March 5

1807 first performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 at a private concert in the home of his patron, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz in Vienna; Hector Berlioz so admired the symphony's Adagio that he claimed it was the work of the Archangel Michael, and not that of a human.

1853 Arthur Foote – American composer (d.1937); member of the ‘Boston Six,’ the others were George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker; a Harvard graduate and the first noted American classical composer to be trained entirely in the United States.

1868 premiere of the original version of Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele at La Scala, Milan, under the direction of the composer; withdrawn after two performances and revised twice; the composer chose to write his own libretto, which was virtually unheard of in Italian opera up to that time.

1887 Heitor Villa-Lobos – Brazilian composer (d.1959); considered the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music; was influenced by Brazilian folk music and by stylistic elements from the European classical tradition, as exemplified by his Bachianas Brasileiras (Brazilian Bachian-pieces).

1889 first performance of Edward MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 2 in New York with the composer as soloist and the Theodore Thomas Orchestra; dedicated to Teresa Carreño, and the first major piano concerto written by an American.

1904 first performance of Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in Paris by the Heymann Quartet; dedicated to Ravel’s friend and teacher Gabriel Fauré; the second movement was used in Wes Anderson's film The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).

1905 first performance of Frederick S. Converse’s The Mystic Trumpeter, a fantasy after Walt Whitman, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fritz Scheel conducting.

1931 Barry Tuckwell – Australian horn virtuoso, conductor and teacher (87 years old); after 13 years as principal horn with the London Symphony, embarked on a long career as a soloist, conductor and chamber musician.

1940 first performance of Aaron Copland’s John Henry on a CBS ‘School of the Air’ radio broadcast by the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony conducted by Howard Barlow; inspired by the American folk legend of a 19th-century African-American and his heroic battle in a contest against a railroad pile-driver; the music simulates the sounds of a train and John Henry's hammer.

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