Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Anthem

Music History Monday: As American as tarte aux pommes! Celebrating the Fourth with some Real American Music! or Tampering with National Property

We mark the completion on July 4, 1941 – 81 years ago today – of Igor Stravinsky’s reharmonization and orchestration of The Star-Spangled Banner.   Stravinsky in America In September of 1939, Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) and his long-time mistress Vera de Bosset (1889-1982) arrived in the United States from their home in Paris.  The couple were married in Bedford, Massachusetts six months later, on March 9, 1940. Stravinsky had come to the United States to spend the 1939-1940 academic year at Harvard University, where he was to occupy the Charles Eliot Norton Chair of Poetry and deliver six lectures on music that were that year’s Charles Eliot Norton Lectures.   By the time the academic year ended in June of 1940, the Stravinskys, Igor and Vera, had no home to return to.  Nazi Germany had occupied Paris on June 14, and France surrendered to Germany 8 days later, on June 22, 1940.   The couple settled in Los Angeles in 1941 and bought a house at 1260 North Wetherly Drive, just above the Sunset Strip, in Hollywood. Stravinsky and Vera would live there for the next 29 years, until his final illness forced a move to New York City.  (For […]

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