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

January 1, 1887 – December 31, 1887

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January 1, 1887: An opera libretto called Sárka by Julius Zeyer appears in Ceská Thalie, a Czech journal devoted to theatrical matters, in the first of three installments. It will be read by a young composer named Leos Janácek (32) who is looking to write his first opera.
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January 4, 1887: Giuseppe Verdi (73) arrives in Milan to oversee preparations for the premiere of Otello.
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January 6, 1887: Nos. 9, 10, and 15 of the Slavonic Dances op.72 for orchestra by Antonín Dvorák (45) are performed for the first time, in Prague.
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January 8, 1887: Victor Herbert (27) appears as soloist in his Suite for cello and orchestra op.3 with the Symphony Society of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducted by Walter Damrosch.
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January 14, 1887: 04:00 Arthur Sullivan (44) completes the music to Ruddygore.
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January 16, 1887: Arthur Foote (33) joins the St. Botolph Club, which includes much of the professional and artistic elite of Boston.
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January 20, 1887: New Zealand annexes the Kermadec Islands, 1,500 km northeast of Wellington.
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January 20, 1887: Kapunda, an emigrant ship heading from London to Australia, collides with the Ada Melmoure off Brazil and sinks. 300 people are lost with only 15 rescued.
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January 22, 1887: Ruddygore, or The Witch’s Curse, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (44) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, at the Savoy Theatre, London. The work is well-received by the audience, but some hisses are heard. Although generally positive, critics find fault with the plot, the set, and to some extent, the music. It will see 288 performances.
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January 22, 1887: Quartet for piano and strings no.2 op.45 by Gabriel Fauré (41) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris the composer at the keyboard.
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January 24, 1887: Anton Rubinstein (57) enters upon duties as Director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, for the second time.
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January 26, 1887: Ethiopians attack an Italian unit at Dogali (in present Eritrea). Of the 500 Italians, only 80 survive.
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January 27, 1887: King Umberto I of Italy confers on Giuseppe Verdi (73) the Great Cross of the Order of SS Maurizio e Lazzaro.
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January 27, 1887: Terzetto for two violins and viola op.74 by Antonín Dvorák (45) is performed for the first time, privately in Prague, along with the Romantic Pieces op.75 for violin and piano. See 30 March 1887.
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January 27, 1887: Biblis, a scène religieuse for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Jules Massenet (44) to words of Boyer is performed for the first time, in Paris the composer conducting.
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January 28, 1887: Work begins on the Eiffel Tower.
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January 28, 1887: Voting today in Denmark results in a loss of seven seats in the Folketing for the Left Reform Party but they retain a sizable majority.
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January 30, 1887: Part eight of Les béatitudes, an oratorio by César Franck (57) to words of the Bible adapted by Colomb, is performed for the first time with orchestra, at the Cirque d’hiver, Paris, conducted by the composer. See 15 June 1891.
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January 31, 1887: The Slippers, a comic-fantastic opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (46) to words of Polonsky after Gogol, is performed for the first time, at the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow, conducted by the composer. Despite Tchaikovsky's terror at his first conducting assignment, critics and the public are effusive in their praise.
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February 2, 1887: The name of Gilbert and Sullivan’s (44) current production Ruddygore is henceforth known as Ruddigore owing to the off-color nature of “ruddy” which sounds a lot like “bloody.”
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February 4, 1887: The overture In the Mountains op.14 by Arthur Foote (33) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
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February 5, 1887: Wedding Cake op.76 for piano and strings by Camille Saint-Saëns (51) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique at Salle Pleyel, Paris.
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February 5, 1887: Before dawn. Crowds of people anticipating the evening performance are so large that the area around Teatro alla Scala, Milan becomes impassable.

Morning. The Mayor of Milan orders that all streets in the vicinity of Teatro alla Scala be closed to traffic.

Throughout the day, large crowds assemble outside the theatre and windows facing La Scala are filled with people. They continually shout “Viva Verdi!”

Otello, a dramma lirico by Giuseppe Verdi (73) to words of Boito (44) after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. It is a thunderous, overwhelming success. There are dozens of curtain calls for the performers, Verdi, and Boito. The composer and his wife, along with the librettist are mobbed as they leave the theatre. Verdi is almost denuded. As they enter their carriage the crowd detaches it from the horses and it is drawn by manpower to the Grand Hôtel de Milan. Finally making it inside, the three appear on the balcony to the multitude. Crowds in the streets of Milan shout “Viva Verdi” and music is played under his window until 05:00 tomorrow morning. In the orchestra for the premiere is a 19-year-old cellist named Arturo Toscanini.

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February 8, 1887: The mayor of Milan confers honorary citizenship on Giuseppe Verdi (73).
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February 8, 1887: The Dawes Severalty Act is passed by the US Congress. Indian tribes will no longer be treated like foreign nations with treaties and wars. Indian lands are no longer to be held by tribes in common and are parceled out to individuals.
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February 11, 1887: Three songs for voice and piano by Johannes Brahms (53) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Wie Melodien zieht es mir op.105/1, to words of Groth, Das Mädchen spricht op.107/3, and Maienkätzchen op.107/4 to words of von Liliencron.
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February 19, 1887: Barcarolle no.2 op.41 for piano by Gabriel Fauré (41) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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February 19, 1887: A Symphony in g minor by Edouard Lalo (65) is performed for the first time, in Paris. It is well received by public and press.
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February 20, 1887: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy renew their alliance for five more years.
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February 21, 1887: In voting for the seventh Reichstag of the German Empire, the National Liberal Party moves past the Center Party to have the largest share of seats.
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February 22, 1887: Voters in Canada elect the Sixth Parliament. The Liberals gain some seats and win the most votes, but the Conservatives of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald continue to hold a majority.
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February 23, 1887: An earthquake centered in the Mediterranean near Genoa strikes the coast of France and Italy. Over 2,000 people are killed. Thousands of structures collapse, including the ducal palace in Genoa.
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February 23, 1887: Jabberwocky for male chorus by George Whitefield Chadwick (32) to words of Carroll is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Boston.
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February 27, 1887: Alyeksandr Porfiryevich Borodin attends a costume party with his two adopted daughters in the Sushchinsky lecture room of the Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, Russia. While conversing innocently he begins to slur his words and suddenly collapses to the floor. Every doctor and professor in the Academy try for an hour to revive him but to no avail. An autopsy will show a burst artery of the heart. The funeral will be attended by a large crowd and Borodin’s mortal remains will be laid to rest in the cemetery of the Alyeksandr Nevsky Monastery, St. Petersburg next to those of Modest Musorgsky (†5) and near those of Alyeksandr Dargomizhsky (†18). At the time of his death, Borodin is aged 53 years, three months, and 15 days.
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March 2, 1887: Aus Italien, a symphonic fantasy by Richard Strauss (22), is performed for the first time, in Munich conducted by the composer. The first three movements are applauded but after the fourth, numerous hisses are heard. He will later remember, “I felt enormous pride: the first work which aroused the opposition of the multitude; it cannot be insignificant.”
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March 3, 1887: Anne Mansfield Sullivan arrives in Tuscumbia, Alabama to tutor Helen Keller.
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March 4, 1887: A four-wheeled vehicle outfitted with a gasoline-fueled, water-cooled internal combusion engine by Gottlieb Daimler, makes a test run between Esslingen and Cannstatt. He calls it a “Benzin motor carriage.”
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March 5, 1887: Claude Debussy (24) finally quits Rome and returns to Paris.
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March 5, 1887: Heitor Villa-Lobos is born in a house on Ipiranga Street in the Laranjeiras section of Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil, second of eight children (four surviving) of Raúl Villa-Lobos, holder of several jobs including draughtsman, cello player, artist, and schoolteacher, currently employed by the National Library, and Noêmia Umbelina dos Santos Monteiro, daughter of a fish merchant and amateur composer and piano player.
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March 6, 1887: Excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (46) unperformed opera The Sorceress are performed by students of Moscow Conservatory. See 1 November 1887.
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March 8, 1887: Henry Ward Beecher dies in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 73.
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March 8, 1887: Wandrers Sturmlied op.14 for chorus and orchestra by Richard Strauss (22) to words of Goethe is performed for the first time, in Cologne conducted by the composer.
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March 9, 1887: Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein dies in Rome at the age of 68, seven months after Franz Liszt.
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March 9, 1887: String Quartet no.3 by George Whitefield Chadwick (32) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
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March 13, 1887: Claude Debussy (24) hears the first act of Tristan und Isolde in Paris. He is very much taken with it.
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March 15, 1887: Proserpine, a drame lyrique by Camille Saint-Saëns (51) to words of Gallet after Vacquerie, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
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March 15, 1887: Suite in d minor for piano op.15 by Arthur Foote (34) is performed for the first time, in Boston by the composer.
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March 17, 1887: Excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (46) unperformed opera The Sorceress, along with two songs, I’ll Tell You Nothing op.60/2 to words of Fet, and Sleepless Nights op.60/6 to words of Apukhtin, are performed in St. Petersburg, conducted by the composer. See 1 November 1887.
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March 17, 1887: Music by Erik Satie (20) appears in print for the first time. His salon piece Valse-ballet is published in his father’s La Musique des familles. See 7 May 1979.
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March 20, 1887: An Angel Cried Out for chorus by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (46) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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March 20, 1887: Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français by Vincent d’Indy (35) is performed for the first time, in Paris. It is very successful.
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March 20, 1887: Two works for piano by Isaac Albéniz (26) are performed for the first time, in Salón Romero, Madrid: Estudio impromptu and Suite ancienne no.2.
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March 21, 1887: Isaac Albéniz (26) gives a concert devoted to his own music at the Salón Romero, Madrid. Works performed for the first time are Piano Sonata no.3, Piano Sonata no.4, Seis mazurkas de salón (nos. 2 and 6), No. 1 (En El Mar) of Recuerdos de viaje, Rapsodia española for piano and orchestra and Concerto for piano and orchestra no.1. The composer is at the keyboard for the last two.
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March 22, 1887: Bitteres zu sagen denkst du op.32/7, a song by Johannes Brahms (53) to words of Hafis, is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 23 years after it was composed.
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March 25, 1887: At a party in Moscow celebrating the birthday of Nikolay Zverev, students of the honoree perform at the piano for the guests, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (46). Zverev’s students feature Sergey Rakhmaninov (13). Tchaikovsky gives kisses to all the performers.
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March 26, 1887: O liebliche Wangen op.47/4, a song by Johannes Brahms (53) to words of Flemming, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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March 28, 1887: Great Britain transfers its Ambas Bay (Cameroon) protectorate to Germany.
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March 30, 1887: Terzetto for two violins and viola op. 74 by Antonín Dvorák (45) is performed publicly for the first time, in Prague, along with the premiere of Romantic Pieces op.75 for violin and piano op.75. See 27 January 1887.
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April 3, 1887: Le nuit de mai, a “Grand Poème symphonique” for tenor and orchestra by Ruggero Leoncavallo (30), to words of Musset, is performed for the first time, in Salle Kriegelstein, Paris.
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April 4, 1887: The first Colonial Conference opens in London during Queen Victoria’s jubilee.
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April 5, 1887: Uvea (Île Wallis) is made a protectorate of France.
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April 9, 1887: Florence Beatrice Smith (Price) is born in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, the third and last child born to James H. Smith, a dentist and Florence Irene Gulliver, an elementary school music teacher.
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April 14, 1887: Andreas Hofer, a singspiel by Albert Lortzing (†36) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Mainz, 54 years after it was composed, in an arrangement by von Reznicek.
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April 20, 1887: The Symphony no.5 by Anton Bruckner (55) is performed for the first time, in a four-hand piano arrangement, in Vienna. See 7 October 1880, 20 February 1881, and 8 April 1894.
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April 21, 1887: It is reported in France that the police inspector Guillaume Schnaebelé has been arrested by the German secret police near Pagny-sur-Moselle as he travels to a meeting with a German police inspector. A French-German crisis ensues.
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April 21, 1887: Ernst Mach and Peter Salcher present their seminal paper to the Imperial Academy of Science in Vienna. It is the first study of objects travelling faster than the speed of sound and includes the first photograph of a shock wave.
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April 24, 1887: Today appears the last issue of the Wiener Salonblatt containing a criticism by Hugo Wolf (27).
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April 28, 1887: Guillaume Schnaebelé is released a week after his capture on direct order of Kaiser Wilhelm I. Chancellor Bismarck explains that although they believe Schnaebelé to be a spy, Germany is releasing him to preserve the sanctity of such meetings between border officials.
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May 2, 1887: Hannibal Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey applies for a US patent for celluloid roll film. It will not be granted until 1898.
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May 3, 1887: The mortal remains of Gioachino Rossini (†18), having been removed from Paris, are entombed in Santa Croce, Florence after a ceremonial trip through the city amidst thousands of admirers.
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May 3, 1887: An explosion and fire in a coal mine in Nanaimo, British Columbia kills 150 people, about one-third of them Chinese immigrants.
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May 3, 1887: Music of Richard Wagner (†4) is staged in Paris for the first time since his death with a production of Lohengrin at the Eden-Théâtre. Among the audience are Gabriel Fauré (41), Ernest Chausson (32), and Claude Debussy (24). Conductor Charles Lamoreux has been publicly accused of being a German agent. A riot takes place outside the theatre with several hefty projectiles thrown at the building, breaking windows. Numerous arrests ensue.
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May 3, 1887: O Praise the Lord of Heaven op.27, for soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (34) to words of the Psalms, is performed for the first time, in Manchester.
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May 5, 1887: Conductor Charles Lamoreux, perhaps under intense official pressure, announces that the production of Lohengrin currently being staged at the Eden-Théâtre, Paris, is to be cancelled. As a reason, he gives the possible international incident which may ensue should nationalistic rioters at the theatre transfer their anger to the German embassy. See 16 September 1891.
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May 9, 1887: Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, a favorite in the United States for four years, opens in Europe for the first time, at the Earl’s Court show grounds in London. During its run, Queen Victoria will attend two command performances.
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May 11, 1887: Carmen saeculare, an ode for soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (34) to words of Tennyson, is performed for the first time, at Buckingham Palace.
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May 11, 1887: Charles Ives (12) gives his first public performance on the piano in a student recital in Danbury, Connecticut.
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May 14, 1887: Two scenes from Ernest Chausson’s (32) drame lyrique after Leconte de Lisle Hélène are performed by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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May 17, 1887: Blest Pair of Sirens, an ode for chorus and orchestra by Hubert Parry (39) to words of Milton, is performed for the first time, in London. The composer reports that it is “quite uproariously received.”
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May 18, 1887: Le roi malgré lui, an opéra comique by Emmanuel Chabrier (46) to words of Najac and Burani after Ancelot and Ancelot, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. The response is tepid. Among the audience is Erik Satie (21).
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May 18, 1887: The song and overture The Miller’s Daughter for orchestra by George Whitefield Chadwick (32) to words of Tennyson is performed for the first time, in San Francisco.
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May 20, 1887: Five Russian revolutionaries are executed for a plot to kill Tsar Alyeksandr III. One of them, Alyeksandr Ulyanov, has a younger brother, Vladimir, who swears to avenge his death. Vladimir will fulfill his oath, with interest.
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May 22, 1887: The Liszt (†0) Museum is opened at his home in Weimar. His daughter Cosima does not attend since this is, by coincidence, Wagner’s (†4) birthday.
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May 23, 1887: Charles Martin Loeffler (26) is made an American citizen.
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May 25, 1887: The Sultan of Zanzibar grants concessions of coastal areas to the British East Africa Company.
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May 25, 1887: Fire breaks out in the Théâtre de l’Opéra-Comique, Paris at the Salle Favart during a performance of Thomas’ (75) Mignon when a gaslight ignites a piece of scenery. The audience is advised to evacuate and they start to do so in good order until the gaslights are turned off. The darkness causes a panic, exacerbated by flames shooting from the stage. Of the 2,000 attending, 131 are killed.
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May 29, 1887: Russian is made the language of instruction in schools throughout the Russian Empire.
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May 29, 1887: Maurice Rouvier replaces René Goblet as Prime Minister of France.
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June 4, 1887: By decree of the French government, the Institut Pasteur is founded in Paris.
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June 10, 1887: Anton Bruckner (62) is elected an honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of Music in Amsterdam.
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June 15, 1887: The third version of King and Charcoal Burner, a comic opera by Antonín Dvorák (45) to words of Lobesky and Novotny, is performed for the first time, at the National Theatre, Prague.
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June 17, 1887: Suffrage reform in the Netherlands doubles the electorate.
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June 18, 1887: Germany and Russia agree to remain neutral should the other enter a war with a third country.
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June 18, 1887: Camille Saint-Saëns (51) plays all four of his piano concertos, from memory, at a concert in St. James’ Hall, London.
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June 21, 1887: Great Britain annexes Zululand.
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June 21, 1887: Massive celebrations take place in London and throughout the empire for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.
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June 25, 1887: Jovan Ristic replaces Milutin Garasanin as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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June 25, 1887: A conference convenes in Washington between representatives of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States to try to work out differences in Samoa. It will fail to achieve any results.
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June 27, 1887: Symphony no.3 “Irish” by Charles Villiers Stanford (34) is performed for the first time, in London.
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July 4, 1887: Ode for the Laying of the Imperial Institute Foundation Stone by Arthur Sullivan (45) to words of Morris, is performed for the first time, in London, conducted by the composer in the presence of the Queen. The event is a glittering affair including European and Indian princes along with 10,000 people.
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July 6, 1887: King Kalakaua of Hawaii signs a constitution under threat of force from American elites. It largely removes the authority of the King and places it in the cabinet and the legislature. The document is known as the Bayonet Constitution.
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July 7, 1887: The Bulgarian Assembly offers the throne to Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg.
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July 8, 1887: General Georges Boulanger, famous for provocations of Germany, leaves by train from Paris having been posted to Clermont-Ferrand. 10,000 supporters turn out at the Gare de Lyon and manage to hold up the train for three hours.
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July 11, 1887: Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha pronounces the divorce of Johann Strauss (61) and his second wife Angelika. Unable to receive a divorce in Catholic Austria, Strauss has become a Lutheran and a Saxon subject.
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July 12, 1887: Konstantin Stoilov Konstantinov replaces Vasil Hristov Radoslavov as Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
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July 12, 1887: Working in Cleveland, US physicist Albert Michelson and US chemist Edward Morley take the last of six hours of readings in an attempt to discover a “luminiferous aether” as predicted by Isaac Newton. To the contrary, their findings lead them to conclude that the aether does not exist, and that the speed of light is a universal constant. In addition to their scientific work, both Michelson and Morley are accomplished musicians. See 28 October 1987.
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July 15, 1887: Fritz (Frederick) Delius (25) begins a diary of a walking tour of Norway. He falls in love with the country so much that he will write to Edvard Grieg (44) about his desire to live there eight months out of the year.
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July 17, 1887: Dorothea Dix dies in Trenton, New Jersey at the age of 85.
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July 20, 1887: The British Somaliland Protectorate is created.
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July 24, 1887: Mass in memory of Jeanne d’Arc by Charles Gounod (69) is performed for the first time, in Rheims, conducted by the composer. The work celebrates the anniversary of Joan’s entry into Reims to crown Charles VII.
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July 25, 1887: The Grand Prix de Rome is awarded to Gustave Charpentier (27), a pupil of Jules Massenet (45).
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July 26, 1887: Dr. LL Zamenhoff publishes the first textbook for his International Language under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto.
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July 29, 1887: Prime Minister Agostino Depretis of Italy dies in Stradella.
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August 7, 1887: Ferdinand, son of August I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha replaces Aleksandur I as Prince of Bulgaria.
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August 8, 1887: Francesco Crispi replaces Agostino Depretis as Prime Minister of Italy.
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August 15, 1887: Johann Strauss (61) marries his third wife, 21-year-old Adèle Deutsch Strauss (no relation) in the royal chapel of Coburg. She is the daughter of a banker, a widow with one child. He has left the Catholic Church and she has renounced Judaism in order to attain the marriage.
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August 19, 1887: Four German warships arrive off Apia, Samoa. They land about 100 troops and force the government of King Malietoa to flee.
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August 31, 1887: Stefan Nikolov Stambolov replaces Konstantin Stoilov Konstantinov as Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
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August 31, 1887: Thomas Edison patents his kinetoscope, a device for producing motion pictures.
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September 2, 1887: After Brazil objects, France dissolves the Republic of Counani which they created in July 1886 in territory disputed by France and Brazil (Amapá).
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September 4, 1887: After dinner at the Gilberts’ house in London, WS Gilbert reads the plot of a new operetta to Arthur Sullivan (45). It is a version of the lozenge plot and Sullivan refuses to go forward with it.
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September 5, 1887: The Theatre Royal in Exeter burns down during a performance. 186 people are killed.
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September 11, 1887: Mass in D for soloists, chorus, and organ by Antonín Dvorák (46) is performed for the first time, in Luzany. See 11 March 1893.
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September 16, 1887: 00:15 Juliette Nadia Boulanger is born at 36 rue Maubeuge in the Ninth arrondissement of Paris, Republic of France, second of four and eldest surviving child of Ernest-Henri-Alexandre Boulanger, composer and professor of violin at the Paris Conservatoire, and Princess Raisa Ivanovna Myschetsky Shuvalov, daughter of Russian nobility.
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September 17, 1887: Andante tranquillo and Scherzo for strings by Carl Nielsen (22) is performed for the first time, in Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen. It is Nielsen’s official debut as a composer and he performs in the violin section.
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September 21, 1887: Joseph Joachim and Robert Hausmann meet with Johannes Brahms (54) in Baden-Baden, together with Clara Schumann (68), to run through the new Double Concerto. Clara sees it as a reconciliation. It is the first time Brahms and Joachim have seen each other in years. The concerto is deemed a success.
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September 26, 1887: General elections are held to the New Zealand Parliament.
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September 28, 1887: The Yellow River begins to overflow its banks in China. As many as 2,000,000 people will die in the flooding, which continues for a month.
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October 11, 1887: Dorr Eugene Felt of Chicago receives a US patent for a Comptometer, the first viable calculator controlled by keys.
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October 13, 1887: Richard Strauss (23) conducts his Symphony no.2 in Leipzig. While in town, he makes the acquaintance of the second conductor at the Stadttheater, Gustav Mahler (27). Mahler will later say that he and Strauss were like “two miners who dig a shaft from opposite sides and finally meet underground.”
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October 15, 1887: Six months after the Salle Favart was destroyed by fire, the Opéra-Comique reopens in temporary quarters in the former Théâtre-Lyrique at the Place du Châtelet.
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October 16, 1887: Johannes Brahms (54) and Clara Schumann (68) return all the letters that they have written to each other over the course of 35 years.
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October 17, 1887: The French colony of Indochina is created from Tonkin, Annam, Cochinchina, and Cambodia.
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October 18, 1887: Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra op.102 by Johannes Brahms (54) is performed for the first time, in Cologne conducted by the composer.
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October 21, 1887: A German protectorate is established over Nauru.
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October 23, 1887: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play Romeo und Julia by Richard Strauss (23) is performed for the first time, in the Munich Hoftheater.
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October 31, 1887: WS Gilbert meets Arthur Sullivan (45) at a rehearsal for a revival of HMS Pinafore at the Savoy Theatre, London. He tells Sullivan that he has given up the Lozenge Plot and is now working on a libretto about the Tower of London. Sullivan is relieved.
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November 1, 1887: The British province of Baluchistan becomes part of India.
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November 1, 1887: The Sorceress, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (47) to words of Shpazinsky, is performed for the first time, at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. It is mildly successful but will receive only 13 performances. See 6 March 1887 and 17 March 1887.
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November 2, 1887: Jenny Lind dies at Wynd’s Point, Herefordshire at the age of 67.
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November 8, 1887: German immigrant to the US Emile Berliner receives a US patent for a gramophone. It uses flat discs rather than Edison’s cylinders to record sound.
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November 10, 1887: A few months after completing his first opera, Sárka, Leos Janácek (33) writes to the author, Julus Zeyer for permission to use his words. Zeyer will refuse. See 17 November 1887 and 11 November 1925.
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November 11, 1887: Incidental music to Mendès’ play La femme de Tabarin by Emanuel Chabrier (46) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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November 11, 1887: Four labor leaders are executed in Joliet, Illinois for instigating the Haymarket Riot on 4 May 1886. A fifth defendant killed himself in his cell yesterday.
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November 12, 1887: The Spanish Capriccio for orchestra by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (43) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. In the audience is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (47).
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November 13, 1887: A meeting of the Social Democratic Federation in Trafalgar Square, London, attended by Irish revolutionaries, is violently dispersed by police and troops.
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November 13, 1887: Gustav Mahler (27) conducts Tannhäuser in Leipzig in the presence of Cosima Wagner. The two meet for the first time.
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November 13, 1887: A funeral procession for the five dead labor leaders (4 executed, 1 suicide) winds through the streets of Chicago witnessed by over 150,000 people.
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November 16, 1887: Rule of the New Hebrides Islands comes under a joint British-French naval commission.
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November 17, 1887: In response to a second letter from Leos Janácek (33), Julius Zeyer refuses him permission to use his libretto Sárka. The composition of the opera is already completed.
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November 20, 1887: Sonata in a minor for violin and piano by Ethel Smyth (29) is performed for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
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November 21, 1887: O Salutaris for solo voice and organ by Gabriel Fauré (42) is performed for the first time, in the Church of the Madeleine.
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November 22, 1887: Incidental music to Sophocles’ play Oedipus tyrannus by Charles Villiers Stanford (35) is performed for the first time, in Theatre Royal, Cambridge.
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November 24, 1887: Victorien Sardou’s play La Tosca is premiered in Paris.
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November 26, 1887: The first all-Tchaikovsky (47) concert takes place in Moscow conducted by the composer. It is so successful that it will be repeated tomorrow. The evening sees the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite no.4 “Mozartiana”.
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November 28, 1887: Alfred Nobel is awarded a French patent for smokeless gunpowder.
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November 29, 1887: String Quartet op.11 by Horatio Parker (24) is performed for the first time, in Detroit.
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November 29, 1887: Hawaii grants the United States rights to Pearl Harbor for a naval base.
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December 1, 1887: China grants a cession in Macao to Portugal.
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December 1, 1887: The character Sherlock Holmes first appears in print when Beeton’s Christmas Annual publishes “A Study in Scarlet”, a story by Arthur Conan Doyle.
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December 2, 1887: After his son-in-law was caught trafficking in Legion of Honor decorations, President François Jule Paul Grévy of France resigns.
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December 3, 1887: Marie François Sadi Carnot replaces François Jules Paul Grévy as President of France.
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December 7, 1887: Charles Villiers Stanford (36) is elected Professor of Music at Cambridge University.
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December 7, 1887: The 50th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. The Republican majority in the Senate and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives are both reduced from the last Congress.
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December 8, 1887: The New York String Quartet opens its season in Steinway Hall. The cellist is Victor Herbert (28).
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December 10, 1887: Violin Sonata no.3 op.45 by Edvard Grieg (44) is performed for the first time, in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, the composer at the piano. Each movement receives applause.
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December 11, 1887: Pierre Emmanuel Tirard replaces Maurice Rouvier as Prime Minister of France.
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December 12, 1887: Notes exchanged between Austria-Hungary and Great Britain, later joined by Italy and supported by Germany, express the desire to maintain peace in Europe and the Middle East. It also checks Russian designs in the region.
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December 12, 1887: Arthur Sullivan (45) begins an illness that will keep him in bed for a month, during which he receives morphine injections. He doctor describes the malady as “a cold in the bladder and a swollen testicle.”
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December 13, 1887: Henry Stanley becomes the first European to see Lake Albert Edward (Lake Edward) in East Africa.
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December 16, 1887: Great Britain extends a protectorate over the Maldive Islands.
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December 17, 1887: Simplicius, an operetta by Johann Strauss (62) to words of Léon after Grimmelshausen, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The work is awful and receives an appropriate response.
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December 18, 1887: Reitermarsch op.428 by Johann Strauss (62) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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December 24, 1887: The Melpomene Overture by George Whitefield Chadwick (33) is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Boston.
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December 24, 1887: Edvard Grieg (44) invites Fritz (Frederick) Delius (25), Christian Sinding, and Johan Halvorsen to his home in Leipzig for Christmas Eve. Although seriously intoxicated, the participants spend most of the evening playing music for each other. Delius plays his Norwegische Schlittenfahrt.
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December 25, 1887: WS Gilbert and Richard D’Oyly Carte visit Arthur Sullivan (45) in his sick bed, where he has been for two weeks. Gilbert reads the plot to a new musical set in Elizabethan England. Sullivan is pleased, especially since no magic is involved.
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December 27, 1887: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (47) departs Moscow for his first concert tour to Europe.