Johann Sebastian Bach *III 21 1685 — The Life You Give

Johann Sebastian Bach, born March 21 [March 31, New Style], 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, Ernestine Saxon Duchies [Germany], was a composer of the Baroque era, the most celebrated member of a large family of north German musicians. Although he was admired by his contemporaries primarily as an outstanding harpsichordist, organist, and expert on organ building,… Continue reading Johann Sebastian Bach *III 21 1685 — The Life You Give

Johann Strauss *III 14 1804 — The Life You Give

Johann Strauss I, born March 14, 1804, Vienna, is one of the principal composers of Viennese waltzes.Strauss became a viola player in the dance orchestra of Michael Pamer, a composer of light music. Later he conducted the orchestra of Josef Lanner and in 1826 performed at the gardens of the “Zwei Tauben” the Täuberl-walzer, the… Continue reading Johann Strauss *III 14 1804 — The Life You Give

Samuel Barber *III 9 1910 — The Life You Give

Early years Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Marguerite McLeod (née Beatty) and Samuel LeRoy Barber. At a very early age, Barber became profoundly interested in music, and it was apparent that he had great musical talent and ability. At the age of nine he wrote to his mother: Dear Mother:… Continue reading Samuel Barber *III 9 1910 — The Life You Give

Bedřich Smetana *III 2 1824 — The Life You Give

Bedřich Smetana, born March 2, 1824, in Leitomischl, Bohemia, Austrian Empire [now Litomyšl, Czech Republic], was composer of operas and symphonic poems, and founder of the Czech national school of music. He was the first truly important Bohemian nationalist composer.Smetana studied music under his father, an amateur violinist. He early took up piano under a… Continue reading Bedřich Smetana *III 2 1824 — The Life You Give

Felix Mendelssohn *II 3 1809 — The Life You Give

Felix Mendelssohn, born Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, on February 3 1809, in Hamburg, Germany, is, as composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher, one of the most-celebrated figures of the early Romantic period. In his music Mendelssohn largely observed Classical models and practices while initiating key aspects of Romanticism—the artistic movement that exalted feeling and the… Continue reading Felix Mendelssohn *II 3 1809 — The Life You Give

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart *I 27 1756 — The Life You Give

Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, born January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, is the composer widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. With Haydn and Beethoven he brought to its height the achievement of the Viennese Classical school. Unlike any other composer… Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart *I 27 1756 — The Life You Give

The Nose (Shostakovich) premiered today in 1930

The Nose “The Nose” details an “extraordinarily strange incident” of status-obsessed Kovalev and his nose. The story begins with drunken barber Ivan Yakovlevich unexpectedly discovering a nose in his breakfast, which he immediately recognizes as belonging to Kovalev, who is one of his clients. Fearing legal trouble, Ivan Yakovlevich hastily dumps the nose in the… Continue reading The Nose (Shostakovich) premiered today in 1930

The Life You Give: Ludwig van Beethoven *1770

Ludwig van Beethoven, born on December 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany, was a composer, and the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras.Widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived, Ludwig van Beethoven dominates a period of musical history as no one else before or since. Rooted in… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ludwig van Beethoven *1770

Hector Berlioz *XII 11 1803 — The Life You Give

Hector Berlioz, born December 11, 1803, in La Côte-Saint-André, France, was a composer, critic, and conductor of the Romantic period, known largely for his Symphonie fantastique (1830), the choral symphony Roméo et Juliette (1839), and the dramatic piece La Damnation de Faust (1846). His last years were marked by fame abroad and hostility at home.The… Continue reading Hector Berlioz *XII 11 1803 — The Life You Give

Olivier Messiaen *XII 10 1908 — The Life You Give

Olivier Messiaen, born Olivier-Eugène-Prosper-Charles Messiaen, Dec. 10, 1908, Avignon, France, is the influential composer, organist, and teacher noted for his use of mystical and religious themes. As a composer he developed a highly personal style noted for its rhythmic complexity, rich tonal colour, and unique harmonic language.Messiaen was the son of Pierre Messiaen, who was… Continue reading Olivier Messiaen *XII 10 1908 — The Life You Give

César Franck *XII 10 1822 — The Life You Give

César Franck, born César-auguste Franck, Dec. 10, 1822, Liège, Neth.—died Nov. 8, 1890, Paris, France), Belgian-French Romantic composer and organist who was the chief figure in a movement to give French music an emotional engagement, technical solidity, and seriousness comparable to that of German composers.Franck was born of a Walloon father and a mother of… Continue reading César Franck *XII 10 1822 — The Life You Give

Anton Webern *XII 3 1883 — The Life You Give

Anton Webern, born Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern, December 3, 1883, Vienna, Austria, is the composer of the 12-tone Viennese school. He is known especially for his passacaglia for orchestra, his chamber music, and various songs (Lieder).Webern’s father, a mining engineer, rose to the highest rank of his profession, becoming chief of mining in the… Continue reading Anton Webern *XII 3 1883 — The Life You Give

Interrupted/Innerupted: Symphony No. 8, Franz Schubert

Take a moment, hook in your best pair of headphones, maybe even close your eyes, and listen to the first haunting bars of Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” Eighth Symphony. It begins with a single, hushed melodic line in the low strings which quickly gives way to shivering violins and darkly pulsating bass pizzicati. Then, a lamenting… Continue reading Interrupted/Innerupted: Symphony No. 8, Franz Schubert

Alfred Schnittke *XI 24 1934 — The Life you Give

Alfred Schnittke, born Nov. 24, 1934, Engels, Volga German Autonomous S.S.R. [now in Saratov oblast, Russia], is the postmodernist Russian composer who created serious, dark-toned musical works characterized by abrupt juxtapositions of radically different, often contradictory, styles, an approach that came to be known as “polystylism.”Schnittke’s father was a Jewish journalist who had been born… Continue reading Alfred Schnittke *XI 24 1934 — The Life you Give

Benjamin Britten *XI 22 1913 — The Life You Give

Benjamin Britten, born Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten Of Aldeburgh, November 22, 1913, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, is the composer of the mid-20th century, whose operas were considered the finest English operas since those of Henry Purcell in the 17th century. He was also an outstanding pianist and conductor.Britten composed as a child and at… Continue reading Benjamin Britten *XI 22 1913 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk, born Meredith Jane Monk, November 20, 1942, New York City, New York, U.S.A., is the performance artist, a pioneer in the avant-garde, whose work skillfully integrated diverse performance disciplines and media.Monk studied piano and eurythmics from an early age. She earned a B.A. in 1964 from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. From… Continue reading Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Paul Hindemith *XI 16 1895 — The Life You Give

Paul Hindemith, born November 16, 1895, in Hanau, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is the one of the principal German composers of the first half of the 20th century and a leading musical theorist. He sought to revitalize tonality—the traditional harmonic system that was being challenged by many other composers—and also pioneered in the writing… Continue reading Paul Hindemith *XI 16 1895 — The Life You Give

Johann Strauss II *X 25 1825 The Life You Give

Johann Strauss II, born October 25, 1825, Vienna, Austria, “the Waltz King,” is the composer famous for his Viennese waltzes and operettas.Strauss was the eldest son of the composer Johann Strauss I. Because his father wished him to follow a nonmusical profession, he started his career as a bank clerk. He studied the violin without… Continue reading Johann Strauss II *X 25 1825 The Life You Give

Sofia Gubaidulina *X 24 1931 — The Life You Give

Sofia Gubaidulina, born October 24, 1931, Chistopol, Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic [now Tatarstan, Russia]), is the composer whose works fuse Russian and Central Asian regional styles with the Western classical tradition.During her youth, Gubaidulina studied music in the city of Kazan, the capital of her home republic. She had lessons at the Kazan Music… Continue reading Sofia Gubaidulina *X 24 1931 — The Life You Give

Charles Ives *X 20 1874 — The Life You Give

Charles Ives, born Charles Edward Ives, October 20, 1874, in Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.A., is the significant composer known for a number of innovations that anticipated most of the later musical developments of the 20th century.Ives received his earliest musical instruction from his father, who was a bandleader, music teacher, and acoustician who experimented with the… Continue reading Charles Ives *X 20 1874 — The Life You Give

Camille Saint-Saëns *XI 9 1835 — The Life You Give

Camille Saint-Saëns, in full Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, (born October 9, 1835, Paris, France—died December 16, 1921, Algiers [Algeria]), composer chiefly remembered for his symphonic poems—the first of that genre to be written by a Frenchman—and for his opera Samson et Dalila. Saint-Saëns was notable for his pioneering efforts on behalf of French music, and he was… Continue reading Camille Saint-Saëns *XI 9 1835 — The Life You Give