February 7

1652 death of Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (age c. 70); also a priest and a singer; born and died in Rome; best known for his Miserere, composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday of Holy Week.

1786 premiere of Mozart's singspiel Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario) in Vienna; a parody on the vanity of singers, who argue hilariously over status and pay.

1792 premiere of Domenico Cimarosa’s opera Il Matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage) at the Imperial Hofburg Theater in Vienna in the presence of Emperor Leopold II, who was Holy Roman Emperor and brother of Marie Antoinette.

1871 Wilhelm Stenhammar - Swedish composer, conductor and pianist (d. 1927); considered the finest Swedish pianist of his time.

1873 first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 ‘Little Russian’ in Moscow; this early version was extensively revised in 1880 and that version is most often performed today; both versions have their charms and champions - WCLV plays both.

1875 first performance of Eduard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in Paris, Edouard Colonne conducting with violin soloist Pablo de Sarasate.

1882 first performance of Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in St. Petersburg; the popular third movement Nocturne is often played independently.

1887 Eubie Blake – American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music (d.1983, five days after his 96th birthday); his hits include Charleston Rag, Love Will Find A Way, Memories of You and I'm Just Wild About Harry; he enjoyed a late second career when he recorded The 88 Years of Eubie Blake.

1897 Quincy Porter – American composer and teacher (d.1966); taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1923 to 1928 and again briefly in 1931; his Concerto for 2 Pianos won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

1908 first performance of Charles W. Chadwick’s Symphonic Sketches by the Boston Symphony with Karl Muck conducting; its four movements are entitled Jubilee, Noël (dedicated to the composer’s son), 

Hobgoblin and A Vagrom Ballad (inspired by vagrants near a railway track in Springfield, Massachusetts).

1925 Marius Constant – Romanian-born French composer and conductor (d.2004); wrote the iconic Twilight Zone theme song.

1934 premiere of Virgil Thomson’s opera Four Saints in Three Acts with a libretto by Gertrude Stein in Hartford, Connecticut; ground breaking for form, content, and its all-black cast, with singers directed by Eva Jessye, a prominent black choral director, and supported by her choir.

1941 first public performance of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto by Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy conducting and Albert Spalding as soloist; one of the most frequently performed of all 20th-century concertos.

1972 Akiko Suwanai – Japanese violinist (45 years old); in 1990, youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

1996 first public performance of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Triple Concerto by the Minnesota Orchestra, Zdenek Macal conducting, with the Kalichstein-Laredo- Robinson Trio as the soloists.