Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Gioachino Rossini in 1865

Music History Monday: Rossini and the Soul of Wit

November 13th, 2017

149 years ago today, the opera composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini died in Paris at the age of 76. One of the most famous and respected artists of his time, he remains no less so today. It is my humble opinion that anyone who does not like Rossini’s music is a crank and a humbug, someone… 

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J.S. Bach

Music History Monday: J.S. Bach, Jailbird

November 6th, 2017

Exactly 300 years ago today – on November 6, 1717 – the great Johann Sebastian Bach was tossed into jail and spent nearly a month cooling his heels courtesy of his boss, Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar. You see, in 1717, a working-class artisan like Bach did not mouth off to the boss. And that… 

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Appalachian Spring Premiere with Martha Graham and Aaron Copland

Music History Monday: An American Classic

October 30th, 2017

On this day in 1944 – 73 years ago – Aaron Copland’s ballet Appalachian Spring was first performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company in Washington, DC. From that moment, it has been embraced as being “as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie!” Now there’s a familiar cliché: “as American as baseball, hot… 

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Jean-Marie Leclair

Music History Monday: Justice Denied

October 23rd, 2017

October 23 is one of those dates on which virtually nothing of interest has (yet) happened in the world of music. On such days, I typically turn to the day before or the after for my “Music History Monday” topic; and indeed, both October 22nd and 24th are rich in events about which I could… 

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Arnold Schoenberg

Music History Monday: Pierrot Lunaire

October 16th, 2017

There are certain first performances that we celebrate as being among the seminal events in music history. For example (and we would do well to memorize these dates!), the first performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s groundbreaking opera Orfeo occurred at Florence’s Pitti Palace on Friday, February 24, 1607. Handel’s Messiah was first performed on Tuesday, April… 

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Tōru Takemitsu

Music History Monday: Tōru Takemitsu

October 9th, 2017

Today we mark and celebrate the birth in Tokyo – 87 years ago yesterday on October 8, 1930 – of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century: Tōru Takemitsu. Some historical background called for, as no East Asian country adopted Western music more rapidly and at an earlier date than did Japan. After… 

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Sting, Rachel Tucker

Music History Monday: Spreading the Love

October 2nd, 2017

October 2 was a most interesting day in music history. Rather than choose just one person or event for discussion, we’re going to spread the love today and observe three people and one event for whom/which October 2 was a signal date. Max Bruch and One Hit Wonders On October 2, 1920, 97 years ago… 

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Glenn Gould in 1959 at the age of 27

Music History Monday: One of a Kind

September 25th, 2017

Today we celebrate the birth of the pianist Glenn Herbert Gold. (That is the name on his birth certificate. The family began using the name “Gould” informally, when Glenn was seven years old, but he never formally changed his name to “Gould.”) He was born 85 years ago today – on September 25, 1932 –… 

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Maestro Uzeyir Hajibeyov in 1945

Music History Monday: Uzeyir Hajibeyov

September 18th, 2017

Music of the Twentieth Century Mozart In Vienna Joining the crazy list of days dedicated to various objects, medical conditions, and foodstuffs (National Slinky Day; National Jock Itch Day; National Hostess Cupcake Day) are a number of days dedicated to music. For example, the International Music Day (IMD), which is celebrated on October 1, was… 

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Music History Monday: What a Way to Go

September 11th, 2017

9-11; a somber day for us all. A day for reflection, contemplation and yes, a day to grieve. Far more often than not, this post is about celebration: celebrating the life of a musician or some great (or small) event in music history. If we chose to, we could celebrate the lives and music of… 

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