March 4

1678 Antonio Vivaldi – Italian composer, Catholic priest and virtuoso violinist (d.1741); one of the greatest Baroque composers; nicknamed ‘Il Prete Rosso’ (The Red Priest) because of his red hair; his violin-playing skills were so great that a contemporary guidebook to the city of Venice proclaimed him one of the sights to be witnessed in that city.

1791 first performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in Vienna with the composer as soloist; Mozart's last appearance in a public concert; he took ill in September 1791 and died on December 5th 1791.

1877 premiere of Peter Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow; the scenario was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse; most ballet companies base their productions both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

1905 first performance of Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in St. Petersburg with the composer conducting and Leopold Auer—the dedicatee—as the soloist.

1915 Carlos Surinach – Spanish (Catalan) American composer and conductor (d.1997); composed 3 ballet scores for choreographer Martha Graham: Embattled Garden (1958), Acrobats of God (1960) and The Owl and the Pussycat (1978).

1928 Samuel Adler – German-born American composer and conductor (90 years old); has 400 published works in all media, including 5 operas, 6 symphonies, 8 string quartets, at least 11 concerti and a great deal of choral music and songs.

1929 Bernard Haitink – Dutch conductor and former violinist (89 years old); long-time conducts of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; had active career in England with London Philharmonic, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1946 Ralph Kirschbaum – American cellist (72 years old); his rare Montagnana cello once belonged to the 19th century virtuoso Alfredo Piatti.


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