Composers Datebook®

Mendelssohn and Tavener consort with royals


Music Played in Today's Program

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Symphony No. 3 (Scottish) Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Nikolaus Harnoncour, cond. Teldec 72308

John Tavener (b. 1944) Fall and Resurrection City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox, cond. Chandos 9800

On This Day


  • 1756 - German-Swedish composer Joseph Martin Kraus, in Miltenberg, near Mainz;

  • 1819 - German-born French cellist and operetta composer Jacques Offenbach, in Cologne;

  • 1931 - Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim, in Larvik;


  • 1787 - German-born, London-based composer, gamba virtuoso and concert impresario Carl Friedrich Abel, age 63, in London; He was a friend and associate of Johann Christian Bach (the "London" Bach);

  • 1940 - French organ composer Jehan Alain, age 29, killed in action at Petits-Puis, near Saumur;


  • 1716 - Handel: Concerto Grosso in F, Op. 3, no. 4a, at the King's Theater in London, performed between the acts of Handel's opera "Amadigi di Gaula" (Gregorian date: July 1);

  • 1901 - Elgar: "Cockaigne Overture: In London Town," at a London Philharmonic concert;

  • 1938 - Jerome Moross: ballet, "Frankie and Johnny," by the Page-Stone Ballet at the Great Northern Theater in Chicago; This production was part of the Federal Theater Project;

  • 1947 - Britten: opera "Albert Herring," at the Glyndebourne Opera;

  • 1952 - Hindemith: opera "Cardillac" (2nd version) in Zürich at the Stadttheater;

  • 1961 - Paul Creston: "Dance Variations" for soprano and orchestra, at Lewisohn Stadium by the Stadium Symphony (New York Philharmonic), Pierre Monteux conducting and Roberta Peters the vocal soloist;

  • 1962 - Leroy Anderson: "Clarinet Candy" at a Decca recording session in New York City, with the composer conducting; The four clarinet soloist for this classic recording were Vincent Abato, Herbert Blayman, Roger Hiller and Bernard Portnoy;

  • 1969 - Penderecki: opera "The Devils of Loudun," in Hamburg at the Staatsoper;


  • 1948 - At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, Edward Wallerstein conducts the first public demonstration of the revolutionary Columbia Records 33-rpm "Long Playing" (LP) discs for fifty-odd members of the press.

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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®