Composers Datebook®

Lyricist and musical mentor Oscar Hammerstein II


Music Played in Today's Program

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) excerpts fr Oklahoma! Broadway cast and orchestra RCA RCD1-3572

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) excerpts fr Carousel Broadway cast and orchestra Angel 55199

On This Day


  • 1861 - Russian composer Anton Arensky, in Novgorod; Under the Julian "Old Style" calendar still in use in Russia in that year, this date would be listed as June 30

  • 1885 - English composer George Butterworth, in London; As a British soldier, he was killed during battle of Pozieres in 1916

  • 1895 - American musical theater lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, in New York; He provided lyrics for Rudolf Friml's "Rose Marie" (1924), Siegmund Romberg's "The Desert Song" (1926), and Jerome Kern's "Show Boat" (1926); He collaborated with Richard Rodgers on several Broadway classics such as "Carousel" (1945), "South Pacific" (1949), and "The King and I" (1951); He was also the principal mentor of American composer Stephen Sondheim


  • 1773 - German composer and flutist, Johann Joachim Quantz, age 76, in Postdam

  • 1953 - Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, age 79, at Sart-lez-Spa


  • 1716 - Handel: Concerto Grosso in F, Op. 3, no. 4a (Julian date: July 1);

  • 1900 - Fauré: "Requiem," (orchestrated version) in Paris, at the Paris World Exhibition

  • 1922 - Hindemith: "Kleine Kammermusik" for winds, Op. 24, no. 2, in Cologne (Germany), by the Frankfurt Chamber Winds

  • 1940 - Ginastera: ballet "Pananbi," in Buenos Aires

  • 1946 - Britten: opera "The Rape of Lucretia" at the Glyndebourne Festival in England

  • 1972 - Peter Maxwell Davies: opera, "Taverner," in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

  • 1976 - Henze: opera, "We Come to the River," in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

  • 1992 - Christopher Rouse: Violin Concerto, at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, by the Aspen Festival Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, with soloist Cho-Liang Lin

  • 1993 - William Bolcom: Violin Sonata No 3, at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin, and the composer at the piano;

  • 1993 - Andrew Lloyd-Webber: musical "Sunset Boulevard," in London; The musical opened in Los Angeles on December 2, 1993, and on Broadway on November 17, 1994


  • 1971 - A touring production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" starts a cross-country American run; The musical would open on Broadway on October 12, 1971

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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®