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December 31

11865 first performance of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Symphony No. 1 in St. Petersburg; because Rimsky-Korsakov used Russian folk and oriental melodies in the work, critic Vladimir Stasov and the other nationalists dubbed it the "First Russian Symphony."

1879 premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance not in London but at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City, where it was well received by both audiences and critics; London premiere was four months later.

1894 E. J. Moeran – English composer (d.1950); had strong associations with Ireland; was wounded in World War I.

1899 Silvestre Revueltas – Mexican composer, violinist and conductor (d.1940); Sensemayá is generally considered his masterpiece.

1962 Jennifer Higdon – American composer (61 years old); won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her Violin Concerto and two Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Classical Composition; Higdon: All Things Majestic won the 2018 Grammy for Best Classical Compendium.