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

January 1, 1877 – December 31, 1877

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January 1, 1877: Pursuant to the Royal Titles Act, Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India.
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January 3, 1877: Prinz Methusalem, an operetta by Johann Strauss (51) to words of Treumann after Dalacour and Wildér, is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Carltheater, conducted by the composer. The critics are not impressed.
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January 4, 1877: Es geht ein Wehen op.62/6 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (43) to words of Heyse is performed for the first time, in Munich.
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January 6, 1877: The expedition of Henry Stanley reaches Boyoma Falls on the Congo River.
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January 7, 1877: United States forces defeat the Sioux on Wolf Mountain.
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January 10, 1877: Elections are held for the third Reichstag of the German Empire. The leading National Liberals and the Center Party both lose seats but still hold the highest numbers.
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January 15, 1877: The theatre used to produce Peer Gynt in Christiania (Oslo) burns down, destroying all the scenery and costumes. The play will not be produced in the city again for 15 years.
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January 15, 1877: In a convention signed in Budapest, Austria-Hungary agrees with Russia to remain neutral in the coming war with Turkey, in return for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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January 17, 1877: Matin Song op.29/1 by John Knowles Paine (38) to words of Taylor is performed for the first time, in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University. It will become his most popular song.
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January 18, 1877: The Ottoman government rejects the solutions put forth by the Constantinople Conference.
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January 18, 1877: With the death of his brother Fred, bachelor Arthur Sullivan (34) becomes the breadwinner for Fred’s widow and seven children.
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January 18, 1877: Wie soll ich die Freude op.33/6, a song by Johannes Brahms (43) to words of Tieck, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig, the composer at the keyboard.
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January 20, 1877: Its recommendations having been rejected by Turkey, the Constantinople Conference closes.
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January 21, 1877: O schöner Mai, op.375, a waltz by Johann Strauss (51), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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January 26, 1877: Le Docteur OX, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (57) to words of Mortier and Gille after Verne, is performed for the first time, at the Variétés, Paris.
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January 27, 1877: Violin Sonata no.1 op.13 by Gariel Fauré (31) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris, the composer at the keyboard. On the same program is the premiere of an impromptu for piano by Emanuel Chabrier (36), performed by Camille Saint-Saëns (41). The sonata is an instant hit and brings Fauré to fame. “The success of the Sonata this evening exceeded all my hopes!!!”
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January 28, 1877: La Jeunesse d’Hercule op.50, a symphonic poem by Camille Saint-Saëns (41), is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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January 30, 1877: Open warfare begins between followers of the Samurai Saigo Takamori and Imperial Japanese troops at Kagoshima.
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January 31, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) writes to his brother Modest that he is deeply in love with one of his students, Iosif Iosifovich Kotek, and that his love has been returned.
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February 1, 1877: An electoral commission of eight Republicans and seven Democrats decides the disputed 1876 American presidential election for the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes.
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February 2, 1877: Incidental music to Déroulède’s play L’Hetman by Jules Massenet (34) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre de l’Odéon, Paris.
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February 5, 1877: Tunuslu Ibrahim Edhem Pasha replaces Midhat Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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February 9, 1877: Trinity Church is dedicated in Boston. The architect is HH Richardson. The interior decoration is by John La Farge.
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February 9, 1877: Larghetto and Scherzo for piano, violin, and cello op.32 by John Knowles Paine (38) is performed for the first time, in Wesleyan Hall, Boston.
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February 10, 1877: La Foire Saint-Laurent, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (57) to words of Crémieux and de Saint-Albin, is performed for the first time, at the Folies-Dramatiques, Paris.
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February 11, 1877: Le Siècle publishes an article entitled “Offenbach in America” wherein the newspaper charges that on his return trip to France, Jacques Offenbach (57) ridiculed France to the rage of captain and passengers. This begins “L’affaire Offenbach” including senators and deputies acrimoniously debating exactly who said what.
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February 12, 1877: A news dispatch is sent by telephone for the first time, from Salem, Massachusetts to Boston.
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February 17, 1877: Trio for piano and strings op.21 by Antonín Dvorák (35) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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February 19, 1877: Fighting begins between Satsuma Samurai and Imperial Japanese troops at Kumamoto castle on Kyushu.
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February 22, 1877: Despite gains on the battlefield, the Satsuma Samurai are unable to defeat the Imperial troops at Kumamoto Castle. They dig in for a siege.
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February 23, 1877: Le timbre d’argent, a drame lyrique by Camille Saint-Saëns (41) to words of Barbier and Carré, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre National-Lyrique, Paris. It is moderately successful and receives 18 performances. Charles Gounod (58) is in the audience and is very impressed.
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February 26, 1877: In a Conference held in the Wormely Hotel in Washington between Rutherford B. Hayes and representatives of the southern states, a complicated deal is worked out for the end of Reconstruction. Ironically, the Wormely Hotel is operated by African-Americans.
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February 28, 1877: Serbia and Turkey conclude a peace agreement at Constantinople without concessions by the Ottomans.
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March 2, 1877: A congressional commission awards all the disputed electoral votes in the US presidential election to the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes.
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March 4, 1877: Fighting begins at Tabaruzaka between the Imperial Japanese army and Satsuma Samurai. It will last a week.
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March 4, 1877: Swan Lake, a ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36) to a scenario by Begichev and Heltser, is performed for the first time, at the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow. The work is fairly well received.
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March 4, 1877: Song of the Sea for chorus by Bedrich Smetana (53) to words of Hálek is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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March 4, 1877: Rutherford Birchard Hayes replaces Ulysses Simpson Grant as President of the United States.
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March 4, 1877: The three Choral Songs for male voices by Antonín Dvorák (35) to words of Heyduk and Moravian folk poems are performed for the first time, in Prague.
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March 5, 1877: The 45th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. Republicans continue to lose seats in the Senate but still retain control. The parties are almost evenly divided in the House of Representatives.
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March 6, 1877: António José de Avila, marquês de Avila e Bolama, conde de Avila replaces António Maria de Fontes Pereira de Melo as Prime Minister of Portugal.
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March 7, 1877: Serenade for piano duet by Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge University.
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March 8, 1877: Banditen-Galopp op.378 by Johann Strauss (51) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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March 9, 1877: Variations on an air by Bach for piano by Hubert Parry (29) is performed for the first time, at the Hotel de Provence, Cannes.
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March 9, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (36) symphonic fantasia Francesca da Rimini is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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March 10, 1877: Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis replaces Alexandros Koumoundouros as Prime Minister of Greece.
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March 10, 1877: Symphony no.2 by Alyeksandr Borodin (43) is performed for the first time, by the Russian Musical Society, St. Petersburg.
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March 12, 1877: Great Britain annexes Walvis Bay in South West Africa (Namibia).
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March 15, 1877: The first cricket test match begins at Melbourne Cricket Ground between England and Australia.
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March 16, 1877: Franz Liszt (65) performs in a concert in Vienna to mark 50 years since the death of Beethoven. He plays the Choral Fantasy and the Emperor Concerto. In the audience is a very excited Gustav Mahler (16).
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March 17, 1877: Sárka, a symphonic poem from Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana (53), is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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March 19, 1877: Imperial Japanese forces capture Miyanohara, behind the Satsuma lines.
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March 19, 1877: The first cricket test match concludes at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia defeats England by 45 runs.
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March 19, 1877: The first parliament for the Ottoman Empire opens in Constantinople.
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March 25, 1877: Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is officially appointed organist at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge.
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March 27, 1877: Paleontologist Arthur Lakes discovers quantities of dinosaur remains in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver. He will eventually find evidence of the newly named species of Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, and Brontosaurus.
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April 2, 1877: At a meeting in Leipzig of members from various Wagner (63) Societies, the General Patrons Association for the Maintenance and Preservation of the Stage Festivals in Bayreuth is created. Its goal is to provide a sound financial foundation for the Bayreuth festival.
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April 2, 1877: A demonstration of long distance music is given in Steinway Hall, New York by Elisha Gray, almost-inventor of the telephone. Pianist Frederick Boscovitz plays on Gray’s “telegraphic reed transmitter” in the Western Union office in Philadelphia. Signals are sent over telegraph wire to New York where they activate 16 wooden tubes.
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April 5, 1877: Cinq Mars, an opéra dialogué by Charles Gounod (58) to words of Poirson and Gallet after de Vigny, is performed for the first time, at the Salle Favart, Paris. The work proves a success.
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April 7, 1877: Antonina Milyukova begins writing letters to her former teacher, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (36).
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April 7, 1877: After the success for the Violin Sonata no.1 in January, Camille Saint-Saëns (41) publishes an article in the Journal de musique praising the rising talent of Gabriel Fauré (31).
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April 12, 1877: After a siege of six weeks, the Imperial Japanese army arrives and lifts the siege of Kumamoto Castle on Kyushu. The Satsuma flee.
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April 12, 1877: Great Britain annexes the Transvaal in direct violation of the 1852 Sand River Convention.
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April 13, 1877: This is the approximate date of the appointment of Gabriel Fauré (31) as choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.
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April 15, 1877: A model helicopter weighing 3.5 kg flies at La Scala in Milan. Built by Enrico Forlanini, it is airborne for about 20 seconds and reaches a maximum height of 13 meters.
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April 16, 1877: The Romanian government signs a treaty allowing the transport of Russian troops across Romanian territory.
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April 18, 1877: Edvard Grieg (33) petitions the Norwegian government for a grant to study dramatic music during his upcoming trip abroad. It will be denied.
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April 24, 1877: Tsar Alyeksandr II of Russia informs his subjects that they are at war with the Ottoman Empire over the Christian minority in Turkey’s Balkan dominions.
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April 24, 1877: United States President Rutherford B. Hayes withdraws federal troops from Louisiana, effectively ending Reconstruction.
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April 26, 1877: Louise-Angélique Bertin dies at her home at 15 Quai Conti, Paris, Republic of France, aged 72 years, three months, and eleven days.
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April 27, 1877: Le roi de Lahore, an opéra by Jules Massenet (34) to words of Gallet, is performed for the first time, in the Paris Opéra. The work is so successful with the audience, which includes President Mac-Mahon of France and Emperor Pedro of Brazil, that it proves a turning point in Massenet’s career. See 3 March 1878.
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April 28, 1877: After a funeral, the mortal remains of Louise Bertin are laid to rest in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. The spot will be unmarked until 1985.
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April 29, 1877: Plaudite populi, a motet for vocal solo, chorus and orchestra by Giacomo Puccini (18), is performed for the first time, in Lucca.
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April 30, 1877: The first known design for a phonograph is deposited with the French Academy of Sciences by inventor Charles Cros. Before it is made public in December, Thomas Edison will produce his working prototype.
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April 30, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian troops occupy Bayazid, just over the Caucasian border in Turkey.
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May 1, 1877: Cello Sonata no.1 op.9 by Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is performed for the first time, at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the composer at the keyboard.
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May 2, 1877: Hubert Parry (29), an ardent Wagnerite, meets Richard Wagner (63) for the first time, in London. Neither man records his impressions of the meeting.
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May 5, 1877: Porfirio Díaz takes the oath as President of Mexico.
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May 6, 1877: Erinnerung op.63/2, a song by Johannes Brahms to words of Schenkendorf, is performed for the first time, in Zürich, on the eve of his 44th birthday.
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May 7, 1877: Ernest Chausson (22) takes the oath as a barrister in the Court of Appeal, Paris.
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May 7, 1877: Richard Wagner (63) begins a series of eight concerts in Royal Albert Hall, London.
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May 8, 1877: In the Country: Sketches for piano op.26, a piano cycle by John Knowles Paine (38), is performed completely for the first time, at Lyceum Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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May 9, 1877: An earthquake centered south of Iquique, Peru (now in Chile) kills over 2,500 people in the surrounding region. The resulting tsunami kills small numbers in Hawaii and Japan.
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May 12, 1877: A gavotte, the second of the Trois Morceaux op.3 for piano by Arthur Foote (24), is performed for the first time, in Boston.
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May 12, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Turks and Abkhazians land on the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia hoping to foment rebellion against Russia.
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May 13, 1877: Les Éolides, a symphonic poem by César Franck (54) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Erard, Paris.
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May 15, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces evacuate Sukhum (Sukhumi) on the Black Sea, to the Turks.
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May 16, 1877: President Mac-Mahon of France, urged on by the conservative Senate, sacks the Moderate Republican Prime Minister Jules Simon.
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May 16, 1877: After hearing excerpts from Götterdämmerung, Hubert Parry (29) records in his diary that “Siegfrieds Tod...seems to me the greatest thing in the world and made me quite cold with ecstasy.”
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May 17, 1877: Queen Victoria receives Richard Wagner (63) at Windsor Castle. Cosima remembers the architecture and the paintings, but says nothing of the Queen.
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May 17, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces capture Ardahan, 190 km southwest of Tiflis (Tbilisi), from the Turks.
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May 18, 1877: Monarchist Jacques Albert, Duc de Broglie replaces Jules Simon as Prime Minister of France.
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May 18, 1877: Violin Sonata no.1 op.11 by Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge.
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May 20, 1877: During a performance of Franz Liszt’s (65) St. Elisabeth at the festival of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein in Hannover, the conductor falls off the podium to the floor in a drunken stupor. The performance halts. As he is carried off, Liszt comes forward, takes the baton and conducts the work to its conclusion.
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May 21, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: After Turkey bombards Calafat, a Romanian fortress on the Danube 250 km west of Bucharest, Romania declares its independence from Turkey.
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May 22, 1877: God is Our Hope: Psalm 46 op.8 for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is performed for the first time, in Cambridge.
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May 25, 1877: During an informal social gathering at the home of singer Yelizaveta Lavrovskaya in Moscow, she suggests to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) that he compose an opera on Pushkin’s Yevgeny Onegin. He thinks the idea is ridiculous.
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May 30, 1877: An Ave Maria for two sopranos and organ by Gabriel Fauré (32) is performed for the first time, in the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.
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May 31, 1877: Alexandros Koumoundouros replaces Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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June 1, 1877: After an exchange of letters, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) meets Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova for the first time, in Moscow. She is a former Moscow Conservatory student who has fallen in love with him.
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June 4, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) asks Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova to marry him. She agrees.
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June 7, 1877: Konstantinos Michail Kanaris replaces Alexandros Koumoundouros as Prime Minister of Greece.
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June 10, 1877: Without telling anyone that he is engaged, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) leaves Moscow after the Conservatory examinations and moves to Konstantin Stepanovich Shilovsky’s estate at Glebovo to work on Yevgeny Onegin.
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June 11, 1877: A statue in honor of Heinrich August Marschner (†15) is erected in front of the opera house in Hannover.
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June 13, 1877: Grand Duke Ludwig III of Hesse dies in Seeheim and is succeeded by his nephew Ludwig IV.
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June 15, 1877: Henry O. Flipper becomes the first African-American to graduate from the United States Military Academy.
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June 17, 1877: United States troops attack a Nez Perce camp in White Bird Canyon, Idaho Territory but are routed. 34 people are killed.
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June 21, 1877: Queen’s Bench Court in Westminster Hall convicts Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh for publishing an obscene book, Fruits of Philosophy by the American physician Charles Knowlton. It is a practical guide to contraception. They will be sentenced to six months in prison but the sentences will be quashed on appeal.
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June 21, 1877: Gustav Mahler (16) again wins the piano competition at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. He plays Robert Schumann’s (†20) Humoreske op.20.
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June 25, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Turkish forces defeat the Russians on the heights of Zivin, southwest of Kars, thus lifting the Russian siege on Kars.
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June 26, 1877: Cotopaxi mountain in Ecuador erupts killing 1,000 people.
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June 27, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Under Turkish fire, Russian forces cross the Danube from Zimnitsa (Zimnicea) to Sistovo (Svishtov).
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June 30, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: A British fleet enters Besika Bay to counter Russian advances.
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July 1, 1877: While traveling in Germany, Alyeksandr Borodin (43) visits Franz Liszt (65) in Weimar. The elder composer is very supportive and encouraging and the two will meet five more times during July.
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July 4, 1877: WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (35) sign a contract with the Comedy Opera Company to produce a new two-act operetta.
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July 9, 1877: The Bell Telephone Company is founded in Boston by Gardiner Greene Hubbard, father-in-law to Alexander Graham Bell.
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July 15, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) informs his patroness, Nedezhda von Meck, that he will marry in three days.
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July 15, 1877: The Coppino Act goes into effect. It requires education for all children in Italy aged 6-9.
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July 15, 1877: Festive Chorus for the laying of the foundation stone of the Teachers’ Institute by Leos Janácek (23) to words of Kucera is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno) conducted by the composer.
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July 16, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces take Nikopol, up the Danube from Zimnitsa (Zimnicea).
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July 16, 1877: The first All-England Lawn Tennis Championship is won at Wimbledon by W. Spencer Gore.
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July 16, 1877: Employees of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad go on strike in Baltimore and Martinsburg, West Virginia protesting wage cuts.
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July 18, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) marries Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova in the Church of St. George, Moscow. After the ceremony, the composer realizes that they can never have either a physical or emotional relationship and begins to panic. They leave in the evening for St. Petersburg.
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July 19, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces capture the strategic Shipka Pass and the town of Kazanlik (Kazanluk), Bulgaria.
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July 19, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Federal troops enter Martinsburg, West Virginia to restart train service, but other workers join the strike.
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July 20, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Members of the Maryland militia are attacked by at least 15,000 citizens in Baltimore to prevent them from marching to put down the strike by railroad workers.
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July 20, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces assault the Bulgarian city of Plevna (Pleven), 120 km northeast of Sofiya, but are repulsed with heavy losses by the Turkish defenders.
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July 21, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: The British government decides to declare war should Russia occupy Constantinople.
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July 21, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Militiamen fire on striking railroad workers in Pittsburgh. 20 are killed and 29 injured. The strikers respond by forcing the militia to take refuge in a rail yard building while they set fires which destroy 39 buildings, 104 locomotives and 1,245 railroad cars.

US President Rutherford Hayes sends federal troops to Baltimore to restore order.

Railroad strikers take over East St. Louis, Illinois.

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July 22, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) takes his new wife to meet his parents in St. Petersburg.
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July 22, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Militiamen fight their way out of encirclement in Pittsburgh, killing 20 strikers in the process.

State militia in Buffalo disperse a mob of railroad strikers and their supporters.

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July 23, 1877: Workingmen in San Francisco, blaming immigrants for the unemployment during the current depression, invade Chinatown. The mob goes on a rampage among the Chinese immigrants, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
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July 23, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: When strikers pelt them with rocks and bricks, state militiamen fire into the crowd, killing ten and injuring dozens in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Federal troops arrive in Pittsburgh to restore order.

Striking railroad workers shut down all freight traffic in Buffalo.

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July 24, 1877: The Imperial Japanese army takes Miyakonojo in southern Kyushu from the Satsuma.
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July 24, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) goes through a severe emotional crisis over his marriage. It will be relieved tomorrow.
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July 24, 1877: Anti-Chinese riots in San Francisco continue through the day. Only the arrival of the state militia restores order in the evening.
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July 24, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Striking railroad workers and others manage to stop traffic and commerce in Chicago where they destroy property belonging to the railroads. The strikes spread throughout Illinois and bring out coal miners in sympathy.
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July 25, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Battles begin between police and railroad strikers in Chicago.
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July 26, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) and his wife return to Moscow. Antonina believes that with constant pressure, she can win him into a physical relationship of which he wants no part.
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July 26, 1877: Ethel Smyth (19) leaves home in London making for study at Leipzig Conservatory.
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July 26, 1877: Great Railroad Strike: Federal troops, recently returned from fighting Indians, fire on striking workers in Chicago. 30 are killed and over 100 injured.
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July 27, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) writes to Nadezhda von Meck requesting a loan.
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July 30, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces assault the Bulgarian city of Plevna (Pleven) for a second time but are repulsed by the Turkish defenders, again with heavy losses.
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August 1, 1877: By this date, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 is over, largely put down by federal troops sent by President Rutherford B. Hayes.
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August 4, 1877: Charles Gounod (59) is named a Commander of the Legion of Honor.
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August 7, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) leaves his wife in Moscow to spend the summer at his sister’s dacha.
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August 9, 1877: The expedition of Henry Stanley reaches Boma at the mouth of the Congo. Thus finishes a trek from Zanzibar begun in November 1874.
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August 9, 1877: 02:00 United States troops attack sleeping Nez Perce Indians in Madison County, Montana. The Indians manage to drive the troops back but 30 men and 50 women and children are killed. 33 soldiers die, 38 wounded.
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August 11, 1877: At the US Naval Observatory in Washington, Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, a satellite of Mars.
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August 18, 1877: At the US Naval Observatory in Washington, Asaph Hall discovers Phobos, a satellite of Mars.
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August 21, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: A furious six-day battle begins when Turkish forces attack the Russian defenders of the Shipka Pass in Bulgaria.
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August 24, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: A desperate Turkish assault on Russian positions at the Shipka Pass is annihilated by the defenders, thus sealing the fate of the battle.
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August 27, 1877: While walking to the breakfast table in his home on 5 Gwynne Street in Yorkville, Ontario (Park Road, Toronto), Dominion of Canada, James Paton Clarke dies of a heart attack, aged approximately 70 years. His earthly remains will be buried in St. James’ Cemetery, Toronto.
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August 29, 1877: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII by Arthur Sullivan (35) is performed for the first time, in the Theatre Royal, Manchester.
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September 1, 1877: About 500 Satsuma warriors take Shiroyama near Kagoshima.
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September 3, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces capture Lovech, Bulgaria from the Turks.
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September 5, 1877: Mars comes to a perihelic opposition to the Earth. This position allows Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli to produce the most detailed maps of the Martian surface to date. He calls the dark lines he observes canali, meaning channels.
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September 5, 1877: Chief Crazy Horse is killed while scuffling with his jailers at Fort Robinson, Dakota Territory.
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September 5, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: 32,000 Romanian soldiers join the Russians outside the Turkish garrison at Plevna (Pleven), Bulgaria.
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September 6, 1877: Festival Overture by Charles Villiers Stanford (24) is performed for the first time, in Gloucester.
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September 6, 1877: George Whitefield Chadwick (22) departs New York aboard the Hamburg-America ship Gellert bound for Hamburg.
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September 11, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian and Romanian forces assault Plevna (Pleven) for a third time, with even greater losses than the first two times.
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September 12, 1877: Gustav Mahler (17) passes the examination and is allowed to leave the Iglau Grammar School. He may now study music in Vienna.
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September 13, 1877: 297 Cheyenne men, women and children escape a trap in Natrona County, Wyoming Territory. Fleeing into Nebraska, tailed by 10,000 troops and 3,000 vigilantes, they will fight five battles during the next two weeks.
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September 14, 1877: Greek Prime Minister Constantine Kanaris dies in Athens.
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September 24, 1877: Imperial Japanese forces defeat and kill all the remaining Satsuma Samurai at Shiroyama. The Satsuma rebellion is ended.
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September 24, 1877: After spending six weeks with his sister, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) returns to his wife in Moscow in order to begin the new term at the Conservatory.
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September 25, 1877: Wilhelm Lefeldt and Carl Lentsch of Schoeningen, Germany receive a patent for a centrifugal cream separator.
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September 30, 1877: United States troops attack Nez Perce in the Bear Paw Mountains of Hill County, Montana Territory near Canada. 24 soldiers are killed, 42 wounded. 21 Indians (18 men, three women) are killed.
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October 1, 1877: Gustav Mahler (17) begins studies at the University of Vienna and the harmony class of Anton Bruckner (53).
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October 4, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: A fierce three day battle between Russian and Turkish forces around Little Yahni and Great Yahni, near Kars, ends today without strategic result.
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October 5, 1877: Sometime within the last few days, a fully clothed Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) waded up to his waist in the Moscow River in an attempt to contract pneumonia. Today he wires to his brother Anatoly in St. Petersburg, requesting that he wire back in the name of conductor Edvard Nápravnik, demanding that he come to St. Petersburg immediately.
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October 5, 1877: After a four-month campaign, more than a dozen battles and 2,900 km long trail, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce surrenders at Bear Paw, Montana Territory, 65 km from their goal, the Canadian border.
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October 7, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) arrives in St. Petersburg in a state of near collapse. Anatoly Tchaikovsky takes his brother to a hotel where he suffers violent episodes, goes to bed and lapses into a coma for two days. A specialist orders that he never see his wife again.
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October 7, 1877: Kriegers Liebchen op.379, a polka mazurka by Johann Strauss (51), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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October 15, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: The four day Battle of Aladja Dag, east of Kars, ends today when the victorious Russians successfully outflank the Turks in the Caucasus. The Turks lose 16,000 casualties and 8,500 prisoners.
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October 16, 1877: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) reaches Berlin, accompanied by his brother, Anatoly. He is on his way to Geneva, escaping the emotional trauma of his marriage.
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October 20, 1877: Symphony no.2 D.125 by Franz Schubert (†48) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Crystal Palace, London, 62 years after it was composed.
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October 20, 1877: Gustav Mahler (17) appears as pianist at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, playing the premiere of the first movement of Piano Concerto no.1 of Xaver Scharwenka.
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October 22, 1877: Salome op.69/8, a song by Johannes Brahms (44) to words of Keller, is performed for the first time, in Karlsruhe.
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October 26, 1877: For the first time, a broken kneecap is repaired by opening the skin and wiring the bones together. The surgeon is Joseph Lister whose antiseptic techniques make such operations possible.
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October 28, 1877: A second round of voting takes place today in French national elections. Republicans maintain a majority, but Monarchists increase their seat totals.
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October 28, 1877: Nachruf for male chorus and organ by Anton Bruckner (53) to words of Mattig is performed for the first time, for the unveiling of a memorial plaque at St. Florian. The composer plays the organ.
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October 29, 1877: Minnelied op.71/5, a song for voice and piano by Johannes Brahms (44) to words of Hölty, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
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October 30, 1877: La belle dame sans merci, a song for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (25) to words of Keats, is performed for the first time, at Cambridge.
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October 31, 1877: Edward MacDowell (16) auditions, in a group of 40 applicants, for admission to the Paris Conservatoire before a committee headed by Ambroise Thomas (66). He is one of five receiving a unanimous vote of approval.
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October 31, 1877: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (44) are performed for the first time, in Berlin: Verzagen op.72/4, to words of Lemcke, and Des Liebsten Schwur op.69/4 to traditional words.
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November 2, 1877: Symphonic Fantasy-Shakespeare’s Tempest op.31 by John Knowles Paine (38) is performed for the first time, in Steinway Hall, New York.
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November 3, 1877: Johannes Kappeyne van de Copello replaces Jan Heemskerk and Constantine Theodoor, Baron van Lynden van Sandenburg as chief minister of the Netherlands.
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November 5, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Russian forces take Gorni Dubnik, southwest of Plevna (Pleven), Bulgaria. The Russian casualties are equal to the total number of Turkish defenders.
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November 7, 1877: In Lamberk, Bedrich Smetana (53) undergoes a quack operation by a Dr. Klima to cure his deafness. It fails.
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November 9, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Turkish defenders of Erzurum repulse a Russian assault.

After 3,000 Russian shells land in Telish, Bulgaria, the Turkish defenders of the town surrender.

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November 10, 1877: Hugo Wolf (17) sets out from his home in Windischgraz to Vienna in an attempt to support himself as a free musician.
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November 11, 1877: 06:30 Hugo Wolf (17) enters Vienna.
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November 17, 1877: The Sorcerer, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (35) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, at the Opera Comique Theatre, London, conducted by the composer. The first two-act collaboration of Gilbert and Sullivan is a definite success with the audience and critics and receives 178 performances.
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November 17, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: In a furious attack, Russian troops enter the Turkish bastion of Kars.
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November 18, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: After a fierce night assault, Russian forces capture Kars from the Turks.
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November 23, 1877: After a vote of no-confidence from the National Assembly, Caïétan de Grimaudet de la Rochebouet replaces Jacques Albert, Duc de Broglie as Prime Minister of France.
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November 24, 1877: Claude Debussy (15) competes in the harmony class of Emile Durand, unsuccessfully. Durand thinks him “very gifted” in harmony but criticizes “a discouraging thoughtlessness.”
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November 27, 1877: Claude Debussy (15) enters the harmony class of Émile Durand at the Paris Conservatoire.
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November 28, 1877: L’étoile, an opéra bouffe by Emanuel Chabrier (36) to words of Leterrier and Vanloo, is performed for the first time, by the Bouffes-Parisiens at Salle Choiseul, Paris.
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November 30, 1877: Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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November 30, 1877: Edouard Hanslick writes to Antonín Dvorák (36) that Johannes Brahms (44) has taken a great interest in his music and that he is to be awarded an artist’s stipend of 600 florins.
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December 2, 1877: French mining engineer Louis-Paul Cailletet becomes the first person to liquefy oxygen, at Châtillon-sur-Seine.
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December 2, 1877: Samson et Dalila, an opéra by Camille Saint-Saëns (42) to words of Lemaire, is performed for the first time, in the Weimar Hoftheater, conducted by Franz Liszt (66). Gabriel Fauré (32), in town for the premiere, meets Liszt for the first time. Fauré will later write, “being at that first performance was one of the greatest pleasures and one of the most moving experiences of my life.”
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December 2, 1877: Suite for string orchestra by Leos Janácek (23) is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno), conducted by the composer.
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December 2, 1877: The Symphonic Variations op.78 by Antonín Dvorák (36) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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December 6, 1877: In his Menlo Park, New Jersey workshop, Thomas Edison demonstrates his phonograph which has just been built by John Kruesi from Edison’s sketch. He recites “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
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December 9, 1877: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (44) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Geheimnis op.71/3, to words of Candidus, and Im Garten am Seegestade to words of Lemcke.
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December 9, 1877: Romance for violin and orchestra op.11 by Antonín Dvorák (36) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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December 9, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Turkish troops in Plevna (Pleven) attempt to break the Russian siege but fail.
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December 10, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Desperately low on provisions, the Turkish garrison at Plevna (Pleven), Bulgaria attempts a break out. After initial success, the attack fails. The 43,000 Turks inside surrender to the surrounding Russians and Romanians.
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December 12, 1877: Antonín Dvorák (36) writes to Johannes Brahms (44) to thank him for his part in securing a state artist’s stipend for Dvorák. He asks Brahms to recommend his Bohemian songs to Brahms’ publisher Fritz Simrock. Brahms will do so immediately.
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December 14, 1877: After another vote of no confidence, the conservative republican Jules Armand Stanislas Dufaure replaces Caïétan de Grimaudet de la Rochebouet as Prime Minister of France.
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December 14, 1877: Russo-Turkish War: Serbia declares war on Turkey.
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December 15, 1877: While visiting the library of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (37) happens upon a rare 1581 publication of three Euripides plays in Latin. He steals it.
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December 15, 1877: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (44) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Lerchengesang op.70/2 to words of Candidus, and Serenade op.70/4 to words of Goethe.
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December 16, 1877: The second version of the Symphony no.3 by Anton Bruckner (53) is performed for the first time, in the Großer Musikverein, Vienna, directed by the composer. Bruckner, a substitute conductor, is not up to the demands of his work. The musicians play badly and the audience is divided, with the “cons” outnumbering the “pros.” Many of the audience leave during the last movement and only about 25, including Gustav Mahler (17) and several of his fellow Vienna Conservatory students, are left at the end. With the last note, the disgruntled musicians immediately depart. See 21 December 1890.
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December 22, 1877: Today’s issue of Scientific American reports that Thomas Edison recently visited their New York office and demonstrated his new phonograph for them. They are enthralled.
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December 24, 1877: Willkommen in Wahnfried, du heil’ger Christ for children’s chorus by Richard Wagner (64) is performed for the first time, in Bayreuth, for Cosima at Wahnfried.
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December 30, 1877: Symphony no.2 by Johannes Brahms (44) is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna. It is warmly received.
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December 31, 1877: Gustave Courbet dies in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland at the age of 58.