Composers Datebook®

Frederick the Great, composer


Music Played in Today's Program

Frederick II, King of Prussia (1712 – 1786) Flute Concerto No. 3 Patrick Gallois, flute; CPE Bach Chamber Orchestra; Peter Schreier, cond. DG 439 895

On This Day


  • 1903 - American composer and pianist Abram Chasins, in New York City;

  • 1928 - American composer T.J. (Thomas Jefferson) Anderson, in Coatesville, Pa.;

  • 1943 - English composer Edward Cowie, in Birmingham;


  • 1786 - Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, flute player and amateur composer, age 74, in Potsdam;

  • 1958 - French composer Florent Schmitt, age 87, in Neuilly-sur-Seine;

  • 1961 - French-born American composer and harpist Carlos Salzedo, age 76, in Waterville, Maine;

  • 1973 - French composer Jean Barraque, in Paris;

  • 1981 - American composer Robert Russell Bennett, age 87, in New York City;

  • 1983 - American lyricist Ira Gershwin, age 86, in Beverly Hills, Calif.;


  • 1876 - First complete performance of Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle concludes at Bayreuth with a performance of "Götterdämmerung" (The Twilight of the Gods);

  • 1937 - John Ireland: "A London Overture" at a Proms Concert conducted by Sir Henry Wood;

  • 1946 - Honegger: "Symphonie Liturgique" (No. 3) in Zürich, conducted by Charles Munch, to whom the work is dedicated;

  • 1953 - von Einem: opera "Der Prozess" (The Trial), at the Salzburg Festival in Austria; This opera is based on the novel by Franz Kafka;

  • 1955 - Werner Egk: opera "Irische Legende" (Irish Legend), at the Salzburg Festival in Austria;

  • 1974 - Penderecki: "Magnificat," for bass solo, chorus, and orchestra, in Salzburg, Austria;


  • 1928 - Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg wins $10,000 Schubert Centenary Prize offered by Columbia Phonograph Company of New York for his Symphony in C;

  • 1957 - During lecture at the Tanglewood Festival, American composer Gunther Schuller coins the phrase "third stream" to describe a type of composition in which elements of jazz are organized within a classical musical structure.

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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®