January 26

1790 premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Così fan tutte at the Wiener Burgtheater in Vienna; the libretto is by Lorenzo Da Ponte, who also wrote The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni; the title literally means ‘Thus do all [women]’, but ‘Women are like that’ captures the spirit of the two-act comedy.

1905 first performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande in Vienna, with the composer conducting.

1911 premiere of Richard Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden; a complete success with the public and even with most music critics, although some responded negatively to Strauss's use of waltzes, which were out of fashion at the time; the opera became one of the composer's most popular works during his lifetime and it remains a part of the standard repertoire today.

1948 Boris Belkin – Russian violin virtuoso (69 years old); taught by Isaac Stern and Yuri Yankelevich, and one of Janine Jansen’s teachers.

1951 Roy Goodman – English conductor, violinist (66 years old); specializes in the performance and direction of early music; became internationally famous as the 12-year-old boy treble soloist in the 1963 recording of Allegri's Miserere with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge under David Willcocks.

1957 premiere of Francis Poulenc’s opera Dialogues des carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites) in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala, Nino Sanzogno conducting; tells a somewhat fictionalized version of the story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, Carmelite nuns who were guillotined in Paris in 1794 in the waning days of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, after refusing to renounce their vocation.

1876 first performance of John Knowles Paine’s Symphony No. 1 in Boston; the first American symphony generally acknowledged by the musical community here and abroad as being on a par with the symphonies of the great European composers.

1981 Gustavo Dudamel – Venezuelan conductor and violinist (36 years old); studied music from an early age, becoming involved with El Sistema, the famous Venezuelan musical education program; Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony of Venezuela.


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