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

January 1, 1853 – December 31, 1853

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January 1, 1853: Prohibition goes into effect in New Brunswick but will soon be repealed.
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January 6, 1853: Juan Bautista Ceballos replaces Mariano Arista Luna replaces as interim President of Mexico.
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January 10, 1853: Jules Massenet (10) is examined once again for entrance to the Paris Conservatoire. He plays a Beethoven (†25) sonata and is admitted to a piano class. See 9 October 1851.
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January 10, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) arrives in New York from France, his first time in the United States since 1842.
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January 12, 1853: Taiping troops fight their way into Wuchang and kill all the Imperial soldiers therein.
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January 16, 1853: Matteo Carcassi dies in Paris at the age of 60.
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January 17, 1853: Phönix-Schwingen op.125, a waltz by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna. Also premiered is Strauss’ Freuden-Gruß-Polka op.127.
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January 18, 1853: Solon-Sprüche op.128, a waltz by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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January 19, 1853: Il Trovatore, a dramma by Giuseppe Verdi (39) to words of Cammarano and Bardare after García Gutiérrez, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Apollo, Rome directed by the composer. The work is extremely successful with the audience who demand that the fourth act be repeated.
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January 20, 1853: Pegu Province, Burma is annexed by Great Britain, thus ending the Second Anglo-Burmese War.
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January 25, 1853: Aesculap-Polka op.130 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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January 26, 1853: Satanella-Quadrille op.123 and Satanella-Polka op.124 by Johann Strauss (27) are performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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January 29, 1853: Emperor Napoléon III of France marries Eugenia de Montijo, a Spanish countess, in a civil ceremony at the Tuileries Palace. A cantata composed for the occasion by Daniel Auber, to anonymous words, is performed, on his 71st birthday.
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January 30, 1853: French Emperor Napoléon III marries Countess Eugenia de Montijo in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. The Empress enters the cathedral to the music of Le Prophéte by Giacomo Meyerbeer (61).
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January 31, 1853: Motor-Quadrille op.129 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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February 2, 1853: Franz Liszt (41) completes his Piano Sonata in b minor in Weimar.
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February 2, 1853: Le sourd, ou L’auberge pleine, an opera by Adolphe Adam (49) to words of Langlé and Leuven after Choudard Desforges, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris.
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February 6, 1853: Giuseppe Mazzini leads an attempt to take the Milan fortress by force. His appeal for an insurrection is generally ignored and the plan fails. After the failure of the revolt, Austrian Field Marshall Count Radetzky declares a state of siege and closes the city of Milan, in the middle of preparations for La Traviata.
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February 7, 1853: Wiener Punch-Lieder op.131, a waltz by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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February 8, 1853: Manuel Apolinario José María Ignacio Lombardini de la Torre replaces Juan Bautista Ceballos as interim President of Mexico.
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February 11, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) gives his first concert in New York, at Niblo’s Saloon. The reviews are mostly positive.
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February 13, 1853: Emperor Franz Joseph II orders the confiscation of all property belonging to the Milan conspirators and orders the city of Milan to support those Austrians wounded in the uprising and the families of those killed.
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February 16, 1853: On four successive nights beginning today, Richard Wagner (39) reads Der Ring des Nibelungen to invited guests in the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zürich.
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February 16, 1853: Prince Alyeksandr Sergeyevich Menshikov arrives in Constantinople on a mission from Tsar Nikolay. He is to try to convince the Sultan to return control of the Christian Holy Places back to Russia from France.
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February 17, 1853: The Monumental City departs San Francisco making for Sydney and the first trans-Pacific crossing by a steamship.
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February 18, 1853: While walking on one of the city walls in Vienna, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria is stabbed twice in the neck by János Libényi, a Hungarian nationalist. The assailant is subdued by others nearby (both of whom are later raised to the nobility). Franz Joseph survives. Libényi will be executed.
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February 21, 1853: Giuseppe Verdi (39) arrives in Venice to produce La Traviata, particularly upset at the choice of soprano.
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February 27, 1853: Grand Duke August of Oldenburg dies in Oldenburg and is succeeded by his son Peter II.
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March 3, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) premieres his Fragment of the Symphony, “The Battle of Bunker Hill” in Philadelphia.
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March 4, 1853: Franklin Pierce replaces Millard Fillmore as President of the United States. The 33rd Congress convenes in Washington. President Pierce’s Democratic Party increases their majority over the opposition Whigs in the House of Representatives, while the Democratic majority in the Senate remains virtually unchanged. Because of the crushing defeat of the Whig Party in the 1852 elections, it will soon fall apart.
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March 5, 1853: German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg founds Steinway and Sons in Manhattan.
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March 5, 1853: Arthur William Foote is born at 44 Warren Street, Salem, Massachusetts, USA, the third of six children (three surviving infancy) born to Caleb Foote, editor of the Salem Gazette and Mary Wilder White, amateur singer and daughter of a judge.
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March 6, 1853: Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss arrives in San Francisco where this month he will start a wholesale dry goods business.
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March 6, 1853: Kaiser Franz Josef I. Rettungs-Jubel-Marsch op.126 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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March 6, 1853: Giuseppe Verdi’s (39) opera La Traviata to words of Piave after Dumas is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. The evening is a disaster. Critics blame the singers. Verdi will write, “ La Traviata was a grand fiasco, and what is worse, they laughed.”
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March 10, 1853: A detachment of US Marines is landed at San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua to prevent the Accessory Transit Company from being evicted by the local government. It is the first of many interventions by the United States in Nicaragua.
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March 11, 1853: The town marshal of San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua arrives at the site of illegally built facilities of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Accessory Transit Company to evict them. The town has provided an alternate site and offered to pay moving costs. The recently arrived US Marines prevent him from performing his duties.
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March 16, 1853: In Constantinople, Russian emissary Prince Alyeksandr Sergeyevich Menshikov demands that the Ottoman Empire agree to a treaty enshrining Russia’s right to protect Christians living in Ottoman territories.
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March 17, 1853: Christian Doppler dies in Venice at the age of 49.
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March 18, 1853: Taiping troops fight their way into Nanking. About 20,000 Imperial officials, soldiers, and wealthy individuals are killed. A large number of women are herded into an empty building which is set afire while the Christian Taiping say prayers outside.
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March 30, 1853: La Tonelli, an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas (41) to words of Sauvage, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
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March 30, 1853: After an eleven-year absence, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) arrives home in New Orleans having traveled from Louisville, Kentucky aboard a paddle-wheeler. Since the boat arrives eight hours early, there is no one there to meet him.
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March 30, 1853: Taiping leader Hung Hsiu-ch’uan (Hong Xiuquan), who believes himself to be the brother of Jesus, enters Nanking amidst great ceremony. He begins to set up the ideal society of the Taiping.
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April 1, 1853: Edvard Grieg (9) becomes a student in Tank’s School in Bergen.
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April 4, 1853: Oldenburg and Hannover join the German Zollverein.
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April 6, 1853: Catholic rioters attack a Protestant church in Cincinnati where a nativist rally is in progress.
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April 7, 1853: Dr. John Snow administers chloroform to Queen Victoria as she gives birth to Prince Leopold in Buckingham Palace. This goes a long way to establish the use of anesthesia in childbirth.
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April 10, 1853: Meditation sur le Ier prélude de Bach (Ave Maria) by Charles Gounod (34) is performed for the first time. The composer-arranger calls it a “mischievous prank.”
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April 11, 1853: Le roi des halles, an opera by Adolphe Adam (49) to words of Leuven and Brunswick, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris.
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April 12, 1853: Emperor Napoléon III names Gioachino Rossini (61) a Commander of the Legion of Honor.
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April 14, 1853: Francisco de Lersundi y Hormaechea replaces Federico Roncali as Prime Minister of Spain.
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April 15, 1853: Richard (39) and Minna Wagner move into a larger apartment in Zürich, at 13 Zeltweg.
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April 15, 1853: Lowell Mason (61) and his wife arrive home in Boston after a European tour of 16 months. Their trip took them to Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
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April 16, 1853: The first railroad in India begins service from Bombay to Thane, a distance of 34 km.
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April 16, 1853: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) writes to his sister that he intends to stay in Paris, at least until 1854.
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April 19, 1853: Hoping to attract the attention of influential musicians, and a little money, Johannes Brahms (19) and his violinist friend Eduard Hoffmann (Reményi) set out from Hamburg on a concert tour of nearby cities.
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April 19, 1853: Floris Adriaan van Hall and Dirk Donker Curtius replace Johann Rudolf Thorbecke as chief ministers of the Netherlands.
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April 20, 1853: Generalissimo Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón returns from exile in Venezuela and is proclaimed President of Mexico with wide powers.
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April 21, 1853: Anders Sandøe Orsted replaces Christian Albrecht Bluhme as Prime Minister of Denmark.
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April 23, 1853: The Monumental City arrives in Sydney from San Francisco, by way of Tahiti, after a voyage of 65 days. With 90 passengers, it is the first steamship to cross the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the ship will run aground near Mallacoota, Australia on May 15 with the loss of 37 lives.
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April 25, 1853: The new Normal Musical Institute opens in New York. An introductory address is given by its director, Lowell Mason (61).
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May 1, 1853: A convention meeting in Santa Fe approves a constitution for Argentina, without Buenos Aires.
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May 1, 1853: Veilchen-Polka op.132 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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May 2, 1853: The Duchies of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen merge to form the Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau-Köthen.
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May 2, 1853: At a performance in the Wierss’schen Room, Celle, Johannes Brahms (19), finding the piano a half-step low, transposes the entire program up a half-step rather than have his violinist, Eduard Reményi, tune down.
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May 2, 1853: The Hippodrome, a 4,000-seat facility with a canvas roof, opens in New York on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.
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May 5, 1853: In private negotiations in Constantinople, the Ottoman government agrees that the control of the Christian holy places will be turned back to Russia and the Orthodox Church from France.
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May 7, 1853: Le trésor à Mathurin, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (33) to words of Battu, is performed for the first time, in Salle Herz. It will later be revived as Le mariage aux lanternes.
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May 8, 1853: A setting of the 91st Psalm for solo voices and chorus by Giacomo Meyerbeer (61) is performed for the first time, in the Friedrichskirche, Potsdam in the presence of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia and King Leopold I of Belgium.
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May 10, 1853: In private negotiations in Constantinople, the Ottoman government refuses Russia’s second demand that it be named protector of all Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
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May 12, 1853: Tom the Fool, a comic opera by Anton Rubinstein (23) to words of Mikhailov, is performed for the first time, in the Alyeksandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
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May 14, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) once again departs Paris for London to conduct.
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May 14, 1853: Mustafa Naili Pasha replaces Damad Mehmed Ali Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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May 15, 1853: Lowell Mason (61) becomes music director of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York.
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May 17, 1853: The first performance of Robert Schumann’s (42) Fest-Overture op.123 for tenor, chorus and orchestra to words of Müller and Claudius, closes the Lower Rhine Music Festival in Düsseldorf.
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May 17, 1853: The New York Central Railroad is incorporated as an amalgamation of ten previously existing railroad companies.
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May 18, 1853: Members of a secret society, the Triad, rise in Amoy (Xiamen) and, with the help of local citizenry, take over the port. They proceed to execute Imperial Chinese officials and moneylenders.
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May 18, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) departs New Orleans aboard the steamboat Magnolia for a concert tour.
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May 21, 1853: After the Russian demand that it be named protector of Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire is rejected by Turkey, Russian emissary Prince Alyeksandr Sergeyevich Menshikov leaves Constantinople precipitating a break in relations.
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May 22, 1853: The world’s first public aquarium opens at the London Zoo.
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May 22, 1853: Three nights of concerts featuring the music of Richard Wagner ends in Zürich on the composer’s 40th birthday. He is given a banquet, a laurel wreath and a poem in his honor is read. This poem is presented anonymously, but was written by the wife of a close friend, Johanna Spyri, who will become more famous for creating Heidi in 1880. The festival brings Wagner great acclaim, and produces an enormous debt.
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May 27, 1853: The clipper ship Northern Light arrives in Boston, 76 days and five hours out of San Francisco.
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May 30, 1853: The British cabinet orders six warships to the Dardenelles in light of Russian threats against Turkey.
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May 30, 1853: Le Repos de la Sainte Famille from La fuite en Egypte for chorus and orchestra by Hector Berlioz (49) to his own words is performed for the first time, in London. See 1 December 1853.
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May 31, 1853: Tsar Nikolay sends a courier to Constantinople to tell the Sultan he has eight days to agree to Russian demands or there will be war.
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June 1, 1853: Two works for piano and orchestra by Franz Liszt (41) are performed for the first time, in Pest: Fantasie über Motive aus Beethovens Ruinen von Athen and Fantasie über Ungarische Volksmelodien.
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June 2, 1853: Russo-Turkish War: A British fleet arrives in Besika Bay shortly followed by a French fleet to counter any Russian designs against Turkey.
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June 2, 1853: Giacomo Meyerbeer (61) arrives in Paris from Berlin in hopes of producing his new opera L’étoile du nord.
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June 6, 1853: At a concert in Weimar to honor King Fridrich August II of Saxony, Grand Duke Carl Friedrich, patron of Franz Liszt (41), asks the King to pardon Richard Wagner (40). Nothing comes of it.
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June 8, 1853: Scherzo in e flat minor op.4 for piano solo by Johannes Brahms (20) is performed for the first time, at the court of Hannover, by the composer from manuscript. King Georg V pronounces him “little Beethoven.”
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June 8, 1853: Ode on the Installation of the Earl of Derby by Henry R. Bishop (66), to words of Claughton, is performed for the first time, at the event at Oxford University.
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June 8, 1853: As a present for his 43rd birthday, Clara Schumann (33) presents Robert Schumann with the manuscript to her Piano Variations in f sharp minor.
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June 12, 1853: Messe des orphéonistes by Charles Gounod (34) is performed for the first time, in the Church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois.
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June 14, 1853: Caroussel-Marsch op.133 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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June 15, 1853: On a day of celebration for the silver jubilee of the reign of Grand Duke Carl Friedrich, Johannes Brahms (20) meets Franz Liszt (41) and Peter Cornelius (28) at Altenburg, the mansion of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein in Weimar. Brahms is too nervous to play any of his music so Liszt reads the e flat minor scherzo from manuscript. Liszt comments as he plays. Brahms is overwhelmed, but later appears to doze while Liszt plays his own works.
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June 25, 1853: A performance of Benvenuto Cellini in an Italian translation conducted by Hector Berlioz (49) at Covent Garden before Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and King Georg V and Queen Marie of Hannover is hissed from beginning to end by a group opposed to foreign composers and musicians in what is considered an Italian house. Berlioz cancels a performance scheduled for tomorrow. Also in the audience are Crown Prince Carl Alexander of Weimar, Pauline Viardot (31), Louis Spohr (69), and George Eliot.
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June 26, 1853: Over the past week, nine people have died of yellow fever in New Orleans. Over the next three months, almost 8,000 people will die in the epidemic.
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June 27, 1853: A testimonial concert by over 200 London musicians takes place to compensate Hector Berlioz (49) for the failure of Benvenuto Cellini.
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June 28, 1853: Vermählungs-Toaste op.136, a waltz by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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June 29, 1853: Giacomo Meyerbeer (61) calls on Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (49) in Paris. They discuss opera, Gluck (†65) in particular. They will never meet again.
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July 1, 1853: The Cape Colony receives a constitution which provides for a legislative council.
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July 2, 1853: Russian forces cross the River Prut into Turkish territory, occupying Moldavia and Wallachia.
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July 2, 1853: Franz Liszt (41) arrives in Zürich from Karlsruhe. He is met at the station by Richard Wagner (40). Liszt will visit with Wagner for over a week.
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July 5, 1853: The first practical glider is flown across Brompton Dale, near Scarborough, Great Britain, by an unwilling John Appleby, an employee of the inventor, George Cayley. Cayley is the first to study and write about aerodynamics. The flight is successful and no one is hurt.
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July 8, 1853: Four United States ships sail into Edo (Tokyo) harbor, where the commander, Commodore Matthew Perry, insists on seeing an important official on the threat of force.
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July 8, 1853: Grand Duke Carl Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, patron of Franz Liszt (41), dies at Belvedere Castle. He is succeeded by his son Carl Alexander. Perhaps because of Carl Friedrich’s less than inspiring interest in music, Liszt will not hurry back from Zürich for the funeral.
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July 9, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) departs London after conducting Benvenuto Cellini.
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July 10, 1853: After a visit of eight days with Richard Wagner (40), Franz Liszt (41) departs Zürich. Wagner describes it as a “wild week.”
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July 13, 1853: The choral societies of Zürich join outside of Richard Wagner’s (40) window to give him a torchlight serenade.
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July 14, 1853: The Lord of Toda, Japan receives Commodore Matthew C. Perry USN. Perry will negotiate a treaty to open Japan to United States ships.
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July 15, 1853: Tanzi Bäri op.134, a polka by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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July 18, 1853: The Grand Trunk Railway opens a line between Montreal and Portland, Maine.
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July 18, 1853: Knall-Kügerln op.140, a waltz by Johann Strauss (27), is performed for the first time, in the Bierhalle Fünfhaus, Vienna.
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July 25, 1853: Anton Bruckner (28) applies for the Austrian civil service post of clerk in the district court of St. Florian.
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July 30, 1853: Robert Schumann (43) suffers what is probably a stroke during a visit to Bonn.
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July 31, 1853: Ambassadors of the great powers in Austria formulate the Vienna Note to try to diffuse the Russia-Ottoman tension. It calls on the Ottomans to reaffirm the treaties of Küçük-Kainardji and Adrianople and making Russia and France joint guarantors of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
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August 1, 1853: Pepita-Polka op.138 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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August 3, 1853: With no immediate prospects in Paris, Hector Berlioz (49) arrives in Baden-Baden with Marie Recio to conduct a concert of his music.
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August 3, 1853: Duke Georg of Duke of Saxe-Altenburg dies in Hummelshain and is succeeded by his son, Ernst.
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August 5, 1853: Tsar Nikolay accepts the Vienna Note of 31 July, calling on the Ottomans to reaffirm the treaties of Küçük-Kainardji and Adrianople and making Russia and France joint guarantors of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
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August 11, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) conducts a highly successful performance of his music in the Salle de la Conversation, Baden-Baden.
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August 12, 1853: The British merchant ship Madagascar sails from Melbourne making for London. Neither the ship, nor the 160 people aboard are ever heard from again.
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August 12, 1853: A fleet from Egypt arrives to support the Ottomans against Russia.
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August 14, 1853: The Ottoman government unofficially rejects the Vienna Note of 31 July, calling on the Ottomans to reaffirm the treaties of Küçük-Kainardji and Adrianople and making Russia and France joint guarantors of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
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August 24, 1853: Chef George Crum invents the potato chip in Saratoga Springs, New York.
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August 24, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) conducts the first of two highly successful concerts of his music in the Comoedienhaus, Frankfurt.
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August 27, 1853: Johannes Brahms (20) begins a walking tour from Mainz down the Rhine.
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August 28, 1853: Joseph Joachim shows up on the doorstep of Robert Schumann (43) in Düsseldorf, precipitating 48 hours of chamber music.
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September 1, 1853: Le nabab, an opéra comique by Fromental Halévy (54) to words of Scribe and Saint-Georges, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. It enjoys a moderate success. Le nabab marks the last collaboration of Halévy with Eugène Scribe.
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September 5, 1853: Johannes Brahms (20) arrives in Bonn having hiked about 150 km down the Rhine from Mainz in ten days.
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September 5, 1853: While visiting La Spezia, near Genoa, Richard Wagner (40) (so he claims) in half-sleep, half-waking state, dreams that he is sinking into a current of water (in E flat). On waking he realizes that he has dreamed the prelude to Das Rheingold.
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September 7, 1853: Members of the Small Sword Society take over Shanghai and gain the approval of the populace. They immediately halt trade in opium.
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September 15, 1853: Mily Balakirev (16) applies to the University of Kazan for admission as an external student. He will be accepted.
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September 18, 1853: Wiedersehens-Polka op.142 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in Ungers Casino, Vienna.
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September 19, 1853: Luis José Sartorius, conde de San Luis replaces Francisco de Lersundi y Hormaechea as Prime Minister of Spain.
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September 20, 1853: Turkey officially rejects the Vienna Note of 31 July, calling on the Ottomans to reaffirm the treaties of Küçük-Kainardji and Adrianople and making Russia and France joint guarantors of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
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September 24, 1853: France annexes New Caledonia.
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September 26, 1853: Tsar Nikolay I and Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph II meet in Olmütz (Olomouc) in an effort to diffuse the Turkish crisis.
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September 28, 1853: The Annie Jane out of Liverpool is crushed by a wave during a gale off Barra Island in the Hebrides. 348 mostly Scottish emigrants are lost. 102 are saved.
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September 30, 1853: Johannes Brahms (20) arrives at the door of Robert Schumann (43) in Düsseldorf, but is informed by twelve-year old Marie Schumann that her parents are not at home. She suggests he return tomorrow.
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September 30, 1853: Archduke Rainer Joseph of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, dies in Bolzano at the age of 69.
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October 1, 1853: The first general election in New Zealand concludes after ten weeks of voting. 37 members have been elected without party designation.
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October 1, 1853: The Schumann family is visited in Düsseldorf by a young friend of Joseph Joachim, Johannes Brahms (20). Brahms plays extensively for them, astounding his hosts. Robert Schumann (43) records in his diary, “Visit from Brahms, a genius.” Brahms will appear in Schumann’s diary almost every day for the next month.
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October 1, 1853: Ottoman Sultan Abdul Mejid demands that Russia evacuate his Romanian principalities.
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October 1, 1853: Carl Bechstein founds C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG in Berlin.
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October 2, 1853: An Austrian decree prohibits Jews from owning land.
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October 3, 1853: An die Künstler for chorus and winds by Franz Liszt (41) to words of Schiller, is performed for the first time, in the Hoftheater, Karlsruhe directed by the composer.
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October 4, 1853: At Sumla, Ottoman commander Omer Pasha delivers an ultimatum to the Russian commander Prince Gorchakov. Russia must evacuate the Danube Principalities on threat of war.
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October 5, 1853: Crimean War: The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
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October 6, 1853: Franz Liszt (41) and a group of interested musicians arrive in Basel to meet and talk with Richard Wagner (40). Among them are Hans von Bülow, Joseph Joachim, and Peter Cornelius (28).
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October 6, 1853: Le bijou perdu, an opera by Adolphe Adam (50) to words of Leuven and Pittaud de Forges, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris.
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October 9, 1853: Franz Liszt (41) and Richard Wagner (40), accompanied by a small group, arrive in Paris from Basel.
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October 9, 1853: Kron-Marsch op.139 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna. Also premiered is Strauss’ Wellen und Wogen waltz op.141.
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October 10, 1853: In the home of Madame Patersi de Fossombroni in Paris, Franz Liszt (41) sees his three children for the first time in nine years. He has come from Switzerland with Richard Wagner (40), Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein and her daughter Princess Marie. Also present are Hector Berlioz (49) and Liszt’s mother Anna. At the request of Princess Marie, Wagner continues to read his Nibelungen poem which he had begun reading to them in Switzerland. It is the first time that Wagner lays eyes on Cosima Liszt, now just 15. It is the first time that Wagner and Berlioz have met since 1843. This is probably the only time that Liszt, Berlioz, and Wagner ever inhabited the same room.
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October 11, 1853: At the home of Hector Berlioz (49) in Paris, Franz Liszt (41) and Richard Wagner (40) come over for breakfast. Liszt accompanies Berlioz’ singing parts of Benvenuto Cellini. It is the first time Wagner has heard it.
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October 12, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) and Marie Recio depart Paris for Brunswick.
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October 12, 1853: Crimean War: The British cabinet drafts a request that Turkey forego military action for a time sufficient to restore friendly relations between Turkey and Russia.
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October 16, 1853: In a performance of the Gesangverein in Düsseldorf, Robert Schumann (43) continues conducting well after the music stops. Members of the Gesangverein refuse to be led by Schumann in the future.
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October 18, 1853: Sometime during the next five days, Giuseppe Verdi (40) arrives in Paris with Giuseppina Strepponi to spend the winter. He is staying five minutes walk from the hotel where Franz Liszt (41) and Richard Wagner (40) are. They do not run into each other, and Verdi will never meet either Wagner or Liszt.
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October 18, 1853: Incidental music to Aylic-Langlé’s comédie en vers Murillo ou la Corde du pendu by Jacques Offenbach (34) is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Française, Paris.
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October 18, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) gives the first of three performances in Boston, at the Music Hall. With the ticket price exorbitantly high, the audience is very small. The reviews are decidedly mixed.
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October 19, 1853: The chairman of the Düsseldorf Allgemeiner Musikverein, Julius Illing, and another member, JE Heister, have an argument with Robert Schumann (43) most likely over Schumann’s ability as a conductor.
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October 20, 1853: Crimean War: Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
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October 22, 1853: Tonight and on 25 October, Hector Berlioz (49) conducts wildly successful performances before full houses in Brunswick.
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October 22, 1853: Crimean War: Naval forces of Great Britain and France enter the Dardanelles.
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October 23, 1853: Edward Gottschalk dies in New Orleans. His son, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24), in Boston on a concert tour, hurries home. From this date, the composer will take on all his father’s debts and support his mother and siblings.
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October 23, 1853: Crimean War: Fighting begins as Turkish troops cross the Danube at Tutrakhan, 60 km southeast of Bucharest. The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
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October 27, 1853: The Düsseldorf Musikverein refuses to sing under Robert Schumann (43) owing to a “disasterous performance of a mass by Hauptmann at the Maximilian Church on 16 October.”
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October 27, 1853: Robert Schumann (43) conducts a concert in Düsseldorf which includes the premiere of his Phantasie op.131 for violin and orchestra, with Joseph Joachim as soloist. It is the last time he will conduct.
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October 28, 1853: Robert Schumann’s (43) article “Neue Bahnen,” extolling the virtues of the unheralded Johannes Brahms (20) appears in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik saying “Brahms is one of the elect.”
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October 28, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) and Marie Recio hike around or up the Brocken near Bad Harzburg. It is the setting for the witches’ Sabbath from Goethe’s Faust and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht.
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October 28, 1853: Richard (40) and Minna Wagner arrive home in Zürich after two weeks in Paris.
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October 28, 1853: Pépito, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (34) to words of Monaux and Battu, is performed for the first time, in the Variétés, Paris.
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October 28, 1853: At the Schumann home in Düsseldorf, Joseph Joachim and Clara Schumann (34) perform a violin sonata written by Albert Dietrich (first movement), Johannes Brahms (20) (scherzo) and Robert Schumann (43) (intermezzo and finale).
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November 1, 1853: Julius Blüthner opens his piano building business in Leipzig.
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November 1, 1853: At his home in Zürich, Richard Wagner (40) begins to compose Der Ring des Nibelungen.
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November 2, 1853: Johannes Brahms (20) departs Düsseldorf with recommendations from Robert Schumann (43), making for Leipzig.
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November 2, 1853: Crimean War: Russians attack the Turkish island of Oltenitsa in the Danube. They are beaten off.
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November 3, 1853: Lawyer-publisher-adventurer William Walker arrives in La Paz, Baja California with 45 followers from San Francisco and proclaims the Republic of Lower California. He immediately moves the capital to Ensenada.
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November 4, 1853: Peter Cornelius (28) moves into the Altenburg in Weimar at the invitation of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein.
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November 4, 1853: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Felix Mendelssohn is performed for the first time, in Leipzig on the sixth anniversary of the composer’s death.
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November 5, 1853: Joseph Joachim and Johannes Brahms (20) go to a morning rehearsal in Hannover where Hector Berlioz (49) is preparing for an upcoming concert. Brahms and Berlioz meet for the first time.
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November 5, 1853: The first telegraph in Mexico goes into operation between Mexico City and Nopaluca, Puebla.
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November 7, 1853: The chairman, Julius Illing, and another member, Joseph Herz, of the Allgemeiner Musikverein Committee visit Clara Schumann (34) with the unanimous proposal that in future Robert Schumann (43) conduct only his own music.
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November 9, 1853: Robert Schumann (43) makes a formal reply to the Musikverein Committee demand of 7 November by claiming that this is a breach of contract.
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November 10, 1853: At a subscription concert in Düsseldorf, conductor Robert Schumann (43) fails to appear. His place is taken by his assistant Julius Tausch.
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November 11, 1853: After a successful rising lasting six months, Imperial Chinese authority is restored to Amoy (Xiamen). Since most of the citizens joined the revolt, soldiers take part in a blood bath. 2,500 people are beheaded today alone.
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November 11, 1853: David Livingstone departs Linyanti (Botswana) heading northwest, looking for a route to the Atlantic coast.
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November 14, 1853: The Düsseldorf Musikverein Committee replies courteously to Robert Schumann’s (43) statement of 9 November but implements its design.
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November 15, 1853: Queen Maria II of Portugal dies in Lisbon and is succeeded by her son, the 16-year-old Pedro V, under regency.
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November 16, 1853: In Hannover, Johannes Brahms (20) writes to Robert Schumann (43) thanking him for the glowing article of 28 October.
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November 17, 1853: Johannes Brahms (20) arrives in Leipzig to find a city atwitter about the new genius trumpeted in Schumann’s (43) article “Neue Bahnen.”
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November 19, 1853: In Leipzig, Raymund and Hermann Härtel hear Johannes Brahms (20) play his Piano Sonata op.1 and the Scherzo in e flat minor op.4, as well as some of his songs. They immediately offer to publish his first four opus numbers.
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November 22, 1853: Hector Berlioz (49) conducts Harold in Italy with Joseph Joachim in Hannover.
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November 23, 1853: Tokugawa Iesada becomes Shogun in Japan.
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November 24, 1853: The Schumann family leaves Düsseldorf for a concert tour of the Netherlands. They will give 13 concerts over the next 25 days.
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November 24, 1853: Crimean War: British and French warships arrive at the Bosporus.
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November 25, 1853: Boston merchant captain John Heard accidentally discovers the island that bears his name in the south Indian Ocean.
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November 26, 1853: Introduction and Allegro op.134 for piano and orchestra by Robert Schumann (43) is performed for the first time, in Utrecht, by Clara Schumann (34).
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November 26, 1853: Crimean War: Turkish troops attack Russian positions at Akhaltsikhe (Georgia) but are repulsed.
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November 27, 1853: Crimean War: Great Britain and France conclude a defensive alliance with Turkey.
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November 28, 1853: Giacomo Meyerbeer (62) is awarded the Orden der Kunst und Wissenschaft by King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
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November 28, 1853: The first of two performances by Hector Berlioz (49) in Hannover takes place. At the first rehearsal, Joseph Joachim, who played Harold in Italy on 22 November in Bremen, introduces Berlioz to his friend, Johannes Brahms (20).
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November 30, 1853: Crimean War: Russian naval forces destroy the Turkish fleet at Sinop on the Black Sea.
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December 1, 1853: Crimean War: Russian forces destroy the main Turkish army at Basgedikler.
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December 1, 1853: La fuite en Egypte, a mystère ancien for tenor, chorus, and orchestra by Hector Berlioz (49) to his own words, is performed completely for the first time, in Leipzig conducted by the composer. Of all the cities he performs in during this tour, Leipzig gives Berlioz’ music the coolest reception. In the audience are Franz Liszt (42) and Peter Cornelius (28). After the performance, these and other musicians take Berlioz to a restaurant to cheer him up. They are soon joined by Johannes Brahms (20) who just arrived in the city after the concert. See 12 November 1850 and 30 May 1853.
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December 2, 1853: Schnee-Glöcken op.143, a waltz by Johann Strauss (28), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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December 4, 1853: In Leipzig, Franz Brendel, editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, gives a reception during which Johannes Brahms (20) plays his Piano Sonata in C and Scherzo in e flat minor. Hector Berlioz (49) is present and is effusive in his praise.
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December 6, 1853: The first railway in the Kingdom of Sardinia opens between Turin and Genoa.
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December 9, 1853: Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann op.20 for piano by Clara Schumann (34) is performed for the first time, in Rotterdam, by the composer.
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December 10, 1853: Hector Berlioz gives one of many very successful concerts at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. A reception hosted by Franz Liszt (42) after the performance includes Johannes Brahms (20), Peter Cornelius (28), Ferdinand David, and several other eminent musicians. The Pauliner Singers serenade him beneath his hotel window. Tomorrow is his 50th birthday.
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December 11, 1853: Great Britain annexes Nagpur, one of the Maratha States in India.
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December 11, 1853: Amidst a very successful round of concertizing in Leipzig, Hector Berlioz is given a dinner to celebrate his 50th birthday. He is told “Why don’t you speak German, M. Berlioz? It should be your language--you are German.”
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December 12, 1853: Hector Berlioz (50) and Marie Recio depart Leipzig for Paris.
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December 12, 1853: Peter Cornelius (28) writes from Weimar, “From the moment I met [Liszt] (42) he has not ceased to be the kindest and most active friend, giving me every day further opportunities of becoming still better acquainted with the noblest heart ever to beat in an artist’s breast. Carried by the overwhelming might of his genius, and by it alone, to a position in the world far above the misery which is generally the lot of artists, it is one of the chief objects of his life, so far as it lies within his power, to give everywhere a helping hand to unrecognized genius or talent.” (Williams, 301)
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December 15, 1853: Clara Schumann (34) plays at a party given by the royal family at The Hague. No one pays much attention to her and after a few pieces she storms out. One guest asks Robert Schumann (43), ”And are you musical too?” (Macdonald, 1853, 178)
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December 15, 1853: A rail line between Toronto and London, Ontario is inaugurated.
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December 17, 1853: Piano Sonata no.1 op.1 by Johannes Brahms (20) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus by the composer. The work, and Brahms (in his first Leipzig performance) are well received.
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December 17, 1853: In serious financial difficulty, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) sets sail from New York for his home in New Orleans.
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December 18, 1853: Symphony no.1 by Camille Saint-Saëns (18) is performed for the first time, anonymously in Paris. The composer sits behind Charles Gounod (35) and Hector Berlioz (50) and listens as they discuss the work in glowing terms. After learning the identity of the composer, Gounod will send him a letter saying in part, “...and remember that on Sunday, 18th December 1853, you contracted the obligation of becoming a great master.”
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December 20, 1853: Clara Schumann (34) completes her 13 concert tour of the Netherlands in the French Theatre in Amsterdam.
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December 22, 1853: The Schumann family returns to Düsseldorf from their highly successful concert tour of the Netherlands.
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December 22, 1853: Crimean War: Following the disaster at Sinop, the British cabinet decides to send their ships into the Black Sea.
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December 23, 1853: Marquis Juan de la Pezuela, Captain-General of Cuba, orders that anyone caught importing Africans for slavery will be heavily fined and banished from the island.
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December 25, 1853: Crimean War: Russian and Turkish forces clash at Cetate (Romania) on the Danube west of Craiova, without strategic result.
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December 30, 1853: The United States purchases 76,788 sq km south of the Gila River from Mexico for $10,000,000 to facilitate the building of a proposed railroad (which will never be built). The agreement is signed today in Mexico City. In the US it is known as the Gadsden Purchase, after James Gadsden, the US minister to Mexico.