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 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 1

Welcome back to the On This Day series. We welcome the new series with a new site design, and a promise from me to have an “On This Day” post every day of the year. Today we look at one of the major works of the violin repertoire, one according to violinist Joseph Joachim that…

On This Day… October 10

Today we look at one of the Romantic period’s most influential composers of opera. He wrote classics such as Rigoletto, Nabucco, La Traviata and Aida. Giuseppe Verdi, born on this day in 1813

On This Day… October 9

Today we look at a French composer, who was also a pianist, organist and conductor. He wrote a number of pieces that would become very popular, as well as works of incredible quality. Camille Saint-Saƫns, born on this day in 1835.

On This Day… October 5

Today we head over to France, and a composer who was one of the early originators of the operetta form. Though born in Germany, he spent most of his working life there, dying in Paris on the 5th of October, 1880. He is Jacques Offenbach.

On This Day… October 3

Today we move away from the composers and look instead at a conductor. The late 18th and early 19th century brought about a move away from composers as conductors and started to see conductors rise as prominent figures in their own right. Today we look at a man considered by many to be Britain’s leading…

On This Day… 2 October

As if we didn’t have enough composers to celebrate their birthdays of, the tradition has arisen that we also celebrate their dying- or death-day. We get major celebrations at 50 years after their death, which could also be 100 years after their birth. But either way, it’s an excuse for concert programmers to hold a…