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
September 10
1588 - Birth of English composer Nicholas Lanier in London.

1714 - Niccolo Jommelli , Italian composer, was born near Naples.

1866 - Tor Aulin, Swedish violinist/composer/conductor, was born in Stockholm.

1875 - Birth of Lithuanian composer Mikolajus Ciurlionis, in Varena.

1929 - Birth of Japanese pianist, teacher and composer Akio Yashiro in Tokyo.

1934 - Birth of Bulgarian composer Vassil Kazandjiev in Rousse.

1945 - Jose Feliciano, blind guitarist and singer, was born.

1955 - First performance of Henry Cowell's Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 10 for oboe and strings, Leopold Stokowski conducting

1959 - Tim Knight , English composer, was born in Northallerton.

1964 - Rod Stewart recorded his first single, Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl.
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Neubauer studied with Alan de Veritch, Paul Doktor, and William Primrose.  He attended the Juilliard School of Music, where he earned a Master's Degree.

In 1984 Neubauer made history when he joined the New York Philharmonic.  At the time he was just 21 years old, the youngest principal string player ever.  During the six years he played with the orchestra he appeared as soloist more than 20 times, including the New York premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's Viola Concerto with Penderecki conducting.

In 1989 Neubauer became the first violist chosen to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant.  And that is just one of the awards he has won.  Neubauer won first prize in the Mae M. Whitaker International Competition, the D'Angelo International Competition, and the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He received a Solo Recitalist's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a special Prize from the Naumburg Foundation which awarded him an Alice Tully Hall recital debut.
Violin Bag    Brotherhood of the Bow Messenger Bag
Paul Neubauer
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The first performance of Joan Tower's Wild Purple, for solo viola, was September 10, 1998.  It occurred at Lincoln Center in New York City.  The soloist was Paul Neubauer.

Neubauer says that he was destined to play the viola.  His older sister played the cello.  His older brother played the violin.  His godfather was violist Paul Doktor, the son of Karl Doktor of the Busch Quartet. It was just a natural fit.
Joan Tower -- Paul Neubauer -- Wild Purple
Features Paul Neubauer
Wild Purple
Below we read of Leopold Stokowski and the Hymn and Fuguing Tune by Cowell.  Stokowski was in a film made by Walt Disney.  Can You Guess in what film Stokowski appeared?

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Stokowski appeared in the Disney classic, Fantasia.
Neubauer has premiered several other works. Among them Bartók's Viola Concerto (which he helped to revise along with Bartók's son Peter and composer Nelson Dellamaggiore), and Max Bruch's Double Concerto for Clarinet and Viola with clarinetist David Shifrin. He also gave the American premiere of Richard Suter's Three Nocturnes for Viola and Orchestra.

Asked about performing, Neubauer says, "One of my philosophies of playing is that you should be relaxed as much as you can be without looking like a Raggedy Ann doll. Holding this instrument is not natural no matter how easy it may look; there's tension and you want to avoid as much of it as possible."  But he also admits that a little bit of edginess is a good thing during the performance.

Neubauer is also interested in chamber music.  The same year he joined the New York Philharmonic, he also joined David Shifrin's Chamber Music Northwest.  There he was given the nickname "Rookie" by either Ida Kavafian or Fred Sherry (he doesn't remember which).  He still goes by the name.

Besides playing, Neubauer teaches.  He is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music, The Juilliard School, and The Mason Gross School of  Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey.

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