January 3, 1857: Marie-Dominique-Auguste Sibour, Archbishop of Paris, is stabbed to death by Abbé Jean-Louis Verger in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris. Verger, immediately detained, claims he did it to oppose the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, but he is probably deranged.
January 3, 1857: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attends Sigismond Thalberg’s (44) first concert in Boston and the two meet afterwards. Longfellow finds him quite likeable.
January 7, 1857: Franz Liszt’s (45) Concerto for piano and orchestra no.2 is performed for the first time, in Weimar, conducted by the composer.
January 12, 1857: On its third day, the trial of the great train robbers of May, 1855 concludes in London. Two are sentenced to transportation for 14 years. A third receives two years imprisonment.
January 13, 1857: Switzerland releases the Neuchâtel prisoners taken last September, thus diffusing a tense international situation.
January 15, 1857: 400 Europeans in Hong Kong become sick from eating bread laced with arsenic. The poison kills no one since the dose is so large it can not be kept down. Over 500 Chinese will be arrested.
January 15, 1857: Les trois baisers du diable, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (37) to words of Mestépès, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
January 17, 1857: Abbé Jean-Louis Verger is convicted in a Paris court of killing Archbishop Sibour on 3 January.
January 20, 1857: Paroxysmen op.189, a waltz by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 21, 1857: Demi-Fortune op.186, a polka française by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
January 22, 1857: The Sonata in b minor for piano by Franz Liszt (45) is performed for the first time, in Berlin, by Hans von Bülow. The public is very appreciative. The critics hate it. This is the first time a Bechstein grand piano has been heard in public.
January 24, 1857: The University of Calcutta is founded.
January 26, 1857: Psyché, an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas (45) to words of Berbier and Carré, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
January 27, 1857: Controversen op.191, a waltz by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 28, 1857: Allied Central American forces take San Jorge, east of Rivas, from the Walkerites.
January 29, 1857: An effort by Walkerites to retake San Jorge is repulsed with heavy losses.
January 30, 1857: Abbé Jean-Louis Verger is executed in Paris for killing Archbishop Sibour on 3 January.
February 2, 1857: La Berçeuse op.194, a quadrille by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 3, 1857: Herzel-Polka op.188 by Johann Strauss (31) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
February 4, 1857: Author and philosopher Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoyevsky visits Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (52) in his sick room in Berlin. Glinka gets out of bed and plays a new composition, claiming he is not really sick.
February 4, 1857: A second attempt by Walkerites to retake San Jorge is defeated.
February 5, 1857: A new constitution for Mexico is signed incorporating principles of liberalism, especially limiting the powers of the military and the church. It goes into effect on 16 September.
February 7, 1857: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) leaves New York for Havana and a concert tour of Cuba. He will spend the next five years in the Caribbean.
February 7, 1857: Gustave Flaubert is acquitted of obscenity charges against his novel Madame Bovary.
February 8, 1857: About 40 whites are killed or captured by Dakota Indians near Spirit Lake, Iowa.
February 11, 1857: Une Bagatelle op.187, a polka mazur by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
February 12, 1857: Croquefer, ou Le dernier des Paladins, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (37) to words of Jaime and Tréfeu, is performed for the first time, by the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
February 12, 1857: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) arrives in Havana from New York aboard the steamer Quaker City.
February 14, 1857: A doctor attending Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (52) in Berlin reports that, although his life is in danger, the composer will not die soon due to his “unusually strong bodily frame.”
February 15, 1857: Symphonie en fa “Urbs Roma” by Camille Saint-Saëns (21) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
February 15, 1857: 05:00 Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka dies in an apartment at Französische Straße 8 in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, probably of carcinoma of the stomach, aged 52 years, eight months, and 14 days.
February 16, 1857: The National Deaf Mute College is incorporated in Washington. It is the first institution of higher education for the deaf in the world. The name will later be changed to Gallaudet College.
February 17, 1857: Phänomene op.193, a waltz by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 17, 1857: An autopsy is performed on the body of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, which he insisted on several times when alive. One account says he died of an “adipose liver” and would surely have died soon anyway. Another account said that his illness was not fatal but that he died of starvation because he was unable to take in food for weeks.
February 18, 1857: The mortal remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka are laid to rest in Berlin, in the presence of nine people, including Giacomo Meyerbeer (65) and an official from the Russian embassy.
February 18, 1857: Liebestreu op.3/1, a song by Johannes Brahms (23) to words of Reinick, is performed for the first time, in Göttingen.
February 18, 1857: Giuseppe Verdi (43) arrives in Venice to oversee the premiere of Simon Boccanegra.
February 23, 1857: Wien, mein Sinn! op.192, a waltz by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
February 25, 1857: News of the death of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka is published in St. Petersburg.
March 3, 1857: US President Franklin Pierce signs the Atlantic Cable Act, pledging money and assistance to Cyrus Field for the laying of a transatlantic cable.
March 4, 1857: James Buchanan replaces Franklin Pierce as President of the United States. The 35th Congress convenes in Washington. President Buchanan’s Democratic Party regains the majority in the House of Representatives with the new Republican Party forming the opposition. The American (Know-Nothing) Party wins only 14 seats and is disintegrating, while the Whig Party disbanded before the election. Democrats retain their majority in the Senate but now the opposition is formed by Republicans.
March 4, 1857: Anglo-Persian War: Great Britain and Persia agree to peace in Paris. Persia recognizes the independence of Afghanistan.
March 6, 1857: In the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, the United States Supreme Court holds that a slave taken to a free state does not thereupon become free. The decision further fuels animosity over slavery.
March 7, 1857: A memorial service for Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) fills the Konyushnaya Church, St. Petersburg.
March 12, 1857: Simon Boccanegra, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi (43) to words of Piave and Montanelli after García Gutiérrez, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. The work is a critical success but its failure with the audience precludes financial reward.
March 14, 1857: Stephen Foster (30) sells all the copyrights he currently holds to his publisher Firth, Pond & Co. for $1,872.28.
March 16, 1857: Bedrich Smetana (33) conducts his first performance as director of the Harmonic Society in Göteborg.
March 16, 1857: A third attempt by Walkerites to take San Jorge, Nicaragua is repulsed by allied Central American troops.
March 19, 1857: Military Overture by Stanislaw Moniuszko (37) is performed for the first time, in Vilnius.
March 20, 1857: In the Hall of the Nobility, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society gives a concert in honor of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) consisting entirely of his music.
March 23, 1857: At a building on the corner of Broadway and Broome St. in New York, inventor Elisha Otis installs the first passenger elevator in a public building.
March 27, 1857: Allied Central American forces begin a siege of Rivas, the last stronghold of William Walker and his mercenaries.
April 1, 1857: Willliam Foster sells the family home in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Brother Stephen (30) and his family are forced to move to a boarding house in Pittsburgh.
April 1, 1857: Marco Spada, ou La fille du bandit, a ballet by Daniel Auber (75) to a story by Scribe and Delavigne, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. This is a rewriting of his 1852 opéra-comique Marco Spada.
April 6, 1857: After six days of fighting in Caborca, Mexican forces defeat a group of North American filibusters seeking to rule Sonora.
April 12, 1857: Madame Bovary is published in book form in Paris.
April 21, 1857: Mass op.4 for chorus, orchestra and organ by Camille Saint-Saëns (21) is performed for the first time, in the Church of Saint-Merri, Paris.
April 23, 1857: 16:00 Ruggiero (sic) Giacomo Maria Giuseppe Emmanuele Raffaele Comenico Vincenzo Francesco Donato Leoncavallo is born at 102 Riviera di Chiaia in Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, second of three children born to Vincenzo Leoncavallo, a police magistrate, and Virginia D’Auria, daughter of the painter Raffaele D’Auria. (Leoncavallo often claimed that he was born 8 March 1858.)
April 24, 1857: A month of voting in the British general election concludes today. The Whig Party of Viscount Palmerston wins almost two-thirds of the total vote and a comfortable majority in seats.
April 27, 1857: Sonata for cello and piano op.47 by Valentin Alkan (43) is performed for the first time, in Salle Erard, Paris, the composer at the keyboard.
April 28, 1857: Richard Wagner (43) takes up residence at Green Hill, Otto Wesendonck’s villa overlooking Lake Zürich. His cottage is called Asyl (True Refuge) by Wesendonck’s wife, Mathilde. The main house is still under construction and the Wesendonck’s will move into it in August.
April 28, 1857: Tarantelle op.6 for flute, clarinet and orchestra or piano by Camille Saint-Saëns (21) is performed publicly for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris, the composer at the piano.
April 30, 1857: Dragonette, an opérette-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (37) to words of Mestépès and Jaime, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
May 1, 1857: Commander Charles E. Davis of the USS St. Mary negotiates safe conduct out of Nicaragua for William Walker and his mercenaries. The plan is not agreed to by many Central American leaders. Others simply want Walker out of the country. In the almost two years since Walker’s arrival from the United States, thousands of Central Americans have died.
May 3, 1857: Etwas Kleines op.190, a polka française by Johann Strauss (31), is performed for the first time, in Ungers Casino, Vienna.
May 9, 1857: Indian cavalry troopers in the British army, having been court martialed for refusing to touch fat cartridges, are publicly stripped of their uniforms in Meerut, 65 km northeast of Delhi. Both Hindu and Moslem troopers object to biting off the tips of the rifle cartridges, Hindus because they are smeared with cow grease, Moslems because they are smeared with pig fat.
May 10, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: After the events of yesterday, three regiments of the British army mutiny in Meerut, kill all their British officers and march on Delhi.
May 11, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: Delhi falls to mutineers who proclaim the Mogul Emperor Bahadur Shah as their leader. This will be followed by risings of Indian troops throughout the northern subcontinent who kill their British officers and Europeans in general.
May 13, 1857: Carl Christian Hall replaces Carl Christopher Georg Andrae as Prime Minister of Denmark.
May 16, 1857: Vent du soir, ou L’horrible festin, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (37) to words of Gille, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
May 19, 1857: William Channing of Boston and Moses Farmer of Salem, Massachusetts receive a US patent for an electric fire alarm.
May 26, 1857: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia signs a treaty in Paris giving up all claims over the canton of Neuchâtel, thus allowing it to join the Swiss Confederation.
May 26, 1857: The earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) are disinterred in Berlin for transport to St. Petersburg.
May 31, 1857: Johannes Brahms (24) goes to Detmold on an invitation to perform at the court of Prince Leopold III of Lippe. He will gain a court position here, as court pianist, giving lessons to royal children, and directing an amateur choral society.
May 31, 1857: Franz Liszt (45) conducts the first of three concerts he is to give at the Lower Rhine Music Festival in Aachen.
June 1, 1857: John Knowles Paine (18) performs professionally for the first time, accompanying the violinist Carl Gartner in a concert in Lancaster Hall, Portland, Maine. Advertisements for the performance, which includes several other musicians, do not mention Paine’s name.
June 2, 1857: Dr. Johann Carl Fuhlrott of Elberfeld gives a full account of the discovery of human like remains in a small cave at the entrance to the Neanderthal Gorge in Westphalia. The bones were discovered by workmen last August.
June 2, 1857: Edward William Elgar is born in Crown East Lane, Broadheath, Worcestershire, United Kingdom, five km northwest of Worcester, the fourth of seven children born to William Henry Elgar, organist and piano tuner, and Anne Greening, daughter of a Herefordshire farmer.
June 3, 1857: The earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) arrive in Kronstadt aboard the steamship Vladimir from Stettin (Szczecin).
June 5, 1857: After a memorial service at the Alyeksandr Nevsky Monastery, St. Petersburg, attended by a large crowd, the earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) are laid to rest in a private ceremony at the Tikhvinsky Cemetery of the monastery.
June 7, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: Sepoys lay siege to Cawnpore (Kanpur).
June 12, 1857: Six weeks after being rescued by an American naval vessel, former dictator of Nicaragua William Walker is received by President James Buchanan at the White House. Walker will later claim that Buchanan urges him to return to Nicaragua.
June 13, 1857: This is the date predicted by a German astrologer that a comet will strike the Earth. There has been a great deal of panic, especially in Paris. No comet strikes the Earth.
June 13, 1857: Carl Czerny (66) draws up his will. He leaves everything to his housekeeper and her brother, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, and various charitable organizations.
June 20, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: Sepoys lay siege to Lucknow.
June 23, 1857: Franz Liszt (45) is admitted to the Order of St. Francis by the Hungarian Franciscans.
June 25, 1857: Prince Albert, spouse of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, is created Prince-Consort.
June 25, 1857: Charles Baudelaire publishes Les Fleurs du mal, a collection of poems. He and his publishers are almost immediately indicted for offense to public morals.
June 25, 1857: John Knowles Paine (18) makes his first public appearance as organist, in Portland, Maine.
June 26, 1857: In a ceremony in London, Queen Victoria awards the first 62 Victoria Crosses.
June 26, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: Besieged British and Indians in Cawnpore (Kanpur) are granted safe conduct by the Sepoy rebels, but as they leave the Sepoys open fire killing all men and many women and children. Those surviving are imprisoned.
June 30, 1857: At St. Martin’s Hall, London, Charles Dickens gives the first public reading from his works. In spite of the season, he chooses A Christmas Carol.
July 4, 1857: The first part of the Mexican Railway opens between Mexico City and Guadalupe.
July 5, 1857: A second round of voting takes place in the French legislative elections. Supporters of Emperor Napoléon III win all but seven of the 283 seats.
July 7, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: A British force sets out from Allahabad to relieve Lucknow. In the next two-and-a-half months they will fight twelve battles before reaching their goal.
July 15, 1857: Carl Czerny dies in Vienna, Austrian Empire, aged 66 years, four months, and 24 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
July 15, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: The women and children survivors of Cawnpore (Kanpur) are stabbed to death by their Sepoy captors.
July 17, 1857: A revised version of Heil, Vater! dir zum hohen Feste, a cantata by Anton Bruckner (32) to words of Marinelli, is performed for the first time, at St. Florian.
July 20, 1857: Pauline Viardot (36) gives birth to her fourth child, and only son, Paul Viardot, at the Viardot chateau Courtavenel in Seine et Marne. It is possible that the child is the son of Ivan Turgenev, although Louis Viardot is recorded as the natural father.
July 27, 1857: Une demoiselle en lôterie, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (38) to words of Jaime and Crémieux, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
July 31, 1857: Antonín Dvorák (15) wins a Leaving Certificate from the secondary school at Böhmisch-Kamnitz (Ceská Kamenice), 95 km north of Prague. His father sent him there to strengthen his German, the language used at the Prague Organ School.
August 1, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: In accordance with the sentence of a military court executed in Peshawar, 40 of the Sepoy mutineers are strapped to the muzzles of Her Majesty’s artillery and blasted into oblivion for the instruction of the 55th Regiment, BHI.
August 1, 1857: Emilie Zumsteeg dies in Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg, aged 60 years, seven months, and 23 days.
August 2, 1857: Mustafa Naili Pasha replaces Mustafa Resid Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
August 3, 1857: Louis Pasteur delivers a paper to the Lille Society in Lille announcing he has discovered that fermentation is caused by biochemical action of tiny organisms.
August 3, 1857: A crowd of students, friends, and others accompany the body of Emilie Zumsteeg from her home on the Gymnasiumstraße to Hoppenlau cemetery in Stuttgart where it is laid to rest.
August 6, 1857: The Haydn Society of Portland, Maine, votes to hire John Knowles Paine (18) as organist.
August 9, 1857: At the Wesendonck villa outside Zürich, Richard Wagner abruptly stops the composition of Siegfried at the end of Act II.
August 16, 1857: Aroldo, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi (43) to words of Piave, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro Nuovo Comunale, Rimini. It enjoys a warm reception from the audience.
August 20, 1857: The British sailing ship Dunbar goes aground in a gale while attempting to find the harbor of Sydney, New South Wales. Only one of the 122 people on board survives.
August 20, 1857: Having stopped the composition of Siegfried two weeks ago at the Wesendonck villa outside Zürich, Richard Wagner (44) begins writing Tristan und Isolde. Otto and Mathilde Wesendonck will move into the new house in two days.
August 22, 1857: Otto and Mathilde Wesendonck move into their new villa outside Zürich. In their cottage on the grounds, Richard Wagner (44) has just begun the writing of Tristan und Isolde.
August 24, 1857: A financial panic begins in the United States, precipitated by the failure of the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance Company. 4,932 businesses will fail this year.
August 27, 1857: Joseph Joachim writes from Göttingen to Franz Liszt (45) in Weimar. It is his formal break with Liszt and his music. “Your music is entirely antagonistic to me; it contradicts everything with which the spirits of our great ones have nourished my mind from my earliest youth.”
August 30, 1857: The first railway in Argentina goes into operation.
September 4, 1857: The Festvorspiel for orchestra by Franz Liszt (45) is performed for the first time, in Weimar, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grand Duke Carl August, grandfather of the present Grand Duke Carl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
September 5, 1857: Two orchestral works by Franz Liszt (45) are performed for the first time, in Weimar, conducted by the composer: the symphonic poem Die Ideale and Eine Faust-Symphonie in drei Charakterbildern. They celebrate the unveiling today of the Goethe-Schiller Monument in Weimar. One of those in attendance, Hans Christian Andersen, an admirer of Liszt the performer, is less enthusiastic about his music. “[Liszt’s music] was wild, melodious, and turbid. At times there was a crash of cymbals. When I first heard it, I thought a plate had fallen down. I went home tired. What a damned sort of music.”
September 6, 1857: The waltz Telegrafische Depeschen op.195 and the quadrille Le beau monde op.199, by Johann Strauss (31), are performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
September 11, 1857: During the Utah War between Mormons and the United States government over non-Mormon settlement of Utah, Mormons kill 120 emigrants bound for California at Mountain Meadow.
September 12, 1857: SS Central America out of Havana goes down in a hurricane off South Carolina with the loss of around 400 of 600 on board and about 19 metric tons of gold.
September 14, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: British forces attack Sepoy mutineers in Delhi.
September 16, 1857: A new liberal Mexican constitution goes into effect.
September 18, 1857: Richard Wagner (44) finishes the poem of Tristan und Isolde at Asyl and presents it to Mathilde Wesendonck. He will shortly read it to a private audience which includes his wife Minna, Otto and Mathilde Wesendonck, and the newly married Hans and Cosima von Bülow, all of whom are unaware of how their lives will intersect over the next ten years.
September 19, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: British forces recapture Delhi after six days of street fighting.
September 21, 1857: Le cheval de bronze, by Daniel Auber (75) to words of Scribe, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. This is a revival of Auber’s 1835 opéra as an opéra-ballet.
September 23, 1857: The Russian warship Lefort goes down in a storm in the Gulf of Finland with the loss of all 826 on board.
September 25, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: Lucknow is temporarily relieved by the British.
October 3, 1857: Maître Griffard, an opéra comique by Léo Delibes (21) to words of Mestépès, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris.
October 3, 1857: Georges Bizet’s (18) Prix de Rome-winning setting of the cantata Clovis et Clotilde to words of Burion is performed for the first time, in Paris on the night he is awarded the prize.
October 13, 1857: A massive run begins on New York banks. They pay out over $4,000,000 before closing. The banks will remain closed for two months.
October 15, 1857: Francisco Armero y Fernández Peñaranda, marqués de Nervión replaces Ramón María Narváez y Campos, duque de Valencia as Prime Minister of Spain.
October 19, 1857: Giuseppe Verdi (44) sends the outline of a new opera, Gustavo III, to Vincenzo Torelli, secretary to the impressario of Teatro San Carlo, Naples in order that it might gain approval by the censors. They will disapprove it. See 28 January 1858.
October 22, 1857: Blandine Liszt marries Emile Ollivier in Florence Cathedral on her father’s 46th birthday. M. Ollivier will one day become Prime Minister of France.
October 23, 1857: Mustafa Resid Pasha replaces Mustafa Naili Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
October 24, 1857: The Sheffield Football Club is founded in Yorkshire. (It is the oldest football club still playing)
November 1, 1857: The first issue of the Atlantic Monthly is published in Boston, edited by James Russell Lowell.
November 7, 1857: Eine Symphonie zu Dantes Divina Commedia by Franz Liszt (46) is performed for the first time, in Dresden, directed by the composer. With only one rehearsal, the performance is an unmitigated disaster.
November 9, 1857: Charles Latour Rogier replaces Pierre Jacques François de Decker as head of government for Belgium.
November 10, 1857: Franz Liszt’s (46) symphonic poem Héroïde funèbre is performed for the first time, in Breslau (Wroclaw).
November 12, 1857: Louis Spohr (73) receives a message from the Hesse-Kassel court that he is being “allowed to retire” due to his age, at three-quarters of his present salary.
November 13, 1857: Les deux pêcheurs, a bouffonnerie musicale by Jacques Offenbach (38) to words of Dupeuty and Bourget, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
November 15, 1857: A setting of the Pater noster for chorus by Giacomo Meyerbeer (66) is published in La maîtrise.
November 15, 1857: Antonín Dvorák (16) appears for the first time as violist at a concert in Prague organized by the Cecilian Association.
November 22, 1857: Messe solennelle by Ambroise Thomas (46) is performed for the first time, in the Church of Saint-Eustache, Paris.
November 22, 1857: Louis Spohr (73) directs a performance of his opera Jessonda in Kassel. It is his last act as Hofkapellmeister in Kassel, a post he has held for 35 years.
November 25, 1857: Athanasios Andreou Miaoulis replaces Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris as Prime Minister of Greece.
November 26, 1857: Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff dies in Neisse (Nysa) at the age of 69.
November 27, 1857: Clara Schumann (38) writes to Joseph Joachim that she has had to cancel several concerts because of intense rheumatism. Opium has been prescribed.
November 29, 1857: A setting of O salutaris hostia for vocal quartet by Gioachino Rossini (65) is performed for the first time.
November 30, 1857: The Church of Sainte-Clotilde is consecrated in Paris. César Franck (34) conducts a large choir and orchestra and also plays a chamber organ, the main organ not being finished.
December 3, 1857: Camille Saint-Saëns (22) inaugurates the Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Church of Saint-Merri, Paris.
December 6, 1857: Sepoy Rebellion: British forces recapture Cawnpore (Kanpur).
December 7, 1857: Camille Saint-Saëns (22) takes up his duties as organist at the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.
December 9, 1857: Le carnaval de Venise, an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas (46) to words of Sauvage, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
December 11, 1857: New York banks suspended on 13 October reopen. The Panic of 1857 is essentially over.
December 16, 1857: An earthquake centered at Montemurro, southeast of Naples, kills at least 11,000 people.
December 20, 1857: Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria decrees that the ramparts around Vienna’s inner city be torn down and the moat replaced by a wide street.
December 23, 1857: Träume for violin and small orchestra by Richard Wagner (44) is performed for the first time, in Zürich, outside Otto Wesendonck’s villa, on the birthday of Mathilde Wesendonck. This is an arrangement of the fifth of the Wesendonck lieder. See 30 July 1862.
December 26, 1857: Nice à Stephanie, a cantata for soprano and chorus by Giacomo Meyerbeer (66) to words of Pillet, is performed for the first time, in Nice for the birthday of Archduchess Stephanie of Baden.
December 27, 1857: Retired for only a month, Louis Spohr (73) trips over the steps at the museum in Kassel and suffers a broken arm. Although he will recover, he will never perform on the violin in public again.
December 27, 1857: Gesang der Geister über den Wassern for male octet and strings by Franz Schubert (†29) to words of Goethe is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
December 27, 1857: Second Opium War: French and British warships open fire on Canton (Guangzhou). The bombardment lasts 27 hours and sets the city on fire.
December 29, 1857: Hunnenschlacht, a symphonic poem by Franz Liszt (46), is performed for the first time, in Weimar, conducted by the composer.
December 29, 1857: Second Opium War: French and British ground forces take control of the gates and defenses of Canton (Guangzho).
December 31, 1857: Queen Victoria approves of the choice of Ottawa as the capital of Canada.