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 29
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1787 - Debut  of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in Prague.

1815 - Daniel Decatur Emmett, US composer, was born.  Wrote (I wish I was in) Dixie.

1883 - Friedrich Robert Volkmann, composer, died.

1898 - Emmanuel Bondeville, French composer, was born.

1904 - Vivian Ellis, English composer, was born.

1918 - Rudolf Tobias, Estonian composer, died in Berlin.

1920 - Debut of Edward Burlingame Hill's symphonic poem The Fall of the House of Usher.

1923 - Dietrich Manicke, German composer, was born.

1934 - Ramon Sender Barayon, electronic music composer, was born.

1943Percy Goetschius, US composer, died.

1947 - Debut of Igor Stravinsky's Mass .

1947 - Debut of Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto, in Moscow and Leningrad.

1950 - Debut of Aaron Copland's Quartet for Piano and Strings.

1955 - Debut of Dimitri Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. David Oistrakh with the Leningrad Philharmonic.

1956 - Premiere of Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide. A trial run at the Colonial Theater in Boston.

1956 - James Primosch, US composer, was born.

1956 - Debut of soprano Maria Callas at Metropolitan Opera.
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1967 - Debut of Vincent Persichetti's Symphony # 8.

1983 - Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon became the longest listed album in the history of the US chart (491 weeks).

1988 - Dire Straits scored their fourth UK No.1 album with Money For Nothing.
Violinist Ida Kavafian was born in Istanbul, October 29, 1952.  She moved to the United States with her family when she was three. Her music talent was recognized early, and began her studies at age six with Ara Zerounian, in Detroit.

"I started the violin as a joke when I was six. Ani's (her sister)  teacher decided I had some talent and he brought over a quarter-size violin. We wanted to surprise my parents so he gave me little lessons on the side.
Ida Kavafian
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"When I performed my first piece my father thought it was the most adorable thing he'd ever seen. My mother said 'She won't amount to anything; all she wants to do is play softball with the boys.' After she realized that I had potential she started being the practice policeman; if I was going to do it I was going to do it right. "

Ms. Kavafian confesses to hating practice.  " Since I hate to practice I get it done quickly by trying to do it in an intelligent way. I really try to think about what's wrong and get right to the heart of fixing that."
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Some people say that if you start Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon at exactly the right moment it provides a great soundtrack for a classic movie. 
Can You Guess what movie they suggest playing Dark Side of the Moon with? (Make your guess using all your heart, brain and courage and you might be right!)

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They suggest you listen to Dark Side of the Moon while watching
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Kavafian expanded her career to include jazz performance when she went on an international tour with an ensemble led by Chick Corea in 1983 - 1984. From 1989 until 1993, Kavafian was an Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society. She became a member once again in 1996, a post she retained through 2002. She was in the Beaux Arts Trio from 1992 - 1998 and still performs regularly with the group.
Kavafian co-founded Opus One in 1998, a piano quartet whose other members are pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violist Steven Tenenbom (Kavafian's husband), and cellist Peter Wiley (also a former member of the Beaux Arts Trio, who joined the Guarneri Quartet in 2001).

Kavafian's repertory is broad, encompassing compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn, as well as new works by Wuorinen, Ruth Crawford, and Toru Takemitsu, the latter having composed a concerto for her, which she premiered.

In 2002, Kavafian was on the faculty at the Curtis Institute and Mannes College of Music. She and her husband live in Connecticut, where they also breed prize-winning Hungarian Vizsla dogs under the kennel name, "Opus One Vizslas".  (She encountered the breed first during a music festival in Nova Scotia.  Not only does Kavafian's repertoire include the standard compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn, she also plays new works by Wuorinen, Ruth Crawford, and Toru Takemitsu (who wrote a concerto for her that she premiered).
She went on to study with Mischa Mischakoff and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in 1969.  At Juilliard she studied with Oscar Shumsky and Ivan Galamian.  She graduated with honors, earning her Master of Music degree there in 1975.In 1973, Kavafian traveled to Lisbon and took first prize at the Vianna da Motta International Violin Competition.
Ida co-founded the now-celebrated chamber group Tashi.  She plays violin along with Peter Serkin on piano, Fred Sherry on cello and Richard Stoltzman on clarinet. They made many notable recordings over the years, including one of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, for RCA. At the same time, Ida established a soloist career, debuting in New York in 1978  at the 92nd Street "Y" with pianist Peter Serkin as a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

She is the sister of violinist Ani Kavafian and has often performed with her sibling. The two have appeared together on the Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning. As both a soloist and a member of chamber groups such as Tashi and the Beaux Arts Trio, Ida Kavafian has appeared on many recordings for major labels, including RCA and Philips.  Ani and Ida are both Artist Members of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
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