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Born: April 23, 1891, Sontsovka, Ukraine
Died: March 5, 1953
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev born in Sontsovka, Ukraine of the Russian Empire on April 27 (April 15 O.S.), 1891–March 5, 1953 was a Russian and Soviet composer who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.Prokofiev displayed unusual musical abilities by the age of five. His first piano composition to be written down (by his mother), an 'Indian Gallop', was in F major but without the customary B-flat--the young Prokofiev did not like to touch the black keys. By the age of seven, he had also learned to play chess. Much like music, chess would remain a passion his entire life, and he became acquainted with world chess champions Capablanca and Botvinnik... Click here to read more.
Symphony in C last performed Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100, at their first concert in Camden at the Gordon Theater in 2007.
Born: March 20, 1873, Semyonovo, Russia
Died: March 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, CA
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, one of the last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music. ("Sergei Rachmaninoff" was the spelling the composer himself used while living in the West throughout the latter half of his life. However, transliterations of his name include Sergey or Serge, and Rachmaninov, Rachmaninow, Rakhmaninov or Rakhmaninoff.)
Born: May 7, 1833, Hamburg, Germany
Died: April 3, 1897
Brahms's father, Johann Jakob Brahms, came to Hamburg from Schleswig-Holstein, seeking a career as a town musician. He was proficient on several instruments, but found employment mostly playing the horn and double bass. He married Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen, a seamstress, who was seventeen years older than he was. Initially, they lived near the city docks, in the Gängeviertel quarter of Hamburg, for six months before moving to a small house on the Dammtorwall, located on the northern perimeter of Hamburg in the Inner Alster.
Johann Jakob gave his son his first musical training. He studied piano from the age of seven with Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel. Brahms showed early promise (his younger brother Fritz also became a pianist) and helped to supplement the rather meager family income by playing the piano in restaurants and theaters, as well as by teaching...Click here to read more.
Born: December 8, 1865
Died: September 20, 1957, Ainola, Finland
Johan Julius Christian "Jean" / "Janne" Sibelius, December 8, 1865 – September 20, 1957) was a Finnish composer of classical music and one of the most notable composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity.
Sibelius was born into a Swedish-speaking family in Hämeenlinna in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland. Although known as "Janne" to his family, during his student years he began using the French form of his name, "Jean", inspired by the business card of his seafaring uncle. In Finland he is known as Jean Sibelius...Click here to read more.
Born: June 11, 1864, Munich, Germany
Died: September 8, 1949, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Richard Strauss was a German composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era, particularly noted for his tone poems and operas. He was also a noted conductor.
He was born on June 11, 1864, in Munich (then in the Kingdom of Bavaria, now in Germany), the son of Franz Strauss, who was the principal horn player at the Court Opera in Munich. He received a thorough, but conservative, musical education from his father in his youth, writing his first music at the age of six. He continued to write music almost until his death...Click here to read more.
Born: September 8, 1841, Nelahozeves, Czech Republic
Died: May 1, 1904, Prague, Czech Republic
Antonín Leopold Dvorak was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of his native Bohemia and Moravia in symphonic, oratorial, chamber and operatic works.
Dvorak was born on September 8, 1841 in Nelahozeves, near Prague (then Austrian Empire, today the Czech Republic), where he spent most of his life. His father was a butcher, innkeeper, and professional player of the zither. Dvorak's parents recognized his musical talent early, and he received his earliest musical education at the village school which he entered in 1847, age 6...Click here to read more.
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, V. Furiant
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, VII. Skocna
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, VIII. Furiant
Born: November 18, 1786, Eutin, Germany
Died: June 5, 1826, London, England
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst, Freiherr von Weber (November 18, 1786 in Eutin, Holstein – June 5, 1826 in London, England) was a German composer, conductor, pianist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school.
Weber's works, especially his operas Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon greatly influenced the development of the Romantic opera in Germany. He was also an innovative composer of instrumental music...Click here to read more.
Born: January 31, 1797, Vienna, Austria
Died: November 19, 1828, Vienna, Austria
Franz Seraphicus Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, eight completed symphonies, the famous "Unfinished Symphony", liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.
While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death...Click here to read more.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Born: December 17, 1770, Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer and virtuoso pianist. He was an important figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music.
Beethoven suffered from gradual hearing loss beginning in his twenties. He continued to produce his masterpieces, conduct and perform, even after he was totally deaf.Click here to read more.
Born: March 6, 1844, Tikhvin, Russia
Dies: June 8, 1908 , Lyubensk , Russia
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, one of five Russian composers known as The Five, and was later a teacher of harmony and orchestration. He is particularly noted for a predilection for folk and fairy-tale subjects, and for his extraordinary skill in orchestration, which may have been influenced by his synesthesia.
Born at Tikhvin, 200 km east of St. Petersburg, into an aristocratic family, Rimsky-Korsakov showed musical ability from an early age, but studied at the Russian Imperial Naval College in St. Petersburg and subsequently joined the Russian Navy. It was only when he met Mily Balakirev in 1861 that he began to concentrate more seriously on music...Click here to read more.
Born: March 11, 1921
Died: July 4, 1992
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. He is therefore widely considered the most important tango composer of the latter half of the twentieth century. A formidable bandoneonist, he continuously performed his own compositions with different ensembles. He is known in his native land as "El Gran Ástor" ("The Great Astor").
Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina in 1921 to Italian parents, Vicente Piazzolla and Asunta Manetti, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood with his family in New York City, where he was exposed to both jazz and the music of J.S. Bach at an early age...Click here to read more.
Born: January 18, 1841, Ambert, France
Died: September 13, 1894
Emmanuel Alexis Chabrier (January 18, 1841 – September 13, 1894) was a French Romantic composer from the Auvergne region of central France and was born in Ambert in 1841. The region of France from whence he came was traditionally useful in providing Parisians with cheese, cabbage and men to mend the boiler. Although his parents, sensing his abilities, brought him to Paris in 1856, he did not toe the line by studying at the Conservatoire or even at any of the less prestigious musical institutions. Nor did he renege on his provincial roots. Reportedly, while passing the asparagus at supper to a grand, well-upholstered lady, he murmured: "I must warn you, Madame, it does terrible things to your urine"...Click here to read more.
Born: November 23, 1876, Cádiz, Spain
Died: November 14, 1946, Alta Gracia, Argentina
Manuel de Falla y Matheu (November 23, 1876 – November 14, 1946) was a Spanish composer of classical music.
Manuel de Falla was born in Cádiz. His early teacher in music was his mother; at the age of 9 he was introduced to his first piano professor. From the late 1890s he studied music in Madrid, piano with José Tragó and composition with Felipe Pedrell. In 1899 by unanimous vote he was awarded the first prize at the piano competition at his school of music, and around that year he started to use de with his first surname, making de Falla the name he became known as from that time on...Click here to read more.
Born: March 7, 1875, Ciboure,France
Died: December 28, 1937, Paris France
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer and pianist of the impressionistic period, known especially for the subtlety, richness and poignancy of his music. His piano, chamber music and orchestral works have become staples of the concert repertoire.
Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs and Gaspard de la Nuit, demand considerable virtuosity from the performer, and his orchestral music, including Daphnis et Chloé and his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, uses tonal color and variety of sound and instrumentation very effectively...Click here to read more.
Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2, I. Lever du Jour
Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2, II. Pantomime
Born: January, 27, 1756, Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791, Vienna, Austria
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.
Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction...Click here to read more.