Orchestra History

Orchestras: Symphonies

Events in Music

  • 1808-03-06 1st college orchestra in US founded, at Harvard
  • 1858-01-30 Charles Halle founds Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England
  • 1858-11-09 1st performance of NY Symphony Orchestra
  • 1859-03-28 1st performance of John Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra
  • 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 Boston Pops Orchestra forms
  • 1894-03-16 Jules Massenet's opera "Thaïs" premieres in Paris, includes piece “Méditation” for violin and orchestra

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
Claude Debussy
  • 1895-01-25 New Haven Symphony Orchestra of Connecticut performs its first concert

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
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
  • 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

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 concerto of BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Adrian Boult
  • 1931-03-25 Hal Kemp & his orchestra record Whistles, with Skinnay Ennis
  • 1936-01-24 Benny Goodman & orchestra record "Stompin' at the Savoy" on Victor Records
  • 1936-12-26 Israel's Philarmonic Orchestra forms
  • 1937-11-13 NBC forms first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

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
  • 1944-12-01 Béla Bartòk's Concerto for orchestra, premieres
  • 1945-11-18 Arnold Schoenberg's Prelude for orchestra & mixed choir, premieres
  • 1946-02-08 Béla Bartók's 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Philadelphia, PA, US
  • 1946-05-26 Darius Milhauds 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Prague
  • 1949-08-18 Ralph Flanagan & his orchestra records "You're Breaking My Heart"
  • 1954-04-30 Darius Milhauds 4th Concert for piano and orchestra premieres in Haifa
  • 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"
  • 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)
  • 2014-10-08 The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is awarded the $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize

Hall of fameHall of Fame

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

Rapper Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur

Birthdays in Music

  • 1902-11-22 Emanuel Feuermann, Kolomea Galicia, cellist (Chicago Symph Orchestra)
  • 1912-11-30 Constant Stotijn, Dutch oboist (Residence Orchestra)
  • 1915-02-11 Haakon Stotijn, Dutch oboist (VARA Orch, Orkestgebouw Orchestra)
  • 1919-03-10 Marion Hutton, American actress and singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 1987)
  • 1920-04-28 Nan Merriman, US/Neth singer (Arturo Toscanini NBC Orchestra)
  • 1923-03-27 Victor Hochhauser, British impresario (Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), born in Košice, Czechoslovakia
  • 1929-12-02 Harvey Phillips, Aurora Missouri, tubist (NYC Ballet Orchestra)
  • 1932-03-21 Joseph Silverstein, American violinist, concertmaster and conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1937-08-06 Charlie [Charles Edward] Haden, American jazz double-bassist (Liberation Music Orchestra), born in Shenandoah, Iowa (d. 2014)
  • 1938-11-10 H J de Royen, director (Dutch Concertgebouw Orchestra)
  • 1944-05-16 Billy Cobham, Panamanian-American jazz drummer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), born in Colón, Panama
  • 1946-09-09 Christopher Francis Palmer, orchestrator/Author
  • 1947-02-27 Louis Clark, British musical arranger and keyboard player (Electric Light Orchestra), born in Kempston, England
  • 1953-12-10 Diane Schuur, American jazz singer (Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • 1954-10-20 Steve Orich, orchestrator
  • 1980-10-31 Alondra de la Parra, Mexican founder and artistic director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, born in NYC, New York
  • 1984-11-02 Tamara Hope, Canadian actress (The Sandy Bottom Orchestra), born in Toronto, Ontario

Weddings in Music

HeartWedding 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

  • 1987-01-10 Marion Hutton, American actress and singer (Glenn Miller Orchestra), dies at 67
  • 1991-02-27 H J of Royen, manager Dutch (Concertgebouw Orchestra), dies at 52
  • 1992-08-01 Chico Alvarez, trumpeteer (Stan Kenton Orchestra), dies of cancer at 72
  • 1995-01-04 Leonard Hirsch, British violinist and conducter (BBC Empire Orchestra), dies at 92
  • 1995-01-22 Christopher Francis Palmer, orchestrator/Author, dies at 48
  • 2014-07-11 Charlie [Charles Edward] Haden, American jazz double-bassist (Liberation Music Orchestra), dies at 76