William Billings is regarded as the first American choral composer. William Billings was born in Massachusetts. At the age of 14, the death of his father stopped Billings' formal schooling. In order to help support his family, young Billings trained as a tanner, he received musical instruction from John Barry, one of the choir members at the New South Church, but for the most part he was self-taught. Billings had a strong addiction to snuff, his contemporary wrote that Billings "was a singular man, of moderate size, short of one leg, with one eye, without any address & with an uncommon negligence of person. Still, he spake & sung & thought as a man above the common abilities." Billings died in poverty in Boston on September 1800, leaving behind a widow and six children. His funeral was announced in the Columbian Centinel: "Died- Mr. William Billings, the celebrated music composer, his funeral will be tomorrow at 4 o'clock, PM from the house of Mrs. Amos Penniman, in Chamber-street, West-Boston."
All of Billings' music was written for four-part chorus, singing a cappella. His many hymns and anthems were published in book-length collections, as follows: The New-England Psalm-Singer The Singing Master's Assistant Music in Miniature The Psalm-Singer's Amusement The Suffolk Harmony The Continental Harmony Sometimes Billings would revise and improve a song, including the new version in his next volume. Billings' music can be at times forceful and stirring, as in his patriotic song "Chester". "Jargon," from Singing Master's Assistant, shows his wit. Written as an answer to a criticism of his use of harmony, "Jargon" contains a tongue-in-cheek text, jarring dissonances that sound more like those of the 20th century than of the 18th, he wrote several Christmas carols, including "Judea" in 1778 and "Shiloh" in 1781. Most of the texts that Billings used in his works come from the poetry of Isaac Watts. Other texts were drawn from Universalist poets and local poets, whereas Billings himself wrote the text to about a dozen of his compositions.
As an example, McKay and Crawford compare Billings' metrical rendering of Luke 2:8–11 with that of Nahum Tate, thought to be the inspiration for Billings' work: Tate: Billings: Billings wrote long prefaces to his works in which he explained the rudiments of music and how his work should be performed. His writings reflect his extensive experience as a singing master, they provide information on choral performance practice in Billings's day. Such a conjunction of masculine and feminine voices is beyond expression and ravishing, is esteemed by all good judges to be vastly preferable to any instrument whatever, framed by human invention. Billings was involved in teaching singing schools throughout his life. In 1769, when Billings was twenty-three years old, the following announcement appeared in the Boston Gazette: "John Barrey & William Billings Begs Leave to inform the Publick, that they propose to open a Singing School THIS NIGHT... where any Person inclining to learn to Sing may be attended upon at said School with Fidelity and Dispatch."
He taught a singing school in Stoughton, Massachusetts in 1774 and all the pupils names were listed He was listed as "singing master" in the Boston city directory up until 1798. In the preface to the Singing Master's Assistant, Billings included advice for the practical running of a singing school, including topics such as logistics, expectations for manners and attentiveness in students, the need for the supremacy of the teacher's musical decisions. Billings' work was popular in its heyday, but his career was hampered by the primitive state of copyright law in America at the time. By the time the copyright laws had been strengthened, it was too late for Billings: the favorites among his tunes had been reprinted in other people's hymnals, permanently copyright-free. With changes in the public's musical taste, Billings' fortunes declined, his last tune-book, The Continental Harmony, was published as a project of his friends, in an effort to help support the revered but no longer popular composer.
His temporary employment as a Boston street sweeper was a project of a similar nature. Billings died in poverty at age 53, for a considerable time after his death, his music was completely neglected in the American musical mainstream. However, his compositions remained popular for a time in the rural areas of New England, which resisted the newer trends in sacred music. Moreover, a few of Billings' songs were carried southward and westward through America, as a result of their appearance in shape note hymnals, they resided in the rural South, as part of the Sacred Harp singing tradition. In the latter part of the twentieth century a Billings revival occurred, a sumptuous complete scholarly edition of his works was published. Works by Billings are sung by American choral groups today performers of early music. In addition, the recent spread of Sacred Harp music has acquainted many more people with Billings'
John Charles Daly
John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly known as John Charles Daly or John Daly, was an American radio and television personality, CBS News broadcast journalist, ABC News executive and TV anchor and a game show host, best known as the host and moderator of the CBS television panel show What's My Line? In World War II, he was the first national correspondent to report the attack on Pearl Harbor, the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as covering much of the front-line news from Europe and North Africa; the second of two brothers, Daly was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where his American father worked as a geologist. While in Johannesburg, Daly attended Marist Brothers College. After his father died of a tropical fever, Daly's mother moved the family to Massachusetts, he attended the Tilton School and served on its board of directors for many years and contributed to the construction or restoration of many buildings on campus. He did his post-secondary education at a junior college and finished his studies graduating from Boston College.
Daly worked for a time in a wool factory and for a transit company in Washington before becoming a reporter for NBC Radio and CBS. Daly began his broadcasting career as a reporter for NBC Radio, for WJSV, the local CBS Radio Network affiliate in Washington, D. C. serving as CBS' White House correspondent. He appears on the famous "One Day in Radio" tapes of September 21, 1939, in which WJSV preserved its entire broadcast day for posterity. Through covering the Roosevelt White House, Daly became known to the national CBS audience as the network announcer for many of the President's speeches. In late 1941, Daly transferred to New York City. During World War II, he covered the news from London as well as the North African and Italian fronts. Daly was a war correspondent in 1943 in Italy during Gen. George S. Patton's infamous "slapping incidents". After the war, he was a lead reporter on CBS Radio's news/entertainment program CBS Is There, which recreated the great events of history as if CBS correspondents were on the scene.
As a reporter for the CBS radio network, Daly was the voice of two historic announcements. He was the first national correspondent to deliver the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941, he was the first to relay the wire service report of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, interrupting the program Wilderness Road to deliver the news. Transcriptions of those bulletins have been preserved on historical record album retrospectives and radio and television documentaries. Among the first were the Columbia Records spoken word series I Can Hear It Now and the CBS Television series, The Twentieth Century. In July, 1959, along with the Associated Press writer John Scali, he reported from Moscow on the famous Kitchen Debate between USSR General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and U. S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon in 1959. Daly's first foray into television was; this led to a job in 1950 as the host and moderator on a new panel show produced by Goodson–Todman, What's My Line?
The show lasted 17 years with Daly hosting all but four episodes of the weekly series. In 1954–55, in addition to his duties with What's My Line?, Daly hosted the final year of the NBC Television game show Who Said That?, in which celebrities tried to determine the speaker of quotations taken from recent news reports. On What's My Line?, each panelist introduced the next in line at the start of the show. Upon Fred Allen's death in 1956, Random House book publisher co-founder and humorist Bennett Cerf became the anchor panelist who would but not always, introduce Daly. Cerf prefaced his introduction with a pun or joke that over time became a pun or joke at Daly's expense. Daly would often fire back his own retort. Cerf and Daly enjoyed a friendly feud from across the stage for the remainder of the history of the program; the mystery guest on the final CBS program was Daly himself. Daly had received many letters over the years asking him to fill that role. According to producer Gil Fates, Daly was resistant to changes that would have appealed to a younger audience but might have diminished the show's dignity.
For example, Daly referred to the panelists formally, e.g. as "Mr. Cerf." The producers, Fates said, were unable to challenge Daly for fear of losing him as the show's moderator. The series spawned a brief radio version in 1952, hosted by Daly; the series inspired a multitude of concurrent international versions and a syndicated U. S. revival in 1968 in which Daly did not participate. He was a vice president at ABC during the 1950s, he did hosting duties on Who Said That?, It's News to Me, We Take Your Word, Open Hearing and was a narrator on The Voice of Firestone starting in 1958. He had several television and movie guest appearances from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, including an uncredited role in Bye Bye Birdie and as the narrator, in a mock documentary style, on the premiere episode of the rural comedy series Green Acres. In 1949 he starred in the short-lived CBS Television newspaper drama The Front Page, where it was thought that his presence and journalistic experience would give the series more authenticity.
During the 1950s, Daly became the vice president in charge of news, special events, public affairs, religious programs and sports for
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park. Designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill and built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music. Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming and marketing departments, presents about 250 performances each season, it is rented out to performing groups. The hall has not had a resident company since 1962, when the New York Philharmonic moved to Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall. Carnegie Hall has 3,671 seats, divided among its three auditoriums. Carnegie Hall contains three separate performance spaces; the Isaac Stern Auditorium seats 2,804 on five levels and was named after violinist Isaac Stern in 1997 to recognize his efforts to save the hall from demolition in the 1960s.
The hall is enormously high, visitors to the top balcony must climb 137 steps. All but the top level can be reached by elevator; the main hall was home to the performances of the New York Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962. Known as the most prestigious concert stage in the U. S. all of the leading classical music and, more popular music performers since 1891 have performed there. After years of heavy wear and tear, the hall was extensively renovated in 1986; the Ronald O. Perelman Stage is 42 feet deep; the five levels of seating in the Stern Auditorium begin with the Parquet level, which has twenty-five full rows of thirty-eight seats and four partial rows at stage level, for a total of 1,021 seats. The First Tier and Second Tier consist of sixty-five boxes. Second from the top is the Dress Circle, seating 444 in six rows. At the top, the balcony seats 837. Although seats with obstructed views exist throughout the auditorium, only the Dress Circle level has structural columns. Zankel Hall, which seats 599, is named after Arthur Zankel.
Called Recital Hall, this was the first auditorium to open to the public in April 1891. Following renovations made in 1896, it was renamed Carnegie Lyceum, it was leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1898, converted into a cinema, which opened as the Carnegie Hall Cinema in May 1961 with the film White Nights by Luchino Visconti and was reclaimed for use as an auditorium in 1997. The reconstructed Zankel Hall is flexible in design and can be reconfigured in several different arrangements to suit the needs of the performers, it opened in September 2003. The 599 seats in Zankel Hall are arranged in two levels; the Parterre level seats a total of 463 and the Mezzanine level seats 136. Each level has a number of seats which are situated along the side walls, perpendicular to the stage; these seats are designated as boxes. The boxes on the Parterre level are raised above the level of the stage. Zankel Hall is accessible and its stage is 44 feet wide and 25 feet deep—the stage occupies one fifth of the performance space.
The Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall seats 268 and is named after Sanford I. Weill, a former chairman of the board, his wife Joan; this auditorium, in use since the hall opened in 1891, was called Chamber Music Hall. The Weill Recital Hall is the smallest of the three performance spaces, with a total of 268 seats; the Orchestra level contains fourteen rows of fourteen seats, a total of 196, the Balcony level contains 72 seats in five rows. The building contains the Carnegie Hall Archives, established in 1986, the Rose Museum, which opened in 1991; until 2009 studios above the Hall contained working spaces for artists in the performing and graphic arts including music, dance, as well as architects, literary agents and painters. The spaces were unusual in being purpose-designed for artistic work, with high ceilings and large windows for natural light. In 2007 the Carnegie Hall Corporation announced plans to evict the 33 remaining studio residents, some of whom had been in the building since the 1950s, including celebrity portrait photographer Editta Sherman and fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.
The organization's research showed that Andrew Carnegie had always considered the spaces as a source of income to support the hall and its activities. The space has been re-purposed for corporate offices. Carnegie Hall is one of the last large buildings in New York built of masonry, without a steel frame; the exterior is rendered in narrow Roman bricks of a mellow ochre hue, with details in terracotta and brownstone. The foyer avoids typical 19th century Baroque theatrical style with the Florentine Renaissance manner of Filippo Brunelleschi's Pazzi Chapel: white plaster and gray stone form a harmonious system of round-headed arched openings and Corinthian pilasters that support an unbroken cornice, with round-headed lunettes above it, under a vaulted ceiling; the famous white and gold auditorium interio
New York University
New York University is a private research university founded in New York City but now with campuses and locations throughout the world. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in New York City; as a global university, students can graduate from its degree-granting campuses in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, as well as study at its 12 academic centers in Accra, Buenos Aires, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Washington, D. C. For the class that matriculated in the fall of 2019, NYU received nearly 85,000 applications for its undergraduate programs. In 2018, NYU was ranked amongst the top 40 universities worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, U. S. News & World Report. Alumni include heads of state, eminent scientists and entrepreneurs, media figures, founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, astronauts; as of March 2019, 37 Nobel Laureates, 8 Turing Award winners, 5 Fields Medalists, over 30 Academy Award winners, over 30 Pulitzer Prize winners, hundreds of members of the National Academies of Sciences and United States Congress have been affiliated as faculty or alumni.
Globally, NYU is ranked 7th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for producing alumni who are millionaires, 4th by Wealth-X for producing ultra high net-worth and billionaire alumni. Albert Gallatin, Secretary of Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, declared his intention to establish "in this immense and fast-growing city... a system of rational and practical education fitting and graciously opened to all". A three-day-long "literary and scientific convention" held in City Hall in 1830 and attended by over 100 delegates debated the terms of a plan for a new university; these New Yorkers believed the city needed a university designed for young men who would be admitted based upon merit rather than birthright or social class. On April 18, 1831, an institution was established, with the support of a group of prominent New York City residents from the city's merchants and traders. Albert Gallatin was elected as the institution's first president. On April 21, 1831, the new institution received its charter and was incorporated as the University of the City of New York by the New York State Legislature.
The university has been popularly known as New York University since its inception and was renamed New York University in 1896. In 1832, NYU held its first classes in rented rooms of four-story Clinton Hall, situated near City Hall. In 1835, the School of Law, NYU's first professional school, was established. Although the impetus to found a new school was a reaction by evangelical Presbyterians to what they perceived as the Episcopalianism of Columbia College, NYU was created non-denominational, unlike many American colleges at the time. American Chemical Society was founded in 1876 at NYU, it became one of the nation's largest universities, with an enrollment of 9,300 in 1917. NYU had its Washington Square campus since its founding; the university purchased a campus at University Heights in the Bronx because of overcrowding on the old campus. NYU had a desire to follow New York City's development further uptown. NYU's move to the Bronx occurred in 1894, spearheaded by the efforts of Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken.
The University Heights campus was far more spacious. As a result, most of the university's operations along with the undergraduate College of Arts and Science and School of Engineering were housed there. NYU's administrative operations were moved to the new campus, but the graduate schools of the university remained at Washington Square. In 1914, Washington Square College was founded as the downtown undergraduate college of NYU. In 1935, NYU opened the "Nassau College-Hofstra Memorial of New York University at Hempstead, Long Island"; this extension would become a independent Hofstra University. In 1950, NYU was elected to the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit organization of leading public and private research universities. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, financial crisis gripped the New York City government and the troubles spread to the city's institutions, including NYU. Feeling the pressures of imminent bankruptcy, NYU President James McNaughton Hester negotiated the sale of the University Heights campus to the City University of New York, which occurred in 1973.
In 1973, the New York University School of Engineering and Science merged into Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, which merged back into NYU in 2014 forming the present Tandon School of Engineering. After the sale of the Bronx campus, University College merged with Washington Square College. In the 1980s, under the leadership of President John Brademas, NYU launched a billion-dollar campaign, spent entirely on updating facilities; the campaign was set to complete in 15 years, but ended up being completed in 10. In 1991, L. Jay Oliva was inaugurated the 14th president of the university. Following his inauguration, he moved to form the League of World Universities, an international organization consisting of rectors and presidents from urban universities across six continents; the league and its 47 representatives gather every two years to discuss global issues in education. In 2003 President John Sexton launched a $2.5 billion campaign for funds to be spent on faculty and financial aid resources.
Under Sextons leadership, NYU began its radical transformation into a global university. In 2009, the university responded to a series of New York Times interviews that showed a pattern of labor abuses in its fledgling Abu Dhabi location, creating a statement of
Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast, which portrays the history and landscape of the composer's native country and contains the famous symphonic poem "The Moldau". Smetana was gifted as a composer, gave his first public performance at the age of 6. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague, his first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, began to write large-scale orchestral works. During this period of his life Smetana was twice married. In the early 1860s, a more liberal political climate in Bohemia encouraged Smetana to return permanently to Prague.
He threw himself into the musical life of the city as a champion of the new genre of Czech opera. In 1866 his first two operas, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, were premiered at Prague's new Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. In that same year, Smetana became the theatre's principal conductor, but the years of his conductorship were marked by controversy. Factions within the city's musical establishment considered his identification with the progressive ideas of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner inimical to the development of a distinctively Czech opera style; this opposition interfered with his creative work, might have hastened a decline in health that precipitated his resignation from the theatre in 1874. By the end of 1874, Smetana had become deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition that continued for the rest of his life, his contributions to Czech music were recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse early in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum and subsequent death.
Smetana's reputation as the founding father of Czech music has endured in his native country, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors. However few of Smetana's works are in the international repertory, most foreign commentators tend to regard Antonín Dvořák as a more significant Czech composer. Bedřich Smetana, first named Friedrich Smetana, was born on 2 March 1824, in Litomyšl, east of Prague near the traditional border between Bohemia and Moravia provinces of the Habsburg Empire, he was the third child, first son, of František Smetana and his third wife Barbora Lynková. František had fathered eight children in five daughters surviving infancy. At this time, under Habsburg rule, German was the official language of Bohemia. František knew Czech but, for business and social reasons used it; the Smetana family came from the Hradec Králové region of Bohemia. František had learned the trade of a brewer, had acquired moderate wealth during the Napoleonic Wars by supplying clothing and provisions to the French Army.
He subsequently managed several breweries before coming to Litomyšl in 1823 as brewer to Count Waldstein, whose Renaissance castle dominates the town. The elder Smetana, although uneducated, played in a string quartet. Bedřich was introduced to music by his father and in October 1830, at the age of six, gave his first public performance. At a concert held in Litomyšl's Philosophical Academy he played a piano arrangement of Auber's overture to La muette de Portici, to a rapturous reception. In 1831 the family moved to Jindřichův Hradec in the south of Bohemia—the region where, a generation Gustav Mahler grew up. Here, Smetana attended the local elementary school and the gymnasium, he studied violin and piano, discovering the works of Mozart and Beethoven, began composing simple pieces, of which one, a dance, survives in sketch form. In 1835, František retired to a farm in the south-eastern region of Bohemia. There being no suitable local school, Smetana was sent to the gymnasium at Jihlava, where he was homesick and unable to study.
He transferred to the Premonstratensian school at Německý Brod, where he was happier and made good progress. Among the friends he made here was the future Czech revolutionary poet Karel Havlíček, whose departure for Prague in 1838 may have influenced Smetana's own desire to experience life in the capital; the following year, with František's approval, he enrolled at Prague's Academic Grammar School under Josef Jungmann, a distinguished poet and linguist, a leading figure in the movement for Czech national revival. Smetana arrived in Prague in the autumn of 1839. Finding Jungmann's school uncongenial, he soon began missing classes, he attended concerts, visited the opera, listened to military bands and joined an amateur string quartet for whom he composed simple pieces. After Liszt gave a series of piano recitals in the city, Smetana became convinced that he would find satisfaction only in a musical career, he confided to his journal that he wanted "to become a Mozart in composition and a Liszt in technique".
However, the Pragu
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery and sometimes dance or ballet; the performance is given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor. Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition. Understood as an sung piece, in contrast to a play with songs, opera has come to include numerous genres, including some that include spoken dialogue such as musical theater, Singspiel and Opéra comique. In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias; the 19th century saw the rise of the continuous music drama. Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.
In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s; the most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Magic Flute, landmarks in the German tradition. The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini all creating works that are still performed, it saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany; the popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.
During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism and Minimalism. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas became known to much wider audiences that went beyond the circle of opera fans. Since the invention of radio and television, operas were performed on these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. Since 2009, complete performances are live streamed; the words of an opera are known as the libretto. Some composers, notably Wagner, have written their own libretti. Traditional opera referred to as "number opera", consists of two modes of singing: recitative, the plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech, aria in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style.
Vocal duets and other ensembles occur, choruses are used to comment on the action. In some forms of opera, such as singspiel, opéra comique and semi-opera, the recitative is replaced by spoken dialogue. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occurring in the midst of, or instead of, are referred to as arioso; the terminology of the various kinds of operatic voices is described in detail below. During both the Baroque and Classical periods, recitative could appear in two basic forms, each of, accompanied by a different instrumental ensemble: secco recitative, sung with a free rhythm dictated by the accent of the words, accompanied only by basso continuo, a harpsichord and a cello. Over the 18th century, arias were accompanied by the orchestra. By the 19th century, accompagnato had gained the upper hand, the orchestra played a much bigger role, Wagner revolutionized opera by abolishing all distinction between aria and recitative in his quest for what Wagner termed "endless melody". Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagner's example, though some, such as Stravinsky in his The Rake's Progress have bucked the trend.
The changing role of the orchestra in opera is described in more detail below. The Italian word opera means "work", both in the sense of the labour done and the result produced; the Italian word derives from the Latin opera, a singular noun meaning "work" and the plural of the noun opus. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Italian word was first used in the sense "composition in which poetry and music are combined" in 1639. Dafne by Jacopo Peri was the earliest composition considered opera, it was writt
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, piano music and chamber music, his best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the oratorio Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, his String Octet. The melody for the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is his. Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions. A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family, he was brought up without religion until the age of seven, when he was baptised as a Reformed Christian. Felix was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent. Mendelssohn enjoyed early success in Germany, revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, notably with his performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1829.
He became well received in his travels throughout Europe as a composer and soloist. His conservative musical tastes set him apart from more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Hector Berlioz; the Leipzig Conservatory, which he founded, became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality has been re-evaluated, he is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era. Felix Mendelssohn was born on 3 February 1809, in Hamburg, at the time an independent city-state, in the same house where, a year the dedicatee and first performer of his Violin Concerto, Ferdinand David, would be born. Mendelssohn's father, the banker Abraham Mendelssohn, was the son of the German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, whose family was prominent in the German Jewish community; until his baptism at age seven, Mendelssohn was brought up without religion.
His mother, Lea Salomon, was a sister of Jakob Salomon Bartholdy. Mendelssohn was the second of four children; the family moved to Berlin in 1811, leaving Hamburg in disguise in fear of French reprisal for the Mendelssohn bank's role in breaking Napoleon's Continental System blockade. Abraham and Lea Mendelssohn sought to give their children – Fanny, Felix and Rebecka – the best education possible. Fanny became a pianist well known in Berlin musical circles as a composer, but it was not considered proper, by either Abraham or Felix, for a woman to pursue a career in music, so she remained an active but non-professional musician. Abraham was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he was dedicated. Mendelssohn grew up in an intellectual environment. Frequent visitors to the salon organised by his parents at their home in Berlin included artists and scientists, among them Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt, the mathematician Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet.
The musician Sarah Rothenburg has written of the household that "Europe came to their living room". Abraham Mendelssohn renounced the Jewish religion prior to Felix's birth. Felix and his siblings were first brought up without religious education, were baptised by a Reformed Church minister in 1816, at which time Felix was given the additional names Jakob Ludwig. Abraham and his wife Lea were baptised in 1822, formally adopted the surname Mendelssohn Bartholdy for themselves and for their children; the name Bartholdy was added at the suggestion of Lea's brother, Jakob Salomon Bartholdy, who had inherited a property of this name in Luisenstadt and adopted it as his own surname. In an 1829 letter to Felix, Abraham explained that adopting the Bartholdy name was meant to demonstrate a decisive break with the traditions of his father Moses: "There can no more be a Christian Mendelssohn than there can be a Jewish Confucius".. On embarking on his musical career, Felix did not drop the name Mendelssohn as Abraham had requested, but in deference to his father signed his letters and had his visiting cards printed using the form'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'.
In 1829, his sister Fanny wrote to him of "Bartholdy this name that we all dislike". Mendelssohn began taking piano lessons from his mother when he was six, at seven was tutored by Marie Bigot in Paris. In Berlin, all four Mendelssohn children studied piano with Ludwig Berger, himself a former student of Muzio Clementi. From at least May 1819 Mendelssohn studied counterpoint and composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter in Berlin; this was an important influence on his future career. Zelter had certainly been recommended as a teacher by his aunt Sarah Levy, a pupil of W. F. Bach and a patron of C. P. E. Bach. Sarah Levy displayed some talent as a keyboard player, played with Zelter's orchestra at the Berliner Singakademie. Sarah had formed an important collection of