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

January 1, 1861 – December 31, 1861

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January 1, 1861: The victorious liberal army enters Mexico City in tumultuous triumph.
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January 1, 1861: Verbum nobile, an opera by Stanislaw Moniuszko (41) to words of Checinski, is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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January 2, 1861: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies in Potsdam and is succeeded by his brother Wilhelm I who has been serving as regent since 1858.
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January 3, 1861: Georgia state troops occupy Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River.
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January 4, 1861: Alabama forces occupy the federal arsenal at Mount Vernon.
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January 5, 1861: La chanson de Fortunio, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (41) to words of Crémieux and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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January 5, 1861: Alabama forces occupy Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines at the entrance of Mobile Bay.
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January 6, 1861: Florida troops take over the federal arsenal at Apalachicola.
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January 7, 1861: Pursuant to the findings of the Holy Congregation of Cardinals, Pope Pius IX grants the annulment of the marriage of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein. It will be announced tomorrow.
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January 7, 1861: Florida forces occupy Fort Marion at St. Augustine.
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January 9, 1861: The legislature of the state of Mississippi votes 84-15 in favor of secession from the United States.
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January 9, 1861: Outside Charleston harbor, the Star of the West, a merchant vessel carrying supplies to Fort Sumter, is fired upon and returns to New York.
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January 10, 1861: The legislature of the state of Florida votes 62-7 in favor of secession from the United States.
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January 10, 1861: Louisiana troops seize the federal arsenals at Baton Rouge, Fort Jackson, and St. Philip.
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January 11, 1861: The legislature of the state of Alabama votes 61-39 in favor of secession from the United States.
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January 11, 1861: Benito Juárez enters Mexico City with little fanfare and becomes the country’s first civilian president.
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January 12, 1861: Florida troops occupy Fort Barrancas, Fort McGee, and the Pensacola Navy Yard.
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January 14, 1861: Louisiana forces occupy Fort Pike near New Orleans.
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January 15, 1861: Elisha Otis receives a US patent for an elevator with a safety device, should the hoisting rope break.
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January 15, 1861: Dividenden op.252, a waltz by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
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January 15, 1861: The first two of the Twelve Songs and Romances op.44 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (27) are performed for the first time, in Hamburg: Der Holdseligen sonder Wank, to words of Voss, and Von allen Bergen nieder, to words of Eichendorff. Brahms’ Songs for female chorus, two horns, and harp op.17 are performed completely for the first time, conducted by the composer. This is part of a joint concert by Brahms, Joseph Joachim, and Clara Schumann (41) which includes Beethoven’s (†33) Kreutzer Sonata and Robert Schumann’s (†4) Variations for two pianos op.46.
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January 17, 1861: Englishman Thomas Crapper receives a patent for his flush toilet.
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January 19, 1861: The legislature of the state of Georgia votes 208-89 in favor of secession from the United States.
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January 20, 1861: Mississippi troops take Fort Massachusetts.
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January 22, 1861: Thermen op.245, a waltz by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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January 22, 1861: CJ Heusken, an interpreter for US ambassador Townsend Harris, is murdered on a Tokyo street by anti-Shogun elements. Representatives of Britain, France, Prussia, and the Netherlands leave the city, but Harris remains and obtains reparations for Heusken’s family.
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January 24, 1861: Georgia forces occupy the federal arsenal at Augusta.
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January 25, 1861: Les musiciens de l’orchestre, an opérette bouffe by Léo Delibes (24), Jules Erlanger, and Aristide Hignard, to words of Bourdois, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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January 26, 1861: The Warsaw Institute of Music is inaugurated.
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January 26, 1861: The legislature of the state of Louisiana votes 113-17 in favor of secession from the United States.
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January 26, 1861: Georgia forces occupy the Ogelthorpe Barracks and Fort Jackson at Savannah.
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January 28, 1861: Louisiana troops take Fort Macomb near New Orleans.
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January 28, 1861: Wahlstimmen op.250, a waltz by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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January 29, 1861: Kansas becomes the 34th state of the United States, with a constitution prohibiting slavery.
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January 29, 1861: Camelien-Polka op.248 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
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January 30, 1861: Martin Karl Löffler (Charles Martin Loeffler) is born in Mulhouse, Alsace, French Empire, or Schöneberg, near Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, the second of seven children born to Karl Löffler, a writer and teacher and Julie Charlotte Helena Schwerdtmann, daughter of a carpet retailer. (Loeffler always claimed to be a native Alsatian, but there is no evidence to support that)
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February 1, 1861: The legislature of the state of Texas votes 166-7 in favor of secession from the United States.
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February 1, 1861: A series of dike breaches begins in Gelderland Province, Netherlands. 16,000 hectares are inundated. Hundreds are killed and tens of thousands made homeless.
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February 1, 1861: Franz Schubert’s (†32) Geburtstagshymne for vocal quartet and piano is performed publicly for the first time, in Weimar.
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February 2, 1861: La circassienne, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (79) to words of Scribe, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
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February 3, 1861: The town of Bussetto votes 339-206 in favor of Giuseppe Verdi (47) to represent them in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Verdi is elected to represent Borgo S. Donnino (Fidenza).
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February 4, 1861: Archduke Rainer of Austria, cousin of the emperor, replaces Johann Bernhard, Count Rechberg und Rothenlöwe as Prime Minister of Austria.
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February 4, 1861: Klangfiguren op.251, a waltz by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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February 4, 1861: 131 delegates from 21 states meet at a peace convention in Washington in an attempt to find a compromise between the states. Meanwhile, 42 delegates from South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida meet in convention at Montgomery, Alabama to adopt a provisional constitution.
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February 6, 1861: Rokonhangok op.246, a polka française by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
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February 6, 1861: Hesperus-Polka op.249 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
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February 7, 1861: Grillenbanner op.247, a waltz im Ländlerstil by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
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February 8, 1861: Arkansas troops take the federal arsenal at Little Rock.
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February 8, 1861: Delegates from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina meeting in Montgomery, Alabama form the Confederate States of America and adopt a provisional constitution.
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February 9, 1861: Jefferson Davis is elected provisional president of the Confederate States of America. Alexander Stephens is elected provisional vice-president.
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February 9, 1861: Tennessee voters elect 68,282-59,449 not to hold a state convention on secession.
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February 11, 1861: Am Grabe for unaccompanied male chorus by Anton Bruckner (36) to words of Marinelli and von der Mattig, is performed for the first time, by Liedertafel “Frohsinn” in Linz, directed by the composer.
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February 11, 1861: Abraham Lincoln makes his farewell speech in Springfield, Illinois before departing for Washington.
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February 12, 1861: Jews gain full legal equality in Sicily.
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February 13, 1861: The Neapolitan army capitulates to the Sardinian army at Gaeta.
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February 14, 1861: King Francesco II of Naples surrenders at Gaeta.
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February 16, 1861: An earthquake and tsunami centered off the west coast of Sumatra kill thousands of people.
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February 16, 1861: Jews gain full legal equality in Naples.
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February 18, 1861: Jefferson Davis is inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America, in Montgomery, Alabama.
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February 18, 1861: The new Italian Parliament is opened by King Vittorio Emanuele of Sardinia in Turin. Deputy Giuseppe Verdi (47) takes his seat. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Prime Minister of Sardinia, declares the Kingdom of Italy. In the evening, Verdi attends a performance of La Favorita in the Teatro Regio. At the end of the second act, as word spreads that he is in the theatre, the audience begins to spontaneously shout “Viva Verdi!”
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February 20, 1861: Playwright and librettist Eugène Scribe dies in Paris at the age of 69.
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February 21, 1861: In Berlin, Giacomo Meyerbeer (69) learns of the death of his long time collaborator Eugène Scribe. He will be unable to work for days.
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February 23, 1861: The discovery of rubidium by Germans Robert Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff is announced to the Berlin Academy of Scientists.
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February 23, 1861: 06:00 President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives in Washington.
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February 23, 1861: Die Kinder der Heide by Anton Rubinstein (31) to words of Mosenthal after Beck, is performed for the first time in the Vienna Kärntnertortheater.
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February 23, 1861: A plebiscite in Texas favors secession from the United States 34,794-11,325 (75% yes).
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February 25, 1861: Reinforced, French and Spanish forces in Saigon defeat the Vietnamese surrounding them, at Ky Hoa.
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February 26, 1861: The February Patent is issued, changing the Austrian constitution. It creates two houses in the Reichsrat, a House of Lords and a House of Representatives. The latter will be elected by local assemblies rather than universal suffrage.
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February 27, 1861: A crowd in Warsaw protesting Russian rule is fired on by Russian troops. Five people are killed.
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February 28, 1861: North Carolina voters elect 46,603-46,409 not to hold a state convention on secession.
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March 1, 1861: Franz Schubert’s (†32) singspiel Die Verschworenen to words of Castelli after Aristophanes is performed for the first time, in a concert setting in the Musikverein, Vienna. See 29 August 1861.
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March 3, 1861: By command of Alyeksandr II, Tsar of all the Russias, every one of the 25 million serfs in his domains is forthwith emancipated. The Musorgsky family is financially devastated and Modest Musorgsky (21) has to think about money for the first time.
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March 4, 1861: Abraham Lincoln replaces James Buchanan as President of the United States. The 37th Congress convenes for the first time, in Washington. Republicans are in control of both houses, with members from the seceding states not present.
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March 7, 1861: The legislature of the state of Missouri votes against secession from the United States.
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March 8, 1861: Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, the first of the Two Episodes from Lenau’s “Faust” by Franz Liszt (49) is performed for the first time, in Weimar.
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March 10, 1861: Toucouleur forces under El Hadj Umar Tall capture Ségou, essentially ending the Bambara Empire.
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March 11, 1861: The Confederate States of America adopts a permanent constitution.
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March 12, 1861: Italian troops take Messina, the last outpost on Sicily loyal to the King of Naples.
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March 13, 1861: The Russian navy corvette Posadnik arrives at Tsushima Island with the intent of gaining an anchorage for Russian ships.
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March 13, 1861: By imperial command, the so-called “Paris” version of Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner (47) to his own words is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. The performers have been subjected to 160 rehearsals, almost all of them personally supervised by the composer. The performance is disrupted by the Jockey Club, a group of young aristocrats who object to Wagner’s decision not to place the ballet at the beginning of the second act, as is customary in French opera. The conductor, Pierre Dietsch, is completely inept, conducting from a violin part. See 1 August 1847, 19 October 1848, and 1 August 1867.
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March 14, 1861: Julius Philipp Jacob Adriaan, Count van Zuylen van Nijevelt replaces Floris Adriaan, Baron van Hall and Schelte, Baron Heemstra as chief minister of the Netherlands.
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March 15, 1861: In Berlin, Giacomo Meyerbeer (69) learns of the Tannnhäuser fiasco in Paris. “Such an unusual demonstration of dissatisfaction with a work that, in any case, is so admirable and talented would appear to be the result of a cabal, and not a genuine popular verdict.”
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March 15, 1861: The new Mexican government of Benito Juárez puts Mexico on the metric system.
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March 16, 1861: The Confederate States of America appoints commissioners to Great Britain.
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March 17, 1861: The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed by the Italian Parliament in Turin. King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia becomes king of Italy. Prime Minister Count Camillo Benso di Cavour of Sardinia becomes Prime Minister of Italy.
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March 17, 1861: Neue Melodien-Quadrille op.254 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
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March 18, 1861: At the invitation of the government of Santo Domingo, Spain re-annexes its former colony. Spanish troops from Cuba enter the country.
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March 18, 1861: A state convention in Arkansas turns down secession 39-35 but allows for a plebiscite.
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March 18, 1861: Governor Sam Houston of Texas refuses to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America and retires.
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March 18, 1861: Recalling a performance of the overture to Lohengrin, conducted by Richard Wagner (47) in Paris last year, Charles Beaudelaire writes, “I felt as if released from gravity, with rekindled memories of voluptuous pleasures that circulate in lofty places.” (Grey, 372)
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March 20, 1861: The last royal Neapolitan holdout, Civitella del Tronto, surrenders to Italian troops.
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March 20, 1861: An earthquake flattens the provincial capital of Mendoza, Argentina. Over 4,000 people are killed.
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March 21, 1861: Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, speaking in Savannah, Georgia, proclaims slavery as the immediate cause of the rebellion, and it is “the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization…[the Confederacy’s] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.” (www.fordham.edu)
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March 22, 1861: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (20) writes to his sister that their father no longer objects to a musical career for him.
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March 23, 1861: The first tramcars in London begin operation.
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March 23, 1861: Le pont des soupirs, an opéra-bouffon by Jacques Offenbach (41) to words of Crémieux and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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March 23, 1861: The Senate of the Academy of Physicians, St. Petersburg, votes to extend Alyeksandr Borodin’s (27) period of study abroad until August 1862.
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March 26, 1861: Anton Bruckner (36) completes his studies in canon and fugue with his Vienna instructor Simon Sechter, largely through correspondence.
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March 26, 1861: Tsar Alyeksandr II sets up a series of internal reforms for Poland, hoping to reconcile the Poles to Russian rule.
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March 27, 1861: Poles demonstrate in Warsaw against the closing of the Agricultural Society (a center of Polish nationalism) by the Russian government. Many demonstrators are killed or wounded by security forces.
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March 27, 1861: The Italian Parliament votes to make Rome the capital of the country.
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March 30, 1861: British chemist William Crookes announces his discovery of Thallium.
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March 30, 1861: Panne-aux-Airs, a spoof on Wagner’s (47) Tannhäuser, opens at the Théâtre-Déjuzet, Paris.
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April 2, 1861: Silas Marner by George Eliot is published in London.
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April 2, 1861: César Franck’s (38) incomplete Messe à 3 voix for chorus and orchestra is performed for the first time, in the Church of Sainte-Clotilde, Paris, conducted by the composer. The reception is “universally hostile.” The orchestration will be reduced to organ, harp, cello, and bass.
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April 3, 1861: Today is the effective date of Bedrich Smetana’s (37) resignation as conductor of the Choral and Harmonic Societies in Göteborg.
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April 4, 1861: A Virginia state convention votes against a referendum on secession.
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April 4, 1861: Perpetuum mobile, op.257, a musical joke by Johann Strauss (35), is performed for the first time, in Schwender’s Colosseum, Vienna.
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April 6, 1861: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play The Tempest by Arthur Sullivan (18) is performed for the first time, directed by the composer at a graduation concert for the Leipzig Conservatory. See 15 October 1864.
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April 6, 1861: Ya-Mein-Herr, cacophonie de l’Avenue, a spoof on Wagner’s (47) Tannhäuser, opens at the Variétés, Paris.
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April 8, 1861: Street demonstrations in Warsaw are fired upon by Russian troops. Official reports say ten people are killed but the true figure is closer to 200.
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April 8, 1861: Two years after the death of her daughter, Louise Farrenc (56) returns to society in a musical evening at Erard’s in Paris. Her music is played, but, more importantly, she and her husband Aristide launch Le Trésor des pianistes, a collection of keyboard works from the last 300 years which they have jointly edited. It receives a very positive popular and critical response.
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April 10, 1861: Arthur Sullivan (18) receives a diploma from Leipzig Conservatory. He will soon return home.
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April 10, 1861: By act of the Massachusetts General Court (legislature), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is incorporated.
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April 10, 1861: Bedrich Smetana (37) debuts before King Carl XV of Sweden at the Stockholm Court Theatre.
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April 12, 1861: US Civil War: 04:30 Confederate artillery open fire on the Federal garrison at Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

Federal troops are landed at Fort Pickens in Pensacola Bay.

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April 13, 1861: US Civil War: 14:30 Fort Sumter agrees to surrender.
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April 14, 1861: US Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate troops.

Virginia troops take the federal customs house and post office in Richmond.

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April 15, 1861: Richard Wagner (47) meets Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden in Karlsruhe. The two make plans to mount Tristan und Isolde in September but it comes to nought.
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April 15, 1861: US Civil War: US President Lincoln issues a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion.
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April 17, 1861: The legislature of the state of Virginia votes 88-55 in favor of secession from the United States.
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April 18, 1861: Giuseppe Garibaldi, angry at the disbanding of his army, comes through cheering streets to the Italian Parliament in Turin. He enters by a side door (just as the government is explaining its decision to disband his army) and after five minutes of cheering he takes the oath as a deputy and is seated. Count Cavour and Garibaldi then take part in a fractious, personal debate.
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April 18, 1861: Pierre Paul Broca presents the findings of an autopsy he performed yesterday to the Anthropological Society of Paris. He says that the reason the patient could not speak was due to softening of the tissue in a particular area of the brain. It suggests that different physical areas of the brain govern different functions.
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April 18, 1861: The temple scene from a projected opera by Modest Musorgsky (22) to Ozerov’s (after Sophocles) play Oedipus in Athens is performed for the first time, at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
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April 19, 1861: John Knowles Paine (22) gives his third concert in Berlin, just before leaving the city for London. He has been in Berlin since August 1858.
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April 19, 1861: US Civil War: President Lincoln declares a blockade of the seceding states.

A Massachusetts regiment is attacked by a pro-Confederacy mob in Baltimore. 13 people are killed.

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April 23, 1861: US Civil War: Arkansas troops seize Fort Smith.
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April 24, 1861: Unrest by newly emancipated serfs, without work or money to buy land, comes to a climax in Bezdna, Kazan Province. Imperial troops fire into the crowd causing at least 350 total casualties.
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April 29, 1861: The legislature of the state of Maryland votes 13-53 against secession from the United States.
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April 30, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops evacuate the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) leaving Cherokees, Chickisaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles under Confederate jurisdiction.
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May 1, 1861: Leader of the Bezdna revolt, Anton Petrov, is executed in that village by Russian authorities.
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May 3, 1861: Anthony Philip (Anton Philipp) Heinrich dies in New York City, USA aged 80 years, one month and 22 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest at Trinity Church, New York.
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May 6, 1861: US Civil War: British Foreign Secretary Lord Russell announces in Parliament that the government has decided to recognize the Confederate States of America as a belligerent.

The Confederate States of America declares war on the United States.

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May 6, 1861: The legislature of the state of Arkansas votes 69-1 in favor of secession from the United States.
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May 6, 1861: The legislature of the state of Tennessee votes 66-25 in favor of secession from the United States.
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May 9, 1861: Richard Wagner (47) arrives in Vienna looking for singers for a projected performance of Tristan und Isolde in Karlsruhe.
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May 10, 1861: US Civil War: Riots break out in St. Louis with federal troops and German-American civilians against secessionists and the state militia. 29 people are killed.
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May 11, 1861: Bedrich Smetana (37) departs Göteborg to return and settle in Prague.
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May 12, 1861: A setting of the Ave Maria (II) in F major for unaccompanied chorus by Anton Bruckner (36) is performed for the first time, in the Linz Cathedral in honor of Liedertafel “Frohsinn”, directed by the composer.
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May 13, 1861: John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, discovers the Great Comet of 1861 (C/1861 J1).
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May 13, 1861: Queen Victoria announces Britain’s intention to remain neutral in the American Civil War.
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May 13, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops occupy Baltimore.
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May 19, 1861: Bedrich Smetana (37) and his wife arrive in Prague from Sweden.
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May 20, 1861: Alyeksandr Borodin (27) arrives in Heidelberg from Italy, where he was on scientific business.
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May 21, 1861: Russian sailors off the Posadnik engage Samurai and local farmers on Tsushima Island.
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May 21, 1861: The legislature of the state of North Carolina votes in favor of secession from the United States.
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May 22, 1861: Franz Liszt (49) dines at the Palais des Tuileries with Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugènie and invited guests. He plays for the gathering and causes a sensation.
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May 23, 1861: A plebiscite in Virginia favors secession from the United States 128,884-32,134 (80% yes).
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May 24, 1861: After a dinner party at the home of Fromental Halévy (61), Georges Bizet (22) sight-reads a difficult work by Franz Liszt (49). The composer, who is present, calls Bizet one of the three finest pianists in Europe, along with Hans von Bülow and himself.
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May 24, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops occupy Alexandria, Virginia.
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May 26, 1861: St. Petersburg Quadrille op.255a by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk. Also premiered is Veilchen op.256, a mazur nach russichen Motifen.
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May 27, 1861: Alyeksandr Borodin (27) meets Yekaterina Sergeevna Protopopova, a talented Russian pianist now in Heidelberg being treated for tuberculosis.
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May 27, 1861: At her request, Franz Liszt (49) visits the home of Marie d’Agoult, the mother of his three children, in Paris. They talk for an hour.
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May 31, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops occupy Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
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May 31, 1861: M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le..., an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (41) to words of Saint-Rémy (pseud. of le Duc de Morny), L’Epine, Crémieux, and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Présidence du Corps Législatif, Paris.
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June 1, 1861: Great Britain forbids either side in the US Civil War from bringing prize ships into its ports.
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June 3, 1861: Giuseppe Verdi (47) concludes a contract with the Russian Imperial Theatre to compose an opera on the poem Don Alvaro ou la Forza del Destino.
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June 5, 1861: French forces complete their evacuation from Syria.
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June 6, 1861: The Prime Minister of Italy, Count Camilo Benso di Cavour, dies in Turin. He will be replaced by Bettino Ricasoli, Count Brolio.
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June 8, 1861: Franz Liszt (49) dines at the home of Marie d’Agoult in Paris for the last time. Marie is overwhelmed, as if those years of anger and recrimination never happened. “It is still he and he alone who makes me feel the divine mystery of life.” (Williams, 375) He departs Paris for Weimar tonight.
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June 8, 1861: A plebiscite in Tennessee favors secession from the United States 104,019-47,238 (69% yes).
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June 9, 1861: The western powers agree to the autonomy of Lebanon within the Ottoman Empire and the appointment of a Christian governor.
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June 15, 1861: US Civil War: Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and other southern sympathizers evacuate the Missouri state capital in Jefferson City.
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June 17, 1861: Spain declares neutrality in the American Civil War but recognizes the Confederate States of America as a belligerent.
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June 18, 1861: John Knowles Paine (22) arrives home in Portland aboard the Jura from Liverpool via Quebec, after almost three years in Germany.
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June 22, 1861: Richard Wagner’s (48) dog Fips dies. It is the last thing that he and Minna have in common.
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June 25, 1861: Ottoman Sultan Abdul Mejid I dies in Constantinople and is succeeded by his brother, Abdul Aziz.
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June 25, 1861: A setting of Psalm 18 for male chorus and orchestra by Franz Liszt (49) is performed for the first time, in Weimar.
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June 30, 1861: Elizabeth Barrett Browning dies in Florence at the age of 55.
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July 1, 1861: The first issue of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano appears in Rome.
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July 6, 1861: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is published in book form. It is currently being serialized in All the Year Round.
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July 17, 1861: President Benito Juárez of Mexico suspends his country’s payment on foreign debt.
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July 18, 1861: Serving as an interpreter for an engineer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (21) arrives in Berlin.
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July 18, 1861: Antal Count Forgách de Ghymes et Gács becomes Chancellor of Hungary.
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July 18, 1861: I’ll Be a Soldier is copyrighted by Stephen Foster (35).
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July 20, 1861: US Civil War: The capital of the Confederate States of America is moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia.
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July 21, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops are routed by Confederate forces at Bull Run, near Manassas, Virginia, 45 km west of Washington. 847 people are killed, 2,706 injured, 1,325 missing.
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July 22, 1861: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (21) arrives in Hamburg.
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July 22, 1861: US Civil War: A state convention in Jefferson City, Missouri affirms the loyalty of the state to the United States and moves the capital to St. Louis.
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July 25, 1861: Great Britain and France sever diplomatic relations with Mexico over the suspension of debt payments.
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July 25, 1861: At its annual commencement exercises, Yale College confers the first Ph.D. degrees in the United States.
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July 30, 1861: The Missouri state convention declares open the office of governor and other pro-secession officers.
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August 1, 1861: US Civil War: A pro-union government is installed in Missouri.
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August 5, 1861: Great Britain annexes the area around Lagos.
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August 5, 1861: The Revenue Act of 1861 levies the first national income tax in the United States.
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August 6, 1861: Great Britain unites the Bight of Biafra and the Bight of Benin into a single protectorate.
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August 6, 1861: Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha replaces Kibrisli Mehmed Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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August 7, 1861: At a Tonkünstlerversammlung in Weimar, attended by Franz Liszt (49), Richard Wagner (48), Peter Cornelius (36), and Hans von Bülow, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein is founded.
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August 8, 1861: By this date, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (21) has arrived in London.
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August 10, 1861: US Civil War: Confederates defeat Federals at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri. The Federals are forced to pull back to Rolla. 684 people are killed, 2,021 injured.
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August 12, 1861: Franz Liszt (49) closes the Altenburg and seals its doors. It has been his home during his entire residence in Weimar, some 13 years. He moves to the Hotel Erbprinz.
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August 14, 1861: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (21) arrives in Paris.
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August 15, 1861: Emperor Napoléon III creates Jacques Offenbach (42) a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
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August 17, 1861: Franz Liszt (49) leaves Weimar for Italy. Before departing he sees Grand Duke Carl Alexander who creates him Gentleman of the Ducal Bedchamber.
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August 18, 1861: Edvard Grieg (18) gives his first public concert, in Karlskrona, Sweden as he travels from Bergen to Leipzig.
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August 21, 1861: The Hungarian Parliament is dissolved by Emperor Franz Joseph II due to its opposition to the February Patent. The Hungarian government will be administered by imperial commissioners.
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August 22, 1861: Alyeksandr Borodin (27), in Baden-Baden, becomes engaged to Yekaterina Sergeyevna Protopopova whom he met on 27 May in Heidelberg.
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August 22, 1861: Emperor Hsien-feng (Xianfeng) of China dies in Jehol (Chengde) and is succeeded by his five-year-old son T’ung-chih (Tongzhi), under regency.
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August 25, 1861: The Paris Salon opens including Manet’s El Guitarrero.
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August 27, 1861: Secunden-Polka op.258 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
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August 28, 1861: Royal Navy ships arrive at Tsushima to support Japan against Russian encroachment.
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August 29, 1861: Die Verschworenen, a singspiel by Franz Schubert (†32) to words of Castelli after Aristophanes, is staged for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main. See 1 March 1861.
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August 30, 1861: US Civil War: General John Fremont declares martial law throughout Missouri without authorization from Washington. He orders the expropriation of property belonging to secessionists including slaves.
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August 31, 1861: Orchestral excerpts from Richard Wagner’s (48) Tristan und Isolde are heard for the first time (save the prelude) in an outdoor performance in the Vienna Volksgarten, conducted by Johann Strauss (35).
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September 2, 1861: Diplomatic and trade relations are established between Prussia and China by the signing of a treaty at Tientsin (Tianjin).
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September 4, 1861: A noite do castelo, an opera seria by Carlos Gomes (25) to words of Antônio José Fernandes dos Reis, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro Lyrico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro.
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September 6, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops take Paducah, Kentucky.
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September 10, 1861: While vacationing as a guest of Prince Constantin von Hohenzollern-Hechingen at Löwenberg, Franz Liszt (49) receives a visit from Adolf von Henselt (47). Henselt is recuperating from malaria at his estate in Gersdorff nearby.
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September 10, 1861: Samuel Sebastian Wesley (51) opens the new organ at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Winchester. It was originally built in 1850 on the Isle of Wight. The cathedral choir sings two of Wesley’s anthems, including Praise the Lord, my soul composed specifically for this occasion.
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September 14, 1861: Furioso-Polka op.260 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
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September 18, 1861: US Civil War: Confederate troops take Bowling Green, Kentucky.
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September 19, 1861: Given the arrival of the Royal Navy to support Japan, the Russian corvette Posadnik departs Tsushima.
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September 19, 1861: Anton Bruckner (37) travels to Salzburg to audition for the post of director of the Dom-Musikverein and Mozarteum. He will conduct the cathedral choir over the next two days.
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September 20, 1861: The United States of New Granada is renamed the United States of Colombia.
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September 20, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops in Lexington, Missouri surrender to the Confederates.
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September 28, 1861: Ambroise Thomas (50) reports to the Académie des Beaux-Arts on behalf of the composers’ section on who should receive the Prix Chartier. He recommends it be divided between Adolphe Blanc, Eugène Sauzay, and Louise Farrenc (57). However, the full membership rejects the recommendation and gives the entire prize to Louise Farrenc.
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September 30, 1861: German paleontologist Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer writes to the Neues Jahrbuch and names a recently discovered skeleton Archaeopteryx lithographica. The discovery will link dinosaurs to birds.
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October 1, 1861: The first installment of Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill is published this month in Fraser’s Magazine.
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October 2, 1861: Great Britain and France end their occupation of Canton (Guangzhou).
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October 6, 1861: Student unrest causes the closure of St. Petersburg University.
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October 7, 1861: A confrontation between St. Petersburg University students and armed soldiers is diffused.
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October 8, 1861: Chansonette-Quadrille op.259 by Johann Strauss (35) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
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October 9, 1861: The autonomy of Tuscany and Naples is abolished and they are fully integrated into Italy.
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October 11, 1861: After months of demonstrations and anti-Russian agitation, Russian Viceroy Count Lambert declares a state of emergency in Warsaw.
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October 12, 1861: Two movements from an incomplete symphony by Georges Bizet (22) are performed for the first time at the Institute, Paris. They were part of Bizet’s submission to the Institute.
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October 12, 1861: US Civil War: The Confederate ironclad Manassas rams the USS Richmond and the USS Vincennes near the mouth of the Mississippi.
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October 14, 1861: Services commemorating the death of Tadeusz Kosciuszko are held in three Warsaw churches and are surrounded by Russian troops. Two of the congregations refuse to leave.
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October 15, 1861: Russian troops enter the two recalcitrant churches and arrest 1,600 worshippers. In protest, the Roman Catholic hierarchy closes all churches in Warsaw. The situation causes the suicide of Russian military commander General Gerstenzweig and the resignation of the Viceroy, Count Lambert. Eventually, Warsaw will be reduced to military rule.
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October 16, 1861: US Civil War: Federal troops take Lexington, Missouri.
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October 17, 1861: Apothicaire et perruquier, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (42) to words of Frébault, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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October 18, 1861: King Wilhelm I of Prussia is crowned in Königsberg (Kaliningrad). The new king revives the old coronation ceremony used in 1701 when Prussia became a kingdom. Krönungsmarsch for winds by Giacomo Meyerbeer (69) is performed for the first time at the ceremony.
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October 20, 1861: After traveling for two months through Germany and France, Franz Liszt (49) arrives in Rome by steamship from Marseille. He goes immediately to the apartment of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein and the two are reunited after 17 months of separation. They go together to the Vatican and Liszt swears on the Gospels that he is single, has not taken vows to be a priest, is not promised in marriage to another, and that he came to Rome to marry. Carolyne makes similar vows.
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October 21, 1861: 18:00 Franz Liszt and Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein take communion at the church of San Carlo in Rome where they intend to marry tomorrow, Liszt’s 50th birthday. They dine together in her apartment. At 23:00 a messenger from Cardinal Antonelli, papal secretary of state, brings the news that Carolyne’s family have declared her marriage to Liszt illegal, charging that she lied in obtaining her original annulment from Prince Nicholas Wittgenstein. She had said that she was forced to marry which the family claims is not true. Pope Pius IX has agreed to review the case. The wedding will never take place.
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October 21, 1861: US Civil War: Confederate troops defeat Federals at Balls Bluff near Leesburg, Virginia.
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October 24, 1861: Pony Express service ends because of the new continental telegraph service.
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October 24, 1861: A plebiscite in western Virginia votes overwhelmingly to create a new state.
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October 24, 1861: Festhymnus for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Giacomo Meyerbeer (70) to words of Köster is performed for the first time, in Berlin for celebrations surrounding the coronation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
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October 25, 1861: A telegraph link between Sacramento and Salt Lake City is completed, thus inaugurating transcontinental telegraph service. In Washington, President Lincoln receives the first coast-to-coast telegram from Stephen Field, Chief Justice of California in Sacramento.
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October 26, 1861: A device is demonstrated before the Frankfurt Physics Society by its inventor, Johann Reis. He is able to transmit sound over 100 meters by means of electricity. Reis calls it a telephone.
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October 27, 1861: The first concert of the Concerts Populaires de Musique Classique, organized by Jules Pasdeloup, is given at the Cirque Napoléon (Cirque d’Hiver), Paris. They will continue for 20 years, attracting large crowds of mostly working-class Parisians.
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October 29, 1861: A charter for a new conservatory is published in an appendix to Senate Bulletins no.95. It begins “Under the aegis of the Russian Music Society, a music school is to be founded for instruction in the art of music in all its disciplines. The school, on a par with the Society, is under the direct patronage of Her Imperial Highness the grand duchess Yelena Pavlovna.” (Taylor, 97) It is the first such school in Russia.
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October 30, 1861: Richard Wagner (48) suggests to the publisher Schott, the idea of “a grand comic opera” called Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
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October 31, 1861: Representatives of Great Britain, France, and Spain convene in London to plan concerted action to recover Mexican debts.
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October 31, 1861: US Civil War: Pro-secession legislators vote Missouri into the Confederacy at Neosho.
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November 1, 1861: John Knowles Paine (22) gives his first organ recital after arriving in Boston, at the Tremont Temple.
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November 1, 1861: Adagio and Rondo Concertante D.487 for piano, violin, viola, and cello by Franz Schubert (†32) is performed for the first time, in the Ludwig Bösendorfer Salon, Vienna.
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November 2, 1861: Jules Massenet (19) enters the composition class of Ambroise Thomas (50) at the Paris Conservatoire.
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November 4, 1861: Johannes Brahms’ (28) work for solo piano, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel op.24, is performed for the first time, privately by the composer, at the Hamburg home of Hermann Wagner. See 7 December 1861.
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November 6, 1861: Prince Dom Fernando, father of King Pedro V and formerly King Fernando II, dies in Lisbon.
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November 6, 1861: An election held in the Confederate States of America confirms Jefferson Davis as president and Alexander Stephens as vice-president for six-year terms.
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November 8, 1861: In the Old Bahama Channel, the USS San Jacinto forces the British packet Trent, out of Havana, to stop and requires them to turn over two Confederate commissioners bound for England. The incident seriously strains relations between the United States and Great Britain.
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November 11, 1861: 24-year-old King Pedro V of Portugal dies of typhoid fever in Lisbon and is succeeded by his brother Luís I.
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November 14, 1861: Dom Luís returns to Lisbon from Paris and learns of the two recent deaths making him king.
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November 14, 1861: The Prussian Navy three-masted SMS Amazone goes down in a gale off the Netherlands with the loss of 107 people.
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November 16, 1861: Quartet for piano and strings no.1 by Johannes Brahms (28) is performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Wörmescher Saal, Hamburg. Clara Schumann (42) performs the piano part.
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November 19, 1861: A three-man committee of Vienna Conservatory meets to consider the candidacy of Anton Bruckner (37) for a teaching position. They decide to meet in two days to hear him improvise on a given theme.
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November 21, 1861: Anton Bruckner (37) improvises a fugue on a given eight-bar theme at the organ of the Piaristenkirche, Vienna for the qualification of “Teacher of Harmony and Counterpoint at Conservatoria.” After the test, one of the adjudicators remarks, “He should have examined us.”
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November 22, 1861: Keçecizade Mehmed Fuad Pasha replaces Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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November 24, 1861: John Knowles Paine (22) enters upon duties at West Church in Boston.
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November 24, 1861: Giuseppe Verdi (48) and his wife leave Busseto for St. Petersburg with the unorchestrated score of La forza del destino.
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November 28, 1861: The provisional congress at Richmond admits the secessionist government of Missouri to the Confederacy.
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November 28, 1861: President Benito Juárez of Mexico resumes debt payments to Great Britain, France, and Spain in order to avoid foreign intervention.
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December 1, 1861: In Mainz, Richard Wagner (48) reads the scenario of Die Meistersinger to Schott who immediately offers him 10,000 francs.
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December 3, 1861: Clara Schumann (42) performs Johannes Brahms’ (28) Piano Concerto no.1 in Hamburg, conducted by the composer. She writes, “The public understood nothing and felt nothing.”
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December 6, 1861: Giuseppe Verdi (48) and his wife arrive in St. Petersburg to produce La forza del destino.
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December 7, 1861: Johannes Brahms’ (28) work for solo piano, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel op.24, is performed publicly for the first time, in Hamburg, by Clara Schumann (42) from manuscript. See 4 November 1861.
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December 10, 1861: US Civil War: The provisional congress at Richmond admits the secessionist government of Kentucky to the Confederacy.
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December 10, 1861: Le roman comique, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (42) to words of Crémieux and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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December 11, 1861: The Christmas Song for Auerbach’s play Die Waldkönigin by Giacomo Meyerbeer (70) is performed for the first time, in Viktoria Theater, Berlin.
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December 13, 1861: Afferentur regi for chorus, three trombones, and organ by Anton Bruckner (37) is performed for the first time, at St. Florian.
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December 14, 1861: Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort, spouse of Queen Victoria, dies of typhoid at Windsor Castle.
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December 14, 1861: Psalm 146 for solo voices, double chorus, and orchestra by Anton Bruckner (37) is performed for the first time, at St. Florian.
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December 14, 1861: Heinrich August Marschner dies of a heart attack in Hannover, aged 66 years, three months, and 28 days.
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December 16, 1861: Du bist wie eine blume for unaccompanied chorus by Anton Bruckner (37) to words of Heine, is performed for the first time, in Linz.
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December 17, 1861: In response to Mexico’s suspension of payments on foreign debt, Spanish troops occupy Veracruz without Mexican resistance.
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December 18, 1861: A funeral is held in honor of Heinrich August Marschner in Hannover. In spite of very cold weather, there is a large crowd.
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December 22, 1861: Le chant des Titans (Péchés de vieillesse vol.iii no.6) by Gioachino Rossini (69) is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
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December 23, 1861: Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz I proclaims Moldavia and Wallachia united as the Principality of Romania. Alexander Cuza becomes Prince Alexandru Ioan I. Alexandru Moruzi is prime minister. The capital is Bucharest.
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December 23, 1861: All go unto one place for chorus and organ by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (61) is performed for the first time, at a commemorative service for Prince Albert in Winchester Cathedral, the composer at the keyboard.
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December 23, 1861: Fromental Halévy (62) and his family depart Paris for Nice where he intends to recover his failing health and compose Noé.
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December 30, 1861: The two Confederate ministers taken off the British ship Trent on 8 November are handed over to the British minister to the United States.
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December 30, 1861: Banks in the United States stop payments in gold or silver.