March 7

1574 John Wilbye baptized – English madrigal composer (d.1638); one of the most famous of all the English madrigalists; his pieces have long been favorites and are often included in modern collections.

1711 premiere of Handel’s opera Rinaldo, the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London stage, and the most frequently performed of all the composer's works for the stage.

1875 Maurice Ravel – French composer (d.1937); known especially for his melodies, masterful orchestration, richly evocative harmonies and inventive instrumental textures and effects; according to SACEM (Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de Musique – ASCAP in France), Ravel's estate earned more royalties than any other French composer (until January 1, 2008 when Ravel's works fell into the public domain).

1887 Heino Eller – Estonian composer and composition teacher (d.1970); among his students were Eduard Tubin and Arvo Pärt.

1946 Okko Kamu – Finnish violinist and conductor (72 years old); has recorded more than 100 discs for various labels, such as Finlandia and Musica Sveciae; his 2 discs of Berwald for Naxos both received the Diapason d'Or award.

1964 Denyce Graves – American mezzo-soprano (54 years old); in 2009, she performed a tribute concert to Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and in 2010, she gave a concert with tenor Lawrence Brownlee in the United States Supreme Court Building for the Supreme Court justices.

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