January 23

1752 Muzio Clementi – Italian composer (d.1832); major force in the 19th century English music scene as performer, publisher and manufacturer of pianos.

1878 Rutland Boughton – English composer (d.1960); his best known work is the opera The Immortal Hour (1914); like Wagner, he called his operas ‘music dramas’ and over a period of 35 years, he composed five based on Arthurian legends.

1895 first performance of Edward MacDowell’s Suite No. 2 ‘Indian’ at the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City by the Boston Symphony, with Emil Paur conducting; on the same program, the composer appeared as the soloist in his own Piano Concerto No. 1.

1933 first performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Frankfurt with Hans Rosbaud conducting and the composer as soloist; notorious for being one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire.

1936 Cécile Ousset – French pianist (81 years old); in 2006, she retired from public performance due to health problems related to her back.

1936 first performance of the Carlos Chavez Symphony No. 2 ‘Sinfonia India’ on a radio broadcast by the Columbia Broadcasting Orchestra conducted by the composer; the work is based on three Indian melodies which supply the ideas for what are in effect three movements, though they are played without a break.

1948 first performance of David Diamond’s Symphony No. 4 by the Boston Symphony, Leonard Bernstein conducting. 

1963 first performance of Peter Mennin’s Symphony No. 7 by the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by George Szell, who was not particularly noted for his interest in contemporary American music but had the highest regard for the music of Mennin.

1973 first performance of Elliott Carter’s String Quartet No. 3 in New York by the Juilliard String Quartet; the work won the Pulitzer Prize for music that year (the composer's second Pulitzer).


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