February 16

1709 Charles Avison baptized – English composer and organist (d.1770); best known for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti and his Essay on Musical Expression, the first music criticism published in English.

1892 premiere of Jules Massenet's opera Werther at the Imperial Theatre Hofoper in Vienna; loosely based on Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

1907 Alec Wilder – American composer of popular and classical music (d.1980); good friends with Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett and other luminaries of American popular music; among the popular songs he wrote or co-wrote was I'll Be Around (1942); author of the definitive book American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900 – 1950.

1936 Eliahu Inbal – Israeli conductor (82 years old); won first prize at the 1963 Guido Cantelli conducting competition in Novara, Italy.

1938 John Corigliano – American composer (80 years old); his scores have won him the Pulitzer Prize (Symphony No. 2, 2001), five Grammy Awards, the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and an Oscar (The Red Violin, 1997).

1952 Santiago Rodriguez – Cuban-American pianist (66 years old); his Rachmaninoff recordings on the Élan label received the Rosette award in The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music; Silver Medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.


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