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
October 28
Can You Guess?
Charlie Daniels had a great song about a fiddle contest between "Johnny" and the Devil. Can You Guess what flew from the Devil's fingertips as he rosined up his bow?
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What Else
1689 - Birth of French composer Michel Mathieu.

1733 - Birth of German composer Ignaz Franz von Beecke.

1755 - Death of composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.

1779 - Death of composer Raphael Weiss, at 66.

1803 - Caroline Ungar,  Hungarian singer who was soloist in debuts of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, was born.

1805 - John Thomson,  Scottish composer, was  born in Roxburg.

1877 - Death of Austrian conductor and composer Johann Herbeck.

1893 - Debut of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony "Pathetique". The composer conducting a month before his death.

1896 - Birth of American conductor, composer and Eastman School of Music director, Howard Hanson.

1915 - Debut of Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony, the composer conducting.

1926 - Charter granted to Juilliard School of Music in NYC.

1932 - Debut of Igor Stravinsky's Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano. Samuel Dushkin with Stravinsky at the piano.

1936 - Singer Charlie Daniels was born.

1938 - Birth of English composer Howard Blake.

1958 - Ray Charles recorded The Right Time.

2001 - Death of Dutch  composer Gerard Hengeveld.
Ginette Neveu
Ginette Neveu was born in Paris, France on August 11, 1919 in Paris, France.  Very early in her life people recognized that she had incredible talent.  While some young talents are called child prodigies, Ginette was called an "infant prodigy."
Ginette Neveu
Ginette was a grandniece of Charles-Marie Widor, the famous organist and composer. Her mother was her first teacher, and Ginette made her public debut as a soloist with the Colonne Orchestra in Paris when she was only seven years old.  She played Bruch's G minor Violin Concerto.

She quickly began winning prizes in compeition, and took lessons from Georges Enescu, before entering the Paris Conservatory at age 11.  At the end of her first eight months at the conservatory she won the premier prix.  She also studied with Flesch.
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Did You Guess?
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And fire flew from his finger tips As he rosined up his bow
In 1935 Ginette won the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition.  This is remarkable for several reasons.  First, she was only sixteen years old and competing against 180 other violinists.  Second, one of those in the competition was twenty seven year old David Oistrakh, who would become one of the world's foremost violinists. 
The win launched her international career.  1936 saw tours of Poland, Germany and the Soviet Union.  She made her US and Canadian debut in 1936.  Ginette made recordings in Berlin, but a what promised to be an outstanding career was postponed by the outbreak of World War II. 

When the war was over, Ginette was poised to take the world by storm, and started out by recording of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor on November 21, 1945. She played with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Walter Susskind.  Her performance was so intense that her neck and chin were bleeding at the end of the day-long recording session.

Ginette followed that recording the next year with what some people consider to be the standard against which all others must be measured with her performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, accompanied by the Philharmonia conducted by Issay Dobrowen.

Neveu seemed poised for greatness, particularly after her triumphant appearance at Britain's Edinburgh Festival in 1949. Her performances were notable for their controlled and yet impassioned intensity, ably supported by a phenomenal technique, and it seemed that she was destined for greatness.  On October 28, 1949, Neveu and her brother and accompanist, classical pianist Jean-Paul Neveu, boarded a plane for a trip to America and a new tour. The plane crashed in the Azores.  There were no survivors.
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