January 1, 1874: Pursuant to the East India Stock Redemption Act, the British East India Company is dissolved.
January 1, 1874: The towns of Morrisania, West Farms, and Kingsbridge (today part of the Bronx) are annexed to New York City.
January 3, 1874: Marshal Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio becomes President of the Executive in Spain while General Manuel Pavía y Rodríguez forms a national government to end the republic.
January 10, 1874: Elections are held for the second Reichstag of the German Empire. The National Liberals and the Center Party greatly increase their numbers at the expense of the German Conservatives and Imperial Liberals. 15 seats are added for Alsace and Lorraine.
January 13, 1874: Tsar Alyeksandr II signs an edict requiring universal male conscription for 20-year-olds, ending a system which unfairly treated the poor.
January 13, 1874: Unemployed workers and their families demonstrate in Tompkins Square Park, New York. They are charged by mounted police who beat the demonstrators with clubs indiscriminately. Hundreds of men, women, and children are injured. New York Commissioner of Police Abram Duryee is reported to have said “It was the most glorious sight I ever saw.”
January 15, 1874: Wie froh und frisch op.33/14, a song by Johannes Brahms (40) to words of Tieck, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
January 20, 1874: A treaty is signed between representatives of Great Britain and the Sulatan of Perak on Pangkor Island. It effectively establishes a protectorate over Malaya.
January 22, 1874: The third general election takes place in Canada. The Liberal party of Alexander Mackenzie defeats the Conservatives of John A. Macdonald.
January 23, 1874: In Dresden, Henrik Ibsen writes to Edvard Grieg (30). He has decided to turn his dramatic poem Peer Gynt into a stage work and he wants Grieg to write incidental music for it. The composer will readily accept.
January 24, 1874: Dutch forces take Banda Aceh and announce an end to the Sultanate of Aceh. This is more wishful thinking than fact.
January 24, 1874: Suite de valses for orchestra by Henri Duparc (26) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
January 25, 1874: After three rejections, King Ludwig II writes to Richard Wagner (60) that he will help finance the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. He will approve a loan of 100,000 taler.
January 30, 1874: Du sprichst, dass ich mich täuschte op.32/6, a song by Johannes Brahms (40) to words of Platen, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
February 1, 1874: Darthulas Grabesgesang op.42/3 for chorus by Johannes Brahms (40) to words of Ossian (tr. Herder) is performed for the first time, in Munich.
February 3, 1874: King Lunalilo of Hawaii dies in Honolulu at the age of 39.
February 3, 1874: Third Carlist War: Spanish Republicans surprise Carlists at Caspe, northeast of Alcañiz and rout them.
February 4, 1874: British forces burn Kumasi, 200 km northwest of Accra, the last act of violence in their war against the Ashanti.
February 5, 1874: Three Hungarian Dances for orchestra WoO1 by Johannes Brahms (40) is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
February 8, 1874: The second version of Boris Godunov, an opera by Modest Musorgsky (34) to his own words after Pushkin and Karamazin, is performed for the first time, at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. The composer feels a triumph but the audience is a bit bewildered. Many people feel the performances rescue the music. See 6 February 1928.
February 10, 1874: Fledermaus-Polka op.362 by Johann Strauss (48) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 12, 1874: Kalakaua is elected by the legislature to be King of Hawaii.
February 13, 1874: In the Treaty of Fomena, King Kofi Kari-Kari of the Ashanti promises free trade, an open road to Kumasi, an indemnity paid to Great Britain, and a pledge to stop human sacrifice.
February 14, 1874: Hüseyin Avni Pasha replaces Sirvanizade Mehmed Rüstü Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
February 15, 1874: Antonín Dvorák (32) takes up the position of organist at St. Adalbert’s Church, Prague.
February 15, 1874: Patrie overture by Georges Bizet (35) is performed for the first time, at the Cirque d’hiver, Paris to an appreciative audience.
February 16, 1874: HMS Challenger, on a scientific mission, becomes the first steamship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
February 17, 1874: 18 days of voting in the British general elections conclude. The ruling Liberal Party of Prime Minister Gladstone loses 145 seats while the Conservatives of Benjamin Disraeli make strong gains. The Irish Home Rule League wins 60 seats for their first representation in Parliament.
February 20, 1874: King Ludwig II of Bavaria makes a loan of over 200,000 marks to the Bayreuth project.
February 20, 1874: Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Ewart Gladstone as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
February 21, 1874: Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris replaces Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis as Prime Minister of Greece.
February 21, 1874: Months before his graduation, Charles Villiers Stanford (21) is appointed organist at Trinity College, Cambridge for two years, with the proviso that he be allowed some part of that term to study in Leipzig.
February 22, 1874: A posthumous exhibition of drawings and architectural sketches by Victor Hartmann opens in St. Petersburg, through the efforts of Vladimir Stasov. (This could be 24 February)
February 22, 1874: Ouverture de Phèdre for orchestra by Jules Massenet (31) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
February 24, 1874: Third Carlist War: In an attempt to break the siege of Bilbao, Republicans attack Carlists at Somorrostro, near the city.
February 25, 1874: Third Carlist War: After furious attacks, the Republicans are beaten back at Somorrostro and fail to lift the siege of Bilbao.
February 26, 1874: Juan de Zavala y de la Puente, conde de Paredes de Nava, marqués of Sierra Bullones replaces Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio as Prime Minister of Spain.
March 1, 1874: István Bittó de Sárosfalva replaces József Szlávy de Erkenéz et Okányas Prime Minister of Hungary.
March 2, 1874: Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (29) makes his debut as orchestral conductor in a St. Petersburg concert to benefit famine victims in Samara.
March 5, 1874: Eine gute, gute Nacht op.59/6, a song by Johannes Brahms (40) to Russian words translated by Daumer, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
March 6, 1874: Rêverie du soir op.19/1 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (33) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
March 14, 1874: Sulima op.33/13, a song by Johannes Brahms (40) to words of Tieck, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
March 14, 1874: Third Carlist War: Spanish Republicans are routed by Carlists at Castelfullit de la Roca.
March 14, 1874: Alone Without Comfort for male chorus by Leos Janácek (19) to a traditional Moravian text, is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno), conducted by the composer.
March 15, 1874: France institutes a protectorate over Annam, southeast Asia.
March 16, 1874: Des toten Dichters Liebe, a melodrama for reciter and piano by Franz Liszt (62) to words of Jókai translated by Dux, is performed for the first time, in Budapest, the composer at the keyboard.
March 16, 1874: Third Carlist War: Following the defeat at Castelfullit de la Roca two days ago, the Republican-held town of Olot surrenders to the Carlists.
March 17, 1874: After a three-day battle, Cuban rebels defeat Spanish troops at Las Guásimas. Spanish casualties outnumber Cuban by 6-1.
March 18, 1874: The Dresden Football Club is founded as the first football club on the continent.
March 19, 1874: The adagio movement of a Violin Sonata in a minor by Antonín Dvorák (32) is performed for the first time, in Prague. See 22 January 1875.
March 21, 1874: Salvator Rosa, an opera seria by Carlos Gomes (37) to words of Ghislanzoni, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa.
March 22, 1874: String Quartet no.2 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (33) is performed publicly for the first time, in Moscow.
March 22, 1874: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association is founded at the home of the founder, Dr. Simeon Newton Leo, in New York. They will rent space at 112 West 21st Street. (This will eventually become the 92nd Street Y which will be the scene of many important musical premieres in the 20th century)
March 25, 1874: Variations on a Hungarian Song op.21/2 for piano by Johannes Brahms (40) is performed for the first time, in London.
March 26, 1874: Excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (31) unperformed opera Oprichnik are performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 24 April 1874.
March 27, 1874: The Two Widows, a comic opera by Bedrich Smetana (50) to words of Züngel after Mallefille, is performed for the first time, at the Prague Provisional Theatre. The audience response is warm but the critics are mixed.
March 27, 1874: Third Carlist War: After three days of fighting, for a second time at Somorrostro, the Carlists beat back Republican attempts to raise the siege of Bilbao.
March 28, 1874: Variations on a Theme of Beethoven op.35 for two pianos by Camille Saint-Saëns (38) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
April 5, 1874: Die Fledermaus, an operetta by Johann Strauss (48) to words of Haffner and Genée after Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The reviews are mixed but the public is ecstatic. It will see over 300 performances to become, perhaps, the most popular operetta in German.
April 9, 1874: The German Academy of Arts and Sciences elects Johannes Brahms (40) an honorary member, apparently without asking him.
April 11, 1874: Poème nocturne for orchestra by Henri Duparc (26) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
April 12, 1874: Bedrich Smetana (50) first notices the symptoms of syphilis on his body. The infection probably took place three to six weeks ago.
April 12, 1874: The electoral college for Argentina meets and elects Adolfo Alsina as President.
April 14, 1874: L’ultimo Abenzeraggio, an opera by Felipe Pedrell (33) to words of Fors de Casamayor, is performed for the first time, at the Liceo, Barcelona.
April 15, 1874: The first Impressionist exhibition opens in the studio of the photographer Félix Nadar 35 Boulevard des Capucines, France. Painters included are Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Pisarro, and Sisley. It will remain open for a month. Among the works shown are Monet’s Impression: Sunrise.
April 18, 1874: For a second time, Anton Bruckner (50) applies to the Austrian Ministry of Education and culture, requesting that a teaching position in theory be created for him at the University of Vienna.
April 18, 1874: The body of David Livingstone is laid to rest in Westminster Abbey before a large crowd. His heart has been buried in Africa.
April 19, 1874: Voters in Switzerland approve a new federal constitution. It includes full emancipation for Jews.
April 21, 1874: The Bouquet a song from the cycle Songs on the Words of the Dvur Králové Manuscript op.7 by Antonín Dvorák (32), to words of Hanka, is performed for the first time, in Prague.
April 22, 1874: Gille et Gillotin, an opéra by Ambroise Thomas (62) to words of Sauvage, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
April 24, 1874: Oprichnik, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (33) to his own words after Lazhechnikov, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. The work proves an unquestioned success. At a dinner afterwards, Tchaikovsky is awarded the Young Composer’s Prize of 300 rubles.
April 25, 1874: Cantata for Karl Hals EG 164 for tenor, women’s chorus, chorus, and piano by Edvard Grieg (30) to words of Bjørnson is performed for the first time, in Christiania, directed by the composer.
April 28, 1874: Richard Wagner (60), his wife and family move into the unfinished Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth.
May 2, 1874: Third Carlist War: Republican forces break a four-month Carlist siege and enter Bilbao.
May 4, 1874: Eduard Carleson replaces Axel Gustaf Adlercreutz as Prime Minister for Justice of Sweden. The office has been vacant for nearly a month.
May 6, 1874: O komme, holde Sommernacht op.58/4, a song by Johannes Brahms to words of Grohe, is performed for the first time, in Munich, on the eve of the composer’s 41st birthday.
May 9, 1874: Wo die Citronen blüh’n op.364, a waltz by Johann Strauss (48), is performed for the first time, in Turin.
May 13, 1874: Marias Wallfahrt op.22/3 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (41) to traditional German words is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
May 14, 1874: Serenade op.58/8, a song by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Schack, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
May 16, 1874: The first part of a revised version of Rédemption, a symphonic poem for soprano, female chorus, speaker, and orchestra by César Franck (51), is performed for the first time, in Paris. It meets with about as much success as the original. See 10 April 1873.
May 21, 1874: Bagatelle, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (54) to words of Crémieux and Blum, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
May 22, 1874: Ernest Louis Octave Courtot de Cissey replaces Jacques Albert, duc de Broglie as Prime Minister of France.
May 22, 1874: Messa da Requiem for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Giuseppe Verdi (60) is performed for the first time, in the church of San Marco, Milan, conducted by the composer. See 2 June 1873.
May 29, 1874: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (34) arrives in Venice on a sojourn in Italy. He writes to his brother Modest, “Venice is such a city that were I forced to live here a whole week, I should hang myself out of despair on the third day…”
May 29, 1874: A new constitution for Switzerland, approved by voters on 19 April, goes into effect.
June 1, 1874: The Philadelphia Zoo opens to the public. It is the first public zoo in the United States.
June 3, 1874: A Piano Concerto in B flat by Charles Villiers Stanford (21) is performed for the first time, in Cambridge.
June 5, 1874: Richard D’Oyly Carte takes over the management of the Opera Comique in London. It is his goal to put on stage productions which will be the English equivalents of the operettas of Jacques Offenbach (54).
June 6, 1874: Isaac Albéniz (14) fails to appear for his solfege examination at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid. He is in the middle of a concert tour of Spain lasting almost a year.
June 8, 1874: Charles Gounod (55) and Georgina Weldon, after a stormy love affair of over three years, see each other for the last time, at Charing Cross Railroad Station. They will correspond, sometimes bitterly, sometimes accusingly, for many years to come.
June 18, 1874: “An Account of Certain Organisms Occurring in the Liquor Sanguinis” by Canadian William Osler is presented to the Royal Society in London. It is the first scientific study of blood platelets.
June 27, 1874: Third Carlist War: After three days of fighting, Republican attempts to take Estella are beaten back by Carlists at Abárzuza.
June 29, 1874: Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta Escolar replaces Juan de Zavala y de La Puente, conde de Paredes de Nava, marqués de Sierra-Bullones as Prime Minister of Spain.
July 4, 1874: A bridge spanning the Mississippi River at St. Louis opens to the public. It was designed by James Buchanan Eads. At almost 2,000 meters, it is the longest arch bridge in the world.
July 13, 1874: To protest the Kulturkampf, a Catholic cooper named Heinz Kullmann attempts to kill German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck as he rides in a carriage in Kissingen. Bismarck is wounded but will survive.
July 14, 1874: Christian Andreas Fonnesbech replaces Ludwig, Count Holstein as Prime Minister of Denmark.
July 15, 1874: Third Carlist War: After two days of fighting, Carlists fight their way into the Republican-held city of Cuenca. There they engage in a merciless sack of the town, killing many innocents, including Republican soldiers after they surrender.
July 28, 1874: Bedrich Smetana (50) reports that his ears are blocked and he feels giddy, early symptoms of syphilis.
August 2, 1874: Du und Du op.367, a waltz by Johann Strauss (48), is performed for the first time, in Schwender’s “Neue Welt”, Vienna.
August 6, 1874: An agreement between Chile and Bolivia signed in Sucre defines their common border.
August 11, 1874: Third Carlist War: Despite heavy casualties, Spanish Republicans defeat Carlists at Oteiza, southeast of Bilbao.
August 21, 1874: Newspaper editor Theodore Tilton files suit in Brooklyn accusing Reverend Henry Ward Beecher of adultery with his wife, Elisabeth.
August 27, 1874: Jan Heemskerk and Constantine Theodoor, Baron van Lynden van Sandenburg replace Gerrit de Vries and Isaac Dignus Fransen van de Putte as chief ministers of the Netherlands.
August 30, 1874: The Factory Act in Great Britain institutes a work week of 56.5 hours.
September 6, 1874: Leos Janácek (20) conducts the choir of Svatopluk for the last time, in Slapanice.
September 6, 1874: Tik-Tak op.365, a polka schnell by Johann Strauss (48), is performed for the first time, in Schwender’s “Neue Welt”, Vienna.
September 13, 1874: Arnold Schönberg is born at Brigittenau 393 (Obere Donaustraße 5) in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the second and eldest surviving of four children born to Samuel Schönberg, shoestore owner and amateur musician, and Pauline Nachod, daughter of a family of cantors. Schönberg’s parents moved to Vienna from Pressburg (Bratislava), giving him Hungarian nationality and in 1918, Czechoslovakian nationality, when that country is created.
September 14, 1874: 300 members of the White League stage a putsch against the city government of New Orleans, seizing city hall. 27 people are killed, 105 wounded.
September 19, 1874: The rebellion in New Orleans is crushed by Federal troops.
September 21, 1874: Gustavus Theodore von Holst is born at 4 Pittville Terrace (now Clarence Road) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, the first of two children born to Adolphus von Holst, a pianist and organist, and Clara Cox Lediard, daughter of a solicitor. She is a singer and pianist and one of her husband’s pupils.
September 23, 1874: At the Halfdan Kjerulf Statue, a cantata for tenor and male chorus by Edvard Grieg (31) to words of Munch, is performed for the first time, in Christiania.
October 1, 1874: Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths is mandated in Prussia.
October 4, 1874: Count Harry Karl Kurt Eduard Von Arnim, former German ambassador to France and seen as an opponent of Bismarck, is arrested in Stettin and charged with embezzling state papers.
October 9, 1874: The Treaty of Bern is signed creating the General Postal Union. (in 1878 the name will be changed to the Universal Postal Union).
October 10, 1874: The Kingdom of Viti (Fiji) is made a British colony.
October 16, 1874: Blanca Albéniz, 19-year-old sister of Isaac (14), kills herself in the Retiro, a large park near the Prado in Madrid. She is a singer and has failed to win a contract at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Isaac Albéniz will end his concert tour, currently in Barcelona, and return home to Madrid.
October 19, 1874: Richard Joshua Reynolds buys a parcel of land in Winston, North Carolina on which he will build a tobacco processing plant.
October 20, 1874: Bedrich Smetana (50) becomes deaf in his left ear. Within a few days he will be completely deaf.
October 20, 1874: Charles Edward Ives is born in the family house at 210 Main Street in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, first of two children born to George E. Ives, bandmaster and choir director, and Mary Elizabeth Smith Parmalee, daughter of a storekeeper.
October 27, 1874: The WD Lawrence is launched in Maitland, Nova Scotia. With a keel of 74.6 meters and a main mast of 61.16 meters it is the largest square-rigger ever built in Canada.
October 28, 1874: German authorities release Bismarck opponent Count von Arnim on bail.
October 31, 1874: The faculty of philosophy at the University of Vienna vote against the request of Anton Bruckner (51) that a teaching position in music theory be created for him. See 18 April 1874.
October 31, 1874: Madame l’archiduc, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (55) to words of Halévy and Millaud, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
November 8, 1874: Three of the seven songs for chorus op.62 by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Heyse are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Von altern Liebesliedern, Waldesnacht, and Dein Herzlein mild.
November 10, 1874: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (34) writes to his brother Modest from Moscow. “I have thoroughly studied Boris Godunov ... With my whole heart I consign Musorgsky’s (35) music to the devil; it is the most vulgar and foul parody of music.”
November 12, 1874: Bismarck opponent Count von Arnim is arrested for a second time, in Berlin.
November 14, 1874: The third movement of Souvenir of Hupsal op. 2/3, “Song Without Words” for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (34), is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
November 14, 1874: 18 Liebeslieder Waltzes op.52a by Johannes Brahms (41) are performed for the first time, in Vienna in a setting for piano four hands. See 5 January 1870 and 19 March 1870.
November 15, 1874: Giuseppe Verdi (61) is made a member of the Italian Senate. He will not go to Rome to be sworn in because he does not wish to be involved in the production of Aida currently at the Teatro Apollo, Rome.
November 17, 1874: While sailing from England to New Zealand, a fire breaks out aboard the British three-masted Cospatrick southwest of the Cape of Good Hope. It goes down, killing 474 people, mostly women and children. Only three men will survive.
November 18, 1874: Leos Janácek (20) is awarded a certificate allowing him to teach in primary schools in either the Czech or German languages.
November 18, 1874: The founding convention of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union opens in Cleveland.
November 21, 1874: Richard Wagner (61) writes the last note of Götterdämmerung at Wahnfried, his Bayreuth home, thus completing Der Ring des Nibelungen.
November 24, 1874: The second version of King and Charcoal Burner, a comic opera by Antonín Dvorák (33) to words of Lobesky, is performed for the first time, at the Prague Provisional Theatre.
December 1, 1874: An die nachtigall op.46/4, a song by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Hölty, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
December 3, 1874: Incidental music to Sardou’s play La haine by Jacques Offenbach (55) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris. An aimless plot and a snowstorm combine to sink the production.
December 4, 1874: The overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (34) unperformed opera Vakula the Smith is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
December 5, 1874: Acim Cumic replaces Jovan Marinovic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
December 7, 1874: 125 armed blacks march into Vicksburg, Mississippi demanding the reinstatement of a black sheriff who had been forced out at gunpoint. Whites retaliate, shooting some blacks, forcing others to flee. Over the next several days, an estimated 300 blacks are lynched or shot to death.
December 9, 1874: The trial of Bismarck opponent Count von Arnim on embezzlement charges, begins in the City Court of Berlin.
December 12, 1874: Two songs by Gabriel Fauré (29) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Rêve d’amour op.5/2, to words of Hugo, and Ici bas! op.8/3 to words of Prudhomme.
December 16, 1874: Four songs by Johannes Brahms (41) are performed for the first time, in Munich: Junge Lieder, I&II to words of F. Schumann, and Heimweh I&II to words of Groth.
December 18, 1874: The Piano Trio op.22 by John Knowles Paine (35) is performed for the first time, at the home of John Fiske in Cambridge, Massachusetts. See 18 February 1882.
December 19, 1874: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play The Merry Wives of Windsor by Arthur Sullivan (32) is performed for the first time, in the Gaiety Theatre, London.
December 19, 1874: Bismarck opponent Count von Arnim is found guilty of an offense against public order, not mishandling secret documents. He is sentenced to three months in prison. Both sides will appeal.
December 26, 1874: Whittington, a grand-opéra-bouffe-féerie by Jacques Offenbach (55) to words of Nuitter, Tréfeu, and Farnie, is performed for the first time, at the Alhambra Theatre, London.
December 29, 1874: General Martínez Campos and the Army of the Center proclaim at Sagunto for Alfonso XII, son of Francisco de Asis de Borbón and Queen Isabella II, as King of Spain.
December 31, 1874: The Spanish government is handed over to the monarchist Antonio Cánovas del Castillo.