1996

    2 January 1996 US Secretary of the Interior during the Reagan administration, James Watt, pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to mislead a federal grand jury.  It is part of a plea bargain to avoid 18 felony counts of perjury and influence peddling.

    4 January 1996 19 civilians abducted by Bosnian Serbs over the last two weeks are released in a Sarajevo suburb.

    5 January 1996 Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama of Japan resigns.

    The European Laboratory for Particle Physics announces that a team of scientists led by Walter Oelert successfully produced nine atoms of antimatter last September.

    9 January 1996 About 250 Chechens take 2,000 hostages in Kizlyar, just over the border in Dagestan.

    The last humanitarian food flight to Sarajevo lands.  The airlift has seen about 13,000 flights since July 1992.

    10 January 1996 Chechen rebels release most of their hostages, keeping 150 whom they transport to Chechnya, surrounded by Russian troops.  The Russians stop them 10 km inside Chechnya in the village of Pyervomayskoye.

    11 January 1996 Ryutaro Hashimoto replaces Tomiichi Murayama as Prime Minister of Japan.

    12 January 1996 The first Russian troops posted to Bosnia begin peacekeeping duties.

    Rogues and Lovers for band by Samuel Adler (67) is performed for the first time, in Tampa, Florida.

    15 January 1996 Russian forces begin an assault on Pyervomayskoye, Dagestan wherein Chechen rebels are holding many Russian hostages.

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou of Greece resigns.  He has been hospitalized since November with serious lung and kidney infections.

    King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho dies when his car goes off a cliff near Maseru.  Foul play is not suspected.  Queen Mamohato becomes regent until a new king can be selected.

    16 January 1996 Chechen terrorists seize a ferry in the port of Trebizond, Turkey threatening to kill all Russians aboard.  The ferry departs for an undisclosed location.

    About 25 Russian hostages escape in the confusion of the Russian assault on Pyervomayskoye.

    The separation zone between the warring parties in Bosnia is completed.

    NASA releases pictures from the Hubble Telescope showing images from the most distant parts of the universe yet recorded.

    17 January 1996 Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, and several others, go on trial in Milan on charges of corruption.

    A federal judge in New York hands down a life sentence to Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for his part in the bombing of the World Trade Center.  Nine others receive prison terms ranging from 25 years to life.

    18 January 1996 Russian President Yeltsin announces victory in Pyervomayskoye and that military operations have largely ceased.  82 hostages taken on 9 January are freed.

    A home for asylum-seekers in Lübeck is fire bombed.  Ten people are killed, 38 injured.

    19 January 1996 Bosnian Moslems and Serbs exchange 225 prisoners.  The deadline to pull back from a front line exclusion zone is met.  Meanwhile, two more mass graves are discovered by United Nations investigators near Srebrenica.

    Chechen terrorists release the Turkish ferry they have held since 16 January and surrender to Turkish authorities.

    22 January 1996 Konstantinos Georgiou Simitis replaces Andreas Georgiou Papandreou as Prime Minister of Greece.

    President Carlos Menem of Argentina announces the arrest of Enrique Arancibia Clavel in Buenos Aires.  He was an agent of the Chilean secret police responsible for the murder of General Carlos Prats González and his wife in 1974, an opponent of the dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    24 January 1996 After the Polish military begins an espionage investigation against Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy, he resigns.

    25 January 1996 Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent opens off Broadway in New York.

    26 January 1996 The United States Senate ratifies the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

    Sealed testimony by Jeffrey Wigand, a former executive for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., is published in the Wall Street Journal.  It is a damning indictment of the tobacco industry.  Wigand testifies that the president of his company told him that they were in the “nicotine-delivery business.”

    Etude 15 from Györgi Ligeti’s (72) Etudes for piano Book III is performed for the first time, in The Hague.

    27 January 1996 France explodes a sixth nuclear bomb, at Fangataufa Atoll in Polynesia.

    The first elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane, is overthrown by the military.  Colonel Ibrahim Mainassara declares himself in charge of the government.

    28 January 1996 Joseph Brodsky dies in New York at the age of 55.

    Air for solo flute by Toru Takemitsu (65) is performed live for the first time, in Katolisch Kirch Oberwill, Switzerland.

    29 January 1996 President Jacques Chirac announces that France will discontinue nuclear testing in French Polynesia.  There has been a worldwide outcry against the tests.

    30 January 1996 Teatro La Fenice, Venice is destroyed by fire.

    31 January 1996 Members of the Tamil Tigers drive a truck full of explosives through the gates of the Central Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  The explosion causes the first two floors of the bank to collapse, killing 86 people and injuring over 1,400.  Survivors are rescued by helicopters from the roofs of nearby burning buildings.

    1 February 1996 Over 1,000,000 miners strike in Russia and Ukraine for back pay.

    The California Institute of Technology announces the discovery of the most distant galaxy yet found, 14,000,000,000 light years away.

    2 February 1996 During a junior high school algebra class in Moses Lake, Washington, Barry Loukaitis kills two fellow students and his teacher with a rifle, injuring one other student.

    Gene Kelly dies in Beverly Hills at the age of 83.

    Pièce électronique no.3 by Györgi Ligeti (72) is performed for the first time, at The Hague, 38 years after it was created in graphic score.

    3 February 1996 Miners in Russia suspend their strike after President Yeltsin promises substantial funds for the mine industry.

    All three sides of the Bosnian conflict meet the deadline to withdraw from 3,900 sq km of territory they are to exchange under the Paris agreement of last December.  This effectively ends the Serb siege of Sarajevo.

    Welt-Parlament, a chorus from Mittwoch aus Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen (67), is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.

    7 February 1996 Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz replaces Jozef Oleksy as Prime Minister of Poland.

    Crown Prince Letsie David Mohato assumes the throne as King Letsie III of Lesotho.  He succeeds his father, Moshoeshoe II, who died 15 January.

    Rene Preval replaces Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President of Haiti.  It is the first transfer of power from one democratically elected leader to another in the almost 200 year history of the country.

    Triple Concerto for piano, violin, cello and orchestra by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (56) is performed for the first time, in Minneapolis.

    8 February 1996 Prime Minister Jamshed Karimov of Tajikistan resigns after a revolt is threatened by two powerful war lords.  He is replaced by Yakhyo Azimov.

    9 February 1996 Element 112 is discovered at the Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt.  (It will later be named Copernicium)

    A Provisional IRA bomb goes off under an elevated railway station near South Quay, London.  Two people are killed, over 100 injured.  This ends the 18-month cease-fire in the Irish conflict.

    10 February 1996 Proverb for three sopranos, three tenors, two vibraphones, and two electronic keyboards by Steve Reich (59) to words of Wittgenstein is performed for the first time, in Alice Tully Hall, New York.

    11 February 1996 Two car bombs explode in Algiers killing 17 people and wounding 90.  No one claims responsibility.

    13 February 1996 RCA Records set up a help line to assist distraught fans of Take That, a group of British popular music entertainers.  Take That has announced that they are breaking up.

    14 February 1996 Valentine Piece for flute and little bell by Henryk Górecki (62) is performed for the first time, in Merkin Concert Hall, New York.  Also premiered is Valentine Trills for flute by Joan Tower (57).

    15 February 1996 Mindaugas Stankevicius replaces Adolfas Slezevicius as Prime Minister of Lithuania.  Slevevicius was removed by President Brazauskas in a banking scandal.

    16 February 1996 Ukrainian coal miners agree to suspend a strike begun two weeks ago.

    The Mexican government signs an agreement with the Zapatista rebels at San Andrés Larrainzar, Chiapas.  They pledge to respect the rights of indigenous people and work towards a political settlement.

    18 February 1996 A Provisional IRA bomb explodes in a London bus killing one person and injuring nine.

    19 February 1996 Over 500,000 people march silently through Madrid to protest the Basque terrorist group ETA.

    20 February 1996 13:15 Toru Takemitsu dies of intestinal cancer in a Tokyo hospital, aged 65 years, four months, and twelve days.  During his final hours he listens to a radio broadcast of the St. Matthew Passion, his favorite work of Johann Sebastian Bach (†245).

    Russian forces capture Novogroznensky, 65 km east of Grozny.

    21 February 1996 Aria antigua for recorder and claves by Joaquín Rodrigo (94) is performed for the first time, in Madrid.  See 10 June 1959 and 18 December 1994.

    22 February 1996 French President Jacques Chirac announces sweeping cuts in military spending.

    Concerto for clarinet and orchestra by George Rochberg (77) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.

    23 February 1996 Two sons-in-law of Saddam Hussein, who defected to Jordan last August but recently returned to Iraq, are killed in Baghdad apparently by family members.

    Three Fragments to Words by Stanislaw Wyspianski for voice and piano by Henryk Górecki (62) is performed for the first time, in Zakopane the composer at the keyboard.

    24 February 1996 Cuban jets shoot down two small planes piloted by Cuban exiles from the United States.  Four people are killed.  The exact location of the incident, whether over Cuban or international waters, is disputed.

    25 February 1996 Arab terrorists set off two bombs in Israel.  One, on a West Jerusalem bus, kills 25 people.  Another, in Ashkelon, kills two people.

    Henry Brant’s (82) orchestration of the Concord Sonata of Charles Ives (†41) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.

    26 February 1996 A car bomb explodes outside a Tirana supermarket killing five people and wounding 30.  Two former members of the Albanian secret police are arrested.

    The United States retaliates for the incident of 24 February by suspending all charter flights between the US and Cuba.

    27 February 1996 An Arab drives a car into a Jerusalem bus stop killing one person and injuring 23 others.  Citizens at the scene shoot the man to death.

    The United Nations lifts sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs.

    Investigators in Guatemala find 167 bodies in a mass grave, killed by the army in 1982 in an anti-left campaign.

    28 February 1996 A ruling coalition is formed in New Zealand with the National Party and the small United Party.  Jim Bolger retains the premiership.

    Daiwa Bank Ltd. pleads guilty in a New York court to 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy.  They agree to pay $340,000,000 in fines in return for a promise not to prosecute the bank.

    29 February 1996 A funeral in memory of Toru Takemitsu takes place in Tokyo.  His In the Woods for guitar is performed for the first time.

    1 March 1996 Koïranoï for orchestra by Iannis Xenakis (73) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.

    2 March 1996 National elections in Australia result in a big win for the Liberal/National coalition, and ends 13 years of rule by the Labor Party.

    Rapids for orchestra by Joan Tower (57) is performed for the first time, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    3 March 1996 Arab terrorists explode a bomb on a West Jerusalem bus killing 19 people and wounding ten.  Prime Minister Shimon Peres, until now opposed to building a defensive barrier in the West Bank, announces plans to go ahead with it.

    In parliamentary elections in Spain, the conservative Popular Party gains a plurality of seats, defeating the ruling Socialist Party.

    Kleine Symphonie for orchestra and Musik für Streichinstrumente by Werner Egk (†12) are performed for the first time, in Ankara 70 years after they were composed.

    4 March 1996 Arab terrorists explode a bomb at an intersection in Tel Aviv.  14 people are killed, 130 injured.

    6 March 1996 Ahmet Mesut Yilmaz replaces Tansu Çiller as Prime Minister of Turkey.

    7 March 1996 Sandoz AG and Ciba-Geigy AG, both Swiss, announce they will merge to form the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world.  It will be known as Novartis.

    The Concerto for flute or clarinet and orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki (62) is performed for the first time on clarinet, in Prague.  See 11 January 1993.

    Trio-Inventions for three cellos by Leslie Bassett (73) is performed for the first time, in Gainesville, Georgia.

    8 March 1996 China test fires three missiles near Taiwan in anticipation of the upcoming presidential elections on Taiwan.

    9 March 1996 Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio replaces Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares as President of Portugal.

    11 March 1996 John Winston Howard replaces Paul John Keating as Prime Minister of Australia at the head of a center-right coalition.

    13 March 1996 China test fires a fourth missile near Taiwan.

    Thomas Hamilton shoots 16 students, their teacher, and himself to death at a kindergarten in Dunblane, Scotland.

    The Liggett Group, Inc. breaks with defendants and settles a class action suit against it by five states seeking to recoup Medicare payments.

    14 March 1996 Mikis Theodorakis (70) is appointed Officier of the Légion d’Honneur by the ambassador of France to Greece.

    Piano Sonata no.3 by Alfred Schnittke (61) is performed for the first time, in Tel Aviv.

    15 March 1996 The Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker is declared bankrupt.

    18 March 1996 The US Food and Drug Administration releases affidavits from three former tobacco company executives who maintained that the companies see cigarettes as a nicotine delivery device.

    Pro-Life advocate John Salvi is convicted in a Massachusetts court of two counts of murder and five counts of armed assault with intent to kill.  Salvi shot his victims at two clinics in Brookline.  He is sentenced to two consecutive life terms without parole plus 10-20 years for the assaults.

    19 March 1996 The Bosnian government takes control of Grbavica, the last of five suburbs of Sarajevo handed over by the Serbs according to the peace agreement.  Sarajevo is unified for the first time since the Serb siege began in 1992.  About 90% of the local Serb population have fled, frightened and intimidated by the Serb leadership.  Many set their houses on fire and commit acts of looting and vandalism.

    “Holding a Daisy” from No Longer Very Clear:  a Suite for Piano by Joan Tower (57) is performed for the first time, in Miller Theatre of Columbia University.

    21 March 1996 Russian troops launch a ten-day offensive against several Chechen villages.

    Göran Persson replaces Ingvar Gösta Carlsson as Prime Minister of Sweden.

    Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden ban the importation of British beef due to mad cow disease.

    22 March 1996 Feast of Feasts for vocal soloists, chorus, and percussion by John Tavener (52) to words of the Orthodox liturgy is performed for the first time, in the Grand Hall, Balamand Abbey, Lebanon.

    23 March 1996 The United States space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir.  It is the first such docking between these two types of craft.  Biochemist Shannon Lucid is transferred from Atlantis to Mir.

    Incumbent Li Denghui wins the first democratic presidential election in Taiwan.

    Knastgesänge, three music-theatre pieces for puppet players, singers, and instrumentalists by Hans Werner Henze (69) to words of Treichel, is performed for the first time, in Theater Basel.

    27 March 1996 Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh resigns and turns power over to an interim government.  This comes after a campaign of violence and non-cooperation by opposition parties who charge fraud in recent elections.

    Yigal Amir is convicted of murdering Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  He is sentenced to life in prison.

    The European Union bans the export of British beef amidst fears of mad cow disease.

    30 March 1996 Muhammad Habibur Rahman replaces Khaleda Zia as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

    1 April 1996 The Bank of Tokyo Ltd. and Mitsubishi Bank Ltd. merge to form the largest bank in the world, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd with assets of $722,400,000,000.

    3 April 1996 35 people are killed when a US Air Force plane crashes in bad weather near Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Among the dead is Ron Brown, US Secretary of Commerce and other high officials in the US government and business.

    US agents arrest Theodore Kaczynski in western Montana and accuse him of being the Unabomber. 

    6 April 1996 Factional fighting begins in Monrovia, Liberia.

    9 April 1996 United States forces begin evacuating hundreds of foreign nationals from Monrovia.

    Hezbollah fires rockets into Israel from Lebanon, injuring 26 civilians.

    11 April 1996 Representatives of 43 African countries sign an agreement in Cairo banning nuclear weapons from the continent.

    Israel strikes back against Arab terrorists in southern Lebanon who have been shelling northern Israel.

    Quaternion for four cellos by Sofia Gubaidulina (64) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.

    Gaea for two pianos-left hand and orchestra by William Bolcom (57) is performed for the first time, in Baltimore.

    Watershed IV for percussion and electronic sound generators by Roger Reynolds (61) is performed for the first time, in the Mandeville Center for the Arts, La Jolla, California.

    13 April 1996 The first version of Gejagte Form for orchestra by Wolfgang Rihm (44) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.  See 28 March 2003.

    Scratchband for amplified ensemble by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, at Pennsylvania State University conducted by the composer.

    14 April 1996 Jubilation for orchestra by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (56) is performed for the first time, in Athens, Georgia.

    15 April 1996 Amnesty International reports a crackdown on Buddhism in Tibet.  The Chinese government is limiting the number of monks and nuns.  Images of the Dalai Lama are banned from public display.

    The first hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission take place in East London.

    The Petronas Towers, presently under construction in Kuala Lampur, are officially named the tallest buildings in the world at 452 meters.

    16 April 1996 Concerto for orchestra no.3 by Robin Holloway (52) is performed for the first time, in Barbican Hall, London.

    Concerto for guitar and orchestra by Samuel Adler (68) is performed for the first time, in Orlando, Florida.

    17 April 1996 Police in Para state, Brazil open fire on land reform protesters, killing 23.

    18 April 1996 Israeli forces attempting to hit a terrorist base camp in southern Lebanon accidentally shell a United Nations camp near Tyre.  107 Lebanese are killed, over 100 injured.  The terrorists placed their camp less than a kilometer from the UN.

    Moslem terrorists attack a hotel near the pyramids in Giza, killing 18 people and wounding 15 others.

    A cease-fire is declared in factional fighting in Monrovia, Liberia.

    20 April 1996 Spring Song for harp by TJ Anderson (67) is performed for the first time, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    21 April 1996 Chechen rebel leader Dzhokhar Dudayev is killed in a Russian rocket attack.  The fact will be confirmed on 24 April.

    The center-left Olive Tree coalition, led by Romano Prodi, wins the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections in Italy.

    Prayer to the Holy Trinity for chorus by John Tavener (52) is performed for the first time, in Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge.

    Fanfare for the Detroit Opera House:  Fantasia for Four Voices for brass by William Bolcom (57) is performed for the first time, in Detroit.

    Diary of a Journey for flute, bassoon, and cello by Samuel Adler (68) is performed for the first time, in Phoenix, Arizona.

    22 April 1996 A military prosecutor finds no reason to proceed with charges that former Polish Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy was a Russian spy.

    23 April 1996 Meeting in London, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action group recommends sanctions against Nigeria for its human rights abuses.

    24 April 1996 The Palestine National Council votes in Gaza to repeal articles in its charter calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and waging war against Israel.  One PNC member, Abu Abbas, admits that mistakes were made in the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, which he masterminded.

    An international team of scientists announces in Washington and Brussels that they have mapped the genome of baker’s yeast.  It is the most complex organism yet mapped.

    25 April 1996 Duet for two violins and string orchestra by Steve Reich (59) is performed for the first time, in Bochum.

    26 April 1996 Through the efforts of the United States, Israel, Syria, and Lebanon agree to a cease-fire in Lebanon.

    Slow Frieze for piano and 13 players by Harrison Birtwistle (61) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

    27 April 1996 Several new works are performed for the first time in the Concert Hall of the Stadt-Casino, Basel:  A 6 Letter Letter for english horn by Elliott Carter (87); Sur Incises for solo piano, two pianos, three harps, two vibraphones, and marimba by Pierre Boulez (71); An Eye, open for soprano, two clarinets, viola, cello, and double bass by Harrison Birtwistle (61) to words of Celan (tr. Hamburger); and Kol Od for trumpet and chamber orchestra by Luciano Berio (70).  All but the Carter are conducted by Pierre Boulez.  See 28 April 1996 and 30 August 1998.

    28 April 1996 A deranged man opens fire on a crowd in Port Arthur, Tasmania.  35 people are killed and 18 injured before he is subdued by police.

    Pulse Shadows by Harrison Birtwistle (61) is performed for the first time, in Witten.  This consists of the intertwining of Nine Settings of Celan for soprano, two clarinets, viola, cello, and double bass performed completely for the first time today, and Nine Movements for String Quartet, also performed completely for the first time.  Sections of the Nine Settings of Celan not performed earlier are Thread suns, Psalm, and Give the Word. Sections of the Nine Movements for string Quartet not performed earlier are Fantasias 1, 3 and 5 and Friezes 2-4.

    Reliqui Domum meum for organ by Peter Maxwell Davies (61) is performed for the first time, in Kirkwall East Church, Orkney.

    29 April 1996 Martin Bryant opens fire on a crowd in Port Arthur, Tasmania killing 32 people.  Later, he sets fire to a house, killing three more and is then apprehended by the police.  It is the worst such rampage in Australian history.

    2 May 1996 The first stock market in Albania opens in Tirana.

    Uninterrupted Movement op.59 for solo cello, four cellos, and other instruments by Alexander Goehr (63) is performed for the first time, at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.

    3 May 1996 The Food of Love for chorus by Robin Holloway (52) to words of Shelley is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.

    4 May 1996 José María Aznar López of the center-right Popular Party replaces Socialist Felipe González Márquez as Prime Minister of Spain.

    Bach Measures for chamber orchestra by Harrison Birtwistle (61) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

    String Quartet no.9 by Ralph Shapey (75) is performed for the first time, in Mills Concert Hall of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    7 May 1996 Elections to the Indian Lok Sabha end today in a third straight hung parliament.  The Bharatiya Janata Party holds the most seats with 187.

    The first trial before the International Criminal Tribunal begins in The Hague.  Dusan Tadic is accused of torture, rape, and murder.

    Marco Polo, an opera by Tan Dun (38) to words of Griffiths, is performed for the first time, in Munich, conducted by the composer.

    New works are performed for the first time, in Basel:  Pol for six players by Wolfgang Rihm (44), Rasche Fuge zur Sache Bach for string quartet by Henri Pousseur (66), and Voie lactée ô soeur lumineuse, a toccata for 19 instruments in honor of Paul Sacher by Hans Werner Henze (69).

    Duetti, a dance by Kevin Volans (46) to a choreography of Burrows, is performed for the first time, in Ghent.

    8 May 1996 A constituent assembly in Cape Town approves a new constitution for South Africa.  This essentially ends the process of democratization.

    Pierre Boulez (71) is presented with the Polar Prize in Stockholm.

    10 May 1996 Federal, state, and territorial governments in Australia agree to ban the sale and possession of all automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

    Over the next two days, Vietnamese refugees riot at detention centers in Hong Kong.  Dozens make their escape.  26 buildings and 53 cars are set alight.

    Postcards from Spain for guitar by Thea Musgrave (67) is performed for the first time, in Norfolk, Virginia.

    11 May 1996 Liebeslied for four vocal soloists and piano four-hands by John Corigliano (58) to his own words is performed for the first time, at the 92nd Street Y, New York.

    15 May 1996 Hard-line Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic orders the removal of Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic of Republika Srpska.  Kasagic is replaced by Gojko Klickovic, an ally of Karadzic.  UN negotiator Carl Bildt calls on Slobodan Milosevic to turn over Karadzic to The Hague where he is indicted for war crimes.

    Anthony Davis (45) receives the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

    Elegy for Toru Takemitsu (†1) for flute, percussion, and strings by Roger Reynolds (61) is performed for the first time, at the Mandeville Center for the Arts, La Jolla, California.

    16 May 1996 Atal Behari Vajpayee replaces PV Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister of India.  Vajpayee’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won the most seats in elections held 27 April through 7 May.

    President Boris Yeltsin of Russia announces an end to conscription.

    A Sinking Love for soprano and string quartet by Tan Dun (38) is performed for the first time, in Munich.  See 2 May 1995.

    18 May 1996 Romano Prodi replaces Lamberto Dini as Prime Minister of Italy at the head of a center-left coalition.

    A Moslem militant points a gun at President Süleyman Demirel of Turkey at a public event in Izmit.  Before he can fire, the man is wrestled to the ground by Demirel’s bodyguards.

    Four works for voice and piano by Arnold Bax (†42) are performed for the first time, at Big School, Christ’s Hospital, Horsham:  Wild Almond to words of Trench, composed in 1924, Viking-Battle-Song to words of Fiona Macleod, composed in 1905, The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls to words of Tennyson, composed in 1917, and A Leader to words of Russell, composed in 1916.

    Les Enfants terribles, a dance opera by Philip Glass (59) to his own words after Cocteau, is performed for the first time, in Zug, Switzerland.

    19 May 1996 Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme by Paganini):  Paganini Trills by Joan Tower (57) is performed for the first time, in Powell Hall, St. Louis.

    20 May 1996 Iraq and the United Nations sign an agreement which will allow Iraq to sell some oil to pay for food.

    In the case of Romer v. Evans, the United States Supreme Court rules that a Colorado law banning protections for homosexuals is unconstitutional.

    21 May 1996 Sigrancia Ballade for baritone and orchestra by Betsy Jolas (69) to words of du Bouchet is performed for the first time, in Royal Festival Hall, London.

    24 May 1996 Mikis Theodorakis (70) receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Crete.

    Jacob Raphael Druckman dies in New Haven, aged 67 years, ten months, and 28 days.

    Days of the Gods, an opera by Toshiro Mayuzumi (67) to words of Nakajima and Fussenegger, is performed for the first time, in the Staatstheater, Linz.

    25 May 1996 Simeon Saxe-Coburg, the former King Simeon II, returns to Bulgaria after 50 years invited by a private group to discuss the future of the country.  500,000 people greet him.  He is now a businessman in Spain.

    27 May 1996 Russian and Chechen negotiators sign a peace agreement in Moscow.  Russian President Yeltsin will visit the area tomorrow.

    28 May 1996 13 days after taking office, the government of Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of the BJP resigns before losing a confidence vote.

    Pavlo Ivanovich Lazarenko replaces Yevgeny Kyrylovich Marchuk as Prime Minister of Ukraine.

    President Jacques Chirac of France announces that conscription will end next January.

    29 May 1996 Israeli voters choose Benyamin Netanyahu of the Likud bloc as Prime Minister over incumbent Shimon Peres.  Simultaneous Knesset elections see losses for both Labor and Likud.

    31 May 1996 Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat who fought with the Serbs, becomes the first person found guilty at The Hague in the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  Erdemovic admitted to helping the Serbs massacre Moslems after the fall of Srebrenica last year.

    Antoninius Wilhemus Adrianus (Ton) de Leeuw dies in Paris at the age of 69 years, six months, and 15 days.

    1 June 1996 HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal replaces Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister of India at the head of a 13-party coalition.

    President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine announces that the last nuclear warheads have left Ukrainian soil and have been transferred to Russia.

    After two days of voting in the Czech Republic, the ruling center-right coalition of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus has lost 13 seats and its parliamentary majority.  The Social Democratic Party gains 45 seats.

    Songs for a Winter’s Evening for soprano and orchestra by Thea Musgrave (68) to words of Burns is performed for the first time, in Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries.

    3 June 1996 Representatives from 170 countries convene in Istanbul for the second United Nations Conference of Human Settlements known as Habitat II.

    6 June 1996 Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz of Turkey resigns, ending the ruling conservative coalition.

    The Universe Symphony of Charles Ives (†42), realized by Reinhard, is performed for the first time, in New York.  See 29 October 1993 and 28 January 1994.

    Two theatre pieces by John C. Eaton (61) are performed for the first time, in Chicago:  Don Quixote, to his own words after Cervantes, and Golk to words of Stern.

    8 June 1996 China announces that after one more test, it will join a ban on nuclear weapons testing.

    10 June 1996 Russian officials sign an agreement with Chechen rebels in Nazram to withdraw Russian troops from Chechnya and end the fighting.

    Peace talks begin in Belfast amid protests against the appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as chair.  Sinn Fein is not included.

    Kuïlenn for flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, and two french horns by Iannis Xenakis (74) is performed for the first time, in Amsterdam.

    12 June 1996 An Arc Ascending for orchestra by Gunther Schuller (70) is performed for the first time, in Cincinnati.

    15 June 1996 A Provisional IRA car bomb explodes in a Manchester shopping center injuring 206 people and causing £700,000,000 of damage.

    16 June 1996 The first round of voting in Russia’s presidential election sees incumbent Boris Yeltsin and Communist Gennady Zyuganov positioned for a runoff.

    17 June 1996 The United States and China agree to stop piracy of music, movies, and software.

    18 June 1996 Benyamin Netanyahu replaces Shimon Peres as Prime Minister of Israel.

    20 June 1996 Westinghouse Electric buys Infinity Broadcasting for $3,900,000,000.

    Concrete Jungle for orchestra by Michael Daugherty (42) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco.

    22 June 1996 I am the True Vine for chorus by Arvo Pärt (61) is performed for the first time, in Norwich Cathedral.

    Symphony no.6 by Peter Maxwell Davies (61) is performed for the first time, in the Phoenix Cinema, Kirkwall, Orkney the composer conducting.

    23 June 1996 Sheik Hasina Wazed replaces Khaleda Zia as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

    Paulo Cesar Farias, alleged mastermind of an influence-peddling scheme which brought down President Fernando Collor de Mello, is found shot to death in Maceio, Alagoas.  His girlfriend is also found dead.

    24 June 1996 Port Arthur:  In Memoriam for oboe or trumpet and strings by Peter Sculthorpe (67) is performed for the first time, in Government House, Hobart, Tasmania.

    25 June 1996 A truck bomb kills 19 US soldiers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.  Hundreds of others are injured.  The blast leaves a crater ten-and-a-half meters deep.

    26 June 1996 Tears of the Angels for violin and strings by John Tavener (52) is performed for the first time, in the Hellenic Center, London.

    27 June 1996 Official results of the 12 June election show a victory for the opposition Awami League in Bangladesh.  It won 147 of 300 seats compared to 116 for the ruling Nationalist Party.

    The ruling three party coalition in the Czech Republic reconstitutes itself as a minority government after losses in recent elections.

    Eight Serb policemen are indicted on charges of rape before the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.  It is the first time that rape has been treated as a war crime.

    The Icelandic Parliament legalizes marriage between homosexuals.

    Oceana for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra by Osvaldo Golijov (35) is performed for the first time, at the Oregon Bach Festival.

    28 June 1996 Necmettin Erbakan of the Islamic Welfare Party replaces Ahmet Mesut Yilmaz as Prime Minister of Turkey.

    The Rada approves a new constitution for Ukraine.

    29 June 1996 China declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

    30 June 1996 Parliamentary elections in Mongolia are won by the opposition Democratic Party over the ruling Communists.

    1 July 1996 A new law goes into effect in Australia’s Northern Territory, allowing for voluntary euthanasia.

    Phantom und Eskapade, a fantasy-piece for violin and piano by Wolfgang Rihm (44), is performed for the first time, in Johannisberg.

    2 July 1996 An election in Mongolia removes communists from power for the first time in 70 years.

    3 July 1996 President Boris Yeltsin of Russia wins reelection in a runoff.

    President Idriss Debry is reelected in the first democratic presidential election in the 36-year existence of Chad.

    The Hungarian government agrees to establish a fund to compensate Jewish victims for property seized during World War II.  It is the first eastern European country to do so.

    8 July 1996 Ascent for organ by Joan Tower (57) is performed for the first time, in St. Ignatius Loyola Church, New York.

    10 July 1996 The Doctor of Myddfai, an opera by Peter Maxwell Davies (61) to words of Pountney, is performed for the first time, in the North Wales Theatre, Llandudno.

    Duos for french horn and string quartet by George Perle (81) is performed for the first time, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

    Valse triste for harp and strings by Dominick Argento (68) is performed for the first time, in Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis.

    11 July 1996 The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague issues arrest warrants for Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.  They are wanted for crimes against humanity.

    The US government revokes the visa of President Ernesto Samper Pizano of Colombia.  They claim he received $6,000,000 from the Cali drug cartel for his 1994 campaign.

    War Song for voice and piano by Marc Blitzstein (†32) to words of Parker is performed for the first time, in Salle Nadia Boulanger in Fontainebleau, 51 years after it was composed.

    12 July 1996 A Milan court orders former Prime Ministers Silvio Berlusconi, Bettino Craxi, and ten others to stand trial for violating political party funding laws.

    Popular music entertainer Jonathan Melvoin of Smashing Pumpkins is found dead in a New York hotel room, apparently of a heroin overdose.

    Suite no.1 for cello by William Bolcom (58) is performed for the first time, at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts.

    14 July 1996 A bomb destroys a hotel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland injuring 17 people.  No one takes responsibility.

    Form/2 Formen for 20 instrumentalists and 5 players by Wolfgang Rihm (44) is performed for the first time, in Darmstadt.

    Three Songs op.60 for voice, clarinet in A, and viola by Alexander Goehr (63) to words of Frazer after Ovid, is performed for the first time, in the Almeida Theatre, London.

    15 July 1996 MSNBC, a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC, begins broadcasting.

    17 July 1996 The Community of Portuguese Language Countries is instituted between Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Principe.

    Trio for violin, clarinet, and piano by Gian Carlo Menotti (85) is performed for the first time, in Spoleto.

    A Trans World Airlines plane on a flight from New York to Paris explodes and crashes into the sea off Long Island.  All 230 aboard are killed.  (Terrorists are suspected but nothing is ever proved)

    19 July 1996 Through the efforts of US envoy Richard Holbrooke, Radovan Karadzic resigns as President of Republika Srpska and chairman of the ruling party.

    The Games of the 26th Olympiad of the Modern Era open in Atlanta.

    Call to the Nations by Philip Glass (59), Mickey Hart, and Zakir Hussain is performed for the first time, by 1,000 percussionists at the opening of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

    20 July 1996 Song of Defiance for soprano, piano, and string quartet by Robin Holloway (52) to words of Houseman is performed for the first time, in the Assembly Rooms, Ludlow.

    23 July 1996 French police arrest Julian Achurra Egurrola, a leading member of the Basque separatist group ETA, charging him with involvement in recent bombings.

    European regulators approve the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas.

    25 July 1996 Hyperstring Trilogy for hypercello, hyperviola, hyperviolin, and chamber orchestra by Tod Machover (42) is performed for the first time, at Lincoln Center, New York.

    27 July 1996 Government troops raid the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party in Jakarta.  This leads to rioting in which three people are killed, hundreds injured.

    01:25  A bomb explodes in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta crowded with people during the Olympic Games.  One person is killed, 111 are injured.  The bomb was set by Pro-Life advocate Eric Rudolph in an attempt to embarrass the United States government for not outlawing abortions.

    Discourse Encore for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano by Ralph Shapey (75) is performed for the first time.

    Police raid the headquarters of an opposition group in Jakarta.  Riots ensue in which dozens are killed or “disappeared.”

    28 July 1996 Inmates in several Turkish prisons end a 69-day hunger strike after reaching a settlement with the government.  About 7,000 prisoners took part in the strike, protesting torture, abuse and moving inmates away from trial sites.  Twelve people died in the strike, hundreds are critically ill.

    29 July 1996 China explodes a nuclear bomb underground at Lop Nor, Xinjiang.  They then declare a moratorium on nuclear testing.

    31 July 1996 Warring factions in Liberia agree to disarm after talks in Abuja.

    1 August 1996 Olafur Ragnar Grimsson replace Vigdis Finbogadottir as President of Iceland.

    Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid dies in Mogadishu.  He was wounded by gunfire last week.

    4 August 1996 The Games of the 26th Olympiad of the Modern Era close in Atlanta.  In 16 days of competition, 10,318 athletes from 197 nations took part.

    6 August 1996 Chechen rebels attack Grozny and two other towns, capturing several key locations.

    7 August 1996 Russian troops counterattack against recent advances made by Chechen rebels.

    8 August 1996 Chechen rebels withdraw from their recent gains.  70 Russian soldiers are killed in the fighting while 300 are wounded.  Chechen casualties are unknown.

    9 August 1996 Boris Yeltsin is sworn in in Moscow as the first democratically elected head of state in the history of Russia.  Meanwhile, Chechen rebels surround Russian forces in Grozny and attack them.  They capture important government buildings in the city.

    Hunem-Iduhey for violin and cello by Iannis Xenakis (74) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York.

    10 August 1996 Vlepondas for soprano, baritone, and cello by John Tavener (52) is performed for the first time, in Delphi.

    11 August 1996 Rafael Kubelik dies in Lucerne at the age of 82.

    Cabbages and Kings for soprano, clarinet, four violins, chorus, and orchestra by David Del Tredici (59), to words of Carroll, is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York.

    13 August 1996 David Tudor dies at his home in Tomkins Cove, New York at the age of 70.

    15 August 1996 Belgian authorities uncover a network of child prostitution, molestation, and pornography near Charleroi.

    Sarajevo Airport reopens to commercial traffic.

    17 August 1996 Circe for three flutes by Thea Musgrave (68) is performed for the first time, in New York.

    20 August 1996 Russian forces surround Grozny trapping the guerrillas inside.  Thousands of civilians flee the city.

    The Passacaglia movement from the Serenade for string orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki (62) is performed for the first time, in Lucerne.  See 31 August 1997.

    22 August 1996 Representatives of the Russian government and Chechen rebels sign a cease-fire agreement in Novye Atagi, Chechnya.  The rebels promise to disarm after Russian troops have withdrawn.

    23 August 1996 Croatia and Yugoslavia sign a mutual recognition treaty in Belgrade.

    French police forcibly remove 300 illegal African immigrants from St. Bernard de la Chapelle in Paris.  They are seeking to avoid deportation.

    26 August 1996 Ex-president Chun Doo Hwan of the Republic of Korea is sentenced to death for his part in taking power during the 1979 coup.  His successor, Roh Tae Woo, is sentenced to 22 years, six months for his part in the coup and taking bribes.  Nine high-ranking business executives are found guilty of giving Roh the bribes.

    28 August 1996 A final divorce decree is handed down in London’s High Court separating Prince Charles from Princess Diana.

    29 August 1996 A Bosnian Serb mob holds several members of the United Nations International Police Task Force hostage in Zvornik.  They release them when several Serbs held by NATO after recent ethnic fighting are released.

    30 August 1996 At least 300 Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attack an army base at Las Delicias in Putamayo.  96 people are killed.  They also attack army installations in 13 other regions throughout Colombia.

    31 August 1996 Iraqi troops enter the northern exclusion zone and join with a Kurdish faction to attack another Kurdish faction in Erbil.  Ten people are killed.

    Russian and Chechen leaders sign a peace agreement ending their war, in Khasavyurt, Russia near Chechnya.

    1 September 1996 In response to the events of yesterday, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghalli suspends Iraq’s oil-for-food program.

    2 September 1996 Otto Clarence Luening dies in New York, aged 96 years, two months, and 18 days.

    3 September 1996 The United States launches 27 cruise missiles into southern Iraq in retaliation for the Iraqi capture of Erbil.

    Ruth Perry is sworn in as head of state for Liberia, as a result of a peace agreement between warring factions.

    4 September 1996 The United States launches 17 cruise missiles into southern Iraq in retaliation for the Iraqi capture of Erbil.  The Iraqis withdraw their forces.

    5 September 1996 Three Moslem men are convicted in New York federal court for conspiring to blow up United States civilian airliners and to kill US citizens overseas.

    6 September 1996 The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attack a military base in Guaviare Department.  19 people are killed, 13 wounded.

    7 September 1996 Popular music entertainer Tupac Shakur is shot by a drive-by gunman in Las Vegas.  He will die 13 September.

    The Secret Agent, a film with music by Philip Glass (59), is shown for the first time, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    9 September 1996 Croatia and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) agree to diplomatic relations.

    10 September 1996 A Berlin court sentences six former East German generals to prison terms for ordering their soldiers to shoot Germans attempting to flee to the west.

    The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by a vote of 158-3.  It allows for on-site inspections of sites where nuclear tests have taken place.

    Midhouse Air for violin and viola by Peter Maxwell Davies (62) is performed for the first time, in Hoy Kirk, Orkney.  Also premiered is Davies’ Joey’s Tune for clarinet, bassoon, horn, and violin.

    11 September 1996 Troops of the Taliban rebels capture Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

    12 September 1996 Gillette Company buys Duracell International, Inc. for $7,000,000,000 in stock.

    Slonimsky’s Earbox for orchestra by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England.  The work was commissioned by the Halle Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

    Freitag aus Licht, an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen (68) to his own words, is performed completely for the first time, in the Leipzig Opernhaus.

    Two works by Larry Austin are performed for the first time, in Merkin Concert Hall, New York in a performance celebrating his 66th birthday:  BluesAx for saxophonist and computer music on tape, and Life Pulse Prelude for live and recorded percussionists.  Preceding the concert, Shin-Edo: CityscapeSet, a new tape work, was heard continuously in a gallery exhibition.

    14 September 1996 The first national elections since the end of the war take place in Bosnia and Hercegovina.  Ethnically-based parties do best.  Alija Izetbegovic will chair the collective presidency.

    15 September 1996 At a rally in Venice, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi declares the independence of a nation made up of Italy’s northern provinces.

    Spring Trio:  A Bouquet of Traditional Flower Rags for violin, cello, and piano by William Bolcom (58) is performed for the first time, at the University of Virginia.

    19 September 1996 The government of Guatemala signs a peace agreement with leftist rebels in Mexico City, ending the 35-year war.  The military will be reduced by one-third as is defense spending.  Domestic responsibilities of the army are transferred to a new police force.  Pro-government militias are required to disarm.

    20 September 1996 Estonia and Russia reach agreement on their border dispute.

    22 September 1996 Elections for the Greek Parliament result in a narrow victory for the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    23 September 1996 London police raid suspected hideouts of the IRA throughout the city.  They seize nine tons of explosives, kill one person and arrest five.

    24 September 1996 Arab youths protesting an Israeli archeological project fire stones at worshippers at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  Israeli riot police disperse them.

    The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is signed at the United Nations in New York by over 50 nations.  Among the signers are representatives of the five largest nuclear powers, the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, and China.

    The United States State Department releases manuals used by the notorious School of the Americas from 1982-1991 which call for the use of torture, blackmail, bribery, and other threats against suspected rebels.  The School of the Americas was run by the US military to train Latin American governments to oppose popular opposition.  Among the graduates are Manuel Noriega and Roberto D’Aubuisson.

    25 September 1996 An Arab mob attacks an Israeli checkpoint outside Ramallah.  When Israeli troops fire rubber bullets, Arab police open fire with live ammunition.  Firefights ensue.  Rioting occurs throughout the West Bank.

    26 September 1996 Israeli tanks and helicopters enter the West Bank.  Battles take place in Gaza, Nablus, and Ramallah.

    A 36-hour general strike begins in Argentina to protest austerity measures by President Carlos Menem.  It is 80-90% effective.

    27 September 1996 Troops of the Taliban militia enter and occupy Kabul, instituting an extreme fundamentalist Moslem regime including strict sharia law.  They invade a United Nations compound and capture former President Najibullah and his brother, Shahpur Ahmadzi.  The two are executed by firing squad and their bodies are hung on a Kabul street corner.

    Briefly It Enters for soprano and piano by William Bolcom (58) to words of Kenyon is performed for the first time, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    28 September 1996 Nine former communist leaders of Albania are sentenced to 15-20 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

    29 September 1996 Arab attacks on Israelis subside.  68 people are dead, hundreds injured.

    30 September 1996 The new Taliban government of Afghanistan imposes strict Islamic law on the country.  Women are girls are banned from school and employment and are forbidden to appear in public unless totally covered.  Music and movies are also banned.

    1 October 1996 The United Nations Security Council unanimously votes to lift sanctions on Yugoslavia.

    2 October 1996 Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov is shot to death at the door to his home in Sofiya.

    Outis, an azione musicale by Luciano Berio (71) to words of Del Corno and the composer, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

    3 October 1996 The presidents of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Hercegovina meet in Paris and agree to full diplomatic relations.

    4 October 1996 Ittidra for string sextet by Iannis Xenakis (74) is performed for the first time, in the Alte Oper, Frankfurt-am-Main.

    7 October 1996 Two IRA bombs injure 31 people at British Army headquarters in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

    9 October 1996 Democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo is sentenced by a Chinese court to three years in a labor camp for writing a protest letter.

    An arrangement of Advance Australia Fair for strings by Peter Sculthorpe (67) is performed for the first time, in a recording by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    10 October 1996 Fighting breaks out between the Zairean army and Tutsi settlers in eastern Zaire who have been ordered to leave.

    12 October 1996 National elections in New Zealand result in a hung parliament.

    Récit for alto saxophone and orchestra by Luciano Berio (70) is performed for the first time, in Milan.

    A Few Words About Chekhov for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano by Dominick Argento (68) to words of Chekhov and Knipper is performed for the first time, in St. Paul.

    13 October 1996 The Hidden Face for oboe, counter tenor, and strings by John Tavener (52) is performed for the first time, in the Barbican Center, London.

    15 October 1996 The Archer Daniels Midland Company is fined $100,000,000 for conspiracy and price fixing.

    Le Tombeau de Liberace for orchestra by Michael Daugherty (42) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

    17 October 1996 1,500,000 public sector workers in France go on strike for one day to protest new government austerity measures.

    18 October 1996 Concerto for guitar and orchestra:  Yi2  by Tan Dun (39) is performed for the first time, in Donaueschingen.

    19 October 1996 Burleske Suite aus Ubu Rex for winds and percussion by Krzysztof Penderecki (62) is performed for the first time, in Merano, South Tyrol.

    Gnarly Buttons for clarinet and chamber orchestra by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London conducted by the composer.

    20 October 1996 Elections for the Japanese Diet show a gain of 28 seats for the Liberal Democratic Party, who fall twelve seats short of a majority.

    Ioolkos for orchestra by Iannis Xenakis (74) is performed for the first time, in Donaueschingen.

    21 October 1996 A United Nations official announces that 220,000 Hutus have fled refugee camps in eastern Zaire because of fighting between the Zairean army and Tutsi settlers who have been ordered to leave Zaire.

    Intérieur/Extérieur for tape by Pierre Henry (68) is performed for the first time, as part of the Autumn Festival of Paris, at the home of the composer through 30 November.

    25 October 1996 Thorbjørn Jagland replaces Gro Harlem Brundtland as Prime Minister of Norway.

    Last Round for string orchestra by Osvaldo Golijov (35) is performed for the first time, in Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, Great Britain.

    26 October 1996 Walden Pond, a cycle for chorus, three cellos, and harp by Dominic Argento to words of Thoreau, is performed for the first time, in Ted Mann Auditorium of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis on the eve of the composer’s 69th birthday.

    27 October 1996 Psalm 150 for treble voices and optional voice or instruments by Peter Sculthorpe (67) is performed for the first time, in Launceston, Tasmania.

    The government of Zaire declares a state of emergency in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.

    Devotions, a film with music by Lou Harrison (79), is shown for the first time, at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Festival.

    29 October 1996 In retaliation for Zairean artillery shells sent across the border, Rwandan troops cross into Zaire to attack Zairean forces battling Tutsi rebels around Bukavu.  They then withdraw to Rwanda.  The UNHCR declares that the condition of 1,200,000 refugees in eastern Zaire is “desperate.”

    Opposites Attract (Portrait of Virgil Thomson) for piano by David Del Tredici (59) is performed for the first time, at the New School, New York by the composer to celebrate the centennial of Virgil Thomson (†7).

    30 October 1996 Wang Den, a leader of the Tienanmen Square protests of 1989, is sentenced in a Beijing court to eleven years in prison for “plotting to subvert the government.”

    Strathclyde Concerto no.10:  Concerto for Orchestra by Peter Maxwell Davies (62) is performed for the first time, in City Halls, Glasgow conducted by the composer.

    1 November 1996 Contre Nature for percussion and synthesized sounds by Jean-Claude Risset (58) is performed for the first time, in Nice.

    3 November 1996 A merger is announced between British Telecommunications PLC and MCI Communications Corporation to form Concert Global Communications PLC.  The merged company generates $42,000,000,000 in annual revenues.

    4 November 1996 Karlheinz Stockhausen (68) receives the Kulturpreis Köln.

    5 November 1996 President Farooq Leghari of Pakistan sacks Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and dissolves Parliament due to charges of corruption and incompetence against her.  He names Malik Meraj Khalid as Prime Minister.

    President Boris Yeltsin of Russia undergoes a multiple bypass heart operation in Moscow.

    Clark E. Cohen, Bradford W. Parkinson, John D. Powell, David G. Lawrence, Boris S. Pervan, and Henry S. Cobb receive a US patent for the global positioning system.

    Voting in the United States ensures the reelection of Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party as President over Senator Bob Dole.  Republicans gain two seats in the Senate, lose eight in the House of Representatives and retain control over both.

    6 November 1996 A cyclone in Andhra Pradesh kills 1,000 people.

    Anthony Minghella’s film The English Patient is shown for the first time, in Los Angeles.

    7 November 1996 Ryutaro Hashimoto wins reelection as Prime Minister of Japan at the head of a one-party Liberal Democrat minority government.

    A second setting of Pol for 13 instruments by Wolfgang Rihm (44) is performed for the first time, in Cologne.  See 7 May 1996.

    Second Sonata for strings by Hans Werner Henze (70) is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.

    10 November 1996 Requiem and Lullaby for soprano, solo stringed instrument, and orchestra by Tan Dun (39) is performed for the first time, in Hong Kong, conducted by the composer.  It is performed under the name Don’t Cry Nanjing from the composer’s soundtrack to the film Nanjing 1937.

    12 November 1996 French insurance company Groupe Axa announces it will buy Union des Assurances de Paris creating the largest insurance company in the world in terms of managed assets:  $450,000,000,000.

    13 November 1996 Nucleus for 13 players by Wolfgang Rihm (44) is performed for the first time, in Badenweiler, conducted by Pierre Boulez (71) as part of Pol-Kolchis-Nucleus.

    15 November 1996 Over the next four days, 500,000 Hutu refugees return to Rwanda from refugee camps in eastern Zaire.

    16 November 1996 Throstle’s Nest Junction for orchestra by Peter Maxwell Davies (62) is performed for the first time, in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

    17 November 1996 Voters in Romania choose center-right Emil Constantinescu as President along with a center-right Parliament.

    MAXIMUM EST UNUM for alto, four sopranos, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Wolfgang Rihm (44) to words of Meister Eckhart and Nikolaus Cusanus is performed for the first time, in Freiburg.

    18 November 1996 Prime Minister Mikhail Chigir of Belarus resigns over the new constitution which gives sweeping powers to President Lukashenko.  He is replaced by Sergey Ling.

    NATO begins to deploy a force of 30,000 in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

    19 November 1996 Large numbers of Serbian citizens begin demonstrating against the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.  Recent elections, in which opposition candidates did well, have been annulled.  Protests continue and grow through the end of the month.

    20 November 1996 President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland signs a bill into law which allows for abortions up to the twelfth week of pregnancy under certain conditions.

    21 November 1996 Transcendental Modulations for orchestra by George Perle (81) is performed for the first time, in New York.

    24 November 1996 A Belgrade district court annuls the election results in 33 city council districts won by opposition candidates.  100,000 Serbians march in Belgrade against the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

    An enlarged version of Séraphin:  Versuch eines Theaters für Instrumente/ Stimmen/... by Wolfgang Rihm (44) after Artaud, is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.  See 7 September 1994.

    25 November 1996 Galgenlieder à 3, a cycle for mezzo-soprano, double bass, and percussion by Sofia Gubaidulina (65) to words of Morgenstern, is performed for the first time, in Huddersfield.

    26 November 1996 Maranoa Lullaby for mezzo-soprano and string quartet by Peter Sculthorpe (67) to aboriginal words is performed for the first time, in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

    Red Forecast:  Orchestral Theatre III for soprano, video, and audio tape by Tan Dun (39) is performed for the first time, in Huddersfield, England.

    Stony Brook Concerto for chamber orchestra by Ralph Shapey (75) is performed for the first time, in Staller Center for the Arts, State University of New York, Stony Brook.

    27 November 1996 New elections in Serbia result in mostly Socialist victories.  The opposition boycotts the polls in Belgrade.

    A new parliament is formed in Belarus made up of supporters of President Lukashenko.  They approve a new constitution.

    Gediminas Vagnorius replaces Mindaugas Stankevicius as Prime Minister of Lithuania.

    28 November 1996 President Alyeksandr Lukashenko of Belarus signs a new constitution increasing presidential powers over every branch of government.  A referendum has approved the constitution but the opposition claims fraud in the voting.

    A new constitution in Algeria is approved by referendum.  It increases the power of the President and bans Islamic parties.

    Greek farmers begin a protest against government austerity measures by erecting barricades on major roads.

    Lumor, seven spiritual songs for a saxophonist (soprano and tenor) and orchestra, by Betsy Jolas (70), is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Radio France originating in Paris.

    29 November 1996 French truck drivers end a twelve-day national strike after reaching a favorable settlement with companies.  They have erected 249 road barricades which they begin to take down.  The strike has caused an economic crisis.

    Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat who fought with the Serbs, becomes the first person sentenced at The Hague in the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  Erdemovic receives 20 years in prison for helping the Serbs massacre Moslems after the fall of Srebrenica last year.

    Emil Ion Constantinescu replaces Ion Iliescu as President of Romania.

    30 November 1996 An agreement is signed in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire between government and rebel representatives ending the five-year civil war in Sierra Leone.  The war has cost tens of thousands of lives.

    1 December 1996 Chavalit Yongchaiyudh replaces Banharn Silpaarcha as Prime Minister of Thailand.

    Antagonismes for tape by Pierre Henry (68) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne.

    3 December 1996 400,000 Russian miners go on strike to collect back wages.

    Serbian authorities close independent radio station B-92 which has reported extensively on anti-government protests.

    A bomb planted by Islamic extremists from Algeria explodes on a Paris commuter train.  Three people are killed, 88 wounded.

    String Quartet no.13 by Peter Sculthorpe (67) is performed for the first time, in Paris.

    As One Who Has Slept for chorus by John Tavener (52) is performed for the first time, in Winchester.

    5 December 1996 General Motors begins selling the Saturn EV1, the first mass-produced electric vehicle.

    6 December 1996 The Serbian Information Minister resigns to protest government censorship.

    Roscobeck for cello and double bass by Iannis Xenakis (74) is performed for the first time, in the WDR Konzertsaal, Cologne.

    Astronauts aboard the space station Mir harvest a crop of wheat, the first such harvest in space.  It is the first crop taken through the entire life cycle from seeds in space.

    Suite for Sangen for shamisen by Lou Harrison (79) is performed for the first time.

    8 December 1996 Motives from Tatar Folklore for domra and piano by Sofia Gubaidulina (65) is performed for the first time, in Zürich.

    9 December 1996 UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghalli approves a deal to allow Iraq to sell oil to buy food.

    10 December 1996 After two months of negotiations, a new ruling coalition is agreed to in New Zealand between the ruling National Party and the smaller New Zealand First.  Jim Bolger remains as Prime Minister.

    A new constitution for South Africa is signed by President Nelson Mandela in Sharpeville, 55 km south of Johannesburg.

    Second Piano Quartet by William Bolcom (58) is performed for the first time, at the Kennedy Center, Washington.

    11 December 1996 A nationwide coal strike in Russia ends after nine days.

    A United Nations report is released showing 1,000 Hutus were murdered by the Burundian military in October and November.

    12 December 1996 Four men ambush Uday Hussein, the son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, in Baghdad.  They fire 50 shots into his car, 17 of which strike Uday.  He survives, but will be paralyzed for the rest of his life.

    Victor Ciorbea replaces Nicolae Vacaroiu as Prime Minister of Romania.

    14 December 1996 Over the next two weeks, 460,000 Rwandan refugees return home from camps in Tanzania.

    16 December 1996 The sentences of ex-Presidents of South Korea Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo are reduced by an appeals court.  Chun’s death sentence is reduced to life in prison.  Roh’s sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison is reduced to 17 years.

    17 December 1996 Unknown gunmen kill six Red Cross workers at a hospital in Novye Atagi, Chechnya.  It is the worst attack on the Red Cross in its history.

    The UN General Assembly elects Kofi Annan of Ghana to be Secretary General.

    Marxist guerrillas invade the Japanese embassy in Lima during a reception to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Akihito.  They take hundreds of hostages including the foreign minister and agriculture minister of Peru, twelve foreign ambassadors, members of the Peruvian Congress, the President of the Peruvian Supreme Court and members of the family of President Alberto Fujimori.  They demand the release of hundreds of their comrades in prison.

    19 December 1996 The Peruvian government cuts off water, electricity, and telephones to the Japanese embassy in Lima, currently held by Marxist guerrillas.

    20 December 1996 Marxist rebels holding the Japanese embassy in Lima release 38 of their hostages.

    21 December 1996 Incidental music to Hwang’s play After Eros by Phillip Glass (59) is performed for the first time, in New York.

    Midwest Celebration Fanfare for three brass choirs and percussion by Karel Husa (75) is performed for the first time.

    22 December 1996 Greek farmers end their protest against government austerity measures after the government refused to give in.

    Marxist rebels holding the Japanese embassy in Lima release 225 of their hostages, most of them unconnected to the Peruvian government.

    23 December 1996 A cease-fire is signed in Moscow between the government of Tajikistan and opposition rebels.  This ends the four-year civil war.

    24 December 1996 200,000 opposition marchers battle 50,000 Milosovic supporters in the streets of Belgrade.  One person is killed, 58 wounded.  Some Milosovic supporters are bused in by the government.

    27 December 1996 Fact finders from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe  declare that opposition candidates won the November elections in 14 Serbian cities and towns, including Belgrade.  They order the Serbian government to seat the victors.

    28 December 1996 Marxist rebels holding the Japanese embassy in Lima release 20 hostages.

    29 December 1996 An official signing ceremony in Guatemala City formalizes the agreement of 29 September.  The Guatemalan military will be reduced by one-third as is defense spending.  Domestic responsibilities of the army are transferred to a new police force.  Pro-government militias are required to disarm.  Rebels will be demobilized.

    ©2004-2012 Paul Scharfenberger

    25 December 2012

    Last Updated (Tuesday, 25 December 2012 07:39)