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

January 1, 1876 – December 31, 1876

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January 1, 1876: The new central bank of Germany, the Reichsbank, is founded.
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January 1, 1876: The metric system becomes mandatory in France.
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January 1, 1876: The Austrian metric system becomes mandatory in Hungary.
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January 1, 1876: As the Trade Mark Registration Act goes into effect in Britain, the Bass Brewery becomes the first company to register a trademark.
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January 1, 1876: Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths is mandated throughout Germany.
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January 13, 1876: Arthur Sullivan (33) writes to the Duke of Edinburgh accepting the position of principal of the National Training School for music.
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January 16, 1876: Claude Debussy (13) performs in public for the first time, in a recital in Chauny organized by his teacher, Antoine Marmontel.
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January 20, 1876: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) and his brother Modest view a performance of Carmen by Georges Bizet (†0) in Paris. Modest will later write, “Rarely have I seen my brother so deeply moved by a performance in the theatre.”
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January 23, 1876: Two works by Leos Janácek (21) are performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno): True Love for male chorus to traditional Moravian words conducted by the composer, and If You Don’t Want Me, What is Left? for voice and piano to words of Celakovsky, the composer at the keyboard.
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January 26, 1876: The Symphony no.1 in c minor op.23 by John Knowles Paine (37) is performed for the first time, at Music Hall, Boston. It is a great success, with each movement applauded by the audience which includes George Whitefield Chadwick (21).
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January 28, 1876: Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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January 29, 1876: Five weeks of voting conclude for the Parliament of New Zealand.
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January 31, 1876: The “Andrassy Note” of 30 December is presented to Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz. He will agree to the reforms.
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January 31, 1876: All Lakota and Cheyenne bands have been ordered to reservations by this date. None have complied.
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February 2, 1876: The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs is founded in New York by eight teams.
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February 3, 1876: Leos Janácek (21) is elected choirmaster of the Beseda Choral Society, Brünn (Brno).
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February 3, 1876: Albert and Walter Spalding open a sporting goods store in Chicago.
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February 8, 1876: Four months after his arrival in the city, Ferruccio Busoni (9) gives his first concert in Vienna, very successfully. See 13 February 1876.
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February 9, 1876: The Interoceanic Canal Commission, created by US President Ulysses Grant to assess the various ideas for a Central American Canal, reports that the Nicaragua route is best. Subsequently, this will become the policy of the United States.
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February 12, 1876: Dans les ruines d’une abbaye op.2/1, a song for voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (30) to words of Hugo, is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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February 13, 1876: Angelo, an opera by Cesar Cui (41) to words of Burenin after Hugo, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
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February 13, 1876: Eduard Hanslick writes in the Neue Freie Presse, Vienna, “It is a long time since an infant prodigy appealed to us as much as little Ferruccio Busoni (9).”
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February 14, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray file separate documents with the patent office in New York claiming invention of a telephone. The patent will eventually go to Bell because he filed two hours earlier.
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February 17, 1876: US President Ulysses Grant’s deposition is read to the jury in the trial of Orville Babcock for involvement in the Whiskey Ring.
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February 19, 1876: Russia annexes the entire Khanate of Kokand.
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February 19, 1876: Third Carlist War: After three days of fighting, Spanish government forces capture Estella from the Carlists.
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February 20, 1876: The revised version of Anton Bruckner’s (51) Symphony no.2 is performed for the first time, in Vienna conducted by the composer. See 26 October 1873.
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February 21, 1876: A direct telegraph link is established between Sydney and Nelson, New Zealand, thus connecting New Zealand with Britain and the world.
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February 22, 1876: Jules Armand Stanislas Dufaure replaces Louis Joseph Buffet as Prime Minister of France.
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February 24, 1876: Incidental music to Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg (32) is performed for the first time, for a performance of the play in Christiania (Oslo). Although neither author nor composer is present, it is an unqualified success. Says the composer of this music, “It reeks of cow turds.”
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February 24, 1876: Orville Babcock, private secretary to President Ulysses Grant, is acquitted in a St. Louis court of involvement in the Whiskey Ring scandal.
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February 26, 1876: Korea concludes its first modern treaty with a foreign power, Japan. In the Kanghwa Treaty, Korea is recognized as independent and three Korean ports are opened to trade.
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February 28, 1876: Ramón Nocedal (Carlos VII), the last Carlist pretender, flees Spain, thus ending the Third Carlist War.
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February 28, 1876: John Alden Carpenter is born in Park Ridge, Illinois, USA, the last of four children born to George B. Carpenter, a wealthy owner of George B. Carpenter and Co., wholesaler and retailer of dry goods, and Elizabeth Curtis Greene, amateur pianist and organist who studied voice in Europe.
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March 5, 1876: A second round of voting takes place for the French legislature. Parties on the left are the most victorious.
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March 5, 1876: Countess Marie d’Agoult, former mistress of Franz Liszt (64) and mother of their three children, dies of heart disease in Paris. Liszt learns the news by reading it in a newspaper, as does her daughter, Cosima Wagner.
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March 5, 1876: After eight years of complete paralysis, Francesco Maria Piave, librettist of Rigoletto and La Traviata, dies in Milan.
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March 5, 1876: Corriere della Sera publishes its first issue in Milan. It is the first national Italian newspaper.
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March 5, 1876: Antonín Dvorák (34) wins his second state scholarship of 400 gulden.
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March 5, 1876: Le déluge, an oratorio by Camille Saint-Saëns (40) to words of Gallet, is performed for the first time, in Paris. In the second part, dueling demonstrations of approval and disapproval erupt in the audience.
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March 7, 1876: After a three-day battle, Abyssinians defeat Egyptians at Gura.
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March 7, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell is granted United States patent number 174,465 for “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically…by causing electronical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sounds.” The claim will be contested for years to come.
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March 8, 1876: The newly constituted Senate of France, along with the Chamber of Deputies, meet for the first time, at Versailles.
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March 10, 1876: Thème original et variations op.19/6 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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March 10, 1876: In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell transmits the first telephone message to his assistant in the next room: Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.
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March 11, 1876: Giacomo Puccini (17) and two friends walk from Lucca to Pisa in seven hours to see a performance of Aida. Three hours before curtain, having no money for tickets, they talk their way into the Teatro Nuovo (Teatro Verdi) under false pretenses and hide until the opera starts. Puccini will later recall, “When I heard Aida in Pisa, I felt that a musical window had opened for me.”
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March 11, 1876: Carl Sprague Ruggles is born in East Marion, Massachusetts, USA, second of three children born to Nathaniel Sprague Ruggles, a farmer and Maria Josephine Hodge, daughter of a harness maker.
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March 14, 1876: String Quartet no.3 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed for the first time, privately, in the Moscow home of Nikolay Rubinstein.
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March 14, 1876: Franz Liszt (64) writes to Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein, “The newspapers tell me of the death of Daniel Stern (pen name of Marie d’Agoult). Barring hypocrisy, I could not weep for her more after her death than during her life.” (Williams, 522)
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March 17, 1876: US troops attack Cheyenne Indians encamped on the Powder River in Montana Territory. Although casualties are light, the Cheyenne are driven north in freezing temperatures to be sheltered by the Lakota.
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March 18, 1876: Quintet for strings op.77 by Antonín Dvorák (34) is performed for the first time, in Prague. See 25 November 1889.
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March 20, 1876: The offices of Prime Minister for Justice and Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs in Sweden are combined. The new Prime Minister is Louis Gerhard de Geer af Finspång.
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March 20, 1876: The Berlin premiere of Tristan und Isolde takes place in the presence of the imperial family. Kaiser Wilhelm speaks to Richard Wagner (62) during the first intermission and promises to travel to Bayreuth for the opening Ring festival in August. He also promises the proceeds from the Tristan performance will go to the festival fund.
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March 23, 1876: A report pursuant to an investigation by Stephen Cave, MP declares the government of Egypt to be ignorant, dishonest, and wasteful.
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March 25, 1876: Agostino Depretis replaces Marco Minghetti as Prime Minister of Italy.
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March 28, 1876: The Japanese government forbids Samurai (and almost everyone else) from carrying swords.
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March 30, 1876: String Quartet no.3 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed publicly for the first time, in Moscow.
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April 3, 1876: Choral Elegy for male chorus by Leos Janácek (21) to words of Celakovsky is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno) conducted by the composer.
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April 4, 1876: Alfred Nobel receives a United States patent for an “Improvement in gelatinated explosive compounds.” (gelatinous dynamite)
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April 4, 1876: The Chorus of Praise from Alyeksandr Borodin’s (42) unperformed opera Prince Igor is performed for the first time, at the Free School of Music, St. Petersburg, directed by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (32).
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April 4, 1876: The report of Sir Stephen Cave, MP is made public. He was sent to Egypt to determine the country’s financial condition after Khedive Ismail sold his shares of the Suez Canal Company to Britain. Cave reports that Egypt is in a financial crisis. This will cause the European powers to believe that Britain is trying to take over the country financially.
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April 8, 1876: Responding to the Cave report, Khedive Ismail of Egypt suspends payment on his Treasury Bills.
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April 8, 1876: La Gioconda, an opera by Amilcare Ponchielli (43) to words of Gorria (pseud. of Boito (34)) after Hugo, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
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April 12, 1876: Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Baron Lytton replaces Thomas George Baring, Viscount Baring of Lee as Viceroy of India.
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April 13, 1876: Mütercim Mehmed Rüstü Pasha replaces Mahmud Nedim Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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April 17, 1876: Ion Emanuil Florescu replaces Lascar Catargiu as Prime Minister of Romania.
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April 17, 1876: Vanda, a tragic opera by Antonín Dvorák (34) to words of Sumavsky and Zakrejs after Surzycki, is performed for the first time, at the Prague Provisional Theatre.
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April 18, 1876: Incidental music to Tennyson’s play Queen Mary op.6 by Charles Villiers Stanford (23) is performed for the first time, in the Lyceum Theatre, London. This performance includes only the songs. See 29 March 1880.
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April 19, 1876: Samuel Sebastian Wesley dies at his residence in Palace Yard, Gloucester of Bright’s Disease, aged 65 years, eight months, and five days.
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April 20, 1876: Ferdinand Tiemann receives a British patent for artificial vanilla, the first patent for an artificial flavoring.
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April 20, 1876: The Great Bell of Gloucester Cathedral tolls for one hour in keeping with the wishes of Samuel Sebastian Wesley as his mortal remains are taken to the railroad station. At 14:30 the train arrives in Exeter and the coffin is taken to St. Bartholomew Cemetery where, after a short service, it is laid to rest.
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April 21, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (56) leaves Paris for a concert tour of the United States.
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April 22, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (56) departs Le Havre aboard the Canada for New York.
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April 22, 1876: In the first National League baseball game, the Boston Red Stockings defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 6-5.
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April 22, 1876: Les Djinns op.12 for chorus and orchestra by Gabriel Fauré (30) to words of Hugo is performed for the first time, with piano accompaniment, by the Société National de Musique, Paris. See 27 June 1878.
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April 24, 1876: Ernest Chausson (21) obtains a law degree in Paris.
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April 24, 1876: Anton Bruckner (51) gives his first oration as lecturer in harmony and counterpoint at Vienna University. The post is without salary.
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April 25, 1876: Edward MacDowell (15) and his mother board ship in New York, heading for France.
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April 29, 1876: Anton Bruckner (51) writes to Lord Chamberlain Prince Constantin Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, requesting appointment to the vacant position of assistant music director of the Vienna Hofkapelle. He will not be successful.
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May 2, 1876: The great powers set up a Commission of Public Debts to oversee the debt repayments of Khedive Ismail of Egypt. It has representatives from France, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
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May 2, 1876: A revolt against Turkish rule begins in the central Bulgarian town of Panagyurishte, 75 km east of Sofiya. The Bulgarians kill as many Turks as they can find.
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May 2, 1876: Isaac Albéniz (15) enrolls in the Leipzig Conservatory. See 24 June 1876.
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May 4, 1876: In the Monatsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, German physicist Eugen Goldstein names and reports on the properties of cathode rays.
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May 6, 1876: Manolache Costache Epureanu replaces Ion Emanuil Florescu as Prime Minister of Romania.
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May 6, 1876: Stevca Mihailovic replaces Ljubomir Kaljevic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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May 6, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (56) arrives in New York from France aboard the French ship Canada for concert engagements in New York and Philadelphia.
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May 6, 1876: A cantata in celebration of the golden jubilee of Osip Petrov by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to words of Nekrasov is performed for the first time, at St. Petersburg Conservatory on the eve of the composer’s 36th birthday.
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May 9, 1876: Beginning today and continuing for a week, Turks murder an estimated 3,000 to 15,000 Bulgarians.
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May 9, 1876: At his workshop in Deutz, Nikolaus Otto creates the first practical, high-compression, four cycle internal combustion engine.
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May 10, 1876: Colonel Eli Lilly founds a drug manufacturing company in Indianapolis.
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May 10, 1876: Grosser Festmarsch WWV 110 for winds and percussion by Richard Wagner (62), commissioned for the opening ceremonies of the Centennial Exposition of the American Declaration of Independence, is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia. Also premiered is the Centennial Hymn op.27 for chorus by John Knowles Paine (37).
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May 11, 1876: Sonata for piano and violin op.24 by John Knowles Paine (37) is performed for the first time, in Mechanics’ Hall, Boston. The composer is acknowledged with spirited applause.
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May 11, 1876: In his first concert in America, Jacques Offenbach (56) conducts an orchestra of 100 members before 8,000 people in Gilmore’s Gardens, New York. With expectations very high, the audience is a bit disappointed. Only half remain at the end.
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May 12, 1876: After the Bulgarian town of Batak surrenders to Turkish paramilitaries, Turks begin a murderous rampage killing around 5,000 people over the next few days.
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May 13, 1876: By the Berlin Memorandum, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia demand a cease-fire and Turkish reforms for the Christians in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria.
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May 16, 1876: British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli rejects the Berlin Memorandum demanding a cease fire and Turkish reforms for Christians.
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May 17, 1876: The new National Training School for Music begins operations in London, under the leadership of Arthur Sullivan (34).
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May 18, 1876: The Royal Society of London receives a report entitled “The Action of Light on Selenium” from Prof. William Grylls Adams and Mr. Richard Evans Day. It describes their discovery that sunlight on selenium creates electricity, and their production of a solar cell.
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May 18, 1876: Federal officials report a massacre of 38 blacks in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. The victims were shot and hanged by whites.
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May 19, 1876: Blue Wings op.1/1 for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (23) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge University.
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May 25, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone publicly for the first time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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May 27, 1876: The expedition of Henry Stanley reaches Lake Tanganyika. He sets about to chart it.
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May 28, 1876: At the request of the composer, presently in Vienna, Julius Stockhausen sings from manuscript two new songs by Johannes Brahms (43) for Clara Schumann (56) at her home in Berlin: Alte Liebe, to words of Candidus, and Unüberwindlich, to words of Goethe.
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May 30, 1876: Turkish land and naval forces surround the Dolma Bahche Palace in Constantinople and force the deposition of Sultan Abdülaziz for “mental derangement, ignorance of political affairs, diversion of public revenues to private expenditure, and conduct generally injurious to state and community.” He is succeeded by his nephew Murat V.
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June 1, 1876: Cambridge University confers an honorary Doctor of Music degree on Arthur Sullivan (34).
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June 2, 1876: Bulgarian poet and rebel leader Hristo Botev is killed in action by the Turks near Vratsa.
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June 3, 1876: Destitute, Bedrich Smetana (52) moves to his daughter’s country house in Jabkenice.
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June 4, 1876: Former Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz dies in Constantinople. The official word is that he committed suicide by opening his wrists with scissors. There is some evidence that he was murdered.
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June 6, 1876: String Quartet by Giuseppe Verdi (62) is performed publicly for the first time, at the Théâtre-Italien, Paris.  See 1 April 1873.
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June 8, 1876: Aurore Dudevant (George Sand) dies at Nohant.
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June 9, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (56) gives the last of 30 concerts in New York. The success of these performances has grown since the original disappointment of 11 May.
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June 10, 1876: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is published, in Britain. It will not be published in the US until December.
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June 12, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (56) produces La vie parisienne in New York to spectacular success.
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June 13, 1876: Alyeksandr Borodin (42) writes from Moscow about the Kuchka, “We are drifting apart...it seems, more from a superficial standpoint than on fundamental issues...I find such a break-up natural...It always happens in all fields of human activity.”
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June 14, 1876: Sylvia, ou La nymphe de Diane, a ballet by Léo Delibes (40) to a story by Barbier and Mérante, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
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June 15, 1876: An earthquake and resulting tsunami strike the northeast coast of Japan, killing 28,000 people.
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June 15, 1876: A Captain Hassan and some confederates walk into a cabinet meeting in Constantinople and kill the Minister of War, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and several others. He seriously wounds the Minister of Marine before being subdued and arrested.
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June 17, 1876: Sioux and Cheyenne warriors inflict heavy losses on United States forces on the Rosebud River, Montana Territory, 150 km east of Billings.
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June 19, 1876: Jacques Offenbach gives his first concert in Philadelphia on the eve of his 57th birthday. Among the first violin section of the International Exhibition Orchestra is John Philip Sousa (21).
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June 21, 1876: Antonio López de Santa Anna dies in Mexico City at the age of 82.
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June 23, 1876: Gustav Mahler (15) wins first prize in the piano competition at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, in Vienna. He plays a sonata by Franz Schubert (†47).
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June 24, 1876: Arthur Foote (23) departs New York in the company of several Bostonians for Liverpool aboard the steamship Brittanic. They are traveling to Bayreuth for the first Ring festival.
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June 24, 1876: Isaac Albéniz (16) leaves the Leipzig Conservatory after only two-and-a-half months of study.
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June 25, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates telephony at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
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June 25, 1876: Native Americans of the Cheyenne and Sioux nations, led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Gall, defeat a force of United States Cavalry led by George A. Custer on the Little Big Horn River, Montana Territory, 80 km east of Billings. All 265 cavalrymen are killed.
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June 30, 1876: A new Spanish constitution is promulgated calling for a constitutional monarchy with liberal freedoms.
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July 1, 1876: After a growing public pan-slav sentiment, Serbia declares war on Turkey, in favor of the Christian Ottoman provinces.
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July 1, 1876: The Duchy of Lauenburg is annexed by Prussia.
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July 1, 1876: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepts the Hoosac Tunnel in the Berkshires. At 7.6 km it is the longest railroad tunnel in the world to date.
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July 1, 1876: The first movement of Gustav Mahler’s (15) Piano Quintet wins a first prize in composition at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. See 12 September 1876.
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July 1, 1876: Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin dies in Bern at the age of 62.
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July 2, 1876: Serbian forces cross into Bosnia. Montenegro declares war on the Ottoman Empire as its troops enter Herzegovina.
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July 2, 1876: A revised version of Hamlet, a symphonic poem by Franz Liszt (64), is performed for the first time, in Sondershausen. See 25 June 1858.
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July 2, 1876: The US House of Representatives impeaches Secretary of War William W. Belknap on five charges including the acceptance of bribes. Belknap immediately resigns.
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July 7, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (57) gives his last concert in the United States, to benefit the musicians’ union in New York.
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July 8, 1876: Foreign ministers of Russia and Austria-Hungary meet at Reichstadt, Austria and agree that if Turkey defeats Serbia, they will insist on the return to status quo ante. Should Serbia and Montenegro win, they will receive part of Bosnia and Herzegovina but most of those two provinces will go to Austria-Hungary and Russia will receive Bessarabia from Turkey.
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July 8, 1876: Jacques Offenbach (57) boards the Canada in New York for France after concert engagements in New York and Philadelphia.
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July 8, 1876: White supremacists battle black militia in Hamburg, South Carolina. Six blacks and one white are killed.
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July 13, 1876: On the advice of his doctors, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) arrives in Vichy to take the waters. Within a few days, his digestive system rejects the “cure” and he will make for Bayreuth.
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July 19, 1876: Il saluto del Brasile by Carlos Gomes (40) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.
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July 21, 1876: Camille Saint-Saëns (40) is made music critic of the Paris daily Le Bon Sens.
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July 26, 1876: Jules Massenet (34) is awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
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July 27, 1876: On a train to Bayreuth, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) reads the Fourth Canso of Dante’s Inferno. He is “seized by a burning desire to write a symphonic poem on Francesca.”
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July 31, 1876: Hermann Mittnacht replaces Johann August, Baron Wächter as Prime Minister of Württemberg.
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July 31, 1876: A Sonata for violin and piano by Gustav Mahler (16) is performed for the first time, in Iglau (Jihlava), the composer at the keyboard.
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August 1, 1876: Franz Liszt (64) arrives in Bayreuth for the opening of the Festspielhaus.
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August 1, 1876: Colorado becomes the 38th state of the United States.
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August 2, 1876: James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickock is shot to death, in the back, by Jack McCall in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.
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August 5, 1876: Ion Constantin Bratianu replaces Manolache Costache Epureanu as Prime Minister of Romania.
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August 6, 1876: Just after midnight, the royal train from Munich stops in an open field outside Bayreuth. King Ludwig steps out into a waiting carriage containing Richard Wagner (63), who he has not seen for eight years. The king is to view the dress rehearsals for Der Ring des Nibelungen in their entirety on the nights of 6, 7, 8, and 9 August alone with Wagner and a few others.
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August 8, 1876: Thomas Edison receives a US patent for a mimeograph machine.
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August 9, 1876: After viewing the dress rehearsal for Götterdämmerung in Bayreuth, King Ludwig II of Bavaria leaves secretly by train.
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August 12, 1876: Benjamin Disraeli is created Earl of Beaconsfield.
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August 13, 1876: A glittering array of political leaders and artists, including Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, gathers in Bayreuth for the opening of the Festspielhaus. Attending musicians include Franz Liszt (64), Anton Bruckner (51), Camille Saint-Saëns (40), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36), Edvard Grieg (33), and Arthur Foote (23). Friedrich Nietzsche is also there. The first production of the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, Bühnenfestspiel für drei Tage und einen Vorabend, by Richard Wagner (63) to his own words opens in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus with a production of Das Rheingold.
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August 14, 1876: The first complete production of Der Ring des Nibelungen continues with a production of Die Walküre at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.
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August 15, 1876: The British Parliament approves the actions of Prime Minister Disraeli in obtaining a loan of £4,000,000 to gain an interest in the Suez Canal. For security, Disraeli offered the House of Rothschild Her Majesty’s Government.
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August 15, 1876: The Indian Appropriations Bill is approved by Congress. It provides that no supplies or cash will go to the Sioux unless they give up all land west of 103° W longitude, which includes the Black Hills.
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August 16, 1876: Siegfried, a music-drama by Richard Wagner (63) to his own words, is performed for the first time, on the third night of the first complete production of Der Ring des Nibelungen in the Bayreuth Festpielhaus.
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August 17, 1876: The first complete production of Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner (63) concludes with the premiere of Götterdämmerung, a music-drama to the composer’s own words, in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.
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August 20, 1876: After experiencing the premiere of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) writes to his brother Modest, “ Nibelungen may perhaps be a very great work, but there has certainly never been anything as long-winded and boring as this interminable piece. The accumulation of the most complex and arcane harmonies, the colorlessness of the vocal lines, the endlessly long dialogues, the absence of anything of the slightest interest or poetic quality in the subject matter--all this stretches the nerves almost beyond endurance.”
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August 30, 1876: Leos Janácek (22) officially becomes a teacher, but with no position.
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August 31, 1876: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (34) writes an astonishing letter to his brother Modest from Verbovka informing him that he has decided to get married.
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August 31, 1876: Ottoman Sultan Murat V is deposed a few weeks after his elevation on account of insanity. He is succeeded by his brother, Abdülhamid II.
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September 1, 1876: Forces of the Ottoman Empire crush the Serbians at Alexinatz (Aleksinac), 170 km southeast of Belgrade.
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September 6, 1876: Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East by William Gladstone is published in London.
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September 6, 1876: Race riots erupt in Charleston, South Carolina.
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September 7, 1876: Arthur Foote (23) returns to the United States from the first Ring festival aboard the Celtic.
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September 12, 1876: The Brussels Geographic Conference is opened by King Leopold. In three days, representatives from ten countries agree to fund scientific and medical facilities in Africa. However, only one expedition will ever be funded.
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September 12, 1876: A Quintet for piano and strings by Gustav Mahler (16) is performed for the first time, at Hotel Czap in Iglau (Jihlava), the composer at the keyboard.
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September 14, 1876: A month after the first Bayreuth Festival, Richard Wagner (63), his wife, stepdaughter, and a governess depart Munich to spend a four-month vacation in Italy.
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September 15, 1876: The casket containing the earthly remains of Vincenzo Bellini (†40) is removed from its tomb in Paris for transport to the composer’s birthplace.
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September 19, 1876: A US patent is granted to Melville Reuben Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan for the first practical carpet sweeper.
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September 23, 1876: While vacationing in Venice with his wife and family, Richard Wagner (63) receives word that the Bayreuth Festival is 120,000 marks in debt and the debt is growing.
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September 24, 1876: Friedrich Turban replaces Julius Jolly as Prime Minister of Baden.
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September 26, 1876: The casket containing the earthly remains of Vincenzo Bellini is reinterred in the Duomo of Catania, Sicily, the composer’s birthplace, three days after the 41st anniversary of his death.
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October 2, 1876: Nikolay Rubinstein asks Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) for a new composition to be played at a concert to aid the Slavonic Charity Committee which is attempting to equip Russian volunteers and aid victims of the Balkan War. See 17 November 1876.
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October 9, 1876: The first telephone conversation over outside lines takes place between Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.
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October 13, 1876: Pierrette et Jacquot, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (57) to words of Noriac and Gille, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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October 17, 1876: The Bonin Islands are annexed by Japan.
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October 17, 1876: President Ulysses Grant orders the “rifle clubs” of South Carolina (political paramilitaries) to disband.
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October 17, 1876: Isaac Albéniz (16) is accepted into the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels where he will stay for three years. It will constitute the longest period of formal study he will have.
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October 26, 1876: Leos Janácek (22) resigns as choir director of the men’s organization Svatopluk in Brünn (Brno).
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October 30, 1876: Two months after defeating the Serbian army, Turkish forces march into Alexinatz (Aleksinac), 170 km southeast of Belgrade.
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October 30, 1876: String Quartet no.3 by Johannes Brahms (43) is performed for the first time, in the Berlin Singakademie.
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October 31, 1876: A cyclone makes landfall in Bengal causing storm surges of 12.2 meters. 100,000 people are estimated dead from the storm. The same number will die from the resulting famine and disease.
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October 31, 1876: After an ultimatum by Russia, Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II signs an armistice with Serbia and Montenegro.
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November 1, 1876: Alfred, Count von Fabrice replaces Richard, Baron Friesen as Prime Minister of Saxony.
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November 1, 1876: King Willem III opens the North Sea Canal from Amsterdam to IJmuiden.
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November 2, 1876: In Sorrento, Richard Wagner (63) spends an evening with Friedrich Nietzsche. It is the last time the two will see each other.
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November 3, 1876: La boîte au lait, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (57) to words of Grangé and Noriac, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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November 3, 1876: Romanza and Scherzo for piano and cello op.30 by John Knowles Paine (37) is performed for the first time, in Wesleyan Hall, Boston.
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November 4, 1876: Symphony no.1 by Johannes Brahms (43) is performed for the first time, in the Grand Ducal Theatre, Karlsruhe. It is very well received.
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November 7, 1876: Voting for president in the United States results in a hung election. Democrat Samuel Tilden, Governor of New York, leads in the electoral and popular vote over Rutherford B. Hayes, Governor of Ohio, but the returns from three states are disputed. Democrats lose a considerable number of seats in the House of Representatives but retain control.
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November 7, 1876: The Kiss, a popular opera by Bedrich Smetana (52) to words of Krásnohorská after Svetlá, is performed for the first time, at the Prague Provisional Theatre. The work proves a triumph.
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November 10, 1876: Four Characteristic Pieces op.25 for piano by John Knowles Paine (37) are performed for the first time, by the composer in Wesleyan Hall, Boston.
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November 13, 1876: Death, a melodrama for reciter and orchestra by Leos Janácek (22) to words of Lermontov, is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno).
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November 17, 1876: At a concert to benefit wounded veterans from the war with Turkey, Slavonic March op.31 (Marche slave) for orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) is performed for the first time, in Moscow. One audience member remembers that “The entire audience came to its feet, many jumped up on their chairs, one after another; to cries of ‘Bravo’ were mixed cries of ‘Hurrah!’ The March had to be repeated, after which the same tempest was raised anew.” (Wiley, 94-95) The composer will remember that the music was “effective.”
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November 21, 1876: After a revolt of almost two years, José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori makes a triumphal entry into Mexico City and takes control of the government.
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November 21, 1876: Overture to Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” by John Knowles Paine (37) is performed for the first time, at the new Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.
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November 23, 1876: Having been captured by Spanish authorities, William March “Boss” Tweed arrives in New York City for further incarceration.
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November 23, 1876: 06:00 Manuel María de los Dolores Clemente Ramón del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús de Falla y Matheu is born at No.3 Plaza de Mina in Cádiz, Kingdom of Spain, first of five children born to José María de Falla Franco, an export merchant, and María Jesús Matheu Zabala, daughter of an industrialist. Both parents come from wealthy families.
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November 27, 1876: Theophile Schloesing and Achille Müntz begin an experiment at the French National Institute of Agronomy. It will prove that bacteria causes the nitrification of plants.
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November 29, 1876: Porfirio Díaz names himself interim President of Mexico.
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December 1, 1876: The first railway in China opens between Shanghai and Woosung (Wusong), built by a British company.
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December 2, 1876: Excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (36) unperformed opera Vakula the Smith are performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. See 6 December 1876.
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December 4, 1876: Ruggero Leoncavallo (19) attends a performance of Rienzi in Bologna in the presence of the composer and his wife. Leoncavallo will claim that he meets Wagner (63) on this occasion but there is no independent confirmation of this.
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December 5, 1876: Coming to the end of his term, US President Ulysses S. Grant apologizes to Congress for the scandal, corruption, and dishonesty which has plagued his administration.
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December 5, 1876: The Brooklyn Theatre, in Brooklyn, New York, catches fire during a performance. Upwards of 300 people are killed.
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December 6, 1876: Demonstrations organized by the secret, recently formed group Land and Liberty, take place in front of Kazan Cathedral. Speeches, especially by Georgy Valentinovich Plekhanov, attack the autocracy. They raise a red flag with the name of their organization. Police attack the crowd and 34 people are arrested.
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December 6, 1876: Vakula the Smith, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) to words of Polonsky after Gogol, is performed for the first time, at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. Although there are loud cheers, hisses also abound. In the words of the composer, it “failed solemnly.” See 4 December 1874 and 2 December 1876.
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December 8, 1876: Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis replaces Alexandros Koumoundouros as Prime Minister of Greece.
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December 10, 1876: From Bohemia’s Fields and Groves, a symphonic poem from Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana (52), is performed for the first time, in Prague. The audience calls for the work to be repeated.
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December 10, 1876: Serenade for strings op.22 by Antonín Dvorák (35) is performed for the first time, in the Palác Zofín, Prague.
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December 12, 1876: Jules Simon replaces Jules Armand Stanislas Dufaure as Prime Minister of France.
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December 12, 1876: The Constantinople Conference opens with delegations from Great Britain, Turkey, and Russia to decide what to do in the Balkans.
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December 13, 1876: Alexandros Koumoundouros replaces Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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December 19, 1876: Midhat Pasha replaces Mütercim Mehmed Rüstü Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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December 20, 1876: After four months in Italy, Richard Wagner (63) returns to Bayreuth.
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December 23, 1876: A constitution for the Ottoman Empire is granted. It calls for a parliamentary government and freedom of religion and the press.
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December 27, 1876: Le triomphe funèbre du Tasse for orchestra by Franz Liszt (65) is performed for the first time, in New York.
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December 29, 1876: Evening op.27/4 a song for voice and piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) to words of Lev Mei after Taras Shevchenko, is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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December 30, 1876: Nadezhda von Meck, the mercurial patron of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36), writes her first letter to the composer, thanking him for setting some of his works for violin and piano for her. He will write his first letter to her, probably tomorrow.
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December 31, 1876: Antonín Dvorák (35) wins his third state scholarship of 500 gulden.