federal Communications Commission

1997 - Burton Lane, who composed the music for Finian's Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, died.

Contains Bruch's
Scottish Fantasy
It was Rudloph the Red-Nosed ReindeerDid you see the hint?
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He taught music and served as concertmaster in an orchestra for some years, then settled down to a life of composing, conducting, and occasional teaching.
He spent ten years working on his G-minor violin concerto  When asked about the writing of the concerto, Bruch told his publisher:

"It is a damned difficult thing to do; between 1864 and 1868 I rewrote my concerto at least half a dozen times, and conferred with x violinists before it took the final form in which it is universally famous and played everywhere."

Among the violinists Bruch consulted were Johann Naret-Koenig, concertmaster of the Mannheim symphony and the great soloist Ferdinand David.  But the violinist who gave him the most help was undoubtedly Joseph Joachim.  He publicly acknowledged the help, and even published Joachim's letters of advice.  Ultimately the concerto was dedicated to him.

Bruch's other famous violin work was his Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 46, or as it is properly titled, Fantasy for Violin with Orchestra and Harp, with the free use of Scottish Folk Melodies.Bruch composed his Scottish Fantasy in the winter of 1879-1880, and it was first performed in September 1880, with Pablo de Sarasate as soloist. The piece was dedicated to him.

Bruch was invited to conduct the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and remained there for three seasons(1880 1883).  In 1883 Bruch left Liverpool and became director of the Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) Orchesterverein, where he stayed through the end of the season in 1890.

That autumn, Bruch took up an appointment as professor of composition at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik, working there until his retirement in 1910 and retaining his rank as a professor there until his death in 1920.
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