90px|Thomas Beecham, c. 1910
Thomas Beecham (1879–1961) was an English conductor and impresario
best known for his association with the London Philharmonic and the
Royal Philharmonic orchestras. From the early 20th century until his
death, Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain
and, according to the BBC, was Britain's first international conductor.
Born to a rich industrial family, Beecham began his career as a
conductor in 1899. He used his access to the family fortune to finance
opera from the 1910s until the start of the Second World War, staging
seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and His Majesty's Theatre with
international stars, his own orchestra and a wide repertoire. Among the
works he introduced to England during his career were Richard Strauss's
Elektra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier and three operas by Frederick
Delius. Together with his younger colleague Malcolm Sargent, Beecham
founded the London Philharmonic, and he conducted its first performance
at the Queen's Hall in 1932. In the 1940s, he worked for three years in
the United States, where he was music director of the Seattle Symphony
and conducted at the Metropolitan Opera. After his return to Britain,
he founded the Royal Philharmonic in 1946 and conducted it until his
death in 1961. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
George Mouzalon, regent of the Empire of Nicea, was assassinated as
part of a conspiracy led by the nobles under future emperor
Michael VIII Palaiologos.
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope, a
device that became known as a terrestrial or spyglass refracting
telescope, to Venetian lawmakers.
The National Park Service was established to manage all national parks,
many national monuments, and other conservation and historical
properties around the United States.
Polish forces under Józef Piłsudski successfully forced the Russians
to withdraw from Warsaw at the Battle of Warsaw, the decisive battle of
the Polish–Soviet War.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A large Arctic marine mammal related to seals and having long tusks,
tough, wrinkled skin, and four flippers
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Calmly take what ill betideth;
Patience wins the crown at length
Rich repayment him abideth
endures in quiet strength.
Brave the tamer of the lion;
Brave whom conquered kingdoms praise;
Bravest he who rules his passions,
Who his own impatience sways.
--Johann Gottfried Herder
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