Happy Birthday, Clara Schumann

cschumann

 

Clara Schumann (1819-96) was much more than the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was, quite simply, one of the greatest pianists of all time. A child prodigy, her technique and musicianship as a mature artist led to her being regarded as the equal of giants of the keyboard such a Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein.

And from her girlhood until the end of her marriage she composed wonderful music, mostly solo piano music, but other works as well, including a concerto, a large number of songs and a sublime piano trio.

In her later years she was an internationally famous teacher, and her performing career lasted more than six decades. She was, quite simply, a phenomenon.

September 13 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1819 ~ Clara Wieck Schumann, German pianist and composer
More information about Schumann

OCMS 1874 ~ Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian-born American composer
Read quotes by and about Schoenberg
More information on Schoenberg

• 1894 ~ Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer, died
More information on Chabrier

• 1911 ~ Bill Monroe, ‘Father of Bluegrass Music’, Country Music Hall of Fame, singer with The Bluegrass Band, songwriter

• 1916 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes, Singer

• 1917 ~ Robert Ward, American composer

• 1925 ~ Mel Torme,‘The Velvet Fog’, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of  The Christmas Song

• 1931 ~ Vaudeville star Eddie Cantor was heard for the first time – on NBC radio.
The Chase and Sanborn Hour became one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s.

• 1941 ~ David Clayton-Thomas, Singer with Blood Sweat and Tears

• 1944 ~ Peter Cetera, Bass guitar, singer with Chicago

• 1952 ~ Randy Jones, Singer with The Village People

• 1954 ~ The cover of LIFE magazine was adorned with Judy Garland’s picture, with the caption, “Judy Garland takes off after an Oscar.” Garland had been nominated for her role in A Star is Born.

• 1956 ~ Joni Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge

• 1968 ~ Clarence Carter received a gold record for his million-selling hit Slip Away. Carter earned two other gold records for Too Weak to Fight and Patches. The singer from Montgomery, Alabama had been blind since age one and taught himself to play guitar by age 11.

• 1969 ~ John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, presented the Plastic Ono Band in concert for the first time. The appearance at the Toronto Peace Festival was Lennon’s first in four years. The first hit by the new group, Give Peace a Chance, made it to number 14 on the charts.

• 1977 ~ Leopold Stokowski conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, passed away
More information about Stokowski

• 1986 ~ Captain EO, a 17-minute, three-dimensional, musical, science-fiction flick starring Michael Jackson, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, FL this day. The innovative movie cost approximately $1,000,000 a minute to produce.

• 2001 ~ Barbara Matera, who made costumes for Broadway shows, the New York City ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 72. With her husband, Matera founded Barbara Matera Ltd. in 1968, which produced costumes seen in the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Kiss Me, Kate and 42nd Street. As the costumer for the American Ballet Theater, Matera outfitted performers in productions including Swan Lake and Othello. Her film credits include The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family, Moonstruck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Age of Innocence and Death on the Nile. Matera also created the purple crystal-encrusted gown that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore at her husband’s first presidential inauguration.

March 22 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

. 1687 ~ Jean-Baptiste Lully, French composer, died.  He was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French baroque style.

. 1840 ~ Clara Wieck wrote a letter dated today to Robert Schumann.  Part of it said: “When I heard Liszt for the first time…I was overwhelmed and sobbed aloud, it so shook me.”

. 1842 ~ Carl August Nicolas Rosa, German violinist and composer. In 1873 he founded the Carl Rosa Opera Company.

. 1865 ~ Theophile Ysaye, Belgian composer and pianist

. 1868 ~ Hamish Maccunn, Scottish Romantic composer, conductor and teacher

. 1911 ~ Herman Jadlowker became the first opera singer to perform two major roles in the same day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

. 1920 ~ Fanny Waterman, DBE is a piano teacher, and the founder, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. She is also president of the Harrogate International Music Festival.

. 1925 ~ The first Japanese radio station, Tokyo Shibaura, began broadcasting.

. 1930 ~ Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist of musicals
More information about Sondheim

. 1936 ~ Glen Campbell, Singer and studio guitarist

. 1937 ~ Johnny Ferguson, Singer

. 1943 ~ Keith Relf, Recording artist of The Yardbirds

. 1943 ~ George Benson, American jazz and pop guitarist and singer

. 1944 ~ Jeremy Clyde, Singer with Chad & Jeremy

. 1947 ~ Harry Vanda, Guitarist with The Easybeats

. 1948 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer
More information about Lloyd Webber

. 1948 ~ Randy Hobbs, Bass with The McCoys

. 1948 ~ The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.

. 1956 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, Mr. Wonderful, in New York City. The critics were unkind, saying that they didn’t care for the production. Audiences, however, gave it ‘thumbs up’ and the show went on to be one of Broadway’s more popular musicals — catapulting Davis into the limelight. His father had already launched him into the vaudeville spotlight when Sammy was just three years old. By the time he was Mr. Wonderful, Sammy Davis, Jr. had played vaudeville and the nightclub circuit singing and dancing his way to the top over a twenty-eight-year period. He entertained us for sixty-two years!

. 1956 ~ Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The ‘Incomparable Mr. C.’ booked Carl Perkins for the show and Perkins sang Blue Suede Shoes. 1962 ~ The play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, opened on Broadway. It featured a 19-year-old named Barbra Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein. Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbra for 300 performances.

. 1980 ~ The first CD (compact disc) was put on sale by RCA.  The first major artist to have his entire catalog converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four greatest hits albums.

. 1980 ~ Pink Floyd started a 4-week run in the #1 slot on the pop charts with their smash, Another Brick in the Wall. When the boys popped open their gold record and threw it on the stereo, they heard Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers.

. 2015 ~ Norman O. Scribner, founder and artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, one of the region’s preeminent symphonic choirs, died

March 12 ~ This Day in Music History

today

. 1710 ~ Thomas Arne, English composer
More information about Arne

. 1890 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, Ukrainian ballet dancer

. 1891 ~ Clara Schumann gave her final piano performance.

. 1921 ~ Gordon MacRae, Singer

. 1923 ~ Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated his putting sound on motion picture film. One of the pioneers of radio in the early 1900s, DeForest came up with a snappy name for his invention; he called it phonofilm. Today, we call it a soundtrack.

. 1937 ~ Charles-Marie Widor died.  He was a was a French organist, composer and teacher.

. 1939 ~ Artie Shaw and his band recorded the standard, Deep Purple, in New York for the Bluebird label. Listening carefully after the first minute or so, one can hear Helen Forrest sing the vocal refrain. Larry Clinton and his orchestra had a number one song with a similar arrangement of the same tune that same year. It later was a hit for saxophonist, Nino Tempo and his sister, April Stevens in 1963. Hundreds of versions of this song have been recorded through the years, making it one of the most popular standards of all time.

. 1940 ~ Al Jarreau, Singer

. 1946 ~ Liza Minnelli, American actress and singer of popular music
More information about Minnelli

. 1948 ~ James Taylor, American folk-rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist

. 1955 ~ Charlie Parker, influential U.S. jazz saxophonist, died.

. 1955 ~ One of the great groups of jazz appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Dave Brubeck Quartet presented a magnificent concert for jazz fans.

. 1969 ~ Wedding bells rang in London for singer, Paul McCartney and his new bride, photographer, Linda Eastman.

. 1985 ~ Eugene Ormandy, U.S. conductor, died. He directed the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1936-1980 and was especially noted for his performances of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovitch.

. 1987 ~ The famous musical play “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo opened on Broadway in New York.

. 1991 ~ Jimmy McPartland passed away

. 1993 ~ June Valli passed away

. 1999 ~ World-famous violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin died in Berlin.

November 17, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1726 ~ The first performance of J. S. Bach‘s Sacred Cantata No. 55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht on the 22nd Sunday following Trinity. Was part of Bach’s third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig 1725-27

• 1848 ~ Frederic Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.

• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.

• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.

• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.

• 1870 ~ Birth of Australian composer Alfred Hill in Melbourne. d-Sydney, 30 OCT 1960.

• 1876~ The first performance of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s March Slav in Moscow.

• 1877 ~ The first production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera, The Sorcerer, was presented, in London.

• 1888~ The first production of Tchaikovsky‘s Fifth Symphony in St. Petersburg.

• 1891 ~ Poland’s premier and premier ivory tickler, Ignace Jan Paderewski, made his American debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In later years, Paderewski, who suffered from arthritis, settled in Paso Robles, CA. The hot mineral baths located there eased his pain. He played only Steinway grand pianos custom-built to his specifications. In fact, five were made just for his use.

• 1925 ~ Sir Charles Mackerras, Australian conductor

• 1930 ~ David Amram, American composer and French-horn player

• 1938 ~ Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

• 1938 ~ Orchestra leader Kay Kyser, speaking to an audience at the College of the City of New York (CCNY) told of the “inner workings and artistic features of swing music.” It marked the first of a series of lectures on swing music presented by Kyser, who went on to presentThe Kollege of Musical Knowledge on radio.

• 1941 ~ Gene Clark, Singer, guitar with The Byrds

• 1942 ~ Bob Gaudio, Singer with The Royal Teens; The Four Seasons

• 1946 ~ Martin Barre, Guitarist with Jethro Tull

• 1950 ~ Roberta Peters filled in for the lead in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, making her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She would become one of the Met’s most famous stars.

• 1962 ~ The 4 Seasons, with Frankie Valli as lead singer, began a five-week run at the top of the tunedex with Big Girls Don’t Cry.

• 1967 ~ Ronald DeVoe, Singer with New Edition

• 1970 ~ Elton John recorded an album live, on what was WABC-FM in New York City. It marked the first time that a concert was aired live and recorded for release as aired. The LP was titled, 11/17/70.

• 1981 ~ Bob Eberly died

• 2001 ~ Jerry Jerome, a tenor sax player who was a featured soloist with the bands of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, died of leukemia. He was 89. One of the big names in the Big Band era, Jerome was a featured soloist with the Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo and Artie Shaw orchestras. He then became a successful musical director and conductor on radio and television. Jerome also established a music business, scoring and arranging commercial jingles. Three years ago, Arbors Records released Jerome’s “Something Old, Something New.” The sequel recording, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” will be released in December. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jerome started playing the sax while in high school. He attended the University of Alabama and went on the medical school, playing gigs at jazz clubs to earn tuition money. He joined Goodman’s orchestra at the height of its popularity in 1938. When Goodman broke up his band in 1940, Jerome joined Shaw. While with Shaw, he appeared in the film “Second Chorus,” with Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith.

• 2003 ~ Arthur Conley, a 1960s soul singer and protege of Otis Redding’s, died at his home in the town of Ruurlo, in the eastern Netherlands. He was 57. Conley was born in Atlanta and started his recording career in 1959 as leader of the group Arthur and the Corvets. He was best known for his 1967 hit, Sweet Soul Music, which he co-wrote with Redding based on a number by Sam Cooke. Conley had several minor hits in the following two years. He moved to Europe in the early 1970s after several tours of the continent, deciding that he was “fed up with the pressure” in the United States, said Giesen. In the Netherlands, Conley appeared on television and radio, and ran an independent record label. In the last five years he was an adviser to The Original Sixties R&B and Soul Show, which sought to reproduce the sound and look of the heyday of soul.

November 16, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1569 ~ Birth of German organist and composer Paul Sartorius in Nuremberg. d-28 February 1609, Innsbruck.

• 1615 ~ Birth of French violinist and composer Guillaume Dumanoir, II. He composed dance music enjoyed by Louis XIV

• 1667 ~ Death of composer Nathaniel Schnittelbach, at 34. b-1633.

• 1715 ~ Birth of composer Girolamo Abos on the island of Malta. Italian opera and church music.

• 1720 ~ Birth of Italian composer Carlo Antonio Campioni.

• 1757 ~ Birth of American composer Daniel Read, of the First New England School, and one of the primary figures in early American classical music. d-4 DEC 1836.

• 1775 ~ Death of German composer Karl Marian Paradeiser, at 28.

• 1780 ~ Birth of English composer Robert Archibald Smith.

• 1840 ~ Birth of composer Frederick Scotson Clark.

• 1848 ~ Frédéric Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.

• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.

• 1852 ~ Birth of American soprano Minnie Hauk in NYC. d-near Lucerne, 6 FEB 1929.

• 1854 ~ First Performance of Anton Rubinstein‘s Ocean Symphony in Leipzig.

• 1860 ~ Birth of Viennese harpist Edmund Scheucker.

• 1861 ~ Birth of composer Vaclav Suk.

• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.

• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.

• 1870 ~ Birth of Australian composer Alfred Hill in Melbourne. d-Sydney, 30 OCT 1960.

• 1873 Birth of Swedish tenor David Karl Björling, in Harmånger parish of northern Sweden’s Hälsingland province. d. Aug. 16, 1926.

• 1873 ~ W.C. Handy, American blues composer and bandleader
More information about Handy

• 1889 ~ George S. (Simon) Kaufman, Playwright: The Cocoanuts, A Night at the Opera, with Moss Hart, The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can’t Take It with You

• 1894 ~ Debut of opera star Enrico Caruso in Mario Morelli’s L’Amico Francesco at Naples Teatro Nuovo.

1895 ~ Paul Hindemith, German-born American composer and conductor
Read quotes by and about Hindemith
More information about Hindemith

• 1896 ~ Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, American baritone

• 1905 ~ Eddie (Albert) Condon, Guitarist, bandleader, promoter of Dixieland Jazz

• 1908 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his debut in the United States this day. He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducting Aida.

• 1931 ~ Bob Gibson, Singer, songwriter, leader of folk music movement in late ’50s, duo of Gibson and (Bob) Camp

• 1932 ~ The Palace in New York City closed its doors. It was the most famous vaudeville theater in America. Later, it became a movie house with live performances preceding the flicks; most notably: the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.

• 1935 ~ The Rodgers and Hart musical, Jumbo, opened in New York City for a run of 233 performances.

• 1937 ~ Bob Crosby and his orchestra recorded South Rampart Street Parade on Decca Records.

• 1945 ~ Martine Van Hammel, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre

• 1955 ~ ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford drove to the top spot on the record charts on this day. Sixteen Tons, where he owed his “soul to the company store…”, became the fastest-selling record in history, jumping to #1 in just 3 weeks. The tune, on Capitol Records, stayed at #1 for eight weeks.

• 1970 ~ Anne Murray received a gold record for Snowbird. She was the first Canadian recording artist to receive a gold record.

• 2000 ~ Russ Conway, a British pianist known as the “Prince Charming of Pop” who sold
More than 30 million records in the 1950s and ’60s, died at age 75. He had 17 consecutive hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and won a silver disc when his record Roulette topped 250,000 sales – a total rapidly equaled by three other hits, Sidesaddle, China Tea and Snow Coach. Conway’s formal piano education consisted of one lesson at age 4. He left school at 14 and got work in a lawyer’s office. But he was sent to juvenile detention for three years for taking money he found in a package. In a detention center, he found a piano to play. While doing a stint as a pianist in a club, he was discovered by choreographer Irving Davies. He went on to provide piano accompaniment to a string of singers. Soon he was composing the songs that made him famous and won him the nicknames “Prince Charming of Pop” and the “Sheik of the Keyboard.”

• 2001 ~ Blue guitarist and singer Isaac Scott, a major figure in the city’s music scene for more than a quarter century, died of complications from diabetes. He was 56. A stream of musicians paid their respects to Scott, said his ex-wife, Eloise DePoe. He was found in his apartment Nov. 4 and never regained consciousness. Scott recorded several albums, including “The Isaac Scott Band,” “Big Time Blues Man” and “High Class Woman.” He also appeared on the compilation albums “Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival” and “Live at the Roadhouse.” Primarily a “cover artist,” Scott did not write his own songs, which hindered national recognition. But he received several local honors, including the Washington Blues Society’s Hall of Fame (1991) and lifetime-achievement (2000) awards. He also performed at last year’s opening of the Experience Music Project. Scott taught himself piano and guitar, and started out playing gospel music, once touring the West Coast with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. In 1974, he turned his attention to blues, with a sound flavored by his love of Seattle-born guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Like Albert Collins, an early influence, Scott played electric guitar with his thumb instead of a pick, which contributed to his distinctive sound. He also was known for his stamina, often playing two- and three-hour sets.

• 2001 ~ Tommy Flanagan, a jazz pianist who worked with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, died of an arterial aneurysm. He was 71. Flanagan, part of his own classic jazz trio, accompanied Fitzgerald for 20 years, also acting as her musical director. He also worked for Tony Bennett. He became a celebrated figure in jazz with such trio albums as “Jazz Poet” (1989) and “Let’s” (1993). Flanagan’s trio included bassists George Mraz and Peter Washington, and drummers Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Albert Heath. Flanagan won the distinguished Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1993. Born in Detroit, Flanagan was the youngest of six children. He recorded “Sunset and the Mockingbird: The Birthday Concert,” live at the Vanguard in 1998. He was to appear at Iridium this holiday season.

September 13, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

OCMS 1819 ~ Clara Wieck Schumann, German pianist and composer
More information about Schumann

OCMS 1874 ~ Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian-born American composer
Read quotes by and about Schoenberg
More information on Schoenberg

• 1894 ~ Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer, died
More information on Chabrier

• 1911 ~ Bill Monroe, ‘Father of Bluegrass Music’, Country Music Hall of Fame, singer with The Bluegrass Band, songwriter

• 1916 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes, Singer

• 1917 ~ Robert Ward, American composer

• 1925 ~ Mel Torme,‘The Velvet Fog’, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of  The Christmas Song

• 1931 ~ Vaudeville star Eddie Cantor was heard for the first time – on NBC radio.
The Chase and Sanborn Hour became one of the most popular radio shows of the 1930s.

• 1941 ~ David Clayton-Thomas, Singer with Blood Sweat and Tears

• 1944 ~ Peter Cetera, Bass guitar, singer with Chicago

• 1952 ~ Randy Jones, Singer with The Village People

• 1954 ~ The cover of LIFE magazine was adorned with Judy Garland’s picture, with the caption, “Judy Garland takes off after an Oscar.” Garland had been nominated for her role in A Star is Born.

• 1956 ~ Joni Sledge, Singer with Sister Sledge

• 1968 ~ Clarence Carter received a gold record for his million-selling hit Slip Away. Carter earned two other gold records for Too Weak to Fight and Patches. The singer from Montgomery, Alabama had been blind since age one and taught himself to play guitar by age 11.

• 1969 ~ John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, presented the Plastic Ono Band in concert for the first time. The appearance at the Toronto Peace Festival was Lennon’s first in four years. The first hit by the new group, Give Peace a Chance, made it to number 14 on the charts.

• 1977 ~ Leopold Stokowski conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, passed away
More information about Stokowski

• 1986 ~ Captain EO, a 17-minute, three-dimensional, musical, science-fiction flick starring Michael Jackson, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, FL this day. The innovative movie cost approximately $1,000,000 a minute to produce.

• 2001 ~ Barbara Matera, who made costumes for Broadway shows, the New York City ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 72. With her husband, Matera founded Barbara Matera Ltd. in 1968, which produced costumes seen in the current Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Kiss Me, Kate and 42nd Street. As the costumer for the American Ballet Theater, Matera outfitted performers in productions including Swan Lake and Othello. Her film credits include The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family, Moonstruck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Age of Innocence and Death on the Nile. Matera also created the purple crystal-encrusted gown that Hillary Rodham Clinton wore at her husband’s first presidential inauguration.