Composers Datebook®

Arne rules!


Music Played in Today's Program

Thomas Arne (1710-1778) Rule Britannia! BBC Symphony and Choruses; Andrew Davis, cond. Teldec 97868

On This Day


  • 1779 - Baltimore lawyer Francis Scott Key, who in 1814 wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner," setting his text to the tune of a popular British drinking song of the day, "To Anacreon in Heaven," written by John Stafford Smith; The text and the tune became the official national anthem by and Act of Congress in 1931;

  • 1858 - Austrian composer Hans Rott, in Vienna;

  • 1913 - American composer Jerome Moross, in Brooklyn;

  • 1930 - British pop song and musical composer Lionel Bart, of "Oliver!" fame, in London;


  • 1973 - Gian-Francesco Maliperio, Italian composer and first editor of collected works of Monteverdi and Vivaldi, age 91, in Treviso;


  • 1740 - Thomas Arne: masque, “Alfred” (containing “Rule, Brittania”), in Clivedon (Gregorian date: August 12);

  • 1921 - Hindemith: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 16, by the Amar Quartet (which included the composer on viola) in Donaueschingen, Germany;

  • 1968 - Webern: "Rondo" for string quartet, written in 1906, at the Congregation of the Arts at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire;

  • 1993 - Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra, at the Bravo! Music Festival in Vail, Colo., by soloist David Jolley with the Rochester Philharmonic, Lawrence Leighton Smith conducting;


  • 1892 - John Philip Sousa , age 37, quits the U.S. Marine Corps Band to form his own 100-piece marching band;

  • 1893 - In Spillville Iowa, Antonin Dvorák finishes his String Quintet in Eb, Op. 97 ("The American") during his summer vacation at the Czech settlement.

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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®