March 9

1737 Josef Myslivecek – Czech composer (d.1781); contributed to the formation of late 18th-century classicism and provided his younger friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with significant compositional models in the genres of symphony, Italian opera seria, and violin concerto; Mozart considered him an intimate friend from the time of their first meetings in Bologna in 1770.

1740 premiere of Handel’s pastoral ode L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato, based on the poetry of John Milton; in 1988, Mark Morris choreographed a dance performance to accompany the music and poetry.

1842 premiere of Verdi’s opera Nabucco (short for Nabucodonosor, or Nebuchadnezzar), in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala; the composer later said, "This is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star"; at Verdi's funeral in 1901, the crowds in the Milan streets spontaneously broke into Va, pensiero, the famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves.

1849 premiere of Otto Nicolai’s opera Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (after Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor) in Berlin at what is now the Berlin State Opera.

1868 premiere of Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet at the Paris Opéra; the libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier is based on a French adaptation by Alexandre Dumas, père, and Paul Meurice of Shakespeare's play.

1877 first performance of Tchaikovsky’s symphonic-fantasy Francesca da Rimini in Moscow; composed in less than 3 weeks during the composer’s visit to Bayreuth in the autumn of 1876; dedicated to his friend and former pupil Sergei Taneyev; inspired by a tragic tale in Dante's Divine Comedy.

1910 Samuel Barber – American composer (d.1981); twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music, for the opera Vanessa (1957) and his Piano Concerto (1962); one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century: music critic Donal Henahan once said "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim."

1972 Till Fellner – Austrian pianist (46 years old); regularly collaborates with chamber music partners like cellist Heinrich Schiff, tenor Mark Padmore, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and cellist Adrian Brendel.


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