Happy Birthday, Vladimir Horowitz!

Vladimir Horowitz

 

 

Destined to become one of the world’s greatest pianists, Vladimir Horowitz was born in 1903 in Kiev, Russia. While most young children were playing games, Vladimir was playing with the ivories. His time was well spent as he was fully capable of performing publicly by the time he was sixteen.

Within four years, the young piano virtuoso was entertaining audiences at recitals throughout Leningrad – 23 performances in one year, where he played over 200 different works of music, never repeating a composition. After Leningrad, Horowitz played in concerts in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris.

In 1928, the Russian pianist traveled to the United States to play with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Arturo Toscanini chose Horowitz to perform his first solo with the New York Philharmonic. It was there that Horowitz met his bride-to-be, Toscanini’s daughter, Wanda. The two were wed in Milan in 1933. New York became Horowitz’ permanent home in 1940. He became a U.S. citizen a few years later, devoting the rest of his career to benefit performances, and helping young, aspiring artists.

His return to the concert stage in May of 1965 was a triumphant success, as was his television recital, Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall.

Just three years before his death, Vladimir Horowitz returned to his homeland to perform once again for the Russian people on April 20, 1986. They felt he had been away far too long … close to sixty years.

     Horowitz’s birthday

     anniversary of Horowitz’s death

     History of the Piano

     News Item including Horowitz

 

June 9 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1361 ~ Philippe de Vitry, French Composer and poet, died at the age of at 69

• 1656 ~ Thomas Tomkins, Composer, died

• 1717 ~ Louis Le Quointe, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1810 ~ (Carl) Otto (Ehrenfried) Nicolai, Composer
More information about Nicolai

• 1828 ~ Carlo Marsili, Composer

• 1829 ~ Gaetano Braga, Composer

• 1832 ~ Manuel Garcia, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1849 ~ Joseph Vezina, Composer

• 1849 ~ The term recital used for the first time to describe a solo performance by an instrumental player. The first recitalist was Franz Liszt

• 1865 ~ Carl Nielsen, Danish composer and conductor
More information about Nielsen

• 1865 ~ Alberic Magnard, Composer

• 1870 ~ Erik Drake, Composer, died at the age of 82

• 1879 ~ Oscar Back, Austrian-Dutch viola player

• 1886 ~ Kusaku Yamada, Composer

• 1888 ~ Hugo Kauder, Composer

• 1890 ~ The opera “Robin Hood” premiered in Chicago

• 1891 ~ Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist for the musical theater. His many famous musicals include “Anything Goes”, “Kiss Me Kate” and “Can Can”.
More information about Porter

• 1892 ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Langhans, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1900 ~ Fred Waring, Musician, conductor and inventor of the Waring Blender

• 1904 ~ The London Symphony Orchestra presented its inaugural concert.

• 1905 ~ Walter Kraft, Composer

• 1912 ~ Edgar Evans, Tenor

• 1914 ~ Hermann Haller, Composer

• 1915 ~ Les Paul, Guitarist and inventor of the Les Paul guitar

• 1924 ~ Jelly-Roll Blues was recorded by blues great, Jelly Roll Morton

• 1927 ~ Franco Donatoni, Composer

• 1931 ~ Henrique Oswald, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1932 ~ Natalia Janotha, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1904 ~ Pal Karolyi, Composer

• 1934 ~ Jackie Wilson, Singer

• 1934 ~ Wild Jimmy Spruill, blues guitarist

• 1938 ~ Charles Wuorinen, American composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980

• 1957 ~ Robert Oboussier, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1958 ~ Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley hit #1

• 1962 ~ Tony Bennett debuted in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City

• 1963 ~ Barbra Streisand appeared on “Ed Sullivan Show”

• 1967 ~ Stefan Boleslaw Poradowski, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1970 ~ Bob Dylan given honorary Doctorate of Music at Princeton University

• 1971 ~ Paul McCartney’s album “Ram” went gold

• 1972 ~ Bruce Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia

• 1975 ~ David Frederick Barlow, Composer, died at the age of 48

• 1975 ~ Tony Orlando and Dawn received gold record for He Don’t Love You

• 1980 ~ Fourteenth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1984 ~ Cyndi Lauper’s first #1 Time After Times

• 1986 ~ Twentieth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1990 ~ Michael Jackson was hospitalized with inflamed rib cartilage

• 1991 ~ Claudio Arrau, Chilian/American pianist and composer, died at the age of 88

• 1991 ~ Bruce Springsteen wed his backup singer Patty Scialfa

• 1991 ~ Max van Praag, Dutch singer, died at the age of 77

• 1992 ~ Clarence Miller, Blues/jazz vocalist, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack

• 1993 ~ Arthur Alexander, Singer/songwriter, died at the age of 53

• 1995 ~ Frank Chacksfield, Conductor/arranger, died at the age of 81

• 2000 ~ Jazz bassist Burgher “Buddy” Jones, who played in big bands behind Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra and toured with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, died at the age of 76.

A native of Hope, Ark., Jones was a childhood friend of the late Virginia Kelley, mother of President Clinton. At 17, Jones went to the University of Kansas City, where he met and befriended saxophonist Charlie Parker. Jones later introduced Parker to his wife, Chan. Jones played in the Elliot Lawrence band, when its arrangers included Al Cohn, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Mandel. As a staff musician for CBS in New York in the 1950s and 1960s,

Jones played for the Jack Sterling radio show and in bands behind Lee and Sinatra. In 1996, Jones was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.

Daily Listening Assignment ~ June 9

 

This is a more advanced piece but I really like it.  Some students may have heard this since it’s an alarm tone on my phone. My dog, Mimi, recognizes this music as her signal to go out for a walk!

 

confrey-you

I just love Zez Confrey’s music.  It’s not overplayed like some of Scott Joplin’s works but it’s just as much fun.

This is a piece I have often played in recitals and just for fun.

If any of my students are interested in tackling this piece, just let me know and we’ll start learning!

In 1921 Confrey wrote his novelty piano solo “Kitten on the Keys”, inspired by hearing his grandmother’s cat walk on the keyboard of her piano. It became a hit, and he went on to compose many other pieces in the genre.

Considered to be one of the fastest and most challenging of all “novelty” piano solos, “Dizzy Fingers” was composed in 1923. and was Confrey’s other biggest seller.

He left behind more than a hundred piano works, songs and miniature operas, and numerous piano rolls, music publications and sound recordings.

Not surprisingly, this piece is not available on Piano Maestro!

One of the books in my studio is Zez Confrey at the Piano: Piano Solos.

confrey-book“This collection represents a cross-section of Confrey’s works and encompasses the broad range of his styles. Besides his famous 1920s novelty works (including Kitten on the Keys), there are many wonderful, lesser-known gems of remarkable quality included here from later in his career. Appearing for the first time in print are transcriptions of one of his disc recordings (Poor Buttermilk) and two of his player piano roll arrangements (My Pet and Humorestless). Many of Confrey’s later works have long been out of print and are included here for the first time in decades.”

May 8 ~ This Day in Music History

OCMS  1829 ~ Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American pianist and composer
Listen to Gottschalk’s music
More information on Gottschalk

• 1948 ~ Oscar Hammerstein I, Playwright, producer

• 1910 ~ Mary Lou Williams, American jazz pianist, composer and arranger

• 1911 ~ Robert Johnson, Blues Hall of Fame, singer, songwriter, guitarist, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986

• 1941 ~ Anita O’Day recorded Let Me Off Uptown on Okeh Records with Gene Krupa and his band.

• 1943 ~ Toni Tennille, Singer

• 1944 ~ Gary Glitter (Paul Gadd), Singer

• 1945 ~ Keith Jarrett, American jazz pianist and composer

January 1 ~ This Day in Music History

new-year-ani

Happy New Year!

• 1701 ~ Johann Joachim Agrell, Composer
More information about Agrell

• 1735 ~ Paul Revere, American patriot and music engraver

• 1764 ~ In a stunning demonstration of prodigious talent, the Royal Family at Versailles in France was treated to a brilliant recital by an eight year old musician. His name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

• 1878 ~ Edwin Franko Goldman, Composer

1900 ~ Xavier Cugat (Francisco de Asís Javier Cugat Mingall de Brue y Deulofeo). Spanish violinist, composer and band leader, married to Abbe Lane and Charo
More information about Cugat

• 1916 ~ Earl Wrightson, Actor, singer

• 1923 ~ Milt Jackson, Vibes with The Modern Jazz Quartet

• 1925 ~ Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of the famous Metropolitan Opera in New York City made their singing debuts on radio this day. The broadcast over what was WEAF Radio (now WABC) encouraged others to sing on radio. Some of those were Hootie and the Blowfish, and Barry Manilow.

• 1928 ~ Frank Pourcel, Composer, violinist

• 1942 ~ Country Joe McDonald, Singer with Country Joe & the Fish

• 1953 ~ A sad day in country music, as the legendary Hank Williams died at the young age of 29. Undisputedly, the biggest star in the history of country music, Hank Williams’ legacy is being carried on by his son, Hank Williams, Jr.

• 1955 ~ Elvis Presley appeared at The Eagles Hall in Houston Texas. Presley went on to play over 250 shows in 1955.

• 1968 ~ A group known as The Blue Velvets decided to change its name this day and it’s a good thing they did. The new name soon became a national pop music favorite as Creedence Clearwater Revival climbed to stardom.

• 1972 ~ Maurice Chevalier passed away. Chevalier was a French actor, Cabaret singer and entertainer.

• 1984 ~ Alexis Korner passed away. Korner was a British blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as “a founding father of British blues”.

• 2000 ~ Ray Walston, who found commercial success playing a comical devil in the play “Damn Yankees” and an extraterrestrial on the sitcom “My Favorite Martian,” of natural causes at the age of 86. Walston caught the biggest break of his career when he won a Tony in 1955 for his performance in Broadway’s “Damn Yankees.” The smash musical told the story of a frustrated baseball fan who sells his soul. His screen debut came in the 1957 movie “Kiss Them For Me” with Cary Grant, and the next year he played the devil again in the film version of “Damn Yankees.” Walston snagged the role that would stick with him for a lifetime – that of a lovable alien on the TV show “My Favorite Martian” in 1963. The show was immensely popular, but Walston felt so typecast that he tried to highlight his dramatic abilities by returning to the stage when the TV comedy went off the air in 1966. He stayed in theater for several years before re-emerging with a succession of solid supporting roles in movies and television. Nearly 30 years after the end of the lighthearted “My Favorite Martian,” Walston’s role on “Picket Fences” as acerbic Judge Henry Bone earned Walston successive Emmys in 1995-96.

• 2016 ~ Chart-topping R&B singer Natalie Cole, who followed her famous father in the music business with hits like “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) and “Unforgettable,” died at age 65.

maryorhhappynewyear

June 9 in Music History

today

• 1361 ~ Philippe de Vitry, French Composer and poet, died at the age of at 69

• 1656 ~ Thomas Tomkins, Composer, died

• 1717 ~ Louis Le Quointe, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1810 ~ (Carl) Otto (Ehrenfried) Nicolai, Composer
More information about Nicolai

• 1828 ~ Carlo Marsili, Composer

• 1829 ~ Gaetano Braga, Composer

• 1832 ~ Manuel Garcia, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1849 ~ Joseph Vezina, Composer

• 1849 ~ The term recital used for the first time to describe a solo performance by an instrumental player. The first recitalist was Franz Liszt

• 1865 ~ Carl Nielsen, Danish composer and conductor
More information about Nielsen

• 1865 ~ Alberic Magnard, Composer

• 1870 ~ Erik Drake, Composer, died at the age of 82

• 1879 ~ Oscar Back, Austrian-Dutch viola player

• 1886 ~ Kusaku Yamada, Composer

• 1888 ~ Hugo Kauder, Composer

• 1890 ~ The opera “Robin Hood” premiered in Chicago

• 1891 ~ Cole Porter, American composer and and lyricist for the musical theater. His many famous musicals include “Anything Goes”, “Kiss Me Kate” and “Can Can”.
More information about Porter

• 1892 ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Langhans, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1900 ~ Fred Waring, Musician, conductor and inventor of the Waring Blender

• 1904 ~ The London Symphony Orchestra presented its inaugural concert.

• 1905 ~ Walter Kraft, Composer

• 1912 ~ Edgar Evans, Tenor

• 1914 ~ Hermann Haller, Composer

• 1915 ~ Les Paul, Guitarist and inventor of the Les Paul guitar

• 1924 ~ Jelly-Roll Blues was recorded by blues great, Jelly Roll Morton

• 1927 ~ Franco Donatoni, Composer

• 1931 ~ Henrique Oswald, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1932 ~ Natalia Janotha, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1904 ~ Pal Karolyi, Composer

• 1934 ~ Jackie Wilson, Singer

• 1934 ~ Wild Jimmy Spruill, blues guitarist

• 1938 ~ Charles Wuorinen, American composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980

• 1957 ~ Robert Oboussier, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1958 ~ Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley hit #1

• 1962 ~ Tony Bennett debuted in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City

• 1963 ~ Barbra Streisand appeared on “Ed Sullivan Show”

• 1967 ~ Stefan Boleslaw Poradowski, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1970 ~ Bob Dylan given honorary Doctorate of Music at Princeton University

• 1971 ~ Paul McCartney’s album “Ram” went gold

• 1972 ~ Bruce Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia

• 1975 ~ David Frederick Barlow, Composer, died at the age of 48

• 1975 ~ Tony Orlando and Dawn received gold record for He Don’t Love You

• 1980 ~ Fourteenth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1984 ~ Cyndi Lauper’s first #1 Time After Times

• 1986 ~ Twentieth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1990 ~ Michael Jackson was hospitalized with inflamed rib cartilage

• 1991 ~ Claudio Arrau, Chilian/American pianist and composer, died at the age of 88

• 1991 ~ Bruce Springsteen wed his backup singer Patty Scialfa

• 1991 ~ Max van Praag, Dutch singer, died at the age of 77

• 1992 ~ Clarence Miller, Blues/jazz vocalist, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack

• 1993 ~ Arthur Alexander, Singer/songwriter, died at the age of 53

• 1995 ~ Frank Chacksfield, Conductor/arranger, died at the age of 81

• 2000 ~ Jazz bassist Burgher “Buddy” Jones, who played in big bands behind Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra and toured with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, died at the age of 76. A native of Hope, Ark., Jones was a childhood friend of the late Virginia Kelley, mother of President Clinton. At 17, Jones went to the University of Kansas City, where he met and befriended saxophonist Charlie Parker. Jones later introduced Parker to his wife, Chan. Jones played in the Elliot Lawrence band, when its arrangers included Al Cohn, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Mandel. As a staff musician for CBS in New York in the 1950s and 1960s, Jones played for the Jack Sterling radio show and in bands behind Lee and Sinatra. In 1996, Jones was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.

Piano Recitals, Thanks to Liszt!

Last year, Google’s homepage ran a picture to celebrate the 360th birthday of Bartolomeo Cristofori, inventor of the piano and keeper of instruments for the Medicis in Florence. The instrument Cristofori invented was originally called a “harpsichord with soft and loud” even though the distinction between the two is large (the harpsichord produces sound by plucking strings, the piano by striking them with a hammer). Only three of the newfangled instruments he made – all of them dating from the 1720s – survive.

liszt-recitalMore than a century later the piano recital was devised. It was Liszt who first decided to have the whole stage to himself, and set the fashion for dispensing with the mixture of celebrities and supporting acts that had prevailed up to that time. As he wrote about his audacity to a friend: “Le concert, c’est moi!” And he called his appearance at the Hanover Square Rooms in London in June 1840 not a concert but a recital.

The composer-pianists of the day concentrated on their own works. Liszt set a marker in this regard, too, choosing music that ranged from Bach through Beethoven and up to Chopin. He set the pattern for playing from memory, and cemented the platform layout we know today by turning the then-conventional position of the instrument on the stage through 90 degrees. He was what we would now call a sex symbol as well as a star musician, and the new arrangement allowed the audience to see his impressive profile as well as to hear the instrument more clearly. The standards he set have survived without significant alteration right up to the present.

via Liszt is dead, long live the piano recital.