Composers Datebook®

Tower's Fifth


Music Played in Today's Program

Joan Tower (b. 1938) Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 5 Colorado Symphony; Marin Alsop, cond. Koch 7469

On This Day


  • 1561 - Italian composer Jacopo Peri, in Rome; His setting of Rinuccini's poem "Dafne," staged in 1600, is credited as the first opera;


  • 1813 - Bohemian composer Jan Krittel Vanhal (Johann Baptist Wanhal), age 74, in Vienna;


  • 1882 - Tchaikovsky: "1812 Overture," on an all-Tchaikovsky program presented during an Art and Industrial Exhibition in Moscow (Julian date: Aug. 8);

  • 1943 - Manuel Ponce: Violin Concerto, in Mexico City, conducted by Carlos Chavez;

  • 1956 - Bliss: "Edinburgh Overture," at the opening of the Edinburgh Festival of Music and Drama;

  • 1958 - Menotti: opera "Maria Golovin," at the International Exposition in Brussels, Belgium;

  • 1961 - John Harbison: "Duo" for flute and piano, at the Brooklyn Museum, with flutist Neil Zaslaw and pianist Juliette Arnold;

  • 1965 - Harrison Birtwistle: "Tragoedia" for chamber ensemble, at Wardour Castle in England, during the Castle Summer School of Music, by the Melos Ensemble conducted by Lawrence Foster;

  • 1973 - Carl Orff: cantata "De Temporum Fine Commedia" (A Play of the End of Time) at the Salzburg Festival, with Herbert von Karajan conducting;

  • 1979 - Harbison: opera "The Winter's Tale" in San Francisco;

  • 1980 - Rubbra: Symphony No. 11, in London by the BBC Northern Symphony;

  • 1992 - Joan Tower: "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman" No. 5 (dedicated to Joan Harris), at the opening of the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.

  • 2004 - Zhou Long: “The Immortal” for orchestra, at a BBC Proms concerts with the BBC Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;

  • 2004 - Peter Maxwell Davies: “Naxos Quartet” No. 4 (“Children’s Games”), in the Chapel of the Royal Palace, Oslo (Norway) during the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, by the Maggini Quartet.

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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®