January 11

1856 Christian Sinding – Norwegian composer (d.1941); best known for his 1896 piano piece Rustle of Spring; often compared to Edvard Grieg and regarded as his successor.

1875 Reinhold Glière – Russian composer (d.1956); his ballet, The Red Poppy (1927) is called “the first Soviet ballet on a revolutionary subject" and the Russian Sailors’ Dance from it is by far Glière’s most famous piece. 

1888 Charles Previn – American film composer at Universal Studios in Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s (d.1973); the great-uncle of composer, pianist and conductor André Previn.

1902 Maurice Duruflé – French composer, organist, and teacher (d.1986); highly critical of his own compositions, he only published a handful of works and often continued to edit and change pieces after publication; most famous work is the Requiem Op 9; he and his wife Marie-Madeleine were a famous and popular organ duo, going on tours together several times throughout the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s.

1925 first performance of Copland’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, at Aeolian Hall in New York City by the New York Symphony conducted by Walter Damrosch, with Nadia Boulanger the soloist; from the stage, Damrosch famously remarked, "if a gifted young man can write a symphony like that at age 23, within five years he will be ready to commit murder," which was in Copland's words a joke meant to "smooth the ruffled feathers of his conservative Sunday afternoon ladies faced with modern music.”

1940 premiere of the revised version of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet at the Kirov Theater in Leningrad; had been composed in 1935, but the production was delayed by artistic and probably political issues; suites from the work were heard publicly before the 1938 premiere of the work in Brno, Czechoslovakia.


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