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
June 18
French composer Manuel Rosenthal was born June 18, 1904.  He was given his first violin when he was six. When he was 12, his mother persuaded Jules Boucherit, professor at the Paris Conservatoire, to take him as a pupil. Six years later, although Rosenthal was expected to win a Premier Prix, he failed to win any prize at all, and had to leave the institution. 
Can You Guess?
Below we read about Paul McCartney and the Beatles. After leaving that group McCartney's new band had numerous songs fly to amazing success as well. Can You Guess the name of McCartney's other band?

What Else Happened   on Today's Date?

- Ottaviano del Petrucci, early publisher of music, was born.  He published the Harmonice Musices Odehecaton.

1903 - Jeanette MacDonald,  US  soprano and actress, was born.

1913 - Lyricist Sammy Cahn was born. His hit songs include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Call Me Irresponsible, The Second Time Around, and High Hopes.

1942 - Paul McCartney, arguably the most commercially-successful former member of the Beatles, was born in Liverpool, England.

1965 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: I Can't Help Myself, by the Four Tops

1976 - Abba staged a command performance for the king of Sweden.

1980 - Western swing musician Paul Howard died at the age of 71. Howard's band, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers.
Manuel Rosenthal
Manuel Rosenthal
His stepfather had died, and Manuel was responsible for his mother and two sisters. To earn money he played in cafes and movie theaters, and by composing chansons which were published under the name of a better known composer.

In 1926 Ravel invited him to bring him some of his compositions. Ravel had only a few pupils, but Rosenthal soon became more than a pupil, he became Ravel's friend.  He continually praised Ravel in articles and interviews, as well as the book Ravel: Souvenirs De Manuel Rosenthal (1995).

In 1928 Ravel persuaded the Concerts Pasdeloup to devote an entire concert to Rosenthal's works and to engage Rosenthal himself to conduct it. Never having been on a rostrum before, Rosenthal was terrified, but performeed well enough to impress the celebrated conductor Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht.  When Inghelbrecht founded the French National Orchestra in 1934, he hired Rosenthal as his assistant. By 1936 Rosenthal had left the orchestra and taken a job as producer at Radio PTT (later Radio France).  In 1936 Rosenthal was given his own radio orchestra.

Within a few years he had moved to the United States and taken the post of conductor of the Seattle Symphony (1948 to 1951). Within a year subscriptions rose from 300 to 3000. He also worked with the Metropolitan Opera.  In 1962 Rosenthal returned to Europe to take the post of Professor of Conducting at the Conservatory in Paris.

Among his most significant achievements were his recordings of the complete Debussy and Ravel orchestral works (which some considered authoritative), his appointment as professor of conducting at the Conservatoire in 1966 (where he introduced the works of Shostakovitch, Xenakis and others) and his complete Ring Cycle in Seattle in 1986.

Rosenthal died June 6, 2003, one of the most influential and respected French conductors of the 20th century.  He attributed his success to a refusal ever to accept second best, a determination to be his own man, but above all to the inspiration of his mother, Anna Devorsosky.
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