On This Day

Classical Music History

Events in Music

  • 1888-06-29 First (known) recording of classical music made, Handel's "Israel in Egypt" on wax cylinder

Music Concert

1990-07-07 1st 'Three Tenors' concert featuring Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti at Baths of Caracalla in Rome; recording becomes world's best-selling classical record

Birthdays in Music

  • 1775-08-31 Francois de Paule Jacques Raymond de Fossa, French classical guitarist and composer, born in Perpignan, France (d. 1849)
  • 1800-12-23 Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti, Italian classical guitarist and composer, born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1878)
  • 1881-03-23 Egon Petri, Dutch classical pianist, born in Hanover, Germany (d. 1962)
  • 1884-03-14 Wintter Watts, American classical music and art song composer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1962)
  • 1885-06-29 André Gailhard, French classical music composer, born in Paris (d. 1966)
  • 1885-12-22 (Joseph) Deems Taylor, American music critic (New York World), composer (Through The Looking Glass; Peter Ibbetson), and promoter of classical music (Fantasia), born in NYC, New York (d. 1966)
  • 1893-02-21 Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist, born in Linares, Spain (d. 1987)

Howard Hanson

1896-10-28 Howard Hanson, American classical music composer and conductor (Nordic), born in Wahoo, Nebraska (d. 1981)

  • 1903-01-06 Maurice Abravanel, American classical music conductor, born in Thessaloniki, Greece (d. 1993)
  • 1903-10-01 Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-American classical pianist (Variations on a Theme from Carmen), born in Kiev, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) (d. 1989)
  • 1906-02-08 Artur Balsam, Polish-American classical pianist (Begeleidde Menuhin, Milstein), born in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland (d. 1994)
  • 1907-05-18 Clifford Curzon, British classical pianist (Royal Academy of Music MacFarren Gold Medal), born in London, England
  • 1908-10-19 [Nils] Geirr Tveitt, Norwegian classical pianist and composer, born in Bergen, Norway (d. 1981)
  • 1909-10-07 Shura Cherkassky, Ukrainian classical pianist, born in Odesa, Ukraine (d. 1995)
  • 1913-05-21 Gina Bachauer, Greek classical pianist of Austrian heritage, born in Athens, Greece (d. 1976)
  • 1914-10-24 Dave Dallwitz, South Australian jazz and classical pianist, bandleader, composer, and visual artist, born in Freeling, South Australia (d. 2003)
  • 1916-05-23 Jean Françaix, French classical pianist, and composer, born in Le Mans, France (d. 1997)
  • 1917-02-01 Edward Simons, American classical violinist and conductor (Rockland Symphony, 1962-2017), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1917-03-19 Constantin "Dinu" Lipatti, Romanian classical pianist and composer, born in Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania (d. 1950)
  • 1917-12-17 Louis Palange, American arranger, classical music and film score composer (Hollywood Panorama; King Dinosaur), and conductor, born in Oakland, California (d. 1979)
  • 1918-04-08 Lenore Engdahl, American classical pianist, and educator (Boston University School of Music, 1972–83), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2018)
  • 1919-04-02 Ian Hunter, British impresario of classical music, born in Hadley Wood, Middlesex (d. 2003)

Ravi Shankar

1920-04-07 Ravi Shankar [Chowdhury], Bengali Brahmin sitar master and Indian classical music composer (West Meets East; Concert for Bangladesh), born in Benares, British, India (d. 2012)

  • 1921-01-12 Leo Smit, American classical pianist, composer (The Alchemy of Love), teacher and photographer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1999)
  • 1921-07-07 Stanislaw Wislocki, Polish conductor, born in Rzeszów, Poland (d. 1998)
  • 1921-10-01 Héctor Campos Parsi, Puerto Rican classical music composer, born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 1997)
  • 1922-04-06 Dorothy Donegan, American boogie-woogie, swing jazz, and classical pianist, and vocalist, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1998)
  • 1922-04-14 Ali Akbar Khan, Indian classical sarod player, composer, and music educator, born in Shibpur, Bengal Presidency, British India (now Bangladesh) (d. 2009)
  • 1922-05-29 Iannis Xenakis, Greek-French composer, music theorist, and architect who helped revolutionize 20th century classical music (Metastaseis), born in Brăila, Romania (d. 2001)
  • 1922-06-18 Claude Helffer, French classical pianist and composer, born in Paris (d. 2004)
  • 1923-02-21 Zvi Zeitlin, Russian-American classical violinist and music professor (Eastman School, 1967-2012), born in in Dubroŭna, Russia (now Belarus) (d. 2012)
  • 1923-05-28 Gyorgy Ligeti, Hungarian classical composer (Le Grand Macabre), born in Transylvania, Romania (d. 2006)
  • 1923-07-10 Rudolf Kehrer, Soviet classical pianist of German heritage, born in Tiflis, Georgia (d. 2013)
  • 1924-03-24 Eric Parkin, British classical pianist and champion of British composers, born in Stevenage, England (d. 2020)
  • 1926-03-12 Rolv Berger Yttrehus, American classical music composer, born in Duluth, Minnesota (d. 2018)
  • 1926-05-19 Paul Cooper, American classical music composer, and educator, born in Victoria, Illinois (d. 1996)
  • 1926-07-25 Teodor Grigoriu, Romanian classical music and film score composer, born in Galați, Romania (d. 2014)
  • 1926-10-21 Marga Richter, American classical pianist and composer (Landscapes of the Mind; Out of Shadows and Solitude), born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin (d. 2020)
  • 1926-10-31 (Moisés) "Mario" Abramovich, Argentinian tango and classical violinist (Sexteto Major, 1974-2014), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 2014)
  • 1927-10-01 Márta Kurtág [née Kinsker], Hungarian classical pianist, born in Esztergom, Hungary (d. 2019)
  • 1928-01-19 Gerard Schurmann, Dutch-British conductor, and composer of classical music (The Double Heart), and film scores, (The Bedford Incident), born in Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 2020) dies at 96
  • 1928-11-10 Ennio Morricone, Italian trumpeter, and composer of classical music and film scores ("The Mission"; "Cinema Paradiso"; "The Hateful Eight"), born in Rome, Italy (d. 2020) [1]
  • 1928-12-02 Jörg Wolfgang Demus, Austrian classical pianist and composer, born in St. Pölte, Austria (d. 2019)
  • 1929-06-02 Frédéric Devreese, Belgian conductor, and composer of classical music (Gemini Suite; Valse Sacrée), and film scores (The Cruel Embrace), born in Amsterdam, Belgium (d. 2020)
  • 1929-06-29 Alexandre Lagoya, Greek-Italian-French classical guitarist and composer, born in Alexandria, Egypt (d. 1999)
  • 1930-02-08 Manuel Castillo, Andalusian classical pianist and composer, born in Seville, Spain (d. 2005)
  • 1930-10-08 Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese classical music and film score composer (November Steps; Ran), born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 1996)
  • 1931-10-14 Nikhil Banerjee, Indian classical musician, born in Calcutta, India (d. 1986)
  • 1932-09-25 Glenn Gould, Canadian classical pianist (Bach's Goldberg Variations) and broadcaster (Solitude Trilogy), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1982)
  • 1933-07-15 Julian Bream, English classical guitarist and lutenist, born in London, England (d. 2020)
  • 1934-10-26 Jacques Loussier, French pianist and composer who created jazz arrangements of Bach and other classical music, born in Angers, France (d. 2019)
  • 1936-02-20 Mirjana Lewis (née Vrbanic), Croat-American classical pianist and harpsichord player, born in Zagreb, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Croatia) (d. 2010)
  • 1936-06-07 Kenneth Nichols, Canadian classical pianist, composer, (Symphonic Celebration; Boy In A Cage), and teacher (Brandon University, 1962-96), born in Pincher Creek, Alberta (d. 2021)
  • 1936-11-28 Trisutji Kamal, Indonesian classical pianist and composer (Prayer of Redemption), born in Jakarta, Indonesia (d. 2021)
  • 1937-02-04 Ann Southam, Canadian electronic and classical music and dance composer (Glass Houses; Figures; The Emerging Ground), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2010)
  • 1937-03-10 Alfred Janson, Norwegian jazz and classical pianist and composer (Passacaglia Vendetta; Variations over Variations on a Norwegian Folk Tune), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2019)
  • 1937-09-28 Edward Applebaum, American classical music composer (The Princess In The Garden), born In Los Angeles, California
  • 1937-10-24 Miguel Ángel Coria, Spanish composer of classical music, born in Madrid (d. 2016)
  • 1938-02-09 Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee, American classical pianist, composer and pedagogue, born in Waltham, Massachusetts
  • 1939-08-09 Max Neuhaus, American classical musician and experimental percussionist (sound sculptures), born in Beaumont, Texas (d. 2009)
  • 1940-01-01 László Sáry, Hungarian classical pianist and composer (12 Haiku; Flowers of Heaven), born in Győrasszonyfa, Hungary
  • 1941-04-24 John Williams, Australian classical guitarist, born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • 1942-01-05 Maurizio Pollini, Italian classical pianist, born in Milan, Italy
  • 1942-09-23 Daniel Perlongo, American classical music composer, and educator, born in Gaastra, Michigan
  • 1944-04-17 John Lill, British classical pianist, born in London
  • 1944-10-18 Nelson Freire, Brazilian classical pianist, born in Boa Esperança, Brazil (d. 2021)
  • 1945-05-08 Keith Jarrett, American jazz and classical pianist and composer (The Köln Concert), born in Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • 1948-03-01 Richard Festinger, American guitarist, pianist, and classical music composer (Between Thought and Thing; Le Pianiste), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • 1948-04-15 Jan Krzywicki, American classical music composer, conductor, and educator born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1948-05-06 Jacques Israelievitch, French Canadian classical violinist, concertmaster (St. Louis Symphony, 1978-88; Toronto Symphony, 1988-2008), and music director (Koffler Chamber Orchestra, 2005-14), born in Cannes, France (d. 2015)
  • 1949-03-25 Kaja Danczowska, Polish classical violinist, and teacher, born in Krakow, Poland
  • 1949-06-08 Emanuel Ax, Polish-American classical pianist, born in Lviv, Ukraine
  • 1950-01-02 David Shifrin, American classical clarinetist, born in Queens, New York
  • 1950-03-05 Eugene Fodor, American classical violinist (1974 Tchaikovsky Award), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 2011)
  • 1950-03-11 Bobby McFerrin, American Grammy Award-winning vocalist ("Don't Worry Be Happy"), and classical music conductor, born in New York City, New York
  • 1950-04-26 (Lakshminarayana) "L." Shankar, Indian rock, jazz and Indian classical violinist, singer and composer (Shakti; Frank Zappa; Peter Gabriel), born in Madras, Tamil Nadu
  • 1951-05-13 Guus Janssens, Dutch jazz and classical pianist, harpsichordist, and composer, born in Heiloo, Netherlands
  • 1951-07-09 Eugeniusz Knapik, Polish pianist and classical music composer (Islands; Up Into The Silence), born in Ruda Śląska, Poland
  • 1951-10-28 Rajan Mishra, Indian classical music vocalist, born in Varanasi, India (d. 2021)
  • 1952-01-22 Teresa Kaban, Polish classical pianist and co-director of the International Festival of Rediscovered and Forgotten Music, born in Gliwice, Poland
  • 1952-06-05 Daniel Katzen, American French horn player (Boston Symphony, 1979-2008), and teacher (University of Arizona, 2008-), born in Rochester, New York
  • 1952-12-23 Hans Abrahamsen, Danish classical music composer (Let Me Tell You; Left, Alone; Schnee), born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
  • 1953-07-26 Robert Phillips, American classical guitarist, born in NYC, New York
  • 1953-12-28 Roberto Cacciapaglia, Italian pianist and composer of electronic and classical music, born in Milan, Italy
  • 1954-01-25 Jan Sandström, Swedish classical music composer (Motorbike Concerto: Snowflakes), born in Vilhelmina, Sweden
  • 1954-05-28 Youri Egorov, Soviet classical pianist, born in Kazan, USSR (d. 1988)
  • 1954-08-11 Sinan Savaskan, Turkish-British contemporary classical music composer and educator (The Age of Analysis; Octandre Ensemble), born in Istanbul, Turkey
  • 1955-10-19 Roland Dyens, French classical guitarist, composer, and arranger (Libra Sonatine), born in French Tunisia. (d. 2016)
  • 1956-03-16 Vladimír Godár, Slovak contemporary classical music and film music composer, born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
  • 1956-09-22 David Krakauer, American Grammy Award-winning klezmer, jazz and classical clarinetist (Klezmer Madness!), born in New York City
  • 1957-11-04 Elena Kats-Chernin, Russian-Australian classical pianist and composer (Wild Swans), born in Tashkent, USSR (now Uzbekistan)
  • 1958-07-26 Angela Hewitt, Canadian classical pianist, born in Ottawa, Canada
  • 1959-03-30 Sabine Meyer, German classical clarinetist, Born in Crailsheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1960-01-29 Cho-Liang Lin, American classical violinist (Queen Sophia prize, 1977), and teacher (Juilliard, 1991-present) born in Hsinchu, Taiwan [1]
  • 1960-11-14 Piet Swerts, Belgian classical pianist, composer (Rotations; Zodiac), and educator, born in Tongeren, Belgium
  • 1960-12-21 Louis Demetrius Alvanis, English classical pianist, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1961-02-22 Lowell Liebermann, American classical pianist and composer (Gargoyles), born in New York City
  • 1961-11-23 Nicolas Bacri, French classical music composer, born in Paris, France
  • 1962-03-24 Angèle Dubeau, Canadian classical violinist, born in Saint-Norbert, Quebec
  • 1962-12-31 Jennifer Higdon, American classical music composer (2010 Pulitzer; 3 Grammy Awards) and educator (Curtis Institute of Music, 1994 - present), born in Brooklyn, New York

Deaths in Music

  • 1849-06-03 Francois de Paule Jacques Raymond de Fossa, French classical guitarist and composer, dies at 73
  • 1878-11-28 Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti, Italian classical guitarist and composer, dies at 78
  • 1933-08-13 Paul Hillemacher, French classical pianist, and composer, dies at 80
  • 1938-12-04 Dina Appeldoorn, Dutch classical pianist and composer, dies at 54
  • 1950-12-02 Constantin "Dinu" Lipatti, Romanian classical pianist and composer, dies of Hodgkins disease complications at 33
  • 1957-11-09 Ettore Pozzoli, Italian classical pianist and composer, dies at 84
  • 1959-03-11 Haydn Wood, English violinist, and composer of light classical music (Roses of Picardy), dies at 76
  • 1959-10-28 Egon Kornauth, Austrian classical pianist, composer, and teacher, dies at 68
  • 1962-05-27 Egon Petri, Dutch classical pianist, dies at 81
  • 1966-07-03 André Gailhard, French classical music composer, dies at 81
  • 1966-07-03 (Joseph) Deems Taylor, American music critic (New York World), composer (Through The Looking Glass; Peter Ibbetson), and promoter of classical music (Fantasia), dies at 80
  • 1976-08-22 Gina Bachauer, Greek classical pianist of Austrian heritage, dies at 63
  • 1979-06-08 Louis Palange, American arranger, classical music and film score composer (Hollywood Panorama; King Dinosaur), and conductor, dies at 61
  • 1982-09-01 Clifford M Curzon, British classical pianist, dies at 75
  • 1982-10-04 Glenn Gould, Canadian classical pianist (Bach's Goldberg Variations) and broadcaster (Solitude Trilogy), dies after suffering a stroke at 50
  • 1988-04-15 Youri Egorov, Soviet classical pianist, dies at 33
  • 1989-05-22 Steven DeGroote, South African classical pianist, dies from multiple organ failure due to AIDS at 36
  • 1989-11-05 Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-American classical pianist (Variations on a Theme from Carmen), dies of a heart attack at 85
  • 1990-10-16 Jorge Bolet, Cuban-born American pianist known for his performances of the work of Franz Liszt, dies at 75
  • 1992-07-12 Carla van Neste, Belgian classical violinist (Trio Reine Elisabeth), dies at 78
  • 1992-11-13 Maurice Ohana, French classical pianist and composer, dies at 79
  • 1995-12-27 Shura Cherkassky, American classical pianist, dies at 86
  • 1996-02-20 Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese classical music and film score composer (November Steps; Ran), dies of pneumonia while being treated for bladder cancer at 65
  • 1996-05-27 Ivan Sutton, British classical music concert promoter (City Music Society), dies at 82
  • 1997-01-30 Héctor Campos Parsi, Puerto Rican classical music composer, dies at 75
  • 1997-05-03 Narciso Yepes, Spanish classical guitarist (b. 1927)
  • 1997-09-25 Jean Françaix, French classical pianist, and composer, dies at 85
  • 1998-05-19 Dorothy Donegan, American boogie-woogie, swing jazz, and classical pianist, and vocalist, dies of cancer at 76
  • 1998-05-31 Stanislaw Wislocki, Polish conductor of classical music, dies at 76
  • 1999-08-24 Alexandre Lagoya, Greek-Italian-French classical guitarist and composer, dies at 70
  • 1999-12-12 Leo Smit, American classical pianist, composer (The Alchemy of Love), teacher and photographer, dies of congestive heart failure at 78
  • 2001-02-04 Iannis Xenakis, Romanian-born, Greek-French composer, music theorist, and architect who helped revolutionize 20th century classical music (Metastaseis), dies after several years of serious illness at 78
  • 2003-03-24 Dave Dallwitz, South Australian jazz and classical pianist, bandleader, composer, and visual artist, dies at 88
  • 2003-09-15 Jack Brymer, British classical clarinetist (Royal Philharmonic; BBC Symphony; London Symphony), and teacher, dies at 88
  • 2004-10-27 Claude Helffer, French classical pianist and composer, dies at 82
  • 2005-11-01 Manuel Castillo, Andalusian classical pianist and composer, dies at 75
  • 2007-10-18 Kumiko Ida, Japanese classical pianist, dies of meningitis at 38
  • 2009-02-03 Max Neuhaus, American classical musician and experimental percussionist (sound sculptures), dies of cancer at 69
  • 2009-06-19 Ali Akbar Khan, Indian classical sarod player, composer, and music educator, dies of kidney failure at 87
  • 2010-07-20 Mirjana Lewis (née Vrbanic), Croat-American classical pianist and harpsichord player, dies at 74
  • 2010-11-25 Ann Southam, Canadian electronic and classical music and dance composer (Glass Houses; Figures; The Emerging Ground), dies at 73
  • 2011-02-26 Eugene Fodor, American classical violinist (1974 Tchaikovsky Award), dies from cirrhosis at 60
  • 2011-11-27 Sultan Khan, Indian classical musician, dies at 71
  • 2011-11-28 Andrew Kazdin, classical record producer, dies at 77
  • 2011-12-31 Omus Hirshbein, classical music impresario and music director, dies at 77
  • 2012-05-02 Zvi Zeitlin, Russian-American classical violinist and music professor (Eastman School, 1967-2012), dies at 90

Ravi Shankar

2012-12-11 Ravi Shankar [Chowdhury], Bengali Brahmin sitar master and Indian classical music composer (West Meets East; Concert for Bangladesh), dies at 92

  • 2013-10-29 Rudolf Kehrer, Soviet classical pianist of German heritage, dies at 90
  • 2014-12-01 (Moisés) "Mario" Abramovich, Argentinian tango and classical violinist (Sexteto Major, 1974-2014), dies at 88
  • 2015-09-05 Jacques Israelievitch, French Canadian classical violinist, concertmaster (St. Louis Symphony, 1978-88; Toronto Symphony, 1988-2008), and music director (Koffler Chamber Orchestra, 2005-14), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • 2016-02-24 Miguel Ángel Coria, Spanish composer of classical music, dies at 78
  • 2016-10-29 Roland Dyens, French classical guitarist, composer, and arranger (Libra Sonatine), dies at 61
  • 2018-06-19 Lenore Engdahl, American classical pianist, and educator (Boston University School of Music, 1972–83), dies at 100
  • 2018-06-26 Edward Simons, American classical violinist and conductor (Rockland Symphony, 1962-2017), dies at 101
  • 2019-03-05 Jacques Loussier, French pianist and composer who created jazz arrangements of Bach and other classical music, dies at 84
  • 2019-04-16 Jörg Wolfgang Demus, Austrian classical pianist and composer, dies at 90
  • 2019-05-19 Alfred Janson, Norwegian jazz and classical pianist and composer (Passacaglia Vendetta; Variations over Variations on a Norwegian Folk Tune), dies at 82
  • 2019-10-17 Márta Kurtág [née Kinsker], Hungarian classical pianist, dies at 92
  • 2020-02-03 Eric Parkin, British classical pianist and champion of British composers, dies at 95
  • 2020-03-24 Gerard Schurmann, Dutch-British conductor, and composer of classical music (The Double Heart), and film scores, (The Bedford Incident) dies at 96
  • 2020-06-25 Marga Richter, American classical pianist and composer (Landscapes of the Mind; Out of Shadows and Solitude), dies at 93
  • 2020-07-06 Ennio Morricone, Italian trumpeter, and composer of classical music and film scores ("The Mission"; "Cinema Paradiso"; "The Hateful Eight"), dies at 91 [1]
  • 2020-08-14 Julian Bream, English classical guitarist and lutenist, dies at 87
  • 2020-09-28 Frédéric Devreese, Belgian conductor, and composer of classical music (Gemini Suite; Valse Sacrée), and film scores (The Cruel Embrace), dies of cancer at 91
  • 2021-03-21 Trisutji Kamal, Indonesian classical pianist and composer (Prayer of Redemption), dies at 84
  • 2021-04-25 Rajan Mishra, Indian classical music vocalist, dies of Covid-19 complications at 69
  • 2021-08-06 Kenneth Nichols, Canadian classical pianist, composer, (Symphonic Celebration; Boy In A Cage), and teacher (Brandon University, 1962-96), dies at 85
  • 2021-11-01 Nelson Freire, Brazilian classical pianist, dies at 77