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Friday, October 7, 2011

A few defining moments in music

Few moments in the history of music seem to engender the gravitas and weight of a major inflection point. By this I mean that these musical events take on a meaning that transcends the individual musical composition or the career of one individual. These performances become defining moments (of almost mythical proportion) in the arc of history that we all learn about, internalize, and assimilate. A few examples that come to my mind are:

•The première of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 1824 in Vienna.

•The riot that occurred when Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps was premièred by the Ballets Russes in 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

•When Leonard Bernstein - having recently been appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra - stepped in on short notice for an ailing Bruno Walter in 1943.

•When Van Cliburn achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at age 23 by winning the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.

•When Jimi Hendrix achieved fame in the United States following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

What are your defining moments in music?

1 comment:

  1. After this post I received a Chinese proverb in a fortune cookie that read..

    "Chance favors the prepared mind."

    It seems to apply to defining moments.