1928

    1 January 1928 The New Years honors list includes a KCVO for Edward Elgar (70).

    2 January 1928 Nadia Boulanger (40) writes a letter of recommendation for Marc Blitzstein (22), her student for the past several months.  “I could not praise too highly his gifts--Born musician, he is especially bright minded--and gives the greatest reasons to believe he is to become a true great artist.”

    The Third Race Betterment Conference meets in Battle Creek, Michigan.  During the weeklong meeting Greek physician George Papanicolau will present his paper “New Cancer Diagnosis” wherein he describes a process using smears of vaginal cells to diagnose cancer in women.  It is met with skepticism, but when it becomes common practice in the 1950s, it will be known simply as the Pap Test.

    4 January 1928 Maurice Ravel (52) arrives in New York for a four month tour of North America.  Stops on the tour include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Denver, Omaha, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Houston, Arizona, Buffalo, and Montreal.

    5 January 1928 Sinfonia concertante for orchestra and piano obbligato by William Walton (25) is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London.  The work is very successful.

    7 January 1928 While on a visit to Prague, Gustav Holst (53) has dinner with Leos Janácek (71) and Alois Haba (34).

    A sudden thaw causes the Thames to flood in London and downriver.  14 people are killed.

    8 January 1928 Kammermusik no.7 op.46/2, a concerto for organ and chamber orchestra by Paul Hindemith (32), is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.

    9 January 1928 Il canto del lavoro for chorus and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (64) to words of Bovio and Rossoni is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Carlo, Naples.

    10 January 1928 An anonymous article appears in the Warsaw Voice of Truth, questioning the appointment of Karol Szymanowski (45) as director of the Warsaw Conservatory a year ago and pointing out what it considers to be his dictatorial practices.

    Theatre Overture by Zoltán Kodály (45) is performed for the first time, in Budapest.

    Rosalie, a musical comedy with a book by Bolton and McGuire, lyrics by Wodehouse and Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (29) is performed for the first time in New York, at the New Amsterdam Theatre.  It includes the song How Long Has This Been Going On. The play will see 335 performances.  See 8 December 1927.

    11 January 1928 Thomas Hardy dies in Dorchester, Dorset at the age of 87.

    A recording is made of Kurt Weill’s (27) Tango Angèle to be used in his opera Der Zar lässt sich photographieren.  It is the first recording of any music by Kurt Weill and will be released to the public next month.

    Horace victorieux, a ballet by Arthur Honegger (35) to a story by Fauconnet after Livius, is staged for the first time, in the Essen Stadttheater.   See 31 October 1921.

    12 January 1928 Benjamin Britten (14) begins composition lessons with Frank Bridge (48) at Bridge’s home in London.

    In an article published today and two more on 29 January and 1 February, Karol Szymanowski (45) defends himself in detail against the accusations made on 10 January.

    Serenade for three horns and string orchestra by Otto Luening (27) is performed for the first time, in Rochester, New York.

    13 January 1928 Pursuant to the Treaty of Neuilly, Allied military control of Bulgaria ends.

    The British War Office ceases the use of the lance as a weapon of war.

    16 January 1928 Trotsky is banished from Moscow.  He is put on a train and sent to Alma Ata.

    Anton Webern’s (44) String Trio op.20 is performed for the first time, in Vienna.

    Panathenäenzug for piano-left hand and orchestra by Richard Strauss (63) is performed for the first time, in Berlin by Paul Wittgenstein.

    20 January 1928 Christopher Andersen Hornsrud replaces Ivar Lykke as Prime Minister of Norway and becomes the first Norwegian head of government from the Labor Party.

    21 January 1928 Peteris Jurasevskis replaces Margers Skujenieks as Prime Minister of Latvia.

    24 January 1928 In a private demonstration in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel, New York, organized by Walter Damrosch, Edsel Ford, Fritz Kreisler, and others, Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) performs upon his new electronic musical instrument before invited guests including Sergey Rakhmaninov (54), Arturo Toscanini, and Joseph Szigeti.

    26 January 1928 After two days of aerial bombardment, US Marines capture a Sandinista stronghold at the summit of El Chipote, Nicaragua.  After achieving their objective, the Marines find it defended by straw-filled dummies.

    31 January 1928 Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a debut recital on his Thereminovox entitled “Music from the Ether” at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.  It is well received.

    1 February 1928 British physicist Paul Dirac publishes the article “The Quantum Theory of the Electron” in Proceedings of the Royal Society.  In it, he predicts the existence of antimatter (although he does not use that term).

    Incidental music to Sundukian’s play Khatabala by Aram Khachaturian (24) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.

    2 February 1928 An informal meeting of Edgard Varèse (44), Carlos Chávez (28), Henry Cowell (30) and four others takes place in Birchard Hall, New York to plan a new Pan-American Association of Composers.

    3 February 1928 The Third Symphony op.27 “The Song of the Night” for tenor, chorus, and orchestra of Karol Szymanowski (45), to words of Rumi (tr. Micinski), is performed for the first time in its original form, in Lvov (Lviv).  See 26 November 1921 and 11 April 1924.

    5 February 1928 Amy Beach (60) meets Béla Bartók (46) in New York.  She finds his Violin Sonata “hideous.”

    6 February 1928 In Berlin, Bruno Walter conducts the first performance of the Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (21) outside of the Soviet Union.  It is an immediate success and marks the beginning of the composer’s international fame.

    10 February 1928 A lunch takes place in Warsaw attended by Karol Szymanowski (45), his supporters and critics, in an attempt to settle differences recently played out in the press.  It turns into a verbal brawl with everyone’s feelings more hurt than soothed.

    11 February 1928 The Second Winter Olympic Games open in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

    The Revolt, a ballet by Bohuslav Martinu (37) to his own story, is performed for the first time, in Brno.

    Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin for flute, oboe, and piano by Ethel Smyth (69) is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.

    12 February 1928 Concerto for piano and orchestra no.1 op.14 by Alyeksandr Vasilyevich Mosolov (27) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad, the composer at the keyboard.

    Gustav Holst’s (53) orchestral work Egdon Heath, Homage to Hardy, is performed for the first time, in Mecca Auditorium, New York.  The dedicatee died only a few weeks ago.

    William Grant Still (32) is presented the Second Award of the William E. Harmon Award for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes in Music.  He receives $100 and a bronze medal.

    A Piano Sonata by Marc Blitzstein (22) is performed for the first time, at a League of Composers concert in the Guild Theatre, New York by the composer.

    15 February 1928 Johan Ludwig Mowinckel replaces Christopher Andersen Hornsrud as  Prime Minister of Norway.

    Chanson d’amour op.5/3 for voice and piano by Charles Koechlin (60) to words of Bouilhet is performed for the first time, in Salle des agriculteurs, Paris, 35 years after it was composed.

    Gods for mezzo-soprano, cello, and strings by Marc Blitzstein (22) to words of Whitman is performed for the first time, in the Pennsylvania Athletic Club Ballroom, Philadelphia.

    16 February 1928 The first version of Modest Musorgsky’s (†46) opera Boris Godunov, to his own words after Pushkin and Karamazin, is performed for the first time, in Leningrad.

    Four Songs for voice and orchestra op.13 by Anton Webern (44) to various authors, is performed for the first time, in Winterthur.

    18 February 1928 Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, an opera by Kurt Weill (27) to words of Kaiser, is performed for the first time, at the Neues Theater, Leipzig.  It is well received and will be widely successful.

    19 February 1928 The Second Winter Olympic Games close in St. Moritz Switzerland.  In nine days of competition, 464 athletes from 25 countries participated.

    Intermezzo (Clowns) for jazz band by Charles Martin Loeffler (67) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.

    20 February 1928 Voting for the Japanese Diet takes place.  For the first time, all men over age 25 are allowed to vote.  A hung Parliament results with the Seiyukai and Minsei parties being almost equally divided.

    Transjordan is granted internal autonomy by the British.

    23 February 1928 Igor Stravinsky’s (45) opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex, to words of Cocteau after Sophocles, is staged for the first time, in the Vienna Staatsoper.  See 30 May 1927.

    26 February 1928 Italy adopts the gold standard.

    28 February 1928 The newly renovated Teatro Costanzi in Rome is opened as a national opera house with the first Rome performance of Nerone by Arrigo Boito (†9).

    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) receives a US patent for his electronic musical invention, the Thereminovox, in Washington.

    29 February 1928 The Toronto Conservatory of Music choir gives its first performance, under its founder, Ernest MacMillan (34).  With the conservatory orchestra they perform the Requiem of Mozart (†136).  It is the first time that the work is heard in Toronto.

    2 March 1928 Capriccio for piano-left hand, flute, two trumpets, three trombones, and tuba by Leos Janácek (73) is performed for the first time, in Smetana Hall, Prague.

    3 March 1928 Sections of Francis Poulenc’s (29) Airs chantés for voice and piano are performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier, Paris along with the premiere of Poulenc’s Vocalise.  See 10 June 1928 and 7 May 1927.

    Prières journalières à l’usage des juifs du Comtat Venaissin op.96 for voice and piano by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, in Paris the composer at the piano.

    4 March 1928 Samuel Hans Adler is born in Mannheim, son of Hugo Chaim Adler, a cantor and composer of music for Jewish liturgy, and Selma Rothschild, a singer and pianist.

    5 March 1928 The Emerson movement from the Sonata for Piano no.2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” by Charles Ives (53) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the Sorbonne Station of the Radio Institute of Paris.

    7 March 1928 At a party celebrating the 53rd birthday of Maurice Ravel in the New York home of Eva Gauthier, George Gershwin (29) meets the French composer for the first time.  When Ms. Gauthier asked Ravel if there was anything he wanted he replied, “to meet George Gershwin.”  Gershwin asks to study with Ravel, but the Frenchman politely declines.  He doesn’t want Gershwin to end up writing “bad Ravel.”

    8 March 1928 Maurice Ravel (53), in New York, writes to Nadia Boulanger (40) in Paris.  “There is a musician here endowed with the most brilliant, most enchanting, and perhaps the most profound talent:  George Gershwin (29).  His worldwide success no longer satisfies him, for he is aiming higher.  He knows that he lacks the technical means to achieve his goal.  In teaching him those means, one might ruin his talent.”  He asks her to take him on.  She will politely decline.

    Il finto Arlecchino, an opera by Gian Francesco Malipiero (45) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Mainz Stadttheater.

    11 March 1928 George Gershwin (29), his sister Frances, brother Ira, and Ira’s wife Leonore set sail from New York for London and the continent.

    A week of voting in the Polish general election concludes.  The Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government, formed to support the coup of Józef Pilsudski, wins the most seats in the Sejm but nowhere near a majority.

    12 March 1928 Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) demonstrates his musical device in the Stevens Hotel, Chicago.  Afterwards, he gives a lesson to Frederick Stock, conductor of the Chicago Symphony.

    The St. Francis Dam, about 65 km northwest of Los Angeles, collapses.  The resulting flood kills up to 600 people.

    13 March 1928 Two of the Walt Whitman Songs for voice and piano by Marc Blitzstein (22), O Hymen, O Hymenee! and As Adam, are performed for the first time, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.

    14 March 1928 Manuel de Falla (51) is invested with the Legion of Honor in Paris.  Two works by Joaquín Rodrigo (26) are performed for the first time at the occasion, the composer at the piano:  Preludio al gallo mañanero for piano and Cantiga “Muy graciosa es la doncella” for voice and piano to words of Vicente.

    15 March 1928 Frightened by the relative success of leftists in the first universal male suffrage election last month, the Japanese government arrests over 1,600 socialists and communists.

    A Trio for piano, viola, and heckelphone or tenor saxophone op.47 by Paul Hindemith (32), is performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden, the composer as violist.

    16 March 1928 Mustafa an-Nahas Pasha replaces Abdul Khaliq Sarwat Pasha as Prime Minister of Egypt.

    Nocturne for orchestra by Henry F. Gilbert (59) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.  Reviews range from mixed to very positive.

    18 March 1928 Log Cabin Ballads for chamber orchestra by William Grant Still (32) is performed for the first time, in Booth Theatre, New York.

    20 March 1928 Japanese troops are reintroduced into the Shantung (Shandong) Peninusla of China at Tsinan (Jinan).

    21 March 1928 At the Budapest premiere of Ernst Krenek’s (27) Jonny spielt auf, a stink bomb is thrown.

    Filomela e l’infatuato, a dramma musicale by Gian Francesco Malipiero (46) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Deutsches Theater, Prague.

    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a concert on his Thereminovox in Orchestra Hall, Detroit.  Tomorrow, the front page of the Detroit Free Press will be devoted entirely to the event.

    23 March 1928 Symphonic Piece for orchestra by Walter Piston (34) is performed for the first time, in Boston.

    27 March 1928 In Paris, Armand Givelet demonstrates an instrument similar to the Thereminovox but with more accurate intonation.

    29 March 1928 The British House of Commons passes a bill making 21 the voting age for women, the same as men.  After passing the House of Lords it will become law on 2 July.

    Kammermusik no.6 op.46/1 for viola d’amore and chamber orchestra by Paul Hindemith (32) is performed for the first time, in Cologne, the composer as soloist.

    30 March 1928 The Philharmonic Society of New York merges with the New York Symphony Society to form the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society.

    2 April 1928 Prime Minister István, Count Bethlen of Hungary meets Benito Mussolini for a second time, in Milan.  They informally agree to support fascist and anti-Yugoslav causes.

    Ode à la France for solo voices, chorus and orchestra by Claude Debussy (†10) to words of Laloy, and finished by Marius François Gaillard, is performed for the first time, in the Salle Pleyel, Paris along with the premiere of Debussy’s Printemps for female chorus and orchestra to words of the comte de Ségur, and Invocation for male chorus and orchestra, both composed in 1882.

    6 April 1928 California for orchestra by Frederick S. Converse (57) is performed for the first time, in Boston.

    8 April 1928 Incidental music to Lania’s play Konjunktur by Kurt Weill (28) to words of Gasbarra, is performed for the first time, in the Lessing Theater, Berlin.

    9 April 1928 Islam is removed as the state religion of Turkey.

    12 April 1928 A bomb explodes in Piazza Giulio Cesare, Milan ten minutes before the expected arrival of King Vittorio Emanuele III to open an industrial fair.  18 people are killed, 40 injured.  Tonight, authorities arrest thousands throughout the country.

    Six Symphonic Epigrams by Willem Pijper (33) are performed for the first time, in Amsterdam.

    13 April 1928 The German aircraft Bremen lands on Greenly Island in the Strait of Belle Isle, between Quebec and Newfoundland, thus completing the first crossing of the Atlantic by air from east to west.  The three men aboard are German Captain Herman Köhl, the navigator, Irishman Major James Fitzmaurice, and the owner of the plane, Ehrenfried Günther, Freiherr von Hünefeld.  The flight took about 36 hours from Ireland.

    14 April 1928 An earthquake destroys a large part of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  Over 100 people are killed.

    Preludio e Presto op.52 for violin by Carl Nielsen (62) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen.  Also premiered are the first two of the Nielsen’s Three Piano Pieces op.59.  See 6 March 1930.

    The Front Page, a play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, is performed for the first time, in New York.

    15 April 1928 Trois caprices de Paganini op.97 for violin and piano by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, in Brussels.

    16 April 1928 Incidental music to Paronian’s play The Eastern Dentist by Aram Khachaturian (24) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.

    George Gershwin (29) and members of his family attend a ballet based on his Rhapsody in Blue done by the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

    19 April 1928 José Vicente de Freitas replaces António Oscar Fragoso Carmona as Prime Minister of Portugal.

    Sonatina for piano by John Ireland (48) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating at BBC Studios, London by the composer.

    20 April 1928 Two “minute operas” by Darius Milhaud (35) to words of Hoppenot are performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden:  La Déliverance de Thésée and L’Abandon d’Ariane.

    21 April 1928 Le bardit des francs for male chorus, brass, and percussion by Albert Roussel (59) to words of Chateaubriand is performed for the first time, in Strasbourg.

    22 April 1928 The first of the Copland-Sessions concerts of Contemporary Music takes place at the Edyth Totten Theatre, New York, featuring premieres of works by Carlos Chávez (28) and Virgil Thomson (31) including Piano Sonata no.3, Sonatina for violin and piano, Sonatina for cello and piano, and the Piano Sonatina by Chávez, the composer at the keyboard, and Thomson’s Five Phrases from the Song of Solomon for soprano and percussion (first public performance).  In Thomson’s work, Aaron Copland (27) plays percussion.  Thomson is presently in Paris.  Sessions (31) is in Northampton, Massachusetts finishing the Piano Sonata that was intended for this concert.  See 2 July 1926.

    24 April 1928 George (29) and Ira Gershwin meet Kurt Weill (28) for the first time, in Berlin, at an informal meeting to acquaint European composers with American music publishing.  It is possible that Arnold Schoenberg (53) is also in attendance.

    25 April 1928 Incidental music to Bronnen’s play Katalaunische Schlacht by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, at the Staatliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin.

    27 April 1928 When he demands and receives complete control over all expenditures of the Portuguese government, Professor António Oliveira Salazar accepts the post of Finance Minister.

    Igor Stravinsky’s (45) ballet Apollon musagète is performed for the first time, at the Library of Congress, Washington.  It is the first time that a ballet by a major international composer is premiered in the United States.

    Maurice Ravel (53) arrives in Le Havre after a four-month tour of North America.

    28 April 1928 Henry Cowell’s (31) Sinfonietta (originally Marked Passages) for chamber orchestra, is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston.  Also premiered is Henry F. Gilbert’s (59) Suite for chamber orchestra.

    A String Quartet by John Alden Carpenter (52) is performed for the first time, at the Library of Congress in Washington.  Reviews are generally positive.

    29 April 1928 A second round of voting in the French general election results in continued victory for the left and center left, although the right wing Democratic and Republican Union is the second largest party in the Chamber of Deputies.

    30 April 1928 Kuomintang troops occupy Tsinan (Jinan).  Within the city are 500 Japanese troops protecting their nationals.

    1 May 1928 Pitcairn Aviation begins operations, flying mail from New York to Atlanta.  The company will eventually become Eastern Airlines.

    Song Cycle on Words of Whitman for women’s voices and two pianos by Roy Harris (30) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York City.  One piano is played by Carlos Chávez (28).

    3 May 1928 Fighting begins between Kuomintang and Japanese troops in Tsinan (Jinan).

    George Gershwin (29) and Alban Berg (43) meet for the first time, in Vienna.

    Maurice Martenot demonstrates his new instrument, the Ondes musicales, at the Paris Opéra

    5 May 1928 The Soldier and the Dancer, an opera by Bohuslav Martinu (37) to words of Budin after Plautus, is performed for the first time, in Brno.

    George Gershwin (29) and Alban Berg (43) meet for the first time, in Vienna.

    6 May 1928 Chrysler introduces its new mid-priced line, the DeSoto.

    Three stage compositions by Ernst Krenek (27) to his own words, are performed for the first time, in the Staatstheater, Wiesbaden:  the tragic opera Der Diktator, a fairy tale opera, Das geheime Königreich and the burlesque operetta Schwergewicht, oder Die Ehre der Nation.

    Franz Schubert’s (†99) singspiel Die Freunde von Salamanka, to words of Mayrhofer, is staged for the first time, in Halle, 113 years after it was composed.

    Lento molto for string quartet by Aaron Copland (27) and two movements of the Piano Sonata no.1 by Roger Sessions (31) are performed for the first time, at the Edyth Totten Theatre, New York.  Also premiered are four piano preludes by Ruth Crawford (26), and Three Paeans for piano by Dane Rudhyar (33).  See 14 December 1928 and 3 March 1930.

    8 May 1928 Roger Sessions (31) learns that he has won a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

    11 May 1928 After a ferocious eight-day battle during which unspeakable atrocities are committed by both sides, reinforced Japanese troops drive the Kuomintang army out of Tsinan (Jinan).

    Radio station WGY in Schenectady, New York begins the first regular schedule of television broadcasts, three times per week.

    12 May 1928 The Italian government of Benito Mussolini severely restricts suffrage, eliminating women and any man who pays less than 100 lire in syndicate taxes.

    Three works for female chorus by Zoltán Kodály (45) are performed for the first time, in Budapest:  God’s Blacksmith, The Deaf Boatman and Gypsy Lament.

    15 May 1928 An animated short film called Plane Crazy is shown to a test audience in Los Angeles.  It is the first film appearance of Mickey Mouse.  However, the film does not gain a distributor and will be rereleased next year as a sound film.

    17 May 1928 The Games of the Ninth Olympiad of the Modern Era open in Amsterdam.

    A new electoral law in Italy provides for a single list of candidates from the Fascist Party which the electorate will approve or disapprove as one.

    18 May 1928 An orchestral suite from the incidental music to Imperatrice aux rochers by Arthur Honegger (36) is performed for the first time, in Paris.  See 27 February 1927.

    19 May 1928 03:42  Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts of a cerebral hemorrhage, aged 59 years, seven months, and 23 days.

    A mine in Mather, Pennsylvania explodes, killing almost 200 people.

    20 May 1928 Voting for the German Reichstag gives an increase of over 20 seats to the Social Democratic Party.  The conservative German National Peoples Party loses 30 seats.

    23 May 1928 The electricity that Leos Janácek (73) is having installed in his cottage in Hukvaldy becomes operational today.

    Anarchists Severino di Giovanni, Alejandro Scarfó, and Paulino Scarfó explode a bomb the Italian consulate in Buenos Aires.  Nine people are killed, 34 injured.

    25 May 1928 Returning from the North Pole, the airship Italia, carrying an expedition of Umberto Nobile, crashes onto sea ice about 120 km northeast of Svalbard.  Nine members survive, one is killed, while six are missing (and have never been found).

    Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard (†20) and Nina Grieg south of Bergen, is opened to the visiting public.

    The Moravian Quartet give the first full performance of the String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (73) for the composer at his home in Brno.  See 7 September 1928 and 11 September 1928.

    The New Teatro Colón opens in Buenos Aires.

    27 May 1928 Thea Musgrave is born at Barnton, Midlothian, Scotland, the only child of Joan and James Musgrave.

    An orchestral suite from Sergey Prokofiev’s (37) ballet The Steel Step op.41a is performed for the first time, in Moscow.  See 7 June 1927.

    28 May 1928 Announcement is made of the merger of Dodge Brothers, Inc. with Chrysler Corporation.  The new company becomes the third largest producer of automobiles.

    Incidental music to Masefield’s play The Coming of Christ by Gustav Holst (53) for brass band is performed for the first time, in Canterbury Cathedral, conducted by the composer.

    30 May 1928 After hearing the Concerto in F last night, Sergey Prokofiev (37) invites George Gershwin (29) to his Paris apartment.  They spend the afternoon together, Gershwin doing most of the playing.  Prokofiev likes Gershwin and most of his music, but not the Concerto.  The Russian predicts great things for the American.

    Capital Capitals for four male vocal soloists and piano by Virgil Thomson (31) to words of Stein, is performed for the first time, at the Nouveau Salle d’orgue du Conservatoire, Paris.  Present are Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Nadia Boulanger (40), Darius Milhaud (35), Roy Harris (30), and Jean Cocteau.  Press reactions are mixed.

    31 May 1928 Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, along with Americans James Warner and Harry Lyon take off from Oakland aboard the Southern Cross on the first air journey from North America to Australia.

    2 June 1928 The warlord controlling Peking, Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin), leaves Peking under Japanese protection, to retire in Manchuria.

    3 June 1928 Roses de (en) métal, a ballet by Arthur Honegger (36) to a story by de Gramont, is performed for the first time, in Salle Oedenkoven, Paris.

    4 June 1928 The train carrying warlord Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) is blown up and Chang is killed.  The bomb was planted by Japanese officers wishing to draw Japan further into China.

    5 June 1928 The first flight to find the crew of the Italia is made by a Norwegian pilot.

    6 June 1928 Die ägyptische Helena, an opera by Richard Strauss (63) to words of Hofmannsthal, is performed for the first time, in the Dresden Staatsoper.  Performed during a week devoted to Strauss’ music, it is a rousing success with the public but the press is unimpressed.

    Impressioni brasiliane for orchestra by Ottorino Respighi (48) is performed for the first time, in São Paulo.  Also premiered is Respighi’s Gli uccelli for chamber orchestra.  The composer conducts both.

    7 June 1928 Jazz-Suite for chamber orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu (37) is performed for the first time, in Baden.

    Albert Roussel’s (59) Piano Concerto op.36 is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.

    8 June 1928 The survivors of the Italia make radio contact with the Italian ship Città di Milano.

    9 June 1928 After ten days, approximately 12,000 km and two stops (in Honolulu and Suva) out of Oakland, Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, along with Americans James Warner and Harry Lyon land in Brisbane aboard the Southern Cross, completing the first flight from North America to Australia.  They are mobbed by 25,000 people.

    The Chorus for the Stone-laying Ceremony at Masaryk University in Brno, by Leos Janácek (73) to words of Tryb, is performed for the first time, in Brno.  President Tomás Masaryk lays the stone himself with Janácek “only five steps away from the President.” (Tyrrell II, 876)

    10 June 1928 Airs chantés for voice and piano by Francis Poulenc (29) to words of Moréas, is performed completely for the first time, in the Salle Chopin, Paris.  The concert also includes the premiere of two Poulenc Novelettes and the Three Pieces for piano.  See 3 March 1928.

    14 June 1928 Act II of The Fiery Angel op.37, an opera by Sergey Prokofiev (37) after Bryusov, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting, in Paris.  See 25 November 1954.

    The anthem Man born to Toil for chorus and organ by Gustav Holst (53) to words of Bridges, is performed for the first time, in Wells Cathedral.

    15 June 1928 Alyeksandr Glazunov (62) leaves Leningrad for Vienna as a delegate to the Schubert centennial.  He will shortly take up residence in Boulogne-sur-Seine, near Paris, and never return to his native land.

    Marc Blitzstein (23) begins a six-week stay at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  Here he will compose a cantata, A Word Out of the Sea and the miniature opera Triple-Sec.

    18 June 1928 Roald Amundsen and five others depart Bergen, Norway to rescue survivors of the airship Italia.  The plane is never heard from again.

    Amy Beach (60) is awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree by the University of New Hampshire.

    George Gershwin (29) returns to New York after three months in Europe.

    19 June 1928 Two works for two pianos by Arnold Bax (44) are performed for the first time, in Aeolian Hall, London:  The Poisoned Fountain and The Devil That Tempted St. Anthony.

    20 June 1928 Croatian leader Stjepan Radic is shot and wounded by Punisa Racic, a Montenegrin deputy, in the Parliament, Belgrade.  Two other Croatian deputies are killed.

    An Italian plane finds the survivors of the Italia.

    22 June 1928 Béla Bartók (48) completes his third volume of collected Slovak folk songs.

    Several milling companies in the Minneapolis area join together to form General Mills, Inc.

    23 June 1928 Umberto Nobile is rescued by a Swedish plane.

    25 June 1928 The French government devalues the Franc by 500% in an attempt to pay off the national debt and returns France to the gold standard.

    26 June 1928 Jacob Raphael Druckman is born in Philadelphia.

    27 June 1928 Kazimierz Bartel replaces Józef Klemens Pilsudski as Prime Minister of Poland.

    Mohammed Mahmud Pasha replaces Mustafa an-Nahas Pasha as Prime Minister of Egypt.

    28 June 1928 Hermann Müller replaces Wilhelm Marx as Chancellor of Germany.

    The national convention of the Democratic Party in Houston nominates Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York to be its candidate in the upcoming presidential election.  He is the first Roman Catholic to receive the presidential nomination of a major party in the United States.

    1 July 1928 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence is published privately this month in Florence.

    2 July 1928 The Equal Franchise Act, reducing the voting age for women in the United Kingdom from 30 to 21, is given royal assent by King George V.

    The Federal Radio Commission of the United States grants its first license to broadcast television to the inventor Charles Frances Jenkins.  Jenkins sets up operations in Washington.

    3 July 1928 John Logie Baird gives the first demonstration of color television at the Long Acre laboratory in Covent Garden.

    4 July 1928 Eleftherios Kiriakou Venizelos replaces Alexandros Thrasivoulou Zaimis as Prime Minister of Greece.

    5 July 1928 Albert Roussel’s (59) song Des fleurs font une broderie op.35/1 to words of Li-Ho, (tr. Roché, after Giles), is performed for the first time, at Fontainebleau.

    6 July 1928 Lights of New York, the first all-talking movie, opens at the Strand Theatre, New York.

    7 July 1928 King Aleksandar of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes offers independence to Croatia.  Croatian leaders reject the offer, fearing domination by Italy and Hungary.

    The Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri produces the first commercially available wrapped packages of sliced bread.

    12 July 1928 Seven of the Italia survivors are rescued by the Soviet ship Krasin.

    14 July 1928 Music to the film Actualités by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, at Baden-Baden.

    Vormittagsspuk for mechanical piano by Paul Hindemith (32) is performed for the first time, in Baden-Baden.

    15 July 1928 Today’s issue of the French women’s magazine Minerva reports that readers have voted Nadia Boulanger (40) “Princesse de la Musique.”  The author, Simone Ratel, compares her to a priest.

    17 July 1928 While dining with friends in Mexico City to celebrate his recent election to the presidency, General Alvaro Obregón is shot to death by José de León Toral, a Catholic seminary student who holds Obregón responsible for religious persecutions.

    19 July 1928 King Fuad of Egypt dissolves parliament, suspends the freedom of the press and takes direct control of the country.

    21 July 1928 To commemorate the centennial of Schubert’s death Die Tageszeiten for male chorus and orchestra by Richard Strauss (64), to words of Eichendorff, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.

    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a concert on his Thereminovox before 20,000 at Coney Island, New York, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra.  It is a meeting of the Communist Party of the USA and Termen is hailed as a workers’ hero.

    25 July 1928 The United States recognizes the Nationalist government of the Republic of China.

    27 July 1928 Katia Termen arrives in New York from France to join her husband Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31).

    28 July 1928 Antun Korosec replaces Velimir Vukicevic as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

    29 July 1928 Golden Jubilee, a march by John Philip Sousa (73), is performed for the first time, at the steel pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  It was written to mark the composer’s 50th year as a conductor.

    30 July 1928 Leos Janácek (74) departs Brno to spend a few weeks at his cottage in Hukvaldy with his long time confidant Kamila Stösslová and her son.  Her mother has recently died.  As he leaves his wife she feels “this is the beginning of the end” of their marriage.  In fact, they will never see each other again.

    1 August 1928 Rebel leader Augusto Sandino issues a statement denouncing the upcoming Nicaraguan presidential election, claiming it is a tool of the United States.

    Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead is published in New York.

    2 August 1928 A treaty of friendship is signed between Italy and Abyssinia.

    8 August 1928 Croatian leader Stjepan Radic, wounded on 20 June, dies of his wounds.

    10 August 1928 Leos Janácek (74), suffering from pneumonia, is taken from his home in Hukvaldy to a hospital in the nearest large town, Moravská Ostrava.

    11 August 1928 In a speech to accept the nomination of the Republican Party for US President, Herbert Hoover announces, “We in America today are nearer the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of the land.”

    12 August 1928 The Games of the Ninth Olympiad of the Modern Era close in Amsterdam.  In two months and 26 days of competition, 2,883 athletes from 46 countries participated.

    Kamila Stösslová, Leos Janácek’s (74) long time confidant, sends a telegram to his wife, Zdenka, in Brno:  “Maestro seriously ill, come immediately, sanatorium Dr. Klein.”

    10:00  Leos Janácek dies at the sanatorium of Dr. Leopold Klein in Moravská Ostrava of pneumonia, aged 74 years, one month, and nine days.

    Zdenka receives another telegram with the news of his death.  She persuades the singer Stanislav Tauber to accompany her to Moravská Ostrava.  On the trip she recounts to him all the sordid details of their marriage.

    15 August 1928 A funeral for Leos Janácek is held in the Augustinian Church in Staré Brno attended by large crowds and important people.  After the religious service, the coffin is brought to the theatre where the body lies in state in the lobby.  The final scene from The Cunning Little Vixen is performed along with part of the Requiem by Antonín Dvorák (†24).  The final remains are interred at the Brno Central Cemetery where there is a short religious service followed by the national anthem.

    17 August 1928 The mortal remains of Leos Jánacek are disinterred from the Brno cemetery and moved to the family tomb, at the insistence of his wife.

    Thomas Jefferson Anderson is born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

    19 August 1928 Voting for the Greek Parliament returns the Liberal Party of Eleftherios Venizelos to power with well over half the seats.

    21 August 1928 Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York gives a speech accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.  As he speaks in Albany, he is televised by a system invented by EFW Alexanderson, the pictures broadcast by means of longwave and shortwave.

    22 August 1928 03:00  Karlheinz Stockhausen is born in Mödrath, near Cologne, eldest of three children born to Simon Stockhausen, an elementary school teacher, and Gertrud Stupp, daughter of well-to-do farmers.

    25 August 1928 Carlos Chávez (29) writes to Aaron Copland (27) and formally invites him to come to Mexico City and perform his Piano Concerto during Chávez’ first season with the Orquesta Sinfónica de México.  Copland’s appearance has already been advertised.  See 7 September 1928.

    27 August 1928 The Kellogg-Briand pact, designed to outlaw war as an instrument of foreign policy, is signed by 14 nations in Paris.  Eventually, 64 countries will become party to it.

    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (32) and three of his students perform upon four of the new electronic musical instruments with the New York Philharmonic in Lewisohn Stadium.  Among the works on the program are the Vocalise of Sergey Rakhmaninov (55) and Hungarian Rhapsody no.1 by Franz Liszt (†42).

    30 August 1928 At an all-party conference in Lucknow, the “Nehru Report” is adopted calling for dominion status and self-government for India.

    31 August 1928 The play with music Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill (28) to words of Brecht (after Gay), is performed for the first time, in the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin.  To the astonishment of everyone involved with the production, it is a smash.

    1 September 1928 Parliament proclaims Albania a democratic, parliamentary, and hereditary kingdom with Ahmed Zogu created King Zog I.

    2 September 1928 Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates his television system in San Francisco.  It is the first public demonstration of an all-electronic television system.  He is 22 years old.

    Carlos Chávez (29) directs the first performance of the Orquesta Sinfónica Mexicana in the Teatro Iris, Mexico City.

    5 September 1928 Koco Kota becomes Prime Minister of Albania.

    7 September 1928 String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed for critics in Brno.  See 25 May 1928 and 11 September 1928.

    Aaron Copland (27) writes to Carlos Chávez (29) from the MacDowell Colony that it will be impossible to go to Mexico City during the upcoming season but that he would like to in the future.  See 25 August 1928.

    10 September 1928 Argentina nationalizes all oil companies operating within its borders.

    11 September 1928 String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed publicly for the first time, in Brno.  See 25 May 1928 and 7 September 1928.

    A one-act drama entitled The Queen’s Messenger becomes the first play to be televised when it is broadcast over the airwaves of WGY in Albany, New York.  The apparatus was invented by EFW Alexanderson.

    14 September 1928 Carl Nielsen’s (63) Clarinet Concerto is performed for the first time, privately at the summer home of Carl Johan Michaelsen in Humlebaek.  See 11 October 1928.

    15 September 1928 While researching staphylococcus in his London laboratory, Alexander Fleming accidently discovers that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.

    17 September 1928 A hurricane in Florida causes 1,800-2,500 people to drown in the waters of Lake Okeechobee.

    18 September 1928 John Logie Baird successfully demonstrates his television system to the General Post Office, transmitting images over 500 meters.

    Juan de la Cierva becomes the first to fly an autogiro (helicopter) across the English Channel, from Croydon to Le Bourget.

    19 September 1928 The marriage of John Ireland (49) to Dorothy Phillips, 30 years his junior, is officially dissolved after less than two years.

    The first “all-talking, all-singing” movie, The Singing Fool, is shown for the first time, in New York.

    21 September 1928 Voting for the Swedish Riksdag concludes today with the largest party, the Social Democrats, losing 15 seats.  Parties of the left and right make gains.

    23 September 1928 The Suite for Orchestra op.3 by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed for the first time, in Brno.

    29 September 1928 A Moorside Suite for brass band by Gustav Holst (54) is performed for the first time, in Crystal Palace, London.

    30 September 1928 The symphonic poem Komsomoliya by Nikolay Andreyevich Roslavets (47) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.

    1 October 1928 After Stalin abandoned the New Economic Policy, the first five-year plan for the Soviet economy goes into effect.

    Salomon Arvid Achates Lindman replaces Carl Gustaf Ekman as Prime Minister of Sweden.

    5 October 1928 Roger Sessions (31) and his wife arrive in Rome for his fellowship at the American Academy.

    7 October 1928 Former US Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall goes on trial in Washington for accepting a bribe in the Teapot Dome scandal.

    Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (32) completes his performance year in the United States with a concert in Symphony Hall, Boston.  It is not as well attended as earlier evenings, but the response is good.

    8 October 1928 Concerto for violin and orchestra by Alfredo Casella (45) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.

    10 October 1928 After winning the allegiance of the Manchurian warlord, thus apparently unifying China under Kuomintang control, the new government of the Republic of China is proclaimed, with Chiang Kai-shek as president.

    A young musician named Eric Fenby arrives at the home of Frederick Delius (66) at Grez-sur-Loing to serve as secretary to the composer, who is near paralysis.  Together they will complete many of Delius’ unfinished works.

    Edgard Varèse (44) and his wife Louise board ship in New York making for Paris.  He is returning to France temporarily, partly to work on a new electronic instrument.

    11 October 1928 The Graf Zeppelin departs Friedrichshafen making for North America.

    Carl Nielsen’s (63) Clarinet Concerto is performed publicly for the first time, in Copenhagen.  It is not well received.  See 14 September 1928.

    12 October 1928 The Piano Sonata D.566 by Franz Schubert (†99) is performed completely for the first time, in Munich, 111 years after it was composed.  See 9 May 1907.

    At Children’s Hospital, Boston, an iron lung is first used in a hospital, on a young girl with polio-induced breathing failure.  The prototype was built by Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw of Harvard University from two household vacuum cleaners and an iron tank.  The second model is produced by Warren E. Collins, Inc. of Boston from a $7,000 grant to Harvard University from Consolidated Gas Company of New York.

    Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Yrigoyen Alem replaces Máximo Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear Pacheco as President of Argentina.

    15 October 1928 The voting age for women in Britain is reduced from 30 to 21, the same as men.

    The Graf Zeppelin arrives in Lakehurst, New Jersey having crossed the Atlantic from Friedrichshafen in four days and 15 hours.  It is the first transatlantic crossing by a zeppelin.

    A suite from Béla Bartók’s (47) pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin is performed for the first time, in Budapest.  See 27 November 1926 and 1 April 1927.

    Berlin im Licht by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, as a march for military band, in the Wittenberg Platz, Berlin.  See 16 October 1928.

    Treasure Girl, a musical comedy with book by Lawrence and Thompson, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (30), is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.  See 8 November 1928.

    16 October 1928 Berlin im Licht, a song for voice and piano by Kurt Weill (28) to his own words, is performed for the first time in its original form, at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin.  See 15 October 1928.

    17 October 1928 The BBC decides not to engage in an experimental transmission of television through one of their stations.

    19 October 1928 Mouvement symphonique no.2:  Rugby, an orchestral work by Arthur Honegger (36), is performed for the first time, in Paris.

    20 October 1928 Suite canadienne for chorus and orchestra by Claude Champagne (37) is performed for the first time, in Paris.

    22 October 1928 The Guardian of the Bridge for male chorus by Jean Sibelius (62) to words of Sola is performed for the first time, in New York.

    23 October 1928 Maurice Ravel (53) is awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.

    25 October 1928 Rítmos, an orchestral fantasy by Joaquín Turina (45), is performed for the first time, in Madrid conducted by the composer.

    29 October 1928 Manuel de Falla (51) is made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy.

    30 October 1928 The Celestial Railroad for piano by Charles Ives (54) is performed for the first time, at the Institute of History and Art in Albany, New York.

    1 November 1928 Turkey adopts a modified Roman alphabet to replace the Arabic alphabet.  The law goes into effect next 1 January.

    The National Opera House opens in Tashkent.

    A Bohemian-Danish Folksong set for string orchestra by Carl Nielsen (63) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen, broadcast by Danish State Radio.

    3 November 1928 Kleine Symphonie by Ernst Krenek (28) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.

    5 November 1928 Gesänge op.56, three songs for baritone and piano by Ernst Krenek (28), are performed for the first time, in the Künstlerhaus, Dresden.

    Incidental music to Matthews’ play Beau Brummel by Edward Elgar (71) is performed for the first time, in the Royal Theatre, Birmingham, conducted by the composer.  Little notice is paid to it.

    6 November 1928 Voting in the United States ensures the election of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover as President over Al Smith, Governor of New York.  Al Smith is the first Roman Catholic to gain the presidential nomination of a major party in the US.  Hoover’s Republican Party gains 32 seats in the House of Representatives, eight seats in the Senate and increased majorities in both houses.  The New York Times uses an electric display around its building for the first time, to announce the election returns.

    An orchestration of the Seven Early Songs for voice and orchestra by Alban Berg (43) are performed for the first time, in Vienna, 20 years and more after they were originally composed.

    8 November 1928 Treasure Girl, a musical comedy with book by Lawrence and Thompson, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (30), is performed for the first time in New York, in the Alvin Theatre.  It is a failure, with only 68 performances.  See 15 October 1928.

    10 November 1928 Emperor Hirohito of Japan is enthroned in Kyoto.

    Iuliu Maniu replaces Vintila IC Bratianu as Prime Minister of Romania.

    The first installment of Im Westen Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) by Erich Maria Remarque is published in the Vossische Zeitung.

    12 November 1928 The British SS Vestris, making from New York to Barbados, sinks off Norfolk, Virginia with the loss of over 100 passengers and crew.

    14 November 1928 The New Zealand general election results in a surprising showing for the new United Party, achieving parity with the ruling Reform Party.  United will form the next government.

    Portraits for Violin Alone by Virgil Thomson (31) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Majestic, Paris.

    16 November 1928 The fourth of the Four Etudes for Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky (46) is performed for the first time, in Paris.  See 7 November 1930.

    In Oak Park, Illinois, the Women’s Home Missionary Society cancels a lecture after learning that the guest speaker, Maude Royden, smokes cigarettes.

    17 November 1928 In the Australian general election, the Labor Party once again becomes the largest group in the House of Representatives, but the Nationalist/Country coalition continues to rule.

    18 November 1928 The all-sound animated short Steamboat Willie is shown for the first time in New York.  It is the first film to star Mickey Mouse which reaches general distribution.

    Dos esbozos for violin and piano by Joaquín Rodrigo (26) is performed for the first time, in Salle Gaveau, Paris.

    19 November 1928 The Second Rhapsody for violin and piano by Béla Bartók (47) is performed for the first time.  See 25 November 1929.

    22 November 1928 Maurice Ravel’s (53) sensually stimulating ballet Boléro is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.  Also premiered is Arthur Honegger’s (36) ballet Les noces d’amour et de psyché to a scenario by Rubinstein, and Darius Milhaud’s (36) ballet La bien-aimée.  See 11 January 1930.

    23 November 1928 Pilgrim’s Progress, an oratorio by Granville Bantock (60), is performed for the first time, in London.

    A Toccata for piano and orchestra by Ottorino Respighi (49) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York, the composer at the keyboard.

    The festival overture Chanticleer by Daniel Gregory Mason (55) is performed for the first time, in Cincinnati.

    The first known performance of orchestral music by Heitor Villa-Lobos (41) in the United States takes place when Leopold Stokowski directs the Philadelphia Orchestra in Danças características africanas in Philadelphia.

    25 November 1928 Three new orchestral works by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) are performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Hall of the Moscow Conservatory:  A suite from his unperformed opera The Nose, Tahiti Trot, and a transcription of Youmans’ Tea for Two.  The suite is extremely successful.  See 16 June 1929.

    27 November 1928 The Fairy’s Kiss, a ballet by Igor Stravinsky (46) to his own scenario after Andersen, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.

    Sonata no.1 for violin and piano by Charles Ives (54) is performed for the first time, at the Rudolf Schaeffer Studios in San Francisco.

    28 November 1928 Incidental music to Feuchtwanger’s play Petroleuminseln by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, in the Berlin Staatstheater.

    1 December 1928 Hugo Celmins replaces Peteris Jurasevskis as Prime Minister of Latvia.

    Emilio Cándido Portes Gil replaces Plutarco Elías Calles as President of Mexico.

    In his Paris apartment, Sergey Prokofiev (37) plays through his ballet The Prodigal Son for Sergey Diaghilev.  Diaghilev is generally pleased, but the evening is not without its differences.

    Two of the Three Pieces for Small Orchestra by Arnold Bax (45) are performed for the first time, in Central Hall, Westminster.

    2 December 1928 Variations for Orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (54) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.

    The faculty of the San Antonio College of Music begin a chamber music series led by Silvestre Revueltas (28).  The series intends to present lesser known music, both of modern and older masters.  He sports a full beard, probably to cover scars recently received from a knife attack.

    4 December 1928 August Rei replaces Jaan Tönisson as Head of State of Estonia.

    For the enthronement of Cosmo Gordon Lang as Archbishop of Canterbury, a setting of the Te Deum for chorus and organ by Ralph Vaughan Williams (56) is performed for the first time, in Canterbury Cathedral.

    5 December 1928 A local Paraguayan commander and his troops, without orders, attack and capture the Bolivian outpost of Vanguardia.

    9 December 1928 The Bolivian ambassador is recalled from Paraguay.

    Deux melodies op.20 for voice and orchestra by Albert Roussel (59) to words of Chalupt is performed for the first time, in Paris.  See 27 December 1919.

    The Canticle of the Sun op.123 for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Amy Cheney Beach (61) to words of St. Francis of Assisi (tr. Arnold), is performed for the first time, in St. Bartholemew’s Church, New York.  This occasion sees the chorus accompanied by organ.  Also performed is the premiere of Beach’s Benedicite, omnia opera Domini op.121 for chorus and organ to words of the Bible.  See 12 May 1930.

    10 December 1928 Joseph Ward replaces Joseph Gordon Coates as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    Wilhelm Miklas becomes President of Austria replacing Michael Hainisch.

    Der singende Teufel, an opera by Franz Schreker (50) to his own words, is performed for the first time, at the Berlin Staatsoper.  The audience seems to like it but critics will savage it.  The opera is a failure.

    I Sing the Birth, a carol for chorus by Edward Elgar (71) to words of Jonson, is performed for the first time, in Royal Albert Hall, London.

    Two works by Samuel Barber (18) are performed for the first time, in Philadelphia:  Prelude and Fugue for organ and the Violin Sonata, the latter by the composer at the piano.

    11 December 1928 Kleines Konzert for winds, harpsichord, and percussion by Carl Orff (33) is performed for the first time, in the Herkulessaal, Munich.

    Amy Beach (61) sails from New York aboard the SS Saturnia for her third European tour.

    12 December 1928 In the first free parliamentary elections in Romania, Prime Minister Maniu’s National Peasant Party wins 349 of 387 seats.

    Thoreau from the Piano Sonata no.2 by Charles Ives (54) is performed for the first time, in Hartford, Connecticut.

    13 December 1928 George Gershwin’s (30) tone poem An American in Paris is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.  Critics are widely mixed.

    14 December 1928 Bolivian troops take the Paraguayan outposts of Boqueron and Mariscal Lopez in the Chaco.

    La Symphonie by Bohuslav Martinu (38) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.  It was composed to commemorate the event in June 1918 when the first Czechoslovak flag was presented to the Czechoslovak regiment in Darney, France.  On the same program is the premiere of Lento molto for string orchestra by Aaron Copland (28).

    15 December 1928 Bolivia calls up its reserves for war with Paraguay.  Bolivian planes attack Bahia Nega but none of the bombs dropped explode.

    16 December 1928 Abodah for violin and piano by Ernest Bloch (48) is performed for the first time, in Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.  The soloist is the young Yehudi Menuhin.

    17 December 1928 Paraguay mobilizes for war with Bolivia.

    19 December 1928 An orchestral suite from the incidental music to Phaedre by Arthur Honegger (36) is performed for the first time, in Utrecht, conducted by the composer.

    20 December 1928 Great Britain recognizes the Nanking (Kuomintang) government of China.

    Pope Pius XI issues Divini Cultus Sanctitatem.  These are laws governing the proper performance of the liturgy and other sacred music.  The occasion is the 900th anniversary of the coming to Rome of Guido d’Arezzo.

    Vocalise no.1 for voice and piano by Albert Roussel (59) is performed for the first time, in Paris, the composer at the keyboard.

    America, an epic Rhapsody for chorus and orchestra by Ernest Bloch (48), the unanimous winner of a prize offered by Musical America for a symphonic work on an American subject, is given simultaneous premieres by the judges:  Frederick Stock of the Chicago Symphony, Walter Damrosch of the New York Philharmonic, Leopold Stokowski of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky of the Boston Symphony, and Alfred Hertz of the San Francisco Symphony.

    22 December 1928 Oskari Mantere replaces Joho Emil Sunila as Prime Minister of Finland.

    The new Romanian government abolishes censorship and martial law.

    24 December 1928 Silvestre Revueltas (28) in San Antonio telegraphs Carlos Chávez (29) in Mexico City that he will be leaving to join him as soon as possible.  Chávez asked Revueltas to teach violin at the new National Conservatory of Mexico and to direct the school’s orchestra.

    26 December 1928 Arthur Honegger (36) and his wife depart Le Havre for a three-month visit to the United States.

    The Frank H. Fleer Corporation test markets bubble gum at a candy store in Philadelphia.  This and further tests prove wildly successful.  The actual recipe was hit upon by Walter Diemer, an accountant with the company.  He also decided on pink coloring because that was the only one available to him.

    30 December 1928 String Quartet no.3 by Béla Bartók (47) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.

    Two songs for voice and piano by Marc Blitzstein (23) to words of Whitman are performed for the first time, in New York:  I Am He and Ages and Ages.

    31 December 1928 Frigidaire scientist Thomas Midgley receives a US patent for a chlorofluorocarbon freezing agent called Freon.

    ©2004-2014 Paul Scharfenberger

    18 August 2014

    Last Updated (Monday, 18 August 2014 06:38)