January 1, 1844: This month’s issue of Fraser’s Magazine includes the first installment of “The Luck of Barry Lyndon” by William Makepeace Thackeray.
January 1, 1844: A setting of Psalm 98 for double chorus, orchestra, and organ by Felix Mendelssohn (34) is performed for the first time, in Berlin along with the first performances of his Wachet Auf for chorus and winds and Herr Gott, du bist unsre Zuflucht for double chorus.
January 7, 1844: Lowell Mason (52) becomes music director at the Central Church on Winter Street in Boston.
January 16, 1844: Mangareva, in the Gambier Islands, is made a French protectorate.
January 18, 1844: Bedrich Smetana (19) is appointed the resident piano teacher to the family of Count Leopold Thun in Prague.
January 18, 1844: Caterina Cornaro, a tragedia lirica by Gaetano Donizetti (46) to words of Sacchèro after Saint-Georges, is performed for the first time, at Teatro San Carlo, Naples. The audience reaction is hostile and the work receives only six performances.
January 19, 1844: Michael Faraday, speaking at the Royal Institution, London, postulates that the universe is made up of forces, with the material world existing within the various fields, rather than the other way around. He is so far ahead of his time his ideas are given little credence.
January 21, 1844: A setting of Psalm 100 for chorus by Felix Mendelssohn (34) is performed for the first time, in Berlin along with the premiere of Mendelssohn’s Ehre se idem Vater for chorus.
January 25, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann leave Leipzig for a concert tour of Russia.
January 29, 1844: Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dies in Gotha and is succeeded by his son Ernst II.
February 1, 1844: José Valentín Raimundo Canalizo Bocadillo replaces Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón as President of Mexico.
February 3, 1844: Two new works by Hector Berlioz (40) are performed for the first time, at the Salle Herz, Paris, the composer conducting: the overture Le carnaval romain and the ballade Hélène for male vocal quartet and orchestra to words of Moore translated by Gounet. This Berlioz concert in Salle Herz marks probably the first public use of new instruments invented by Adolphe Sax: saxophones, piccolo trumpet in E flat, piccolo valved bugle in E flat, valved bugle, and bass clarinet. Berlioz’ enthusiasm for his work is “instrumental” in establishing Sax in Paris. Among today’s performers is a promising 19-year-old cornettist named J-J-B Arban.
February 4, 1844: A military revolt against the Portuguese government begins in Torres Novas.
February 6, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann arrive in Riga on their way to St. Petersburg.
February 10, 1844: Cagliostro, an opera by Adolphe Adam (40) to words of Scribe and Saint-Georges, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris.
February 19, 1844: Violin Sonata W.33 by Peter Cornelius (19) is performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden, the composer at the piano.
February 25, 1844: A setting of Psalm 43 for chorus by Felix Mendelssohn (35) is performed for the first time, in Berlin along with the premiere of Mendelssohn’s In der Passionszeit for chorus.
February 27, 1844: The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti. The President of the ruling junta is Francisco del Rosario Sánchez.
February 28, 1844: On the Potomac River, the crew of the USS Princeton, demonstrating the ship’s armaments to top government officials, fires a cannon which explodes, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer, and several others while causing many injuries. President John Tyler, though on board, is unhurt.
March 2, 1844: A constitution for Greece is promulgated.
March 4, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann arrive in St. Petersburg from Leipzig, having concertized in Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Riga, Mitau (Jelgava), and Dorpat (Tartu).
March 5, 1844: Clara Schumann (24) is named an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society.
March 7, 1844: A new constitution is presented to King Othon of Greece. He demands changes that will not be agreed to.
March 8, 1844: King Carl XIV of Sweden (Jean Baptiste Bernadote) dies in Stockholm and is succeeded by his son, Oscar I.
March 9, 1844: Ernani, a dramma lirico by Giuseppe Verdi (30) to words of Piave after Hugo, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. Despite a mediocre performance, it is very successful, enjoying a favorable reception.
March 11, 1844: Konstantinos Michail Kanaris replaces Andreas Metaxas as Prime Minister of Greece.
March 11, 1844: Santo Genio dell’Italia terra, a cantata for chorus and orchestra by Gioachino Rossini (52) to words of Marchetti, is performed for the first time, in the Palazzo Carignano, Turin for the tercentenary of Tasso’s birth.
March 12, 1844: Samuel Sebastian Wesley (33) begins eight lectures on church music at the Collegiate Institute, Liverpool.
March 14, 1844: The periodical Le Siècle begins a serialization of Alexandre Dumas’ novel Les Trois Mousquetaires which will run until 14 July. It is an instant hit.
March 18, 1844: Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov is born at (present) ulitsa Rimskogo-Korsakova 12 in Tikhvin, Novgorod government, Russian Empire, 175 km east of St. Petersburg, the son of Andrey Petrovich Rimsky-Korsakov and Sofiya Vasiliyevna Skariatina.
March 21, 1844: Under pressure from the western powers, particularly Great Britain, Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecit I proclaims the Edict of Toleration granting equality of all religions before the law.
March 23, 1844: Le lazzarone, ou Le bien vient en dormant, a grand opéra by Fromental Halévy (44) to words of Saint-Georges, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
March 24, 1844: Clara Schumann (24) gives a private performance for Tsar Nikolay and the Russian royal family in St. Petersburg.
March 26, 1844: La sirène, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (62) to words of Scribe, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
March 30, 1844: Greece becomes a constitutional monarchy as King Othon I swears allegiance to the constitution. Universal male suffrage is guaranteed.
April 2, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann depart St. Petersburg after a month in the city, making for Moscow.
April 2, 1844: The United States opens a consulate in Alta California at Monterrey.
April 5, 1844: Two works for chorus by Felix Mendelssohn (35) are performed for the first time, on Good Friday in Berlin: Psalm 22 for solo voices and chorus, and Um unserer Sünden for double chorus.
April 10, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann arrive in Moscow from St. Petersburg.
April 11, 1844: After almost four years of haggling between Church authorities and the heirs of Nicolò Paganini (†3), the City of Genoa gives permission for the composer’s mortal remains to enter their territory.
April 11, 1844: Alexandros Nikolaou Mavrokordatos replaces Konstantinos Michail Kanaris as Prime Minister of Greece.
April 12, 1844: Representatives of the Republic of Texas and the United States of America sign a treaty of annexation in Washington.
April 16, 1844: Franz Liszt (32) gives the first of two solo recitals at the Théâtre-Italien, Paris.
April 18, 1844: Over the next week, civil disturbances occur in Lisbon in support of the military revolt in Torres Novas.
April 20, 1844: Portugal makes Macao into an overseas province.
April 22, 1844: The earthly remains of Nicolò Paganini (†3) are brought into Genoa and transported to the Paganini property at Ramairone.
April 25, 1844: Spain formally recognizes the independence of Chile.
April 29, 1844: Valentin Alkan (30) gives his only known solo recital, at Salle Erard, Paris. He plays the premieres of his Nocturne op.22, Saltarelle op.23, Alleluia op.25, and Air de ballet op.24/2. It is wildly successful with an audience that includes Frédéric Chopin (34), Franz Liszt (32), George Sand, and Alexandre Dumas.
April 30, 1844: While fishing near Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau accidentally sets fire to the forest. The damage totals 120 hectares and $2,000.
May 3, 1844: Ramón María Narváez y Campos, duque de Valencia replaces Luis González-Bravo López de Arjona as Prime Minister of Spain.
May 3, 1844: Irish-Americans attack a nativist rally in Philadelphia. The nativists retreat.
May 6, 1844: The exhibition of the Royal Academy opens in London. Among the paintings shown for the first time is Rain, Steam, Speed—The Great Western Railway by JMW Turner.
May 6, 1844: Fighting breaks out again in Philadelphia between Irish and nativists. Four people are killed and a convent and several dwellings of Catholics are attacked.
May 7, 1844: Once again nativists invade an Irish district in Philadelphia and rioting ensues. It continues until the militia arrive. Dozens of buildings are burned.
May 7, 1844: Louis and Pauline Viardot (22) purchase a chateau in Rozay-en-Brie, Seine et Marne, 60 km east-southeast of Paris. It is named Courtavenel.
May 8, 1844: Felix Mendelssohn (35) arrives in London for his eighth journey to Britain. He will conduct several Philharmonic concerts.
May 8, 1844: Giuseppe Verdi (30) buys Il Pulgaro, a farm near Bussetto. It will be his parents’ primary home.
May 8, 1844: Nativists burn down two Catholic churches and a convent in Philadelphia, as well as several more homes. Over the last week, 14 people have been killed in communal violence.
May 22, 1844: In Shiraz, Persia Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, calling himself the Báb (gate), announces that he brings divine revelation which will prepare humanity for the Promised One mentioned by all religions. It is seen as the beginning of the Bahá’í faith.
May 24, 1844: Robert (33) and Clara (24) Schumann arrive in Leipzig after a four month concert tour of Russia.
May 24, 1844: Inventor Samuel FB Morse sends the first message over telegraph wires from the US Supreme Court Chamber to Baltimore, a distance of some 50 km. The message sent is “What hath God wrought?” Morse further transmits the result of a vote in the House of Representatives to the Baltimore Patriot.
May 25, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) receives a letter in Paris informing him of the death of his father in Warsaw on 3 May. He dissolves into a deep depression and refuses to come out of his room for days, seeing no one.
May 30, 1844: Felix Mendelssohn (35) once again visits Buckingham Palace where he plays his own music and improvises on others’. He accompanies Queen Victoria in one of the songs by his sister Fanny (38). “He is such an agreeable, clever man…and his countenance beams with intelligence and genius.” (Eatcock, 86)
May 30, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34), George Sand, and her two children arrive at her estate Nohant in Berry. Instead of recovering from his father’s recent death, Chopin immediately contracts a dental infection, restricting him to bed for a week with fever and hallucinations.
May 31, 1844: Natal is attached to the Cape Colony as a dependency by the British government.
June 4, 1844: Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón replaces José Valentín Raimundo Canalizo Bocadillo as President of Mexico.
June 4, 1844: Weavers in Silesia revolt against the Prussian authorities in protest to very bad economic conditions, unemployment, and hunger.
June 6, 1844: Prussian authorities brutally suppress the weavers’ revolt in Silesia.
June 6, 1844: The Factory Act is passed by the British Parliament, limiting women to a 12-hour day and limiting children 8-13 years of age to work no more than 6 1/2 hours.
June 6, 1844: Draper George Williams and a small group meet in St. Paul’s Churchyard, London and form the Young Men’s Christian Association as an evangelical organization.
June 6, 1844: Jacob (Jacques) Offenbach (24) performs at Windsor Castle before Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Tsar Nikolay I, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and other illustrious people. He is a big success.
June 8, 1844: The US Senate refuses to ratify the Texas annexation treaty.
June 10, 1844: Mormon raiders destroy the presses of a critical newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois on the orders of Joseph Smith. Smith and his brother Hyrum are jailed.
June 10, 1844: Felix Mendelssohn (35) conducts a Philharmonic concert on his eighth trip to London. In the audience are Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and King Friedrich August II of Saxony.
June 15, 1844: Charles Goodyear of Springfield, Massachusetts receives a US patent for a process for the vulcanization of rubber.
June 15, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) meets his sister Ludwika and her husband in Paris. They will be together for ten days and again later in the summer at Nohant. It is the happiest time of his life. George Sand tells her, “you are the best doctor he ever had.”
June 16, 1844: Felix Mendelssohn (35) dines with Charles Dickens in London. The author has just completed Martin Chuzzlewit.
June 23, 1844: Franz Liszt (32) appears as a pianist for the last time in Paris, at the Conservatoire.
June 25, 1844: Variations in B flat op.83a for piano duet by Felix Mendelssohn (35) is performed for the first time, in London.
June 27, 1844: Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, and his brother Hyrum are killed by a mob in the jail of Carthage, Illinois.
July 3, 1844: Representatives of China and the United States sign a commercial treaty in Wanghia (Wangxia), near Macao.
July 3, 1844: Icelanders Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson kill the last two known Great Auks (Pinguinus impennis) and destroy their egg on the island of Eldey.
July 5, 1844: After attacking and occupying a Catholic church, nativist mobs battle soldiers for two days in the streets of Philadelphia. Over 20 people are killed.
July 6, 1844: The Soldatenlied aus Goethes Faust for male chorus, trumpet, and timpani by Franz Liszt (32) is performed for the first time.
July 11, 1844: Felix Mendelssohn (35) leaves London to return to Germany to direct the Zweibrücken music festival at the end of July.
July 16, 1844: Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens is published in book form. It has already been serialized.
July 22, 1844: The Overture to Faust WWV 59 by Richard Wagner (31) is performed for the first time, in the Palais des Königlichen grossen Gartens, Dresden conducted by the composer. See 23 January 1855.
July 24, 1844: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (40) arrives in Paris from Brussels. He is favorably impressed.
July 31, 1844: The first public art museum in the United States, the Wadsworth Atheneum, opens in Hartford, Connecticut.
August 1, 1844: At the Festival de l’Industrie, Paris, Hector Berlioz (40) leads 1,000 performers in the premiere of his Hymne à la France for chorus and orchestra to words of Barbier. By intermission, Berlioz has developed cold sweats. He is induced to change clothes and drink punch. He is then attended by a former teacher, Dr. Amussat, who diagnoses typhoid, lets the composer’s blood, and prescribes a vacation.
August 3, 1844: Johann Strauss (18) applies to the Vienna authorities for a license “to hold musical entertainments.”
August 3, 1844: Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte publishes his essay Extinction du paupérisme.
August 6, 1844: When Morocco refuses to recognize the French conquest of Algeria and harbors Algerian resistance leaders, France begins hostilities against Morocco.
August 6, 1844: The second section of Les quatre élémens by Franz Liszt (32) to words of Autran is performed for the first time, in Marseille. See 28 March 1993.
August 8, 1844: Jacob Offenbach (25) is baptized into the Roman Catholic faith in Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle in Paris. He does this at the insistence of the parents of his fiancée, Herminie d’Alcain. He takes the name Jacques.
August 10, 1844: Albert Lortzing (42) begins his conducting career with a production of Mozart’s (†52) Don Giovanni in Leipzig. He is the new Kapellmeister of the Leipziger Stadttheater.
August 12, 1844: Gruss seiner Treuen an Friedrich August den Geliebten WWV 71 for male chorus and wind band composed for the King of Saxony by Richard Wagner (31) is performed for the first time, on a riverboat at Pillnitz, near Dresden with 300 singers and 120 players.
August 14, 1844: French troops defeat a combined Moroccan-Algerian force along the Isly River. This effectively ends the first war between France and Morocco.
August 14, 1844: Jacques Offenbach (25) marries Herminie d’Alcain in the Church of Saint-Roch, Paris. She is the stepdaughter of Michael George Mitchel, an English acquaintance of the composer.
August 14, 1844: Robert Schumann (34) suffers an attack of colic, perhaps caused by anxiety, which will confine him to his home for three days.
August 18, 1844: Ioannis Kolettis replaces Alexandros Nikolaou Mavrokordatos as Prime Minister of Greece.
August 21, 1844: Works for piano by Frédéric Chopin (34) are published in Paris: Nocturnes op.55 and Mazurkas op.56.
August 28, 1844: The Journal des Débats runs the first of 18 installments of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
August 28, 1844: Karl Marx meets Friedrich Engels for the first time, in Paris. They are together for ten days.
September 5, 1844: The City Council of Vienna grants Johann Strauss (18) the right to form an orchestra to play in restaurants.
September 7, 1844: Franz Liszt (32) arrives in Bordeaux where he will give seven concerts through 2 October.
September 10, 1844: The Treaty of Tangier ends war between France and Morocco. The border is defined and Morocco recognizes French authority in Algeria.
September 25, 1844: The Toronto Cricket Club and the St. George’s Cricket Club conclude a two-day match in New York City. This is seen as the first international cricket match, and by some as the first international sporting event of any kind. Canada wins.
September 30, 1844: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia gives Felix Mendelssohn (35) his freedom from conducting requirements provided he remains available for special commissions and occasional conducting.
October 3, 1844: Robert (34) and Clara (25) Schumann go to Dresden to visit her father. In spite of his upset emotional condition, they decide to move there from Leipzig.
October 7, 1844: Richard en Palestine, an opera by Adolphe Adam (41) to words of Foucher, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
October 15, 1844: Johann Strauss (18) debuts as conductor, in opposition to his father’s popularity, at Dommayer’s Casino, Heitzing with a program including first performances of the waltzes Sinngedichte op.1 and Gunst-Werber Waltz op.4 as well as the Debut Quadrille op.2 and Herzenslust Polka op.3. He is a complete success.
October 22, 1844: On his 33rd birthday, Franz Liszt arrives in Madrid where he will give nine performances through 4 December.
October 22, 1844: On the final date endorsed by New York farmer and eccentric eschatologist William Miller and his followers for the end of the world, the world does not end.
October 24, 1844: The Rochdale Society for Equitable Pioneers is registered under the Friendly Societies Act by seven weavers. It will soon become the Rochdale Equitable Cooperative Society and lead to a national organization in Britain.
October 24, 1844: By the Treaty of Whampoa (Huangpu), China grants concessions to France, including toleration of Christianity.
November 3, 1844: Giuseppe Verdi’s (31) tragedia lirica I due Foscari to words of Piave after Byron is performed for the first time, at Teatro Argentina, Rome. Verdi reports that it is a “mezzo-fiasco.”
November 7, 1844: Franz Liszt (33) performs at the royal palace in Madrid. 14-year-old Queen Isabella II awards him the Cross of Carlos III.
November 16, 1844: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (40) writes from Paris that his trip abroad is for three reasons, “to improve my health...to satisfy my curiosity...and...to acquire a certain fame and to establish relations with the well-known names of Europe.”
November 19, 1844: The Serail-Tänze waltz op.5 and the Cytheren-Quadrille op.6 by Johann Strauss (19) are performed for the first time, in Dommayer’s Casino, Heitzing.
November 20, 1844: According to the terms of sale, Robert Schumann (34) gives up ownership of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik.
November 20, 1844: Trois choeurs religieux by Gioachino Rossini (52) to words of Goubaux, Lucas, and Colet are performed for the first time, at the Salle Troupenas, Paris.
November 23, 1844: The Holstein estates vote for the independence of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark.
November 25, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) arrives back in Paris from Nohant. George Sand will follow in a few days.
November 30, 1844: Freed from his obligations in the capital, Felix Mendelssohn (35) moves from Berlin to Frankfurt.
December 4, 1844: A month of voting in the United States presidential election concluding today ensures the victory of former Governor of Tennessee James K. Polk over Senator Henry Clay.
December 5, 1844: Clara Schumann (25) plays Beethoven’s (†17) Emperor Concerto in public for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. It is “the hardest concerto I know.” It is her last performance there as a citizen of Leipzig. The Schumanns are moving to Dresden.
December 7, 1844: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien, a singspiel by Giacomo Meyerbeer (53) to words of Scribe translated by Rellstab and Birch-Pfeiffer, is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Berlin Court Opera House. It is successful in Berlin but is too specific to have appeal outside Prussia. See 18 February 1847.
December 7, 1844: Publisher George Willig of Philadelphia copyrights a song called Open Thy Lattice Love to words of Morris. It is the first song composed by Stephen Foster (18) to be published.
December 13, 1844: Robert (34) and Clara (25) Schumann leave Leipzig and move to Dresden.
December 21, 1844: The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers opens a store in Rochdale, England. It is the beginning of the cooperative movement.
December 28, 1844: Johan Nordenfalk replaces Lars Herman Gyllenhaal as Prime Minister for Justice of Sweden.