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May 30-June 5, 2005

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Monday, May 30
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Photo
J.S. Bach
SYNOPSIS:
Bach arrives (literally) ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750): Cantata No. 73
Leonhardt Consort; Gustav Leonhardt, cond.
Teldec 44279

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On J.S. Bach

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1883—Italian opera composer Riccardo Zandonai, in Sacco, Trentino;
1932—American composer Pauline Oliveros, in Houston, Texas;
1953—American composer Anne LeBaron, in Baton Rouge, La.;

Deaths:
1971—French composer and organist Marcel Dupré, age 85, in Meudon;

Premieres:
1846 — Lortzing: opera "Der Waffenschmied" (The Armorer), in Vienna at the Theater an der Wien;
1866 — Smetana: "The Bartered Bride" (1st version) in Prague at the Provisional Theater;
1923 — Hanson: Symphony No. 1 ("Nordic"), in Rome, composer conducting;
1927 — Stravinsky: opera-oratorio "Oedipus Rex," at the Sarah Bernhardt Theater in Paris (in concert performance; first staged performance took place in Berlin on Feb. 25, 1928);
1938 — Piston: ballet "The Incredible Flutist," in Boston;
1962 — Britten: oratorio "War Requiem," in the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral in England;
1991 — Harrison Birtwistle: opera "Gawain" in London at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Elgar Howarth conducting;

Other:
1723—Bach's first cantata performance in Leipzig (Cantata No. 75, "Die Elenden sollen essen"), presented at St. Nicolai Church, the day before his official induction as Cantor in that city.


Tuesday, May 31
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Photo
American composer Melinda Wagner
SYNOPSIS:
Melinda Wagner's Pulitzer premiere ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Melinda Wagner (b. 1957): Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion
Paul Lustig Dunkel, flute; Westchester Philharmonic; Mark Mandarano, cond.
Bridge 9098

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Melinda Wagner

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1656—French composer and viola da gamba virtuoso, Marin Marais, in Paris;
1804—French composer, pianist and teacher (Jeanne-) Louise Farrenc (née Dumont), in Paris;

Deaths:
1809—Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, age 77, in Vienna;
1967—American composer and arranger Billy Strayhorn, age 51, in New York City;

Premieres:
1817 — Rossini: "La Gazza Ladra" (The Thieving Magpie"), at La Scala in Milan;
1884 — Puccini: opera "Le villi" (The Willies), in Milan at the Teatro dal Verme;
1961 — Penderecki: "Threnody in Memory of the Victims of Hiroshima" for strings, in Warsaw;
1998 — Melinda Wagner: Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion, at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Purchase, with flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel and the Westchester Philharmonic, Mark Mandarano conducting; This work won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1999.


Wednesday, June 1
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Photo
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
SYNOPSIS:
Peter Maxwell Davies in the California sun ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Peter Maxwell Davies (b.1934): Ojai Festival Overture
BBC Philharmonic; Peter Maxwell Davies, cond.
Collins 1524

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1653—Baptismal date of Baroque composer Georg Muffat, in Megève (Savoy);
1771—Italian composer Ferdinando Paër, in Parma;
1804—Russian composer Mikail Glinka, in Novospasskoye (now Glinka), near Yelnya (Smolensk District); Under the Julian "Old Style" calendar still in use in Russia in that year, this date would be May 20;
1929—Canadian-born American composer Yehudi Wyner, in Calgary;

Deaths:
1639—German composer Melchior Franck, age c. 60, in Coburg;
1909—Italian composer Giuseppe Martucci, age 53, in Naples;

Premieres:
1853 — Liszt: "Fantasy on Themes from Beethoven's Ruins of Athens" and "Fantasy on Hungarian Themes" for piano and orchestra, in Budapest;
1869 — Smetana: opera "The Bartered Bride" (third of four versions), in Prague at the Provisional Theater;
1925 — Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1 for strings and piano, in Cleveland, with the composer conducting;
1932 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 12 ("Collective Farm Symphony"), in Moscow, by the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, Albert Coates conducting;
1988 — Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: "Symbolon" for orchestra, in Leningrad (USSR), by the New York Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting;
1991 — Peter Maxwell Davies: "Ojai Festival Overture," in the Ojai Valley north of Los Angeles, by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with the composer conducting;

Other:
1723—J.S. Bach is formally inducted as cantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig;
1728—The Royal Academy of Music folds in London following a revival performance of Handel's opera "Ademto"; This date is according to the Julian "Old Style" calendar still in use in England that year; Under the Gregorian "New Style" calendar in use today (and on most of the continent in Handel's day), this date would be June 12;
1750—Handel makes out his will, leaving to John Christopher Smith (the elder) "my large harpsichord, my little house organ, my musick books, and 500 pounds sterling" and the rest to his niece Johanna Floerken; On August 4, 1957, Handel modifies his will, leaving his theater organ to John Rich, some paintings to Charles Jennens and Bernard Granville, and "a fair copy of the score and all parts" of "Messiah" to the Foundling Hospital; On April 1759, Handel bequeaths 1000 pounds to the Society for the Support of Decayed Musicians, and directs that 600 pounds be used for his monument in Westminster Abbey; These dates are all according to the Julian calendar (which lagged 11 days behind the Gregorian in the 18th century).



Thursday, June 2
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Photo
French composer, arranger and conductor Manuel Rosenthal
SYNOPSIS:
Manuel Rosenthal's hits and Mrs. ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jacques Offenbach (1819 - 1880) arr. Manuel Rosenthal (1904-2003): Gaîté Parisienne
Monte Carlo Philharmonic; Manuel Rosenthal, cond.
Naxos 8.554005

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Manuel Rosenthal

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1835—Russian composer, pianist and conductor Nicolai Rubinstein (brother of Anton), in Moscow (Gregorian date: June 14);
1857—English composer Sir Edward Elgar, in Broadheath (near Worcester);
1863—German composer and conductor Felix Weingartner, in Zara, Dalmatia (now Zadar, Croatia);

Deaths:
1937—French composer and organist Louis Vierne, age 66, in Paris at Notre Dame Cathedral while playing an organ recital;

Premieres:
1914 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 1, in Pavlovsk (Gregorian date: June 15);
1937 — Berg: opera "Lulu" (Acts 1 & 2 only), in Zürich at the Stadtstheater; The first complete performance of the 3-act version of this opera with Berg's unfinished Act 3 (arranged by Friedrich Cerha) premiered in Paris on February 24, 1979;
1953 — Bliss: "Processional" in London, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II;
1953 — Ginastera: "Variaciones Concertantes" in Buenos Aires;
1953 — Walton: "Coronation Te Deum" and "Orb and Sceptre" March, in London, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II;
1954 — Leroy Anderson: "Bugler's Holiday" at a Decca recording session in New York City, with the composer conducting; The three cornet soloist for this classic recording were Robert Cusamann, Carl Poole and Melven Solomon;
1983 — Henze: opera "The English Cat," in Schwetzingen at the Schlosstheater;

Other:
1711—The opera season at the Queen's Theater in London ends with a production of Handel's opera, "Rinaldo," (Gregorian date: June 13) which had opened there on February 24 (Gregorian date: March 7) the same year; This was the first Handel opera produced in London, and the first Italian opera written specifically composed for the London stage, and proved extremely popular;
1938—At the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., Amy Beach begins work on a Piano Trio based on some of her earlier works; She would finish the trio fifteen days later (June 18th) and publish it as her Op. 150.


Friday, June 3
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Photo
Mingus on a U.S. postage stamp
SYNOPSIS:
Jazz classics by Bolcom and Mingus ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
William Bolcom (b. 1938): Violin Concerto
Sergiu Luca, violin; American Composers Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies, cond.
Argo 433 077
&
Charles Mingus (1922-1979)/arr. Schuller:: Noon Night, from Epitaph
jazz ensemble; Gunther Schuller, cond.
Sony/Columbia 45428

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On William Bolcom
On Charles Mingus

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1801—Czech opera composer Franz (František) Škroup, in Osice; One of his songs was eventually used as the Czech national anthem;
1832—French operetta composer Charles Lecocq, in Paris;

Deaths:
1875—French composer Georges Bizet, age 36, at Bougival (near Paris);
1899—Austrian composer Johann Strauss, Jr., age 73, in Vienna;
1939—Spanish composer and conductor Enrique Fernandez Arbos, in San Sebastian;

Premieres:
1896 — Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5, in Paris, with the composer as soloist;
1915 — Chadwick: symphonic ballad "Tam O'Shanter" at the Norfolk Festival;
1922 — Stravinsky: opera "Marva," at the Paris Opéra;
1947 — Poulenc: opera "Les Mamelles de Tirésias" (The Breasts of Tiresias) in Paris at the Opéra-Comique;
1964 — Menotti: "Martin's Lie," at Bristol Cathedral in Bath, England;
1979 — Menotti: "La Loca," in San Diego, Calif.;
1988 — Michael Torke: "Copper" for brass quintet and orchestra, at the Midland (Michigan) Festival, with the Empire Brass and the Detroit Symphony conducted by Stephen Stein;
1999 — Tan Dun: "Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra (In Memory of Toru Takemitsu)," at Lincoln Center, with percussionist Christopher Lamb and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur.


Saturday, June 4
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Photo
American composer Richard Danielpour
SYNOPSIS:
Ocean — and urban — music by Sibelius and Danielpour ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957): The Oceanides
Finnish Radio Symphony; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, cond.
RCA/BMG 60401
&
Richard Danielpour (b. 1956): Urban Dances
Philharmonia Orchestra; Zdenek Macal, cond.
Sony Classical 60779

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Jean Sibelius
On Richard Danielpour

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1770—possible birthdate of the British-born early American composer, conductor, and music publisher James Hewitt, in Dartmoor;
1932—American composer and jazz arranger Oliver Nelson, in St. Louis;

Deaths:
1872—Polish opera composer Stanislaw Moniuszko, age 53, in Warsaw;
1907—Norwegian composer Agathe Backer-Groendahl, age 59, in Kristiania (now Oslo);
1951—Russian-born American double-bass player, conductor and new music patron, Serge Koussevitzky, age 76, in Boston;

Premieres:
1811 — Weber: opera, "Abu Hassan." In Munich;
1883 — Tchaikovsky: "Festival Coronation March," in Moscow (Julian date: May 23); Tchaikovsky conducted this march at the gala opening concert of Carnegie Hall (then called just "The Music Hall")in New York on May 5, 1891;
1912 — Chadwick: tone poem "Aphrodite" in Norfolk, Conn., at the Litchfield Festival;
1914 — Sibelius: "Oceanides," in Norfolk, Conn., at the Litchfield Festival, with the composer conducting;
1935 — Shostakovich: ballet "The Limpid Stream," in Leningrad at the Maliiy Opera Theater;
1935 — R. Strauss: opera "Die schweigsame Frau" (The Silent Woman), in Dresden at the Staatsoper;
1994 — Philip Glass: opera "La Belle et la Bête" (Beauty and the Beast) based on the film by Jean Cocteau), by the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville (Spain), with Michael Riesman conducting;
1997 — Richard Danielpour: ballet "Urban Dances," at New York State Theater by the New York Ballet, choreographed by Miriam Mahdaviani;
1999 — Esa-Pekka Salonen: "Five Images after Sappho" for voice and orchestra, at the Ojai Festival in California, with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, conducted by the composer.


Sunday, June 5
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Photo
Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt
SYNOPSIS:
Beyond Grieg: Geirr Tveitt ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981): Piano Concerto No. 1
Havard Gimse, piano; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset, cond.
Naxos 8.555077

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Geirr Tveitt
A new Tveitt website (still in development)

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1882—Russian-born American composer Igor Stravinsky, in Oranienbaum (now Lomonosov), near St Petersburg, (Gregorian date: June 17); In the 19th century, the Julian calendar lagged behind the Gregorian by 12 days, and in the 20th century by 13 days; For most of the 20th century, Stravinsky chose to celebrate his birthday on June 18th, but "officially" it was celebrated on June 17th;
1905—Estonian-born Swedish composer Eduard Tubin, in Kalaste, near Tartu (Gregorian date: June 18);
1923—American composer Daniel Pinkham, in Lynn, Mass.;

Deaths:
1625—English composer Orlando Gibbons, age 41, in Canterbury;
1722—German composer Johann Kuhnau, age 61, in Leipzig;
1816—Italian opera composer Giovanni Paisiello, age 76, in Naples;
1826—German composer Carl Maria von Weber, age 39, in London;
1944—Italian opera composer Riccardo Zandonai, age 61, in Pesaro;

Premieres:
1715 — Handel: opera "Amadigi di Gauli" (Julian date: May 25);
1913 — Paris premiere of Mussorgsky: opera, "Khovantschina," in a version completed and orchestrated by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel;
2003 — Oliver Knussen: Symphony No. 4, by the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel conducting.

Other:
1717—For the last performance of Handel's opera "Rinaldo" at the King's Theater, the French dancer Marie Sallé appears as a performer for the first time in one of Handel's works (Greogorian date: June 16);
1971—Conductor James Levine makes his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, conducting Puccini's "Tosca"; In 1973, Levine became the Met's principal conductor and in 1976 its music director.