Composers Datebook®

Athletically-inclined music by Janacek and Torke


Music Played in Today's Program

Leos Janácek (1854-1928) Sinfonietta Boston Symphony; Seiji Ozawa, cond. EMI 47837

Michael Torke (b. 1961) Javelin Atlanta Symphony; Yoel Levi, cond. Argo 452 101

On This Day


  • 1902 - British composer Sir William Walton, in Oldham;

  • 1936 - British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, in Broadstairs;


  • 1697 - German composer and organist Nicolaus Bruhns, age c. 32, in Husum;

  • 1888 - French composer Charles-Henri Alkan, age 75, in Paris;

  • 1911 - French composer and organist Alexandre (Felix) Guilmant, age 74, in Meudon;

  • 1924 - British composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, age 71, in London;

  • 2001 - American jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, age 80, in New York;


  • 1795 - possible premiere of Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb, in Vienna, with the composer as soloist; This concerto was written and premiered before Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, which was, however, published first;

  • 1806 - Beethoven: "Leonore" Overture No. 3, as part of the second, revised version of the opera "Fidelio," at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna;

  • 1836 - Wagner: opera "Das Liebesverbot" (The Ban on Love), in Magdeburg at the Stadttheater; Wagner's libretto is based on Shakespeare's play "Measure for Measure";

  • 1874 - Dvorak: Symphony No. 3 in Eb, in Prague;

  • 1879 - Tchaikovsky: opera "Eugene Onegin," in Moscow at the Malïy (Small) Theater (Julian date: Mar. 17);

  • 1882 - Glazunov: Symphony No. 1, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Mar. 17);

  • 1892 - Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1 (first movement only), in Moscow, Vasily Safanov conducting and with the composer as soloist (Julian date: Mar. 17);

  • 1911 - Chadwick: "Suite Symphonique," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, with the composer conducting;

  • 2000 - Bright Sheng: String Quartet No. 4, in Richmond, Va., by the Shanghai String Quartet;


  • 1871 - Royal Albert Hall is formally opened in London by Queen Victoria.

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About Composers Datebook®

Host John Birge presents a daily snapshot of composers past and present, with timely information, intriguing musical events and appropriate, accessible music related to each.

He has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 25 years. Since 1997, he has been hosting on Minnesota Public Radio's Classical Music Service. He played French horn for the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra and performed with them on their centennial tour of Europe in 1995. He was trained at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy.

About Composers Datebook®