A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Leon Kirchner

Birth icon
January 24, 1919: Leon Kirchner (Leo Kirschner on the birth certificate) is born at 457 Georgia Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, USA, first of two children born to Samuel Kirzner, an embroiderer and Pauline (originally Sonie) Kirsner, a bookkeeper. Both parents are Jewish immigrants from Odessa, although they met in New York.
Event icon
November 30, 1942: Leon Kirchner (23) enlists in the United States Army in New York. He will spend the first year in inactive reserves.
Event icon
December 1, 1942: After seeing a recital by Rudolf Serkin in New York, Leon Kirchner (23) and his roommate, Raymond Smullyan, get drunk and listen to a recording of Schubert’s (†114) Sonata D.959 by Artur Schnabel, which they like better than Serkin’s performance of it. At 1:00 am they call Schnabel, whom they awaken, to discuss it. Remarkably, Schnabel engages them in a conversation ranging from Schubert to Alexander Hamilton to Albert Einstein.
Event icon
August 9, 1943: Leon Kirchner (24) enters active service in the United States Army in New York. He is sent to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for basic training and also training as a radio operator and mechanic.
Event icon
May 12, 1945: Leon Kirchner (26) is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
Event icon
September 6, 1945: Lieutenant Leon Kirchner (26) reports to Camp Adair in Wellsdale, Oregon. He will shortly be moved to Hawaii. Also serving in this unit are Carl Reiner and Allen Ludden.
Event icon
September 30, 1945: Lieutenant Leon Kirchner (26) arrives in Hawaii, assigned to the Special Services Soldier Show Section.
Event icon
January 14, 1946: On emergency leave, Lieutenant Leon Kirchner (27) flies home from Hawaii to Los Angeles to attend to his ailing mother. It will become obvious that she can not be left alone, and he will apply for an early discharge.
Event icon
March 29, 1946: At Fort MacArthur in the Port of Los Angeles, Lieutenant Leon Kirchner (27) is formally discharged from the United States Army. He was granted early release to attend to his ailing mother.
Performance icon
April 18, 1947: The Trial of Lucullus, an opera by Roger Sessions (50) to words of Brecht, is performed for the first time, at the University of California, Berkeley the composer conducting. The offstage chorus is conducted by graduate student Leon Kirchner (28).
Performance icon
April 2, 1948: Duo no.1 for violin and piano by Leon Kirchner (29) is performed for the first time, in Wheeler Auditorium of the University of California at Berkeley.
Event icon
April 10, 1949: The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowships are announced, including ones for John Cage (36), Samuel Barber (39), Peter Mennin (25), Leon Kirchner (30), and Robert Ward (31).
Performance icon
May 19, 1949: Penny Arcade, a cycle for voice and piano by Ned Rorem (25) to words of Norse, is performed for the first time, in the McMillan Theatre, New York the composer at the keyboard. Also premiered is Piano Sonata no.1 by Leon Kirchner (30), by the composer.
Event icon
July 8, 1949: Leon Kirchner (30) marries Gertrude Schoenberg, a singer, in a civil ceremony in Oakland, California.
Performance icon
March 26, 1950: String Quartet no.1 by Leon Kirchner (31) is performed for the first time, in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Performance icon
April 3, 1950: Little Suite for piano by Leon Kirchner (31) is performed for the first time, in Carl Fisher Hall, New York.
Performance icon
November 14, 1950: The Los Angeles City College presents the first all-Leon Kirchner (31) concert in honor of one of its former students.
Performance icon
January 22, 1951: At the west coast premiere of his String Quartet no.1 in San Francisco, Leon Kirchner (31) makes the acquaintance of Dmitri Mitropoulos. The conductor is impressed by the quartet and asks Kirchner if he has written anything for orchestra. Mitropoulos will eventually perform Kirchner’s Sinfonia.
Performance icon
January 31, 1952: Sinfonia by Leon Kirchner (33) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.
Performance icon
November 30, 1952: Sonata concertante for violin and piano by Leon Kirchner (33) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York, the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
November 30, 1954: Trio for violin, cello, and piano by Leon Kirchner (35) is performed for the first time, in Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, California the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
February 16, 1956: Toccata for orchestra by Leon Kirchner (37) is performed for the first time, in War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.
Performance icon
February 23, 1956: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.1 by Leon Kirchner (37) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York, the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
March 29, 1958: String Quartet no.2 by Leon Kirchner (39) is performed for the first time, in Detroit.
Performance icon
October 16, 1960: Concerto for violin, cello, ten winds, and percussion by Leon Kirchner (41) is performed for the first time, at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the composer conducting.
Event icon
May 24, 1962: Leon Kirchner (43) is inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York.
Event icon
August 24, 1962: A funeral service in memory of Irving Fine takes place at the Leah and Mendel Berlin Memorial Chapel of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Among those attending are Aaron Copland (61), Arthur Berger (50), Leonard Bernstein (43), Leon Kirchner (43), and Richard Wernick (28). His mortal remains are then laid to rest in Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, Massachusetts.
Performance icon
October 28, 1963: Piano Concerto no.2 by Leon Kirchner (44) is performed for the first time, in Seattle, the composer conducting.
Performance icon
January 27, 1967: String Quartet no.3 by Leon Kirchner (48) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York. See 1 May 1967.
Event icon
May 1, 1967: Leon Kirchner (48) wins the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his String Quartet no.3. See 27 January 1967.
Performance icon
October 16, 1969: Music for orchestra by Leon Kirchner (50) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York, conducted by the composer.
Event icon
May 31, 1970: The Peabody Conservatory of Music confers and honorary Doctorate of Music on Leon Kirchner (51).
Performance icon
July 23, 1971: Flutings for Paula for solo flute and optional percussion by Leon Kirchner (52) is performed for the first time, at Harvard University.
Performance icon
March 11, 1973: Lily for soprano and chamber orchestra by Leon Kirchner (54) to words of Bellow and the composer, from his unperformed opera of the same name, is performed for the first time, in Alice Tully Hall, New York.
Performance icon
April 14, 1977: Lily, an opera by Leon Kirchner (58) to his own words after Bellow, is performed for the first time, in New York, conducted by the composer.
Performance icon
October 20, 1978: Music for flute and orchestra by Leon Kirchner (59) is performed for the first time, in Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis.
Performance icon
October 22, 1979: Flutings for flute and optional percussion by Leon Kirchner (60), is performed for the first time, at New England Conservatory, Boston.
Performance icon
June 1, 1982: The Twilight Stood for voice and piano by Leon Kirchner (63) to words of Dickinson is performed for the first time, in Charleston, South Carolina, the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
February 17, 1985: Music for Twelve for chamber ensemble by Leon Kirchner (66) is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston the composer conducting.
Performance icon
September 4, 1986: Illuminations for brass by Leon Kirchner (67) is performed for the first time, at Harvard University. Also premiered is Ahab, a ballet by Ross Lee Finney (79).
Performance icon
March 7, 1987: Five Pieces for Solo Piano by Leon Kirchner (68) is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston.
Performance icon
May 28, 1988: For Cello Solo by Leon Kirchner (69) is performed for the first time, in Charleston, South Carolina.
Performance icon
August 17, 1988: Triptych for violin and cello by Leon Kirchner (69) is performed for the first time, at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts.
Performance icon
August 28, 1988: A Bernstein Birthday Bouquet: Eight Variations on a Theme by Leonard Bernstein for orchestra, variations on New York, New York for the 70th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, is performed for the first time, at Tanglewood. The variations are by Luciano Berio (62), Leon Kirchner (69), Jacob Druckman (60), Lukas Foss (66), John Corigliano (50), John Williams, Toru Takemitsu (57), and William Schuman (78).
Performance icon
January 22, 1989: For Violin Solo II by Leon Kirchner (69) is performed for the first time, in Washington.
Performance icon
November 11, 1989: At the 92nd Street Y, New York, Peter Serkin plays a program of eleven premieres of works for piano he commissioned. Included are Interlude I for by Leon Kirchner (70), Feurklavier by Luciano Berio (64), Piano Piece by Hans Werner Henze (63), Les Yeux clos II by Toru Takemitsu (59), the first piece from ...in real time op.50 by Alexander Goehr (57), and My Song by Bright Sheng (33).
Performance icon
January 30, 1990: Orchestra Piece by Leon Kirchner (71) is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston, conducted by the composer.
Performance icon
October 16, 1992: Music for cello and orchestra by Leon Kirchner (73) is performed for the first time, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.
Performance icon
December 14, 1993: Trio for violin, cello, and piano no.2 by Leon Kirchner (74) is performed for the first time, in the 92nd Street Y, New York.
Performance icon
December 6, 1995: For the Left Hand for piano by Leon Kirchner (76) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.
Performance icon
September 26, 1997: Of Things Exactly as they Are for soprano, baritone, chorus, and orchestra by Leon Kirchner (78) to words of various authors is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
Event icon
June 7, 2001: Leon Kirchner (82) is awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by Harvard University.
Performance icon
July 27, 2002: Duo no.2 for violin and piano by Leon Kirchner (83) is performed for the first time, in Marlboro, Vermont.
Performance icon
July 1, 2003: Interlude II for piano by Leon Kirchner (84) is performed for the first time, in London.
Performance icon
November 2, 2003: Piano Sonata no.2 by Leon Kirchner (84) is performed for the first time, in the Gardner Museum, Boston.
Performance icon
August 6, 2006: String Quartet no.4 by Leon Kirchner (87) is performed for the first time, in La Jolla, California.
Performance icon
November 11, 2006: Piano Sonata no.3 “The Forbidden” by Leon Kirchner (87) is performed for the first time, at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Performance icon
October 16, 2008: The Forbidden for orchestra by Leon Kirchner (89) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
Death icon
September 17, 2009: Leon Kirchner dies of congestive heart failure at his home in New York City, aged 90 years, seven months, and 24 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Event icon
October 13, 2009: A concert in memory of Leon Kirchner takes place in Miller Auditorium of Columbia University.