On This Day – January 21

Today we look at a piece commissioned by Paul Sacher to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Bela Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, premiered on this day in 1937.

On This Day – January 20

Today we look at a composer whose life was cut short, leaving only 39 opuses, but leaving 39 works of great quality. Ernest Chausson, born on this day in 1855.

On This Day – January 19

Today we look at one of Mozart’s Late symphonies. Written in 1786, it was written to thank the people of Prague who devoutly followed his work. Mozart’s Prague symphony, Symphony No. 38, premiered on this day in 1787.

On This Day – January 18

Today we look at an army officer and a teacher of fortifications, a Russian of French and Lithuanian descent. No, I haven’t gone crazy, as he has particular significance in the history of music, being both a composer and music critic, and one of the members of The Five, or the mighty handful. He is…

On This Day – January 17

Today we look at a lesser known Belgian composer, who composed operas, string quartets, symphonies and choral works. While a lot of his works are not very well known, one work is known very well by all who have learnt violin through the Suzuki method. François-Joseph Gossec, born on this day in 1734.

On This Day – January 16

Today we look at a French composer of ballets, operas and other works for stage, who is most well known for the British Airlines advertisement. Léo Delibes, died on this day in 1891.

On This Day – January 15

Today we look at an Italian composer, organist, choirmaster and teacher that was highly regarded by younger composers such as Johann Christian Bach. His works have been described similar to that of Haydn’s, but he denied such influence. Associated with the formation of the concert symphony and the use of thematic development, his works have…

On This Day – January 14

Today we return to the world of Opera, and look at one of the staples of the genre. This dramatic 3-act opera appears as number 8 in Opera America’s 20 most-performed Operas. Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, premiered on this day in 1900.

On This Day – January 13

Russia, 1944. World War II is still raging, and Sergei Prokofiev is in a safe haven run by the Soviet Union. It has been 14 years since his last symphony, but his has been busy in that time. We have the famous Lieutenant Kije, Romeo and Juliet, Peter and the Wolf, the 3 War Sonatas,…

On This Day – January 12

When entering the cello world, some names stand above all others. Yo-yo Ma is one who has done and is doing incredible things with the cello. Jacqueline du Pré is another, whose performances of the Elgar Cello Concerto is the standard that all other performances are judged by. Today we look to her teacher, William…