January 18

1835 César Cui – part-time Russian composer and music critic (d. 1918); his day job was Engineer-General of the Russian Imperial Army and teacher of fortifications; a member of ‘The Five’, a group of Russian composers under the leadership of Mily Balakirev dedicated to the production of a specifically Russian type of music.

1841 Emmanuel Chabrier – French composer and pianist (d.1894); there’s more to his music than España and Joyeuse marche, like operas (including L'étoile), songs, and piano music; he was admired by composers as diverse as Debussy, Richard Strauss, Satie, Stravinsky and the group of composers known as Les six; Gustav Mahler called España "the beginnings of modern music" and alluded to the Dance Villageoise in the Rondo Burleske movement of his Ninth Symphony; Ravel wrote that the opening bars of Chabrier’s Le roi malgré lui changed the course of harmony in France; Poulenc wrote a biography.

1903 Berthold Goldschmidt – German-born English composer and conductor (d.1996); his works were condemned by the Nazis as ‘degenerate music’ so he emigrated to England in 1935; collaborated with Deryck Cooke on producing a performing edition of Gustav Mahler's Tenth Symphony and conducted the London Symphony in the world premiere of the Cooke realization at the BBC Proms in 1964.

1908 first performance of Frederick Delius’s Brigg Fair, ‘An English Rhapsody’, in Liverpool; the work is a set of variations on the English folk song as arranged for chorus by Percy Grainger.

1947 John O’Conor – Irish pianist and pedagogue (70 years old); former director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music; among the judges at the 2014 Cooper International Piano Competition at Oberlin.

1963 first performance of Roy Harris’s Symphony No. 9 ‘1963’ by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting; the work has a patriotic program with each of its sections bearing a subtitle from either the American Constitution or Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass


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