February 13

1741 death of Johann Joseph Fux – Austrian composer, music theorist and pedagogue (age c.80); most famous as the author of Gradus ad Parnassum, a treatise on counterpoint, the single most influential book on the Palestrinian style of Renaissance polyphony; almost all modern courses on Renaissance counterpoint are indebted in some degree to Fux; by the way, it’s ‘fooks’.

1870 Leopold Godowsky – Polish-born American pianist, composer and teacher (d. 1938); one of the most highly regarded performers of his time; as a composer, best known for his transcriptions of works by other composers and his 53 Studies on Chopin's Études (1894–1914); Ferruccio Busoni once said that he and Godowsky were the only composers to have added anything of significance to keyboard writing since Franz Liszt.

1946 Colin Matthews – English composer and administrator (72 years old); prolific composer of orchestral and chamber works; in 2000, wrote Pluto, an addition to Holst's The Planets; in 1992, the Cleveland Orchestra gave the American premiere of his Machines and Dreams.

1961 first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’ by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Lukas Foss; orchestrated by Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal and dedicated “To Sid Ramin, in friendship”.


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