January 29

1729 premiere of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera with music of Johann Pepusch; revived in London in 1920 and ran for more than 1400 performances; in 1928, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht adapted it with a new libretto and music as The Threepenny Opera.

1781 premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Idomeneo at the Residenztheater in Munich; the composer’s first mature opera.  

1782 Daniel Auber [full name: Daniel François Esprit Auber] – French composer (d.1871); his opera La muette de Portici (1828) is credited as the foundation work of a new genre, grand opera.

1862 Frederick Delius – English composer (d.1934); his first successes came in Germany; it was 1907 before his music made regular appearances in his native England, and then, thanks to his great champion, conductor Sir Thomas Beecham; became paralyzed and blind, but completed some late compositions between 1928 and 1932 with the aid of an amanuensis, Eric Fenby.

1876 Havergal Brian – self-taught English composer (d.1972); wrote 32 symphonies in all, 14 of them in his 80s and 7 more in his early 90s.

1932 first performance of George Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody for piano and orchestra, in Boston, with the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky and the composer as soloist; the work is sometimes referred to by its original title, Rhapsody in Rivets.

1960 Cho-Liang Lin – Taiwanese-American violinist (57 years old); founded the Taipei International Music Festival in 1997, the largest classical music festival in the history of Taiwan, performing to an indoor audience of over 53,000.

1981 first performance of the first version of John Williams’s Violin Concerto by Mark Peskanov and the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin; the concerto was suggested by and dedicated to the composer's late wife, actress and singer Barbara Ruick Williams; had been completed in 1976, was revised in 1998.


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