August 18 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1750 - Antonio Salieri, Italian opera composer, accused of trying to poison his rival, the younger Wolfgang A. Mozart, but likely untrue. Pushkin wrote a drama based on this rumour, which composer Rimsky-Korsakov set to music. (And there's the famous Peter Shaffer's film, Amadeus, winner of eight 1984 Academy Awards.) Listen to Salieri's Requiem - here.

1904 - Max Factor, Jr.,  Cosmetics Entrepreneur

1933 - Roman Polanski, Film Director

1936 - Robert Redford, Actor and Director

1952 - Patrick Swayze, Actor

1969 - Christian Slater, Actor

Actor and director Robert Redford
Christian Slater, actor

Historical Events

1887 - A "manifesto" in which five young novelists fiercely critique Emile Zola's novel La Terre is published in Le Figaro.

1946 - John Henry Antill's suite from the ballet Corroboree is given its premiere by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sir Eugene Goossens conducting.

August 17 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1878 - Oliver St. John Gogarty, Poet, Author and Physician

1879 - Samuel Goldwyn, also known as Samuel Goldfish, (birth sometimes given as c. July, 1879), Polish-American Film Producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood. His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958.

1893 - Mae West, Actress

1920 - Maureen O'Hara - Actress

1930 - Ted Hughes, Poet

1943 - Robert De Niro, Actor

1958 - Belinda Carlisle, Singer

1960 - Sean Penn, Actor

1963 - James Whitbourn, British Composer and Conductor, whose "Son of God Mass" has had many performances worldwide. In 2005, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, under Leonard Slatkin, premiered Annelies, his largest choral work, a setting of the Diary of Anne Frank, Cadogan Hall in London to wide acclaim. The work was later re-scored in an alternative chamber version which was premiered in The Netherlands on Anne Frank's 80th birthday by the British violinist Daniel Hope and the American soprano Arianna Zukerman. (Source: Wiki) Listen to this moving work by Whitbourn, Annelies, Kyrie -- Sinfonia. (YouTube, uploaded by violinist Daniel Kurganov. Various artists. Accessed August 17, 2018.) This first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank takes the teenager's remarkable and penetrating observations, written whilst hiding in an Amsterdam attic, as the basis of this libretto. Whitbourn's music for this work has been described as 'woundingly beautiful' by the The Daily Telegraph.

1970 - Jim Courier, Tennis

None known

Historical Events

1876 - Richard Wagner's opera Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) is first performed as part of the first complete performance of the Ring, at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, in Bayreuth, Germany. Götterdämmerung is the last in Wagner's cycle of four music dramas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or The Ring for short).

1896 - Mrs. Bridget Driscoll (44 years old), becomes Britain's first pedestrian to be killed by a car. She froze in shock and suffered a fatal head injury as she fell.

August 16 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1888 - Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence (nicknamed Lawrence of Arabia), archaeologist, diplomat, linguist, writer, soldier, pilot and adviser to young Winston Churchill. At the age of 46, he dies in a motorcycle accident and buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.

1901 - Olav Kielland, Norwegian Conductor and Composer

1923 - Shimon Peres, Former Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

1928 - Ann Blyth, Actress and Singer (Some of her famous films include musicals:  Kismet, "Stranger in Paradise" and "And This is My Beloved", based on music by Alexander Borodin and Student Prince, "Come Boys, Let's All Be Gay, Boys" music by Sigmund Romberg.)

1929 - Bill Evans, American Jazz Pianist and Composer

1940 - Bruce Beresford, Film Director

1954 - James Cameron, Film Director

1958 - Madonna, Singer

1960 - Timothy Hutton, Actor

Film director James Cameron

Historical Events

1868 - An earthquake of density 8.5 occurs off the coast of Arica, Peru, creating a tsunami that kills up to 70,000 South Americans.

1876 - Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried is first staged  at Bayreuth, Germany. Hans Richter conducting.  

August 15 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1771 - Sir Walter Scott, Scottish Poet and Novelist  (A brief profile, YouTube, uploaded from World Thought Leaders / Top Influencers. Accessed 15 August 2018.) Here is one of Sir Walter Scott's famous works: The Lady of the Lake, YoutTube, uploaded by Eric Masters. Accessed 15 August 2018.)

1772 - Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, German inventor of metronome and other music automatons.

1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor

1785 - Thomas De Quincey, English essayist, best known for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.  

1875 - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, English Composer

1890 - Jacques Ibert, French Composer and former Director of the Academy of Rome

1912 - Dame Wendy Hiller, English Film and Stage Actress, with varied acting career that spanned nearly sixty years. She acted as Russian Princess Dragomiroff  in Murder on the Orient Express film (1974), the version with Albert Finney as the Hercule Poirot. The movie is based on Agatha Christie's famous detective novel 1934 of the same name.   

1925 - Aldo Ciccolini, Italian-French Pianist. He was a celebrated interpreter and advocate of the piano music of the French composers Camille Saint-Saëns, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Erik Satie. He was also known for playing the music of the Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla, as well as of Franz Liszt. (Aldo Ciccolini - 1960 TV Footage. Uploaded by Classical Piano Rarities. Accessed August 15, 2019. pieces he played: Impromptu in A flat major by Schubert 5:57; Scherzo-Valse by Chabrier 12:33, Funerailles by Liszt 16:52, and Le Danse d'Olaf by Pick-Mangiagalli 27:24, Cadiz by Albeniz 30:30)

1950 - Anne, Princess Royal, KG, KT, GCVO, GCStJ, QSO, CD is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her mother – then Princess Elizabeth – and elder brother, Charles.

1972 - Ben Affleck, Actor

None known

Featured Composer:   Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (August 15, 1875 - September 1, 1912), was an English composer and conductor who was mixed-race, with an English mother, and father, a Sierra Leone Creole physician. He achieved such success that he was referred to by white New York musicians as the "African Mahler" the time when he had three tours of the United States in the early 1900s. He was best known for his three cantatas based on the epic poem, "Song of Hiawatha" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Coleridge-Taylor premiered the first section in 1898, at the age of 22.  He married an Englishwoman, Jessie Walmisley, and both their children had musical careers. Their son Hiawatha adapted his father's music for a variety of performances, and their daughter Avril Coleridge-Taylor also became a composer-conductor. (Further suggested listening: A Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Tribute. A short tribute to the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) with contributions from his daughter, Avril Coleridge-Taylor (recorded in 1974), and excerpts from Hiawatha's Wedding-Feast, The Death of Minnehaha and the Violin Concerto, Op.80.) 

Historical Events

1843 - Tivoli Gardens opens in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.

1877 - The first sound recording is made when Thomas Edison says, "Mary had a little lamb" into his phonograph.