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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 6
Can You Guess? We read below of the birth of composer Max Bruch in the city of Köln, which you'll find on a map of Germany. But you'll almost never find that name on maps printed in English.   Can You Guess what most English-speakers call Köln?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
1838 - Max Bruch, German composer, was born in Köln.

- of Antonin Dvorák's Piano Quintet No, 2 in A, Op. 81, in Prague.

1958 - Gibson patented its Flying V electric guitar.

- Duke Ellington’s concert recorded at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, was broadcast on CBS-TV.

- Premiere of Bright Sheng's Red Silk Dance. Emanuel Ax, piano and the Boston Symphony.
Brodsky Quartet
1918 -
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On January 6, 2000 the Brodsky Quartet premiered Karen Tanaka's At the Grave of Beethoven.

The Brodsky Quartet is not only one of the most important string quartets in the world, it is also one of the world's longest lasting quartets.  The basic group has been together since they were founded in the late 1970's.
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The members of the Brodsky Quartet are Ian Belton and Andrew Haveron, violins, Paul Cassidy, viola, and his wife Jacqueline Thomas, who plays the cello.  When they were founded Jacqueline's brother, Michael, played the violin but was replaced by Andrew when he decided to leave to pursue other interests. 

The group compares life in a string quartet to a laboratory where two violins, a viola and a cello endlessly search for the perfect mix of sound, spirit, dynamics, harmony, balance and happiness. Four instruments, four personalities and four sets of artistic ideas which must all blend seamlessly to result in good performances.

The fact that two of the quartet's members are married to one another is not the only thing that sets the Brodsky Quartet apart from others  As a matter of fact, when Haveron was approached about joining the group he knew the name, but did not know their work.  He was informed that the Brodsky Quartet were, "The hip, trendy ones." 

In a profession where the words "hip" and "trendy" do not usually leap to mind, the Brodsky Quartet has made a reputation for itself by working on projects with such artists as Elvis Costello, Bjork, Dave Brubeck and Paul McCartney.

But despite their excursions into the popular music scene, the Brodsky Quartet is a serious classical quartet as well.  Not only do they record the classics, they then do something extraordinary and step outside the classical box.  For example, they recorded Beethoven's six Opus 18 Quartets.  Then they asked six contemporary composers to compose pieces based on the Beethoven works. 

"Some have quoted directly from Beethoven without changing a note," says Thomas, "so you're listening to Beethoven for eight bars, then suddenly it shifts into something you don't recognise. Anyone turning on the radio at that point is going to be extremely confused."

The Brodsky Quartet is a group of talented musicians who are making even the most thoughtful and conservative classical music fans re-think their old ideas, and who are introducing a whole new generation of music lovers to the traditional works in new, innovative ways!
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Brodsky Quartet
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Did You Guess?
In English we don't call that city on the Rhine "Köln," we call it "Cologne."

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