March 1

1736 premiere of George Frideric Handel’s ode Alexander's Feast at the Covent Garden Theatre, London; libretto adapted from John Dryden's ode Alexander's Feast, or the Power of Music (1697) which had been written to celebrate Saint Cecilia's Day; the work originally contained within it three instrumental works nowadays performed independently: the Concerto Grosso in C HWV 318 ‘Alexander’s Feast’, the Harp Concerto Op 4/6, and the Organ Concerto Op 4/1.

1743 premiere of Handel’s oratorio Samson at Covent Garden in London; considered one of his finest dramatic works; usually performed as an oratorio, but on occasions has also been staged as an opera;  the well-known arias Let the bright Seraphim (for soprano) and Total eclipse (for tenor) are often performed separately in concert.

1810 Frédéric Chopin – Polish composer and virtuoso pianist (d.1849 at age 39); known worldwide as one of the leading musicians of the Romantic era, whose "poetic genius,” according to Charles Rosen, “was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation".

1896 Dimitri Mitropoulos – Greek conductor, pianist, and composer (d. 1960); received international fame both as a major conductor and composer of the 20th century.

1939 Leo Brouwer – Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist (78 years old); the grandson of Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona y Casado and the great-nephew of composer Ernesto Lecuona; among his works are a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over 40 film scores.

1950 premiere of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s opera The Consul in Philadelphia at the Shubert Theater; the opera opened in New York two weeks later and won that year's Pulitzer Prize for Music.

1971 Thomas Adès – English composer, pianist and conductor (47 years old); best known for his operas Powder Her Face and The Tempest.

1979 Broadway premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘musical thriller’ Sweeney Todd at the Uris Theater in New York; a West End production followed in 1980; in addition to several revivals the musical has been presented by opera companies; won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and an Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

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