On This Day

Year 1909 in Music History

Events in Music


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Richard Strauss' premier of "Elektra" in Dresden

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 12 Symphony in B minor "Polonia", by polish composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski has its public premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Pianist, Composer and Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Pianist, Composer and Polish Prime Minister
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
  • Jun 12 "Shine On, Harvest Moon" by Ada Jones & Billy Murray hits #1
  • Nov 28 Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the genres most difficult, premieres at the New Theatre in New York City, with the composer as soloist and the New York Symphony Society conducted by Walter Damrosch

Birthdays in Music


Person of interestVictor Borge

Jan 3 Victor Borge [Borge Rosenbaum], Danish-American comedian and pianist, born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 2000)

Comedian and Pianist Victor Borge
Comedian and Pianist
Victor Borge
  • Jan 9 Herva Nelli, Italian-born American soprano, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1994)
  • Jan 10 Rudolf Kubin, Czech cellist, born in Ostrava, Czech Republic (d. 1973)
  • Jan 11 Gunnar Johnsen Berg, composer
  • Jan 13 Danny Barker, jazz guitarist
  • Jan 15 Elie Siegmeister, American composer (Plough & the Stars), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1991)
  • Jan 15 Gene Krupa, American jazz and big band drummer (Benny Goodman, "Sing, Sing, Sing"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1973)
  • Jan 19 Hans Hotter, German bass-baritone (d. 2003)
  • Jan 21 Todor Skalovski, Macedonian choral director and composer (Baltepe), born in Tetovo, Ottoman Empire (d. 2004)
  • Jan 22 Irving "Mouse" Randolph, American swing jazz trumpeter (Cab Calloway Orchestra), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1997)
  • Jan 24 Tiny Winters, English musician, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • Feb 1 George Beverly Shea, American gospel singer, born in Winchester, Ontario
  • Feb 5 Grażyna Bacewicz, Polish violinist & composer, born in Łódź (d. 1969)
  • Feb 6 Israel Citkowitz, American composer (d. 1974)
  • Feb 9 Carmen Miranda, Portuguese vocalist and actress (Copacabana, Date With Judy), born in Marco de Canavezes, Portugal (d. 1955)
  • Feb 9 Harald Genzmer, German composer, born in Blumenthal, Germany (d. 2007)
  • Feb 12 Barry Wood [Louis Rappaport], American pop vocalist (Your Hit Parade; "We Did It Before (And We Can Do It Again)"), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Feb 20 Oscar Alemán, Argentine jazz and swing guitarist, and singer ("Rosa Madreselva"), born in Machagai, Chaco, Argentina (d. 1980)
  • Feb 21 George G F van Renesse, Dutch pianist/music director
  • Feb 26 Chauncey Haughton, American jazz clarinetist, and saxophonist (Blanche Calloway; Chick Webb; Cab Calloway), born in Chestertown, Maryland (d. 1989)
  • Feb 27 Elisabeth Welch, American born British-based singer (Stormy Weather, Over the Moon), born in Englewood, New Jersey (d. 2003)
  • Mar 1 Richard de Guide, composer
  • Mar 2 Hanoch Jacoby, composer
  • Mar 6 Dave Clark, music promoter/songwriter
  • Mar 8 Anthony Donato, composer
  • Mar 17 Lovie Lee [Edward Lee Watson], American electric blues pianist, singer, and songwriter, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (d. 1997)
  • Mar 18 Ljubica Marić, Serbian composer (Songs Of Space), born in Kragujevac, Serbia (d. 2003)
  • Mar 21 Uno "Miff" Görling, Swedish jazz trombonist, arranger, bandleader, and composer, bjorn in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1988)
  • Mar 22 Jack Popplewell, British composer and playwright (If I Should Fall In Love Again), born in Leeds, England (d. 1996)
  • Mar 25 Jay Blackton, American conductor and arranger (Guys & Dolls), born in NYC, New York
  • Mar 26 Chris[tiaan R] Reumer, Dutch opera singer
  • Mar 27 Ben Webster, American tenor saxophonist, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1973)
  • Mar 29 Aubrey "Moon" Mullican, American hillbilly pianist, songwriter, and singer ("Seven Nights To Rock"), born in Polk County, Texas (d. 1967)
  • Apr 1 Eddy Duchin, American jazz pianist and bandleader (Eddy Duchin Orchestra), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1951)
  • Apr 2 Jean Kurt Forest, German composer, born in Darmstadt, Germany (d. 1975)
  • Apr 8 George Dixon, American jazz trumpeter, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1994)
  • Apr 8 Olavi Pesonen, Finnish composer, born in Helsinki, Finland (d. 1993)
  • Apr 9 Ivan Ivonovich Dzerzhinsky, Russian composer, born in Tambov, Dzerzhinsky, Russian Empire (d. 1978)
  • Apr 9 Robert Helpmann, Australian actor, choreographer and dancer (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Don Quixote), born in Mount Gambier, South Australia (d. 1986)
  • Apr 22 Hymie Shertzer, American jazz and session saxophonist (Benny Goodman; NBC's Tonight Show), born in New York City (d. 1977)
  • Apr 25 Jaroslav Doubrava, Czech composer, born in Chrudim, Czech Republic (d. 1960)
  • May 1 George Melachrino, English composer, born in London (d. 1965)
  • May 9 Don Messer, Canadian country musician (d. 1973)

Person of interestMaybelle Carter

May 10 Maybelle Carter, American country singer (Johnny Cash Show), born in Nickelsville, Virginia (d. 1978)

Country Singer Maybelle Carter
Country Singer
Maybelle Carter
  • May 11 Herbert Murrill, composer
  • May 15 Rodolfo Cornejo, composer
  • May 19 Schlomo Joffe, composer
  • May 27 Isador Goodman, South African-Australian pianist and composer (New Guinea Fantasy), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1982)

Person of interestBenny Goodman

May 30 Benny Goodman, American clarinetist and bandleader (King of Swing), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1986)

Clarinetist and Bandleader Benny Goodman
Clarinetist and Bandleader
Benny Goodman
  • Jun 1 Szymon Goldberg, Polish/US violinist/conductor (Neth Chamber Orchestra)
  • Jun 2 Robin Orr, Scottish composer, born in Brechin (d. 2006)
  • Jun 4 Paul Nordoff, American composer (Frog Prince), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1977)
  • Jun 5 Alfred Uhl, Austrian composer, born in Vienna (d. 1992)
  • Jun 10 Erwin Dressel, German composer, born in Berlin (d. 1972)
  • Jun 12 Archie Bleyer, American orchestra leader (Arthur Godfrey), born in Queens, New York (d. 1989)
  • Jun 12 Mansel Treharne Thomas, Welsh composer, born in Tylorstown, Rhondda, Wales (d. 1986)
  • Jun 14 Burl Ives, American folk singer and actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), born in Hunt City, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • Jun 16 Willi Boskovsky, Austrian conductor (new years concert)
  • Jun 19 Edwin Gerschefski, American pianist, composer and teacher (Saugauck Suite), born in Meriden, Connecticut (d. 1992)
  • Jun 21 Kurt Schwaen, German composer, born in Katowice, Poland (d. 2007)
  • Jun 22 Katherine Dunham, American dancer, choreographer (Casbah, Stormy Weather), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2006)
  • Jun 24 Milton Katims, American conductor/violist (WOR-NYC), born in NYC, New York
  • Jun 28 Arnold Shaw, American writer on popular music and composer, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1989)
  • Jul 1 Vera Brodsky Lawrence, American concert pianist (CBS Symphony) and musicologist (Joplin; Gottschalk), born in Norfolk, Virginia (d. 1996)
  • Jul 4 Alec Templeton, Welsh pianist and composer (Concertino Lirico), born in Cardiff, Wales (d. 1963)
  • Jul 13 David Branson, composer
  • Jul 13 Paul Constantinescu, composer
  • Jul 13 Washington Castro, composer
  • Jul 16 Teddy [John Edward] Buckner, American trumpeter (Dixieland music), born in Sherman, Texas (d. 1994)
  • Jul 18 Harriet (Hilliard) Nelson [Peggy Lou Snyder], American singer and actress (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; Follow the Fleet), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • Jul 19 Jeno Vecsey, Hungarian composer, born in Cece (d. 1966)
  • Jul 22 Licia Albanese, Italian-American operatic soprano (NY Metropolitan Opera, 1940-66), born in Torre Pelosa (now Bari), Italy (d. 2014)
  • Jul 25 Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Italian composer and conductor, born in Bergamo, Italy (d. 1996)
  • Jul 29 Georgy Mushel, Uzbek pianist and composer, born in Tambov, Russia (d. 1989)
  • Aug 5 Ernestine "Tiny" Davis, American jazz vocalist and trumpeter (International Sweethearts of Rhythm), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1994)
  • Aug 10 Brian Easdale, composer
  • Aug 10 Claude Thornhill, composer
  • Aug 10 Leo Fender, inventor (Fender guitars including the Stratocaster), born in Anaheim California (d. 1991)
  • Aug 11 Gaston Gilbert Litaize, composer
  • Aug 14 Hezekiah "Stuff" Smith, American jazz violinist & composer (It's Wonderful), born in Portsmouth, Ohio (d. 1967)
  • Aug 16 Paul Smith Callaway, American organist, conductor and composer (Great Organ of Washington Cathedral), born in Atlanta, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • Aug 17 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (d. 1985)
  • Aug 21 John William Haussermann Jr., American composer, born in Manila, Philippines (d. 1986)
  • Aug 22 Sergius Kagen, American pianist and composer, born in Saint Petersburg, Russia (d. 1964)
  • Aug 25 Arwel Hughes, Welsh composer, born in Rhosllannerchrugog, Wales (d. 1988)
  • Aug 25 Ruby Keeler, Canadian actress, singer, and dancer (Dames, 42nd Street), born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (d. 1993)
  • Aug 27 Lester Young, American jazz saxophonist, born in Woodville, Mississippi (d. 1959)
  • Sep 4 Karel Horky, Czech composer, born in Stemechy (d. 1988)
  • Sep 7 Jo Juda, Dutch musician (1st concertmaster of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra), born in Amsterdam (d. 1985)
  • Sep 7 Natalia Dmitrevna Shpiller, Russian singer, born in Kiev (d. 1995)
  • Sep 15 Carlos Estrada, composer
  • Sep 27 Jean Berger [Arthur Schloßberg], German-born American composer, born in Hamm, Germany (d. 2002)
  • Oct 4 Noel Chiboust, French jazz trumpeter and saxophonist, born in Thorigny-sur-Marne, France (d. 1994)
  • Oct 7 Shura Cherkassky, pianist
  • Oct 14 Kalervo Tuukkanen, Finnish composer (Karhunpyynti (The Bear Hunt)) , born in Mikkeli, Finland (d. 1979)
  • Oct 17 (William Randolph) "Cozy" Cole, American jazz drummer ("Topsy I"; "Topsy II"), and educator, born in East Orange, New Jersey (d. 1981)
  • Oct 20 Monique Hare, French pianist
  • Oct 28 Ādolfs Skulte, Latvian composer, born in Kiev, Ukraine (d. 2000)
  • Nov 1 Bruno Bjelinski [Weiss], Croatian composer, born in Trieste, Italy (d. 1992)
  • Nov 6 Heinz Rottger, German composer, born in Herford, Germany (d. 1977)

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 15 Ernest Reyer, composer, dies at 85
  • Feb 3 Johann Georg Herzog, composer, dies at 86
  • Feb 8 Edouard Silas, Dutch composer, dies at 80
  • Feb 8 Mieczysław Karłowicz, Polish composer and conductor (Rebirth Symphony, Op. 7), dies in an avalanche while on a skiing excursion at 32
  • Mar 22 Gyula Erkel, Hungarian composer, son of Ferenc Erkel, dies at 66
  • Mar 25 Ruperto Chapi, Spanish composer, dies at 57
  • Mar 26 Nikolai Arkas, Ukrainian composer, dies at 56
  • Apr 3 Benjamin Johnson Lang, composer, dies at 71
  • Apr 12 Hermann Kotzschmar, German-American composer, dies at 79
  • May 18 Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist & composer (Suite española, Tango in D), dies from nephritis at 48
  • May 20 Ernest Hogan, blackface comedian and musician (b. 1859)
  • Jun 1 Giuseppe Martucci, composer, dies at 53
  • Jun 18 Learmont Drysdale, Scottish composer, dies at 42
  • Jul 5 Emil Bohn, composer, dies at 70
  • Jul 23 Zygmunt Noskowski, Polish composer, dies at 63
  • Aug 17 Richard Hoffman, English-American composer, dies at 78
  • Oct 6 Dudley Buck, American organist, composer, and music writer, dies at 70
  • Oct 14 Gottfred Matthison-Hansen, Danish composer, dies at 76
  • Oct 17 Nicola Spinelli, composer, dies at 44
  • Nov 8 Charles Bordes, composer, dies at 46
  • Nov 8 Eduard de Hartog, Dutch composer, dies at 80
  • Nov 10 Ludvig Schytte, Danish composer, dies at 61
  • Nov 16 Francis Thome, French composer, dies at 59
  • Dec 15 Francisco Tárrega, Spanish composer, dies at 57
  • Dec 20 Benjamin Ipavec, composer, dies at 79