On This Day

On This Day in Music for December 23

Events in Music

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1893 Opera "Hansel und Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette premieres in Weimar, conducted by Richard Strauss

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss
  • 1911 Opera "I Gioielli Della Madonna" is produced (Berlin)
  • 1915 J Kern/S Greene's musical "Very Good Eddie" premieres in NYC
  • 1943 1st telecast of a complete opera (Hansel & Gretel), Schenectady, NY

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948 "Cinderella" the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev is first presented by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden, London

Choreographer Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
  • 1958 Musical Revue "Party with Comden & Green" opens at John Golden NYC for 38 performances
  • 1974 "Good News" opens at St James Theater NYC for 16 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Premier of Dmitri Shostakovich' Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti song cycle in Leningrad

  • 1990 Comedy "Lettice & Lovage" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 284 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • 1582 Severo Bonini, Italian composer and monk, born in Florence (d. 1663)
  • 1644 Tomas de Torrejon y Velasco, Spanish composer, born in Villarrobledo, Spain (d. 1728)
  • 1689 Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French Baroque composer, one of the 1st to work without patrons, born in Thionville, France (d. 1755)
  • 1699 Joseph Gibbs, English composer and organist, born in Colchester (d. 1788)
  • 1709 Jean-Noel Hamal, Belgian composer, born in Liège, Belgium (d. 1778)
  • 1714 Johann Siebenkas, German composer, born in Nuremberg (d. 1781)
  • 1716 Johann Heinrich Rolle, German composer, born in Quedlinburg (d. 1785)
  • 1749 Johann Lukas Schubaur, German composer, baptized in Lechfeld (d. 1815)
  • 1763 John Davy, English composer, born at Creedy Bridge, Devon (d. 1824)
  • 1800 Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti, Italian classical guitarist and composer, born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1878)
  • 1812 William Hauser, American composer and minister, born in Bethania, North Carolina (d. 1880)
  • 1823 Alexandru Flechtenmacher, Romanian composer, born in Iaşi, Romania (d. 1898)
  • 1828 Mathilde Wesendonk, German writer and poet (Tagebuchblatter) whom composer Richard Wagner was infatuated with, born in Elberfeld (d. 1902)
  • 1830 Adam Minchejmer, Polish composer and conductor, born in Warsaw (d. 1904)
  • 1855 Alan Gray, British composer (Trinity College), born in York (d. 1935)
  • 1896 Alberto Hemsi, Turkish composer (Sephardic Melodies), born in Turgutlu, Ottoman Empire (d. 1975)
  • 1905 Árni Björnsson, Icelandic composer, born in Lóni, Iceland (d. 1995)
  • 1906 Ross Lee Finney, American composer (Landscapes Remembered), born in Wells, Minnesota (d. 1997)
  • 1913 Hans Henkemans, Dutch composer and teacher, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1995)
  • 1913 Leo Ketelaars, Dutch violinist and baritone oratorio vocalist, born in Maasniel, Netherlands (d. 1992)
  • 1914 Dezider Kardos, Slovak composer, born in Nadlice, Slovakia (d. 1991)
  • 1918 Jose Greco, Italian-American flamenco dancer (Holiday for Lovers) (d. 2000), born in Montorio nei Frentani, Italy
  • 1923 Milt Okun, American music producer, conductor, and arranger (John Denver; Peter, Paul and Mary), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2016)
  • 1923 Günther Schifter, Austrian music journalist and radio host, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2008)
  • 1926 Raymond Daveluy, Canadian organist (St. Joseph's Montreal, 1960-2002), composer and educator, born in Victoriaville, Quebec (d. 2016)
  • 1926 Ron Gowans, Australian jazz saxophonist, born in Sydney (d. 2009)
  • 1927 Joseph Castaldo, American composer, born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)
  • 1927 Pinocchio James, American jazz singer (Lionel Hampton Revue), born in Macon, Georgia
  • 1928 Chronis Aidonidis, Greek singer, born in Karoti, Greece
  • 1928 Buddy Harman, American drummer (Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2008)
  • 1929 Chet Baker, American jazz trumpet player, born in Yale, Oklahoma (d. 1988)
  • 1934 Claudio Scimone, Italian conductor (I Solisti Veneti), born in Padua (d. 2018)
  • 1935 Esther Phillips [Jones], American R&B singer ("What A Diff'rence A Day Makes"), born in Galveston, Texas (d. 1984)
  • 1936 Claude Albert Coppens, Belgian pianist, born in Schaerbeek, Belgium
  • 1939 Johnny Kidd [Frederick Heath], British rock singer-songwriter (Johnny Kidd & Pirates - "Shakin' All Over"), born in London, England (d. 1966)
  • 1940 Eugene Record, American musician (Chi Lites-Give it Away), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • 1940 Jorma Kaukonen, American rock guitarist (Jefferson Airplane; Hot Tuna), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1941 Tim Hardin, American singer ("If I Were a Carpenter"; "Black Sheep Boy"; "Reason to Believe"), born in Eugene, Oregon (d. 1980)
  • 1942 Friedrich Schenker, composer, born in Zeulenroda, Germany (d. 2013)
  • 1943 Derek Small, British heavy metal bassist (Spinal Tap), born in Nilford-on-Null, West Midlands
  • 1943 Ross Edwards, Australian composer (Dawn Mantras), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1945 Georges Aperghis, Greek composer, born in Athens, Greece
  • 1945 Ron Bushy, American rock drummer (Iron Butterfly), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1946 Edita Gruberova, Slovak operatic soprano, born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 1949 Luther Grosvenor, English rock musician (Spooky Tooth), born in Evesham, United Kingdom
  • 1949 [Steven] Adrian Belew, American new wave and progressive rock singer and guitarist (Frank Zappa; David Bowie; King Crimson, 1981-2009; The Bears), born in Covington, Kentucky
  • 1951 Johnny Contardo, American doo-wop singer (Sha Na Na), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1951 Anthony Phillips, English musician (founding member of Genesis), born in London, England
  • 1951 Doug Stegmeyer, American rock bassist (Billy Joel Band, 1976-87), born in Flushing, Queens, New York (d. 1995)
  • 1952 Hans Abrahamsen, Danish classical music composer (Left, Alone), born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
  • 1956 Dave Murray, English heavy metal guitarist and songwriter (Iron Maiden), born in London, England
  • 1957 Dan Bigras, Canadian rock singer, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1958 Victoria Williams, American folk-rock-country singer (Loose), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • 1960 William Sinnot, Scottish techno-dance pop singer and musician (Shamen - "Move Any Mountain"), born in Glasgow (d. 1990)
  • 1962 Sonny Emory, American session and touring drummer (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1987-99), and music professor, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1964 Eddie Vedder, American rock singer (Pearl Jam - Ten; "Jeremy"), born in Evanston, Illinois
  • 1967 Carla Bruni, Italian-French model and singer-songwriter, born in Turin, Italy
  • 1968 Quincy Jones III, Swedish-American musician, born in Wimbledon, London
  • 1971 Masayoshi Yamazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter, born in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
  • 1975 Yasmin Levy, Israeli Ladino singer, born in Baka, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1977 Jari Mäenpää, Finnish heavy metal guitarist and singer (Wintersun), born in Finland
  • 1978 Esthero [Jenny-Bea Englishman] Canadian dance-rock musician and singer, born in Stratford, Ontario
  • 1981 Beth [Elisabeth Rodergas Cols], Spanish singer and actress, born in Súria, Catalonia
  • 1985 Harry Judd, British drummer (McFly), born in Chelmsford, United Kingdom
  • 1988 Eri Kamei, Japanese J-pop singer (Morning Musume), born in Arakawa, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1990 Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, American actress, model, and singer, born in San Francisco, California
  • 2002 Finn Wolfhard, Canadian actor & musician (Stranger Things, IT), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1979 Stevie Ray Vaughan (25) weds Lenora "Lenny" Bailey (div. 1988)

Musician, Singer and Songwriter Stevie Ray Vaughan
Musician, Singer and Songwriter
Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • 2005 Soccer star player Kaka (23) weds Brazilian singer Caroline Celico (18) at Igreja Renascer em Cristo in Sao Paulo, Brazil

LoveWedding of Interest

2005 "Jurassic Park" actress Laura Dern (38) weds musician Ben Harper (36) in Los Angeles

Actress Laura Dern
Laura Dern

LoveWedding of Interest

2007 "Dr. Izzie Stevens" actress Katherine Heigl (29) weds singer-songwriter Josh Kelley (27) at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah

  • 2015 Musician Richard Marx (53) weds TV host and model Daisy Fuentes (50) in Aspen, Colorado

Deaths in Music

  • 1688 Jean-Louis Lully, French composer and son of Jean-Baptiste Lully, dies at 21
  • 1696 Johann David Mayer, German composer, dies at 60
  • 1793 Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer (Antonio e Cleopatra), dies at 74
  • 1812 Michel-Richard Delalande, French composer, dies at 73
  • 1891 Holger Simon Paulli, Danish conductor and composer, dies at 81
  • 1908 Eduard Wachmann, Romanian composer, dies at 72
  • 1908 Francois A. Gevaert, Belgium Dutch composer (Diable au Moulin), dies at 68
  • 1911 Karl Hoschna, Bohemian born Tin Pan Alley-era composer (Every Little Movement), dies at 34
  • 1950 Vincenzo Tommasini, Italian composer (Le donne de buon umore), dies at 72
  • 1951 Alfrēds Kalniņš, Latvian composer, dies at 72
  • 1964 Arrigo Pedrollo, Italian composer, dies at 86
  • 1967 Richard Flury, Swiss composer, dies at 71
  • 1970 Mimi Benzell, American operatic soprano (Gilda-Rigoletto), dies at 52
  • 1971 Carlo Jachino, Italian composer, dies at 84
  • 1982 Norman Dinerstein, American composer, dies of a heart attack at 45
  • 1985 James Vance (20) and Raymond Belknap (18) attempt suicide (Belknap dies). Their families later sue rock group Judas Priest for subliminal messages in song "Better By You, Better Than Me".
  • 1989 Josef Alexander, composer, dies at 82
  • 1992 Eddie Hazel, American pop guitarist (Funkadelic-Knee Deep), dies at 42
  • 1994 Charles Shirley, jazz arranger, dies at 74
  • 1996 Rina Ketty [Cesarina Picchetto], Italian singer (J'attendrai), dies at 85
  • 1996 Ronnie Scott [Schatt], British jazz saxophonist and club-owner, dies at 69
  • 1996 Krešimir Fribec, Croatian composer, dies at 88
  • 1999 Marcel Landowski, French composer (Un enfant appelle), dies at 84

Person of interestVictor Borge

2000 Victor Borge [Borge Rosenbaum], Danish-American comedian and pianist, dies at 91

Comedian and Pianist Victor Borge
Comedian and Pianist
Victor Borge
  • 2000 Noor Jehan [Allah Rakhi Wasai], Pakistani singer and actress (Mela, Chann Way), dies at 74
  • 2006 Timothy J. Tobias, American composer and musician, dies at 54

Person of interestOscar Peterson

2007 Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist and composer, dies of kidney failure at 82

Jazz Musician Oscar Peterson
Jazz Musician
Oscar Peterson
  • 2013 Yusef Lateef, American jazz saxophonist and flautist, dies at 93
  • 2013 Ricky Lawson, American musician, dies at 59
  • 2014 Jerzy Semkow, Polish-French conductor and educator, dies at 86
  • 2016 Heinrich Schiff, Austrian cellist and conductor, dies at 65
  • 2018 Honey Lantree, English rocker (The Honeycombs), dies at 75
  • 2020 Leslie West [Weinstein], American rock guitarist (Mountain - "Mississippi Queen"; "Theme for an Imaginary Western"), dies of cardiac arrest at 75 [1]