On This Day

On This Day in Music for December 26

Events in Music

  • 1830 Gaetano Donizetti's opera "Anna Bolena" premieres in Milan
  • 1831 Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma" premieres in Milan
  • 1871 Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1879 Johannes Brahms' "Tragic Ouverture" premieres

Composer and Conductor Johannes Brahms
Composer and Conductor
Johannes Brahms
  • 1892 Opera "Cristoforo Colombo" is produced (La Scala)

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1931 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical play "Of Thee I Sing" by George and Ira Gershwin premieres on Broadway, New York City

Composer and Pianist George Gershwin
Composer and Pianist
George Gershwin
  • 1936 Israel's Philarmonic Orchestra forms
  • 1946 "Beggar's Holiday" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 111 performances
  • 1946 "Toplitzky of Notre Dame" opens at Century Theater NYC for 60 performances
  • 1947 "Cradle Will Ruck" opens at Mansfield Theater NYC for 34 performances
  • 1957 Roger Sessions' 3rd Symphony premieres in London

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1960 Musical "Do re mi" with Phil Silvers premieres St James Theater in NYC

Comedian and Actor Phil Silvers
Comedian and Actor
Phil Silvers

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1962 Dmitri Shostakovich's opera "Katerina Ismailova" premieres in Moscow

  • 1963 "Double Dublin" opens at Little Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • 1963 The Beatles release "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" in the US
  • 1964 Beatles' "I Feel Fine" single goes #1 & stays #1 for 3 weeks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 Paul McCartney is interviewed on pirate radio station Radio Caroline

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Jimi Hendrix writes "Purple Haze" backstage at the Upper Cut Club, London

Rock Guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Rock Guitarist
Jimi Hendrix
  • 1968 Led Zeppelin's concert debut in Denver as opener for Vanilla Fudge
  • 1976 "Music Is" closes at St James Theater NYC after 8 performances
  • 1987 "Les Miserables" opens at National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik
  • 1988 "Legs Diamond" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 64 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • 1762 Franz Wilhelm Tausch, German clarinetist, composer, and teacher, born in Hiedelberg, Germany (d. 1817)
  • 1793 Franz Hünten, German pianist and composer, born in Koblenz, Germany (d. 1819)
  • 1797 Hans Skramstad, Norwegian pianist and composer, born in Toten (d. 1839)
  • 1805 Joseph Léon Gatayes, French harpist and composer, born in Paris (d. 1877)
  • 1808 Albert Grisar, Belgian composer, born in Antwerp (d. 1869)
  • 1812 Wilhelm Volkmar, German composer, born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany (d. 1887)
  • 1826 Franz Coenen, composer
  • 1855 Arnold Mendelssohn, German composer, born in Ratibor, Province of Silesia (d. 1933)
  • 1869 Harry Redman, American composer, writer, and artist, born in Illinois (d. 1958)
  • 1873 Hubert Cuypers, Dutch organist, composer, and choir conductor (Minstrels), born in Baexem, Netherlands (d. 1960)
  • 1873 Karel Moor, Czech composer and conductor, born in Belgrade (d. 1945)
  • 1879 Armen Tigran Tigranyan, Armenian music composer and conductor, born in Alexandropol, Armenia (d. 1950)
  • 1879 Julius Weismann, German pianist, conductor, and composer (Schwanenweiß), born in Freiburg im Breisgau (d. 1950)
  • 1893 Evgeny Karlovich Tikotsky, Polish/Belorussian composer, born in St. Petersburg (d. 1970)
  • 1893 Yury Nikolayevich Tyulin, Russian composer and music theorist, born in Reval, Russian Empire (d. 1976)
  • 1894 Antonio Molina, Filipino composer, conductor and music administrator (Ana Maria, Hatinggabi), born in Quiapo, Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines (d. 1980)
  • 1901 Victor Hely-Hutchinson, British composer (Carol Symphony), born in Cape Town, Cape Colony (d. 1947)
  • 1910 Imperio Argentina, Argentine actress and singer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 2003)
  • 1915 Una Mae Carlisle, US jazz pianist and singer ("Walkin' By The River"), born in Xenia, Ohio; (d. 1956)
  • 1916 Helmut Eder, Austrian composer, born in Linz (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Gote Carlid, Swedish composer, born in Hogbo near Sandviken (d. 1953)

Person of interestSteve Allen

1921 Steve Allen, American comedian, composer, writer and TV host (Tonight Show, Steve Allen Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)

TV Personality, Comedian and Composer Steve Allen
TV Personality, Comedian and Composer
Steve Allen
  • 1926 Earle Brown, American composer (open form), born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts (d. 2002)
  • 1926 Zlatko Pibernik, Croatian composer and music teacher, born in Zagreb, Croatia (d. 2010)
  • 1929 Régine, French singer and nightclub owner
  • 1930 Jean Ferrat, French singer-songwriter, born in Vaucresson, France (d. 2010)
  • 1931 Thomas Eden Binkley, American lutenist and early music scholar, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1995)
  • 1935 Abdul "Duke" Fakir, American rock vocalist (Four Tops), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1935 Noel Kelehan, Irish pianist, conductor (RTÉ Concert Orchestra), and arranger (Eurovision; U2), born in Dublin (d. 2012)

Person of interestPhil Spector

1939 (Harvey) Phil Spector, American record producer (Wall of Sound), and convicted murderer, born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2021)

Music Producer Phil Spector
Music Producer
Phil Spector
  • 1942 Earl Cate, American country singer and piano player (Cate Bros - Fire on the Tracks),born in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • 1942 Ernie Cate, American country singer and guitarist (Cate Bros - Fire on the Tracks), born in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • 1942 Rob de Nijs, Dutch pop singer (Put A Candle In Your Window), born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1949 Ira Newborn, American orchestra leader (Manhattan Transfer), born in NYC, New York
  • 1949 George Winston, American pop-instrumental pianist and composer (Autumn; December; Winter Into Spring), born in Hart, Michigan
  • 1950 Michael Jones, rocker (BT Express-Here Comes the Express)
  • 1952 Andre-Michel Schub, French pianist (Van Cliburn-1981), born in Paris, France
  • 1953 Henning Schmitz, German recording engineer & keyboardist (Kraftwerk, 1991-present), born in Wuppertal, Germany
  • 1954 Peter Woods, American rock guitarist (Romeo Void - '"A Girl in Trouble")
  • 1954 Palmolive [Paloma Romero McLardy] Spanish-British punk rock drummer and songwriter (The Slits, The Raincoats), born in Melilla, Spain
  • 1957 Guy Barker, British jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger (The Amadeus Project) born in Chiswick, London, England
  • 1962 James Kottak, American rock drummer (Scorpians, 1996-2016), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1963 Lars Ulrich, Danish heavy metal drummer (Metallica - ....And Justice for All), born in Gentoffe, Denmark
  • 1970 James Mercer, American rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist (The Shins - Wincing The Night Away), born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1970 Krissada Terrence, Thai-American pop singer & actor, born in Thailand
  • 1979 Chris Daughtry, American rock singer, born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
  • 1979 Mzbel [Nana Akua Amoah], Ghanaian singer (16 Years, Saucy Girl), born in Accra, Ghana
  • 1985 Yuu Shirota, Japanese-Spanish actor & singer, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1987 Adam Walker, British flautist, born in Redingham, Nottinghamshire
  • 1987 Carolina Eyck, German-Sorbian Theremin player and composer (Elegies for Theremin & Voice), born in Berlin, Germany

Weddings in Music

LoveWedding of Interest

1941 Jazz musician Ella Fitzgerald (24) weds convicted drug dealer Benny Kornegay; annulled 1943

Jazz Musician Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz Musician
Ella Fitzgerald

Deaths in Music

  • 1736 Antonio Caldara, composer, dies
  • 1827 Jan David Holland, composer, dies at 81
  • 1836 Hans Georg Nägeli, Swiss composer, dies at 63
  • 1887 Jules Francois Blasini, Curacaos pianist/composer, dies at 40
  • 1916 Bernhard Scholz, composer, dies at 81
  • 1918 Bertram Luard-Selby, British organist and composer, dies at 65
  • 1937 Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet, dies of tuberculosis at 47
  • 1950 Emile Enthoven, Dutch composer and lawyer, dies at 47
  • 1957 Artur Malawski, Polish composer, dies at 53
  • 1958 Harry Redman, American composer, writer, and artist, dies on 89th birthday
  • 1966 Noel Gallon, French composer, dies at 75
  • 1974 Robert Levine Sanders, American composer, dies at 68
  • 1974 Farid al-Atrash [El-Atrache], Syrian composer, musician, virtuoso oud player, and actor (Akher kedba), dies of heart disease at 59
  • 1974 Knudåge Riisager, Danish composer (director of the Royal Danish Academy of Music 1956-67), dies at 77
  • 1977 Ivan Rezak, Czech composer, dies at 53
  • 1988 Pablo Sorozábal, Spanish composer, dies at 91
  • 1989 Lennox R. F. Berkeley, British composer and pedagogue (Castaway), dies at 86
  • 1992 Nikita Magaloff, Russian/Swiss pianist, dies at 80
  • 1999 Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and soul musician (Freddie's Dead, Superfly), dies from complications of type 2 diabetes at 57
  • 2000 Paul Kont, Austrian composer, dies at 80
  • 2004 Sigurd Køhn, Norwegian jazz musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1959)
  • 2004 Aki Sirkesalo, Finnish musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1962)
  • 2004 Mieszko Talarczyk, Lead singer/Guitarist of grindcore band, Nasum, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1974)
  • 2005 Muriel Costa-Greenspon, American mezzo-soprano (b. 1937)
  • 2006 Enrique Antonio "Tony" Silvester, Panamanian-American R&B singer-songwriter (The Main Ingredient - "Everybody Plays the Fool"), dies at 65
  • 2007 Joe Dolan, Irish singer and entertainer (b. 1943)
  • 2009 Felix Wurman, American cellist and composer, dies of Cancer at 51
  • 2010 Teena Marie, American singer and composer (b. 1956)
  • 2011 Sam Rivers, American jazz musician (exponent of free jazz), dies of pneumonia at 88
  • 2012 Fontella Bass, American R&B and soul singer and songwriter (Rescue Me), dies from a heart attack at 72
  • 2016 George S. Irving [Shelasky], American broadway singer and actor (Dumplings), dies at 94
  • 2018 Sono Osato, American Japanese ballet dancer and actress, dies at 99
  • 2018 Theodore Antoniou, Greek conductor and composer (Paean, Celebration), dies at 83