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
November 18
Can You Guess? November 17, 1877 (I know, I'm a day late) a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta received its first performance.  Can You Guess what it had in common with Harry Potter (at least in the USA)? Extra credit.  Why isn't the answer to this question true in England?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
1836 - Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (librettist of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) was born.

1888 - First performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in St. Petersburg.

1892 - First concert at Carnegie Hall by New York Philharmonic.

1899 - Eugene Ormandy, Hungarian-American conductor, was born. He conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra 1936 - 1980.

1955 - Carter Burwell, US composer, was born.

1995 - The Rolling Stones become the first act to broadcast a concert on the Internet.

2003 - First performance of John Corigliano's Snapshot: Circa 1909. Elements String Quartet at Merkin Concert Hall, NYC.
René-Charles "Zino" Francescatti made his US debut on Nov. 18, 1939, as soloist in Paganini's 1st Violin Concerto with Barbirolli and the N.Y. Philharmonic.

Francescatti  was born August 9, 1902 in France.  His father was a violinist and cellist, his mother a violinist.  Zino began violin lessons at age 3. 
Zino Francescatti
Francescatti gave his first recital when he was only 5 years old.  By 10 he appeared as soloist playing the Beethoven Violin ConcertoIn 1925 Francescatti made his Paris debut.  By 1926 he was touring England playing recitals with Maurice Ravel.  He was  well received.  Francescatti built his reputation as a virtuoso violinist by making tours through Europe and South America.

On Nov. 18, 1939, Francescatti made his United States debut with the New York Philharmonic.  He played Paganini's First Violin Concerto under the baton of  Barbirolli. After the close of World War II, Francescatti pursued an international career as a soloist until he retired in 1976.

Upon his retirement, Francescatti wanted to assist young violinists.  He had played a famous violin built by Stradivarius in 1727 called the "Hart."  He sold the instrument and established the Francescatti Foundation in La Ciotat. In 1987 an international violin competition was organized in his honor in Aix-en-Provence.

Zino Francescatti died September 17, 1991 in La Ciotat.

On a personal note, it was Zino Francescatti's recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Thomas Schippers conducting the New York Philharmonic that absolutely fascinated me as a Jr. High School student.  Having read the score numerous times, I listened to Francescatti and was astounded.  His playing was marked by a seemingly effortless technique, warmth of expression, and tonal elegance that is incredible. The recording (see below) is a classic, and it stands up as well today as it did the day it was recorded. 
Click the Photo to Search for Francescatti's Music at Amazon
Violinist Zino Francescatti
One of the GREAT
Performances of the
Tchaikovsky Concerto!
Look inside this title
John Williams: Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets (Violin/Piano) - sheet music at
John Williams: Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets (Violin/Piano) Composed by John Williams, arranged by Bill Galliford, Ethan Neuburg, Tod Edmondson. For violin solo and piano accompaniment. Includes violin solo book and accompaniment CD. With standard notation, bowings, fingerings, piano accompaniment, color photos and black & white photos. Movies. 72 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Warner Brothers. (WB.IFM0247CD)
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And Click Here for Themes from The Prisoner of Azkaban
And Here For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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Did You Guess?
The Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and the first Harry Potter novel involved Sorcerers.  The operetta was The Sorcerer.  The novel was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  The answer to the extra credit question . . . in England the novel is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

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