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
May 6
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Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst played the viola under Hector Berlioz.  The violin's strings are E, A, D, G. 
Can You Guess the viola's strings?

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1637 - The first opera house in Venice opened, the Teatro San Cassiano.

1808 - (some sources say 1809) Birth of American composer William Walker.

1940 - Birth of American conductor Murray Sidlin, director of the American Academy of Conducting.

1945 - Singer Bob Seger was born.

1971 - Ike and Tina Turner receive their only Gold Record for Proud Mary.

1977 - Country singer Dolly Parton makes her New York debut.

1984 - Tina Turner released What's Love Got to do With It?  It establishes her as a solo star.

2000 - Teen sensation Charlotte Church was named British Artist of the Year at the first Classical Brit Awards.  She was just 14 years old.
Violin virtuoso and composer Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst was born May 6, 1814 in Brunn, in Moravia.

Ernst was a violin prodigy and virtuoso.  He made his debut at the age of 9, and became a devotee of Paganini at age 14.  He was educated at the Conservatorium of Vienna, where he studied violin under Joseph Bohm and Joseph Mayseder, and composition under Ignaz von Seyfried.
Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst
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At the age of sixteen Ernst made a concert tour in southern
Germany.  He was very well received, and his reputation as an up and coming virtuoso was established.  Ernst met and worked with many of the best-known composers of his time. One of the composers he met was Hector Berlioz, and he performed Berlioz's Harold in Italy as the viola soloist under the composer's baton.

In 1832 Ernst moved to Paris, where he settled, living there for several years.  Here he met composer Stephen Heller.  The two cooperated in producing several pieces for piano and violin

In 1843 Ernst made his first visit to England.  He was extremely well received, and began a tradition of annual visits there until his health began to decline. He bacame a member of the London Beethoven Society, and performed Beethoven's quartets with Joseph Joachim, Henryk Wieniawski and Alfredo Piatti. 

Ernst spent his last 7 years in retirement in Nice, France.  He died there on October 8, 1865.

As a violinist Ernst is said to have exemplified the passion, fire and technical virtuosity of Paganini with a bit more romance.  His compositions were primarily for the violin, the most remembered for his almost unrivalled technical expertise and passionate expression. It has been said that he had the fire and tecAs a composer he wrote chiefly for his own instrument, and his Elegie and Otello Fantasia rank among the most treasured works for the violin.

Ernst composed primarily for the violin, and his works are full of the fire and technical virtuosity of Paganin's compositions, with a bit more romance. 
Midori and Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst
The Viola's strings are A, D, G, C.
Midori and Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst
Midori Plays Ernst's
Variations on  Last Rose of Summer
Harold in Italy at Amazon
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