Composers Datebook®

The sounds of summer by Barber and Wagner


Music Played in Today's Program

Samuel Barber (1910 - 1981) Summer Music, Op. 31 Reykjavik Wind Quintet Chandos 9174

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1881) Act I Prelude, fr Die Meistersinger SWR Radio Symphony; Roger Norrington, cond. Hänssler Classics 93000

On This Day


  • 1732 - German composer Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (9th son of J.S.), in Leipzig;

  • 1862 - American pianist and composer Henry Holden Huss, in Newark, N.J.;

  • 1892 - Swedish composer Hilding Rosenberg, in Bosjökloster (Ringsjon, Skane);

  • 1932 - Argentinian-born American composer Lalo Schifrin, in Buenos Aires; He wrote the famous "Mission Impossible" TV theme;


  • 1908 - Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, age 64, in Lyubensk, near St. Petersburg (Julian date: June 8);

  • 2000 - American composer Allan Hovhaness, age 89, in Seattle;


  • 1868 - Wagner: opera "Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg" (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg), in Munich at the Hofoper;

  • 1890 - R. Strauss: tone-poem "Death and Transfiguration" and "Burleske" for Piano and Orchestra, in Eisenach, at a convention of the General German Music Association, with the composer conducting and Eugen d'Albert as the piano soloist in the "Burleske";

  • 1898 - Fauré: incidental music, "Pelléas et Mélisande," in London;

  • 1980 - Peter Maxwell Davies: "Farwell to Stromness" for piano, at the St. Magnus Festival in Orkney, performed by the composer;

  • 1980 - Persichetti: "Mirror Etudes," in Lawton, Oklah., by pianist Virginia Sircy;

  • 1985 - Rautavaara: "Thomas," in Joensuu, Finland.

  • 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, in Gibellina, Italy;

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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®