February 4

1740 Carl Michael Bellman – Swedish poet, songwriter, composer and performer (d.1795); a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day.

1837 Franz Liszt performs a chamber recital in Paris, featuring the then-unfamiliar Piano Trios of Beethoven; at the last minute, the performers reversed the printed order of the program, performing on the first half of the concert a trio by Johann Peter Pixis, and a Beethoven trio on the second half; the audience (and critics) warmly applauded the Pixis, which they thought was by Beethoven, and reacted coolly to the Beethoven, assuming it was by Pixis; among the critics, only Hector Berlioz noticed the switch.

1893 Bernard Rogers – American composer and teacher (d.1968); taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Hartt School, and the Eastman School of Music; his pupils included Dominick Argento, William Bergsma, David Diamond, Ulysses Kay, John La Montaine, Ron Nelson and Robert Ward.

1908 first public performance of Stravinsky’s Symphony in E-Flat in St. Petersburg, conducted by Felix Blumenfeld; written during his apprenticeship with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his first composition for orchestra.

1912 Erich Leinsdorf – Austrian-born American conductor (d. 1993); Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra, 1943-1946, but was absent much of the time because he was drafted into the US Armed Forces for World War II; Music Director of the Boston Symphony, 1962-1969.

1945 first performance of Lousadzek (Coming of Light) for piano and strings by Alan Hovhaness in Boston, with the composer conducting from the piano.