Orchestra History

Orchestras: Symphonies

Events in Music

  • 1808-03-06 1st college orchestra in US founded, at Harvard
  • 1858-01-30 Charles Hallé founds Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England
  • 1858-11-09 1st performance of NY Symphony Orchestra

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1859-03-28 1st performance of Johannes Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra

Composer and Conductor Johannes Brahms
Composer and Conductor
Johannes Brahms
  • 1881-10-22 Boston Symphony Orchestra gives its first concert
  • 1883-12-02 Johannes Brahms' "3rd Symphony in F" premieres with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 1885-04-30 Henry Lee Higginson starts the "Popular Music" series with the Boston Symphony, which evolves into the Boston Pops Orchestra 1900
  • 1887-10-31 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral work "Capriccio Espagnol" premieres in St Petersburg

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1894-03-16 Jules Massenet's opera "Thaïs" premieres in Paris, includes piece “Méditation” for violin and orchestra

Composer Jules Massenet
Composer
Jules Massenet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1894-12-22 Claude Debussy's first orchestral masterpiece "Prélude à l'apres-midi d'un faune" premieres in Paris

Composer Claude Debussy
Composer
Claude Debussy
  • 1895-01-25 New Haven Symphony Orchestra of Connecticut performs its first concert
  • 1901-10-27 1st complete performance of Claude Debussy's orchestral composition "Nocturnes"

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1908-12-03 Edward Elgar's 1st Symphony in A performed by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter, premieres in Manchester, England

Composer Edward Elgar
Composer
Edward Elgar

Music concertMusic Concert

1912-09-03 Arnold Schoenberg's "Funf Orchesterstucke" (Five Pieces for Orchestra) premieres in London at a Promenade Concert

Composer and Painter Arnold Schoenberg
Composer and Painter
Arnold Schoenberg
  • 1916-02-11 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its 1st concert

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1920-02-28 Maurice Ravel's orchestral suite "Le tombeau de Couperin" premieres in Paris

Composer and Pianist Maurice Ravel
Composer and Pianist
Maurice Ravel

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1924-02-12 George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" premieres at influential concert "Experiment in Modern Music" held by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra at the Aeolian Hall, NYC

Composer and Pianist George Gershwin
Composer and Pianist
George Gershwin

Music releaseMusic Recording

1928-03-01 Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra record "Ol' Man River" for Victor Records featuring Bing Crosby

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • 1930-03-28 1st performance of Walter Piston's Suite for orchestra (Boston)
  • 1930-10-22 1st concert of BBC Symphony Orchestra, at Queen's Hall, under Adrian Boult
  • 1931-03-25 Hal Kemp & his orchestra record Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis

Music releaseMusic Recording

1936-01-24 Benny Goodman and orchestra record "Stompin' at the Savoy" on Victor Records

Clarinetist and Bandleader Benny Goodman
Clarinetist and Bandleader
Benny Goodman
  • 1936-12-26 Israel's Philarmonic Orchestra forms
  • 1937-11-13 NBC forms first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio

Music releaseMusic Recording

1938-05-02 American singer Ella Fitzgerald records "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" with Chick Webb and His Orchestra

Jazz Musician Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz Musician
Ella Fitzgerald
  • 1938-05-30 Walter Piston's dance work, The Incredible Flutist, written for the Boston Pops Orchestra, which premieres it, Arthur Fiedler conducting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938-09-20 Dmitri Shostakovich's Suite for jazz orchestra, premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1939-10-20 "All the Things You Are" recorded by Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-02-02 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-02-05 Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1940-02-20 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • 1941-02-07 Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey orchestra record "Everything Happens to Me"
  • 1941-03-14 Xavier Cugat & orchestra record "Babalu"
  • 1941-03-19 Jimmy Dorsey & orchestra record "Green Eyes" & "Maria Elena"
  • 1942-02-19 Tommy Dorsey & his orchestra recorded "I'll Take Tallulah"
  • 1942-06-22 European broadcast première of Dmitri Shostakovich's 7th Symphony in London conducted by Sir Henry J. Wood and the London Philharmonic Orchestra

  • 1942-07-19 US première of Dmitri Shostakovich' 7th Symphony in NYC by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini in a concert broadcast nationwide on NBC radio

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944-12-01 Béla Bartòk's Concerto for orchestra, premieres

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok
  • 1945-01-13 Sergei Prokofiev's 5th Symphony premieres by the USSR State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Prokofiev, in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory

Music releaseMusic Recording

1945-04-24 Miles Davis makes recording debut with the Herbie Fields Orchestra, backing singer "Rubberlegs" Wilson, at Savoy Records Studio, Newark, New Jersey

Jazz Musician Miles Davis
Jazz Musician
Miles Davis

Music concertMusic Concert

1946-05-26 Darius Milhaud's 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Prague

Composer Darius Milhaud
Composer
Darius Milhaud
  • 1948-01-09 Walter Piston's 3rd Symphony in E, premieres in Boston by the Boston Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Serge Koussevitzky; wins 1947 Pulitzer Prize
  • 1949-08-18 Ralph Flanagan & his orchestra records "You're Breaking My Heart"
  • 1951-03-30 1st performance of Walter Piston's 4th Symphony commissioned to mark the University of Minnesota's centennial, debuts by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti conducting
  • 1954-04-30 Darius Milhaud's 4th Concert for piano and orchestra premieres in Haifa, Israel
  • 1956-02-24 Walter Piston's 5th Symphony, commissioned by the Juilliard School of Music for their 50th anniversary, premiere performance by the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Jean Morel
  • 1961-02-10 Walter Piston's 7th Symphony, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra premieres under direction of Eugene Ormandy; wins 1961 Pulitzer Prize
  • 1961-05-15 "Bonanza" by Al Caiola Orchestra hits #19
  • 1976-01-13 Sarah Caldwell is 1st woman to conduct at NYC Metropolitan Opera House as she led orchestra in a performance of "La Traviata"
  • 1977-05-21 Electric Light Orchestra releases "Telephone Line" in the UK; it would peak in the Top 10 in the UK and US
  • 1979-02-15 Temple City Kazoo Orchestra appears on Mike Douglas Show
  • 1982-10-17 1st live orchestra on a US commercial network since 1954 (National Symphony)
  • 1994-04-07 Vatican commemorates The Holocaust for the first time with an orchestral concert in the Sala Nervi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2006-08-26 David Gilmour performs with his band and the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra before a crowd of 50,000 at Gdańsk Shipyard in Poland.

Singer-songwriter and Producer David Gilmour
Singer-songwriter and Producer
David Gilmour
  • 2014-10-08 The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is awarded the third $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize

Hall of fameHall of Fame

2017-04-07 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Yes, Tupac Shakur, Journey, and Pearl Jam inducted

Rapper Tupac Shakur
Rapper
Tupac Shakur

Birthdays in Music

  • 1889-02-27 Freddie Keppard, American jazz cornetist (Original Creole Orchestra), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1933)
  • 1897-05-23 Fred Guy, American jazz banjo player and guitarist (Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra; Duke Ellington's Washingtonians) , born in Burkeville, Virginia (d. 1971)
  • 1902-04-06 James "Rosy" McHargue, American jazz clarinetist, and vocalist (Ted Weems Orchestra; The Wolverines), born in Danville, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • 1902-11-22 Emanuel Feuermann, cellist (Chicago Symph Orchestra), born in Kolomyja, Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1942)
  • 1903-01-18 (Wilford) "Min" Leibrook, American jazz tuba player and bassist (Paul Whiteman Orchestra), born in Hamilton, Ohio (d. 1943)
  • 1904-05-31 Otto "Toby" Hardwicke, American jazz alto saxophone player (The Washingtonians, 1923-28; Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1932-46 - "Sophisticated Lady"; "In A Sentimental Mood"), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1970)
  • 1906-03-03 Albany "Barney" Bigard, Creole-American jazz clarinetist (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1927-42 - "Mood Indigo"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1980)
  • 1908-05-31 (Harold Eugene) "Gene Gifford American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger (Jean Goldkette; Casa Loma Orchestra), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1970)
  • 1908-06-13 Clarence Hutchenrider, American jazz clarinetist (Casa Loma Orchestra), born in Waco, Texas (d. 1991)
  • 1910-02-21 Al Sears, American jazz and R&B saxophonist (Duke Elllington Orchestra; Johnny Hodges - "Castle Rock"), born in Macomb, Illinois (d. 1990)
  • 1910-04-01 Harry Carney, American tenor and baritone jazz saxophonist (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1927-74), born in Boston, Massachussets (d. 1974)
  • 1910-05-27 Earl "Jock" Caruthers American jazz saxophonist (Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, 1932-47), born in Monroe, Mississippi (d. 1971)
  • 1912-05-12 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma (d. 1995)
  • 1912-11-30 Constant Stotijn, Dutch oboist (Residence Orchestra)
  • 1914-03-09 Paul Winter, American classical and session violinist (NBC Orchestra, 1937-58), born in New York City (d. 1992)
  • 1915-02-11 Haakon Stotijn, Dutch oboist (VARA Orch; Orkestgebouw Orchestra)
  • 1915-12-14 Ruth Railton, British musical director (National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, 1948-65), born in Kent, England (d. 2001)
  • 1916-02-16 Charlie Fowlkes, American baritone saxophonist (Count Basie Orchestra, 1953-80), born in New York City (d. 1980)
  • 1917-07-14 Arthur Leavins, English violinist, leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra (d. 1995)
  • 1919-02-11 Israel Baker, American concert and session violinist (NBC Symphony; Paramount Studios Orchestra), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2011)
  • 1919-03-10 Marion Hutton, American actress and singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 1987)
  • 1919-05-31 (Emmanual Tettey) "E.T." Mensah, Ghanaian saxophonist, known as the "King of Highlife" music (Accra Rhythmic Orchestra; The Tempos), born in Accra, West Africa (d. 1996)
  • 1919-10-14 Joseph de Pasquale, American violist (Boston Symphony, 1949-64: Philadelphia Orchestra, 1964-96), and educator (Curtis Institute, 1965-2015), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2015)
  • 1920-04-28 Nan Merriman, American-Dutch singer (Arturo Toscanini NBC Orchestra), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)
  • 1920-05-23 Helen O'Connell, American big-band singer (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra - "Green Eyes"; "Anapola"), and TV host (Today Show, 1956-58), born in Lima, Ohio (d. 1993)
  • 1921-12-09 Terence Weil, British cellist (English Chamber Orchestra; Melos Ensemble), born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1923-03-27 Victor Hochhauser, British impresario (Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), born in Košice, Czechoslovakia (d. 2019)
  • 1926-04-02 David Mason, British orchestral, solo and session trumpet player (The Beatles - "Penny Lane"), born in London, England (d. 2011)
  • 1928-04-04 Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Cuban jazz trumpeter (Orchestra Harlow; Eddie Palmieri), born in Santa Clara, Cuba (d. 2016)
  • 1929-12-02 Harvey Phillips, American tubist (NYC Ballet Orchestra), born in Aurora, Missouri (d. 2010)
  • 1932-03-21 Joseph Silverstein, American violinist, concertmaster and conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1955-84), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1933-11-29 John Lamb, American jazz double bassist (Duke Ellington Orchestra), born in Vero Beach, Florida
  • 1935-01-07 Tommy Johnson, American orchestral tubist (Jaws theme), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2006)
  • 1937-08-06 Charlie [Charles Edward] Haden, American jazz double-bassist (Liberation Music Orchestra; Quartet West), born in Shenandoah, Iowa (d. 2014)
  • 1938-11-10 Hein van Royen, Dutch director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1974-91), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1991)
  • 1942-01-04 John McLaughlin, British jazz-rock fusion guitarist (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
  • 1942-09-29 Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz-fusion electric violinist (Frank Zappa; Mahavishnu Orchestra; Cosmic Messenger; Tchokola), born in Avranches, France
  • 1944-05-16 Billy Cobham, Panamanian-American jazz drummer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Colón, Panama
  • 1945-11-25 Bev Bevan, English drummer (Electric Light Orchestra), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1946-02-28 Pierre Dørge, Danish avant-garde and jazz-fusion guitarist (Thermaenius; New Jungle Orchestra), born in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1946-09-09 Christopher Francis Palmer, British composer, orchestrator, and musicologist, born in Norfolk, England (d. 1995)
  • 1947-02-27 Louis Clark, British musical arranger & keyboard player (Electric Light Orchestra), born in Kempston, England
  • 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) Born in Cannes, Fra
  • 1952-06-06 Yukihiro Takahashi, Japanese pop-rock drummer and singer (Yellow Magic Orchestra), born in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1953-12-10 Diane Schuur, American jazz pianist and singer (Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra; Heart To Heart), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • 1954-10-20 Steve Orich, orchestrator
  • 1958-10-26 Bassam Sabam, Lebanese violinist, oud, and nay player (New York Arabic Orchestra; Silk Road Ensemble), born in Tripoli, Lebanon (d. 2020)
  • 1971-07-19 Russell Allen, American rock vocalist (Symphony X; Trans-Siberian Orchestra), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1980-10-31 Alondra de la Parra, Mexican-American conductor (Queensland Symphony, 2015-present), and founder and artistic director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (2004-11), born in NYC, New York
  • 1984-11-02 Tamara Hope, Canadian actress (The Sandy Bottom Orchestra), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1999-04-04 Sheku Kanneh-Mason, British classical cellist (the Chineke! Orchestra; The Kanneh-Masons), born in Nottingham, England

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

1918-07-02 Jazz orchestra band leader Duke Ellington (19) weds high school sweetheart Edna Thompson

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington

Deaths in Music

  • 1933-07-15 Freddie Keppard, American jazz cornetist (Original Creole Orchestra), dies of tuberculosis at 44
  • 1942-05-25 Emanuel Feuermann, cellist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies at 39
  • 1943-06-08 (Wilford) "Min" Leibrook, American jazz tuba player and bassist (Paul Whiteman Orchestra), dies of meningitis at 40
  • 1970-08-05 Otto "Toby" Hardwicke, American jazz alto saxophone player (The Washingtonians, 1923-28; Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1932-46 - "Sophisticated Lady"; "In A Sentimental Mood"), dies at 66
  • 1970-11-12 (Harold Eugene) "Gene Gifford American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger (Jean Goldkette; Casa Loma Orchestra), dies at 62
  • 1971-04-05 Earl "Jock" Caruthers American jazz saxophonist (Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, 1932-47), dies at 60
  • 1971-12-22 Fred Guy, American jazz banjo player and guitarist (Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra; Duke Ellington's Washingtonians), dies at 74
  • 1974-10-08 Harry Carney, American tenor and baritone jazz saxophonist (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1927-74), dies at 64
  • 1980-02-09 Charlie Fowlkes, American baritone saxophonist (Count Basie Orchestra, 1953-80), dies at 63
  • 1980-06-27 Albany "Barney" Bigard, Creole-American jazz clarinetist (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1927-42 - "Mood Indigo"), dies at 74
  • 1987-01-10 Marion Hutton, American actress and singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra), dies at 67
  • 1990-03-23 Al Sears, American jazz and R&B saxophonist (Duke Elllington Orchestra; Johnny Hodges - "Castle Rock"), dies at 80
  • 1991-02-27 Hein van Royen, Dutch director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1974-91), dies at 52
  • 1991-08-18 Clarence Hutchenrider, American jazz clarinetist (Casa Loma Orchestra), dies at 83
  • 1992-08-01 Chico Alvarez, trumpeteer (Stan Kenton Orchestra), dies of cancer at 72
  • 1992-08-22 Paul Winter, American classical and session violinist (NBC Orchestra, 1937-58), dies at 78
  • 1993-09-09 Helen O'Connell, American big-band singer (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra - "Green Eyes"; "Anapola"), and TV host (Today Show, 1956-58), dies of cancer at 74
  • 1995-01-04 Leonard Hirsch, British violinist and conductor (BBC Empire Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 1995-01-22 Christopher Francis Palmer, British composer, orchestrator, and musicologist, dies of AIDS complications 48
  • 1995-02-25 Terence Weil, British cellist (English Chamber Orchestra; Melos Ensemble), dies at 73
  • 1995-05-09 Marshall Royal, American jazz alto saxophonist & clarinetist (Count Basie Orchestra), dies at 82
  • 1996-07-19 (Emmanual Tettey) "E.T." Mensah, Ghanaian saxophonist, known as the "King of Highlife" music (Accra Rhythmic Orchestra; The Tempos), dies at 77
  • 1999-06-08 James "Rosy" McHargue, American jazz clarinetist, and vocalist (Ted Weems Orchestra; The Wolverines), dies at 97
  • 2001-02-23 Ruth Railton, British musical director (National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, 1948-65), dies at 85
  • 2010-10-20 Harvey Phillips, American tubist (NYC Ballet Orchestra), dies at 80
  • 2011-04-29 David Mason, British orchestral, solo and session trumpet player (The Beatles "Penny Lane"), dies of leukemia at 85
  • 2011-12-25 Israel Baker, American concert and session violinist (NBC Symphony; Paramount Studios Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 2012-07-22 Nan Merriman, American-Dutch singer (Arturo Toscanini NBC Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 2014-07-11 Charlie [Charles Edward] Haden, American jazz double-bassist (Liberation Music Orchestra), dies at 76
  • 2015-06-22 Joseph de Pasquale, American violist (Boston Symphony, 1949-64: Philadelphia Orchestra, 1964-96), and educator (Curtis Institutu, 1965-2015), dies at 95
  • 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
  • 2016-01-06 Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Cuban jazz trumpeter (Orchestra Harlow; Eddie Palmieri), dies of prostate cancer at 79 
  • 2018-11-06 Hugh McDowell, British cellist (Electric Light Orchestra), dies of cancer at 65
  • 2019-03-22 Victor Hochhauser, British impresario (Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), dies at 95
  • 2020-12-04 Bassam Sabam, Lebanese violinist, oud, and nay player (New York Arabic Orchestra; Silk Road Ensemble), dies of Covid-19 complications at 62 [1]

Famous Composers