Composers Datebook®

Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"


Music Played in Today's Program

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Act II Prelude, from Tristan und Isolde Bayreuth Festival Orchestra; Karl Böhm Philips 434 425

On This Day


  • 1904 - German-born American musical composer Frederick Loewe, in Berlin;

  • 1913 - Soviet composer Tikhon Khrennikov, in Elets (Julian date: May 28);

  • 1960 - English composer Mark Anthony Turnage, in Grays, Essex;


  • 1899 - French composer Ernest Chausson, age 44, after a bicycle accident near Limay;

  • 1918 - Italian opera composer and librettist Arrigo Boito, age 76, in Milan;

  • 1934 - British composer Frederick Delius, age 72, in Grez-sur-Loing, France;

  • 1964 - American composer Louis Gruenberg, age 75, in Los Angeles;


  • 1732 - Handel: opera "Acis and Galetea" (in an English/Italian version), in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket, at the request of Princess Anne (Gregorian date: June 21);

  • 1865 - Wagner: opera "Tristan and Isolde," in Munich at the Hoftheater, conducted by Hans von Bülow;

  • 1921 - Stravinsky: "Symphonies of Wind Instruments" (in memory of Claude Debussy), in London at Queen's Hall, with Serge Kousevitzky conducting; Three days earlier, on June 7, 1921, Stravinsky had attended the British premiere of the concert version of his ballet score "The Rite of Spring," also at Queen's Hall, with Eugene Goossens conducting;

  • 1939 - Bliss: Piano Concerto (with Solomon the soloist) and Vaughan Williams: "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus," at Carnegie Hall by the New York Philharmonic, with Sir Adrian Boult conducting; These works (Along with Bax's Seventh Symphony, which premiered the previous day) were all commissioned by the British Council as part of the British Exhibition at 1939 World's Fair;

  • 1941 - Poulenc: first public performance of Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani, in Paris;

  • 1968 - Britten: church opera "The Prodigal Son," in Orford Church, near Aldeburgh.

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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®