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October 12

1686 Silvius Leopold Weiss – German composer and lutenist (d.1750); one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day.

1713 Johann Ludwig Krebs baptized – German composer (d.1780); organ student of J. S. Bach but despite being a highly-regarded musician, could not find a patron or a post at any cathedral; in 1755, appointed court organist of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg under Prince Friedrich, and was so desperate that he did not work for money but instead for food to feed his family (including seven children).

1872 Ralph Vaughan Williams – English composer (d.1958); wrote symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores; also collected English folk music and song and this activity influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, in which he included many folk song arrangements as hymn tunes, and several of his own original compositions;

1880 Healey Willan – English-born Canadian composer and organist (d.1968); best known for his religious music.

1910 premiere of Ralph Vaughan William's A Sea Symphony (Symphony No. 1) for chorus and orchestra, at the Leeds Festival with the composer conducting (on his 38th birthday); the text comes from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

1931 first performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Variations on a Theme of Corelli (La Folia) for solo piano, in Montreal by the composer; Rachmaninoff recorded many of his own works, but not this piece.

1945 first performance of Bohuslav Martinu’s Symphony No. 3 by the Boston Symphony, conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, to whom it is dedicated; it was written in Connecticut in the Spring of 1944, and the second movement is dated 26 May 1944, so it is very probable that he was working on the third movement finale when news came of the Allied landing in Normandy on 6 June; this has been interpreted as an influence on the joyful turn taken in this movement.