In Previous Composers of the Month

If you have been following us you now know that we devote a segment of our website each month to the recognition of the birthday of composers born in that particular month. May is month filled with birthdays of renowned composers beginning with Alessandro Scarlatti’s birthday on the 2nd and, while he composed primarily for the operatic stage, he was the father of Domenico Scarlatti who wrote 555 sonatas for the harpsichord, an instrument we know a bit about here at the Carolina Music Museum. We’ll save this prolific composer for his month, October, and turn the page to May 7, 1833, when Johannes Brahms made his appearance in Hamburg. One of the three B’s, Bach and Beethoven being the other two, Brahms wrote many beautiful works for the solo piano, a Steiner was his preferred instrument Tchaikovsky shares the same date with Brahms but was born seven years later on in 1840. Every holiday season The Nutcracker is on the radio, or television and ballet companies all over the world do their version of this magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Claudio Monteverdi, whom many consider to be the father of opera, was born in Cremona, Italy, May 15, 1567, and his opera L’Orfeo, the earliest of the genre, is still being performed. Carl Stamitz, born on May 8, 1745, in Mannheim, was the son of Johann Stamitz, founder of the Mannheim School, a group of composers who helped develop the mature classical style found in Haydn and Mozart. Carl, however was the most productive of the family writing a number of symphonies, concerti, trios and quartets. That rumbling above in the roiling darkening clouds signals the arrival of Wilhelm Richard Wagner in Leipzig on May 22, 1813. As Britannica wrote, he was a “German dramatic composer and theorist whose operas and music had a revolutionary influence on the course of Western music, either by extension of his discoveries or reaction against them.”

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Sergei Rachmaninoff