January 1, 1884: Carl Nielsen (18) enters the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen to study violin, but with composition on his mind.
January 3, 1884: String quartet in d minor by Bedrich Smetana (59) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
January 3, 1884: Romanze for cello and piano by George Whitefield Chadwick (29) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
January 4, 1884: Breaking off from the utopian Fellowship of the New Life, the Fabian Society is founded at 17 Osnaburgh Street, London.
January 5, 1884: Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (41) to words of Gilbert after Tennyson, is performed for the first time, in the Savoy Theatre, London. Sullivan, in great muscular pain, receives an injection of morphine just before leaving for the theatre and black coffee to keep him awake. After the performance, he nearly faints and he is taken home by friends and put to bed. The operetta is well received and goes on to 246 performances.
January 6, 1884: Great Britain orders an evacuation of Sudan.
January 6, 1884: Gregor Mendel dies in Brünn (Brno) at the age of 61.
January 12, 1884: Madrigal op.35 for vocal quartet and piano by Gabriel Fauré (38) to words of Silvestre, is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris. Also premiered are two excerpts from César Franck’s (51) unperformed opera Hulda, played on piano. See 17 April 1884 and 8 March 1894.
January 18, 1884: The British government dispatches Lord Gordon to the Sudan to oversee the evacuation of British subjects from the area.
January 18, 1884: The American SS City of Columbus goes aground in rough seas off Martha’s Vineyard. Of the 132 passengers and crew aboard, 29 are saved by rescuers from shore.
January 18, 1884: Antonio Cánovas del Castillo replaces José de Posada Herrera as Prime Minister of Spain.
January 19, 1884: Manon, an opéra comique by Jules Massenet (41) to words of Meilhac and Gille after Prévost, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. The work elicits great enthusiasm.
January 20, 1884: So ängstlich sind wir nicht! op.413, a polka-schnell by Johann Strauss (58) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
January 20, 1884: The first of Hugo Wolf’s (23) critical reviews appears in the Wiener Salonblatt. They will continue virtually every Sunday for the next three years.
January 26, 1884: String Quartet in E by Ethel Smyth (25) is performed for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
January 27, 1884: Papacoda-Polka op.412 by Johann Strauss (58) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
January 29, 1884: Richard D’Oyly Carte visits Arthur Sullivan (41) at Sullivan’s London home. Sullivan informs Carte that he will not write any more operas for the Savoy Theatre.
January 31, 1884: Russian forces capture Merv from the Afghans.
February 1, 1884: The first Oxford Dictionary is published in Scotland. It was compiled by James Murray.
February 2, 1884: Die Tauben von San Marco op.414, a polka française by Johann Strauss (58), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
February 4, 1884: Piano Sonata in D flat op.20 by Charles Villiers Stanford (31) is performed for the first time, in Cambridge.
February 4, 1884: Quadrille nach Motiven der komischen Oper Eine Nacht in Venedig op.416 by Johann Strauss (58) is performed for the first time, in the Hofburg, Vienna.
February 4, 1884: Forces of the Mahdi attack a British/Egyptian force over three times their number at El Teb, 14 km southwest of the port of Trinkitat, Sudan, sending them into headlong flight. Only 700 of the 3,500 man force survive.
February 5, 1884: Two vocal duets by Johannes Brahms (50) are performed for the first time, in Basel: Phänomen op.61/3 to words of Goethe, and Die Boten der Liebe op.61/4 to anonymous Czech words translated by Wenzig.
February 8, 1884: King Cetshwayo kaMpande dies in Eshowe, Zululand (South Africa) aged around 58 years.
February 12, 1884: Lewis Waterman receive a US patent for a practical fountain pen.
February 13, 1884: Russia annexes the Khanate of Merv (Turkmenistan).
February 14, 1884: Annina op.415, a polka mazurka by Johann Strauss (58), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
February 15, 1884: Mazepa, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (43) to words of Burenin after Pushkin, revised by the composer, is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow. It is a great popular success. See 3 March 1883.
February 16, 1884: Orchestral Suite no.2 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (43) is performed for the first time, in Moscow. Following the lengthy celebrations after the success of Mazepa yesterday, the composer has left for Europe and misses the premiere of his suite.
February 18, 1884: General Charles Gordon reaches Khartoum to oversee the evacuation of British subjects in the face of the Mahdi’s revolt.
February 19, 1884: Approximately 50 tornadoes set down over several of the southern United States today and tomorrow. Thousands of structures are destroyed. Estimates of deaths range from around 200-1,200.
February 19, 1884: Go, Lovely Rose, a song by Arthur Foote (30) to words of Waller, is performed for the first time, in Boston.
February 26, 1884: In an effort to head off King Leopold’s designs on the Congo, Great Britain and Portugal sign a treaty recognizing Portuguese sovereignty over the mouth of the Congo and British control over navigation on the river.
February 27, 1884: The London Convention regulates the status of the Transvaal. A new western boundary is established and the Boers are permitted to resume the name South African Republic. Suzerainty is not mentioned which will lead to war at the end of the century.
February 29, 1884: British forces engage a Mahdist army twice its size at El Teb, 14 km southwest of Trinkitat, Sudan. Contrary to the result on the same ground of 4 February, the British are victorious, killing 20% of the Mahdi’s army.
March 1, 1884: Milutin Garasanin replaces Nikola Hristic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
March 2, 1884: Moscow police attempt to confiscate all copies of Tolstoy’s What I Believe In from the printer Kusherev. They think it undermines the authority and teachings of the Church.
March 2, 1884: Prague Carnival for orchestra by Bedrich Smetana is performed for the first time, on the composer’s 60th birthday.
March 2, 1884: Two sons of successful Bradford businessmen, Fritz (Frederick) Delius (22) and Charles Douglas, sail from Liverpool for New York. Their intention is to travel to Florida to an orange grove on which Delius’ father has taken an option.
March 5, 1884: Antonín Dvorák (42) departs Prague for England. This is the first of nine trips he will make to England over the next twelve years.
March 6, 1884: Piano sonata in f minor by Ferruccio Busoni (17) is performed for the first time, in the Bösendorfersaal, Vienna by the composer.
March 7, 1884: The second movement of the Symphony no.2 by George Whitefield Chadwick (29) is performed for the first time, at the Music Hall, Boston. See 10 December 1886.
March 8, 1884: The third of the five choruses for mixed chorus In Nature’s Realm op.63, by Antonín Dvorák (42) to words of Hálek, is performed for the first time, in Prague.
March 8, 1884: Susan B. Anthony testifies in Washington before a Congressional committee in favor of a constitutional amendment extending suffrage to women.
March 13, 1884: Mahdist forces surround 800 British soldiers in Halfayat, cutting them off from Khartoum. 500 of them manage to reach Khartoum on fortified grain barges under heavy fire. Arabs also attack a wood cutting party near Khartoum causing the loss of 100-150 men.
March 13, 1884: The slow movement from Charles Villiers Stanford’s (31) Cello Concerto is performed for the first time, in Cambridge with the composer playing a piano reduction.
March 13, 1884: Antonín Dvorák (42) conducts his Stabat mater, in the first of his concerts in England, at the Royal Albert Hall.
March 16, 1884: British and Egyptian troops attack Halfayat trying to dislodge the Mahdists from the town. The action is a failure as the Egyptians run after firing one round.
March 17, 1884: A Soldier’s Song op.5 for male chorus by Edward Elgar (26) to words of Hayward is performed for the first time, in Worcester. The work will be renamed A War Song.
March 18, 1884: Basutoland is separated from the Cape Colony.
March 19, 1884: Tsar Alyeksandr III invests Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (43) with the Order of St. Vladimir (4th class) in the Palace at Gatchina outside St. Petersburg. He also has a separate audience with the Tsarina, who desires to meet him. It is possible that the Tsar takes this occasion to commission the Cherubic Hymns. See 1 March 1886.
March 21, 1884: The Waldeck-Rousseau Law is enacted in France. It allows for the formation of independent trade unions without government interference.
March 22, 1884: As Princess Ida appears to be waning in the public interest, Richard D’Oyly Carte writes to both Arthur Sullivan (41) and WS Gilbert invoking their contract with him. He gives them six months notice of the need for a new opera.
March 22, 1884: Antonín Dvorák (42) conducts his Scherzo capriccioso and Nocturne in B flat at the Crystal Palace, London. This event secures Dvorák’s fame in England.
March 23, 1884: The first of the five choruses for mixed chorus In Nature’s Realm op.63, by Antonín Dvorák (42) to words of Hálek, is performed for the first time, in Prague.
March 26, 1884: Charles Martin Loeffler (23) sails from Boston for Europe. He will continue his studies in violin with Hubert Léonard in Paris.
March 27, 1884: The first long-distance telephone call is made, from Boston to New York, by officials of the American Bell Telephone Company.
March 28, 1884: Arthur Sullivan (41) writes to Richard D’Oyly Carte that he can no longer collaborate with Gilbert.
March 28, 1884: Etude en forme de variations for piano by Ferruccio Busoni (17) is performed for the first time, in Vienna by the composer.
March 29, 1884: After three months of going to concerts, promoting his music and meeting important people, Richard Strauss (19) departs Berlin for home in Munich.
March 29, 1884: The Ministry of the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg approves a new statute, Program of the Precentors' Class at the Court Kapella. It was written by Assistant Director Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (40). It formalizes education in the Kapella and will create a class of well-trained music teachers who will be spread throughout Russia.
March 31, 1884: Tsar Alyeksandr III eliminates the office of Inspector of Bands for the Navy Department. The post was held by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (40).
April 3, 1884: A German Colonization Association is founded to oppose the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 26 February.
April 3, 1884: Christian Homann Schweigaard becomes Prime Minister of Norway.
April 3, 1884: Barcarolle op.37a/6 for solo piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (43) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
April 4, 1884: By the Treaty of Valparaiso, Bolivia cedes its Pacific Coast province of Antofagasta to Chile.
April 5, 1884: Quartet for piano and strings no.1 op.15 by Gabriel Fauré (38) is performed for the first time with a new finale, by the Société National de Musique, Paris, the composer at the keyboard. See 14 February 1880.
April 7, 1884: Arthur Sullivan (41) writes to WS Gilbert, rejecting his latest libretto, the “Lozenge Plot.”
April 10, 1884: WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (41) meet at Sullivan’s London home. They argue for two hours over the “Lozenge Plot” without resolution.
April 12, 1884: On Holy Saturday, Leos Janácek (29) attends supper with his estranged in-laws in Brünn (Brno). A grudging reconciliation is effected and it is decided that his wife, Zdenka, will return to live with him.
April 17, 1884: Excerpts from César Franck’s (61) unperformed opera Hulda are performed, this time with orchestra, at the Trocadéro, Paris, conducted by the composer. See 12 January 1884 and 8 March 1894.
April 18, 1884: Savonarola, a grand opera by Charles Villiers Stanford (31) to words of Gilbert A Beckett, is performed for the first time, in the Hamburg Stadttheater. The public is ecstatic, the press generally positive.
April 19, 1884: General Gordon sends word from Khartoum that he has five months food supply and with 3,000 reinforcements he could defeat the Mahdi. No reinforcements are sent.
April 20, 1884: Johannes Brahms (50) declines the position of head of the concert series and conservatory in Cologne.
April 21, 1884: George Westinghouse discovers natural gas under his back yard in Pittsburgh. He will organize a company to provide the fuel to Pittsburgh.
April 22, 1884: The United States recognizes the International Association of the Congo (Congo Free State).
April 23, 1884: After violent bouts of anger and failure to recognize his family, Bedrich Smetana (60) is taken to the Prague lunatic asylum in Katerinsky.
April 23, 1884: The first three of the six character pieces From the Bohemian Forest for piano four hands by Antonín Dvorák (42) are performed for the first time, in Prague. The composer plays one part.
April 24, 1884: German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck proclaims German protection over South West Africa (Namibia).
April 27, 1884: Mahdists take Mesalimeh along with large stores of provisions and rifles for the British in Khartoum. This effectively cuts off the city.
April 28, 1884: Johan Sverdrup replaces Christian Homann Schweigaard as Prime Minister of Norway.
April 28, 1884: The Canterbury Pilgrims, an opera by Charles Villiers Stanford (31) to words of Gilbert A Beckett, is performed for the first time, in the Drury Lane Theatre, London.
May 1, 1884: The first building to employ steel skeleton construction, the prototype for the skyscraper, is begun at the corner of LaSalle and Adams Streets in Chicago to house the Home Insurance Company of New York. Designed by William Lebaron Jenney, it will be ten stories high.
May 1, 1884: Sevillana for orchestra by Edward Elgar (26) is performed for the first time, in Worcester Public Hall.
May 1, 1884: Désirée, an operetta by John Philip Sousa (29) to words of Taber after Morton, is performed for the first time, at the National Theatre, Washington.
May 4, 1884: In Milan, it is announced that the Sonzogno Prize for the best Italian one-act opera is won by works of Guglielmo Zvelli and Luigi Mapelli. Le Villi by Giacomo Puccini (25) is not seriously considered.
May 8, 1884: WS Gilbert writes to Arthur Sullivan (41) agreeing to drop the “Lozenge Plot” idea and to construct a new libretto on a new theme. Sullivan responds that he will set any libretto Gilbert produces, as long as there are no supernatural elements.
May 12, 1884: Chemist Louis-Marie-Hilaire Bernigaud, Comte de Chardonnet receives a French patent for rayon, the first synthetic fiber.
May 12, 1884: 16:30 Bedrich Smetana dies in Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, of the results of neurosyphilis, aged 60 years, two months and ten days. The cause of death is listed as “dementia senilis.” His mortal remains will be laid to rest in Vysehradsky Hrbitov, Prague.
May 13, 1884: Second Ballet Scene for piano by Ferruccio Busoni (18) is performed for the first time, in Gorizia by the composer.
May 16, 1884: Oscar Robert Themptander replaces Carl Johan Thyselius as Prime Minister of Sweden.
May 17, 1884: Le Printemps for chorus and orchestra by Claude Debussy (21) to words of Barbier, is performed for the first time.
May 17, 1884: The District of Alaska is organized as a territory of the United States.
May 20, 1884: WS Gilbert sends Arthur Sullivan (42) a sketch for a new operetta called The Mikado. Sullivan is delighted.
May 21, 1884: A protectorate is declared by Great Britain over Bechuanaland.
May 23, 1884: Claude Debussy (21) and eight others enter their cells for the Prix de Rome competition.
May 25, 1884: Franz Liszt (72) conducts for the last time, at the Deutscher Musikverein festival in Weimar.
May 26, 1884: Alyeksandr Glazunov (18) is in Weimar where Franz Liszt (72) has decided that his Symphony no.1 will be performed by the General German Music Union. The rehearsal this afternoon does not go well, although Liszt applauds every movement. The performance is much more successful. Liszt is very helpful to the young composer, offering suggestions to improve the work.
May 31, 1884: Le Villi, a leggenda drammatica by Giacomo Puccini (25) to words of Fontana after Karr, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro dal Verme, Milan. The librettist raised money for the production from friends, acquaintances, anonymous donors, musicians, and writers. Watching from the wings is the composer's friend Pietro Mascagni (20). After the performance, Puccini has to borrow enough money to send his mother the following telegram: CLAMOROUS SUCCESS. EIGHTEEN CURTAIN CALLS. FIRST FINALE REPEATED THREE TIMES. AM HAPPY.
June 8, 1884: Ricordi announces that he will publish Le Villi and commissions Giacomo Puccini (25) and Ferdinando Fontana to produce a new work.
June 14, 1884: The Philharmonic Society of London elects Antonín Dvorák (42) an honorary member and asks him to write a symphony for them.
June 16, 1884: Jules Malou replaces Hubert Joseph Walthère Frère-Orban as Prime Minister of Belgium.
June 16, 1884: The Switchback Railway opens at Coney Island, New York. It is the first roller coaster built expressly for amusement.
June 23, 1884: Incidental music to von Scheffel’s play Der Trompeter von Säkkingen by Gustav Mahler (23) is performed for the first time, in Kassel.
June 24, 1884: France creates the Territory of Obock and the Protectorate of Tadjoura (Djibouti).
June 24, 1884: 1874-1884 for men’s chorus by Arthur Foote (31) to words of Richards, is performed for the first time, for the reunion of the Harvard College class of 1874.
June 25, 1884: General elections held in Denmark result in 81 of the 102 seats in the Folketing going to the Left Reform Party.
June 26, 1884: The British-Portuguese treaty of 26 February is abandoned by both countries in the face of protests from France and Germany.
June 27, 1884: Claude Debussy’s (21) setting of L’Enfant prodigue to words of Guinand is placed before the Prix de Rome jury.
June 28, 1884: Edward MacDowell (23) arrives in New York from Europe aboard the SS Elbe. He has not been home for over eight years.
June 28, 1884: Claude Debussy’s (21) setting of L’Enfant prodigue wins the Grand Prix de Rome. “I had a sudden vision of boredom, and of all the worries that inevitably go together with any form of official recognition. I felt I was no longer free.” (Jensen, 28)
July 3, 1884: Dow Jones publishes its first average, nine railroad companies and two industries.
July 4, 1884: On behalf of the French government, Count Ferdinand de Lesseps presents a deed of gift for the colossal sculpture Liberty Enlightening the World to US ambassador Levi Morton at a ceremony in Paris.
July 5, 1884: Gustav Nachtigal, on a secret mission from Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, concludes a treaty with local chiefs at Little Popo on the Gulf of Guinea and claims the area (Togoland) for Germany.
July 7, 1884: Two works by Horatio Parker (20) are performed for the first time, in the Königliche Musikhochschule, Munich: Ballade op.6 for chorus and orchestra, and Concert Overture op.4.
July 11, 1884: Gustav Nachtigal, with the aid of local German merchants and a $5,000 gift, makes treaties with local chieftains resulting in a German protectorate over the mouth of the River Cameroon.
July 11, 1884: Petko Stoychev Karavelov replaces Dragan Kiriakov Tsankov as Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
July 11, 1884: Edward MacDowell (23) secretly marries Marian Griswold Nevins, a former piano student of his, in the City Court of New York. The actual wedding is planned for 21 July but MacDowell is worried about something going wrong so he persuades her to marry him at City Hall.
July 14, 1884: A German protectorate is extended over parts of central Africa (Cameroon).
July 19, 1884: Great Britain extends a protectorate over Ambas Bay (Cameroon).
July 21, 1884: Edvard Grieg (41) writes that he has just purchased a plot of land 10 km south of Bergen on Lake Nordås on which to build a home.
July 21, 1884: Edward MacDowell (23) publicly marries Marian Griswold Nevins, a former piano student of his, at her family’s home at Shaw Farm in Waterford, Connecticut. See 11 July 1884.
July 22, 1884: General elections are held for the New Zealand Parliament.
July 25, 1884: The Cape Colony incorporates Walvis Bay (Namibia) into its territory.
July 27, 1884: Divorce is reinstituted in France based on the Code Napoléon. It was abolished in 1816.
July 30, 1884: Jack Dempsey knocks out George Fulljames in the 21st round in New York to win the Middleweight championship. It is the first title fight to be held under the Marquess of Queensbury rules.
August 4, 1884: France excludes members of the former royal family from the presidency.
August 5, 1884: The cornerstone is laid for the Statue of Liberty.
August 7, 1884: German officials hoist their flag at Angra Pequena (Lüderitz) taking formal, unchallenged possession of South West Africa (Namibia).
August 9, 1884: Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs, both French military officers, fly their dirigible La France about eight kilometers in 23 minutes from a parade ground at Chalais-Meudon. They are able to control the flight with a lightweight motor and return to their starting point.
August 12, 1884: Two works by Alphons Diepenbrock (21), written for the wedding of his friend, Jan Sterck, are performed for the first time, privately, in Amsterdam: Joyfully Stood the Sun for alto, chorus, and piano-four hands and Fifteenth Century Wedding Song. See 5 September 1884.
August 21, 1884: A Prelude in C for organ by Anton Bruckner (59) is performed for the first time, in Kremsmünster.
August 22, 1884: French warships open fire on the Chinese navy in Foochow (Fuzhou) harbor. Eleven Chinese ships are destroyed. 526 people are killed, 51 missing. The victory assures French control over Indochina.
August 26, 1884: Ottmar Mergenthaler patents a direct-casting linotype. It greatly aids large-circulation daily newspapers.
September 5, 1884: A coastal zone between the Oranje and Kunene Rivers (Namibia) is declared a protectorate of Germany.
September 5, 1884: Fifteenth Century Wedding Song for vocal quartet or chorus by Alphons Diepenbrock (22) is performed publicly for the first time, in De Waalsche Kerk, Delft. See 12 August 1884.
September 9, 1884: Erik Satie (18) dates his first extant composition, an Allegro for piano. See 12 April 1980.
September 11, 1884: A setting of Christus factus est (III) for chorus by Anton Bruckner (60) is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Hofburgkapelle.
September 13, 1884: A new statute goes into effect expanding the education of Russian Imperial choristers from three years to six years. It was proposed by Assistant Director Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (40).
September 15, 1884: The Conservatory of the Society for the Advancement of Music opens in Amsterdam.
September 17, 1884: Charles Tomlinson Griffes is born in the house on the corner of Main and Gray Streets, Elmira, New York, USA, the third of five children born to Wilber Gideon Griffes, a shirt-cutter and retail clerk, and Clara Louise Tomlinson, daughter of a lawyer.
September 26, 1884: Anton Vergeiner publishes an article about Anton Bruckner (60) in the Linz Tagepost. He attacks Viennese critics for not giving proper recognition to Bruckner.
September 27, 1884: The Intaglio Waltzes for band by John Philip Sousa (29) is performed for the first time, at the White House in Washington.
October 2, 1884: Representatives of 26 nations meet in Washington in the International Prime Meridian Conference.
October 4, 1884: Almost one year after his promise, Hans Richter plays through Ferruccio Busoni’s (18) Symphonic Suite with the Vienna Philharmonic. By a majority of one vote, the orchestra decides not to perform it.
October 11, 1884: Il Re a Napoli for tenor and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (20) to words of Maffei is performed for the first time, in Teatro Goldoni, Livorno.
October 13, 1884: Forces of the Mahdi capture Omdurman.
October 14, 1884: George Eastman receives a US patent for photographic film. The invention makes photography much easier by eliminating the need for dry glass plates.
October 14, 1884: Meeting in Washington, the International Prime Meridian Conference resolves that longitude will be counted from the meridian of Greenwich.
October 15, 1884: Elegiac Ode op.21 for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (32) to words of Whitman is performed for the first time, in Norwich conducted by the composer.
October 15, 1884: On the 40th anniversary of the beginning of his career, Johann Strauss, Jr. (58) is granted the Freedom of the City of Vienna by the mayor.
October 18, 1884: Fantasia eroica op.110 for orchestra by Anton Rubinstein (54) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg, conducted by the composer.
October 22, 1884: Richard Strauss (20) learns that his Suite in B flat is to be performed in Munich and that he is to be the conductor, at the invitation of Hans von Bülow.
October 26, 1884: Auguste Marie François Beernaert replaces Jules Malou as head of government for Belgium.
October 29, 1884: In elections for the sixth Reichstag of the German Empire, the strength of the leading Center Party remains unchanged but the Conservatives make gains. Liberal parties merge in the German Freethinkers Party but they lose some of their overall representation.
October 29, 1884: Days before the American presidential election, Reverend SD Burchard of New York accuses the Democrats of being the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” This causes New York, heavily laden with Irish and Italian voters, to fall into the Democratic column, ensuring the election of their candidate.
November 1, 1884: The International Prime Meridian Conference concludes in Washington. They have agreed on Greenwich as the Prime Meridian, and have defined the “universal day.”
November 3, 1884: The province of Spanish West Africa is created.
November 3, 1884: Germany extends a protectorate over northeastern New Guinea calling it Kaiser Wilhelm Land.
November 4, 1884: Voting in the United States ensures the election of Grover Cleveland, Governor of New York, as President over former Secretary of State James G. Blaine. His Democratic Party loses seats in the House of Representatives but maintains a comfortable majority.
November 6, 1884: Great Britain extends a protectorate over southeastern New Guinea calling it the British New Guinea territory.
November 8, 1884: Germany recognizes the International Association of the Congo.
November 11, 1884: Der Papagei, a comic opera by Anton Rubinstein (54) to words of Wittmann after the Persian, is performed for the first time, in the Hamburg Dammtortheater, conducted by the composer.
November 12, 1884: 731 electric street lights go into operation in Temesvár, Hungary (Timisoara, Romania). It is the first European mainland city to be lit by electricity.
November 15, 1884: Representatives of 14 nations meet in Berlin to discuss African Affairs.
November 18, 1884: Suite in B flat by Richard Strauss (20) is performed for the first time, in Munich, conducted by the composer at the invitation of Hans von Bülow. This is Strauss’ first professional appearance as a conductor and he does so without rehearsal with the orchestra.
November 20, 1884: WS Gilbert presents Arthur Sullivan (42) with the libretto to The Mikado over dinner at the Gilbert residence in London. Sullivan is pleased and makes suggestions for revision.
November 28, 1884: Prospice, a song for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (32) to words of Browning, is performed for the first time.
December 1, 1884: José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori replaces Manuel del Refugio González Flores as President of Mexico. He will not relinquish the office for 27 years.
December 1, 1884: A treaty is signed in Washington by representatives of Nicaragua and the United States. It provides for a canal across Nicaragua. The treaty will be rejected by the Senate and withdrawn by the new Cleveland administration.
December 3, 1884: The Holberg-Kantate by Edvard Grieg (41) to words of Rolfsen is performed for the first time, directed by the composer at the unveiling of a monument to the playwright Holberg in Bergen.
December 4, 1884: Korean reformers invade the royal palace and capture the king in Seoul, proposing a reform program and cooperation with Japan. Both China and Japan send troops into the peninsula but hostilities will be averted.
December 6, 1884: Queen Victoria grants royal assent to the Representation of the People Act (Third Reform Act). It extends suffrage to about 60% of the adult male population.
December 6, 1884: A new Czech Provisional Theatre opens in Brünn (Brno).
December 6, 1884: The capstone of the Washington Monument is set. The monument was begun in 1848.
December 6, 1884: The United States and Hawaii renew their Reciprocity Treaty with the added clause giving the US the right to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu.
December 7, 1884: The second of the five choruses In Nature’s Realm op.63, by Antonín Dvorák (43) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
December 7, 1884: From Holberg’s Time. Suite in Olden Style op.40 for piano by Edvard Grieg (41) is performed for the first time, in Bergen by the composer. See 12 March 1885.
December 8, 1884: Concerto for cello and orchestra no.1 op.8 by Victor Herbert (25) is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.
December 9, 1884: Four of the Songs and Romances op.93a for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (51) are performed for the first time, in Hamburg, conducted by the composer: Der bucklichte Fiedler to anonymous words, O süsser Mai to words of von Arnim, Fahr wohl! to words of Rückert, and Der Falke to anonymous Serbian words translated by Kapper. See 27 January 1885.
December 10, 1884: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in Great Britain and Canada by Chatto & Windus.
December 11, 1884: Today begins a three-day celebration inaugurating the new Leipzig Gewandhaus.
December 13, 1884: Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Earl of Dufferin replaces George Frederick Samuel Robinson, Marquess of Ripon as Viceroy of India.
December 13, 1884: The first issue of a new journal in Brünn (Brno) meant to review the productions at the new Czech Provisional Theatre appears today. It includes an opera review by Leos Janácek (30).
December 13, 1884: The fifth of the five choruses for mixed chorus In Nature’s Realm op.63, by Antonín Dvorák (43) to words of Hálek, is performed for the first time, in Prague.
December 13, 1884: Two songs for voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (39) to words of Silvestre are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Aurore op.39/1 and Fleur jetée op.39/2.
December 13, 1884: Symphony no.2 in f minor by Richard Strauss (20) is performed for the first time, in New York.
December 14, 1884: A friend of General Gordon receives a letter from him wherein he describes his despair, expecting the garrison of Khartoum to fall to the Mahdists by Christmas. A relief force is sent from Egypt to Khartoum.
December 15, 1884: Two Old German Songs for voice and piano by Ferruccio Busoni (18) to words of Neidhard von Reuenthal and Walther von der Vogelweide are performed for the first time, in Vienna.
December 15, 1884: Richard Strauss (20) receives an indirect answer from Johannes Brahms (51) through the horn player Gustav Leinhos. “When he gave me back your Suite he spoke very highly of your work, though he had looked in vain for the spring of melody which ought to be overflowing at your age.” See 19 November 1884.
December 16, 1884: The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition opens in New Orleans.
December 16, 1884: Great Britain recognizes the International Association of the Congo.
December 18, 1884: Great Britain annexes St. Lucia Bay to prevent the Boers from gaining access to the east coast of South Africa.
December 19, 1884: Italy recognizes the International Association of the Congo.
December 21, 1884: Hungarian King’s Song by Franz Liszt (73) is performed for the first time, in Pressburg.
December 23, 1884: Psalm 23 op.3 for soprano, female chorus, organ, and harp by Horatio Parker (21) is performed for the first time, in the Königliche Musikhochschule, Munich.
December 24, 1884: Austria-Hungary recognizes the International Association of the Congo.
December 26, 1884: Incidental music to Sardou’s play Théodora by Jules Massenet (42) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, Paris.
December 27, 1884: The Netherlands recognizes the International Association of the Congo.
December 27, 1884: Two songs for voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (39) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Le Pays des rêves op.39/3 to words of Silvestre, and Les Roses d’Ispahan op.39/4 to words of de Lisle.
December 28, 1884: Elegy in Honor of Ivan Samarin for strings by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (44) is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow.
December 30, 1884: Symphony no.7 by Anton Bruckner (60) is performed for the first time, in Leipzig. The applause lasts 15 minutes as the composer receives two laurel wreaths. Critical response is mixed. It is his first true international recognition.