January 4, 1889: Two songs for voice and piano by Johannes Brahms (55) are performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main: Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer op.105/2, to words of Lingg, and Mädchenlied op.107/5 to words of Heyse.
January 8, 1889: Herman Hollerith of Washington DC receives a US patent for a punch card tabulating machine.
January 9, 1889: WS Gilbert and Richard D’Oyly Carte meet Arthur Sullivan (46) at his London home. Sullivan once again expresses his wish to write opera on a grander scale with more importance given to the music. Gilbert and D’Oyly Carte agree.
January 10, 1889: France establishes a protectorate over Côte d’Ivoire.
January 14, 1889: Two works by Charles Villiers Stanford (36) are performed for the first time, in Berlin: Suite op.32 for violin and orchestra, and the Symphony no.4, both conducted by the composer. The violin solo in the Suite is played by the dedicatee, Joseph Joachim.
January 17, 1889: A diploma is conferred on “Mr. Fritz Delius (26) of Bradford” by the Leipzig Conservatory. He actually completed his studies last Easter.
January 18, 1889: Ständchen op.14/7, a song by Johannes Brahms (55) to traditional words, is performed for the first time, 31 years after it was composed.
January 19, 1889: Two works for two voices and orchestra by César Franck (66) to words of Daudet are performed for the first time, in the Salle Pleyel, Paris: Aux petits enfants and La Vierge à la Crèche. Also premiered is the third of the Trois romances sans paroles op.17 for piano by Gabriel Fauré (43). See 25 February 1881.
January 22, 1889: The Columbia Phonograph Company is founded in Washington, DC.
January 26, 1889: Gustav Mahler (28) conducts the first performance of Das Rheingold in Hungarian at the Budapest Opera. Shortly after the music begins a fire starts in the prompter’s box. Mahler is forced to stop the music as firemen douse the flames. 30 minutes later the performance resumes. At the end the audience is ecstatic, both with Mahler and the production.
January 26, 1889: Meine Lieder op.106/4, a song for voice and piano by Johannes Brahms (55) to words of Frey, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
January 27, 1889: General Boulanger is elected to the Chamber of Deputies from Paris.
January 29, 1889: Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria kills his mistress, Marie Vetsera and himself in the bedroom of Mayerling, his hunting lodge in the Wienerwald.
January 31, 1889: Kosta Protic replaces Nikola Hristic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
February 1, 1889: General Georges Boulanger, populist leader of right wing, nationalist supporters, flees France after the government issues a warrant for his arrest. The warrant charges conspiracy and treason.
February 1, 1889: The Second Festmarsch in C by Richard Strauss (24) is performed for the first time, in Munich.
February 2, 1889: Au cimitière op.51/2 for voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (43) to words of Richepin is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris. At the same concert, two of the Ariettes for voice and piano by Claude Debussy (26) to words of Verlaine are performed for the first time.
February 3, 1889: The day before the birth of their second son (the first having died in infancy), Pietro Mascagni (25) and Argenide Carbognani marry in their home in Cerignola. She is the daughter of a tavern owner. See 7 February 1889.
February 4, 1889: The French Universal Panama Canal Company of Ferdinand de Lesseps declares bankruptcy and sets off a financial panic.
February 4, 1889: Two works for vocal quartet and piano by Johannes Brahms (55) are performed for the first time, in Frankfurt: Spätherbst op.92/2 to words of Allmers, and Warum? op.92/4 to words of Goethe.
February 7, 1889: Pietro Mascagni (25) and Argenide Carbognani celebrate their religious wedding ceremony in Cerignola Cathedral. Only the couple, priest, and two required witnesses are present. The secrecy is due to the fact that everyone in Cerignola, where they have been living for two years, assumes that they are already married. The bride gave birth three days ago. The groom is in the middle of composing Cavalleria rusticana.
February 9, 1889: An advertisement for Erik Satie's (22) Ogives appears in Journal du Chat Noir, "The indefatigable Erik-Satie, the sphinx-man, the composer with a head of wood, announces the appearance of a new musical work of which from henceforth he speaks most highly. It is a suite of melodies conceived in the mystic-liturgical genre that the author idolizes, and suggestively titled Les Ogives."
February 10, 1889: Charles Ives (14) plays his first regular church service as organist at the Second Congregational Church in Danbury, Connecticut.
February 11, 1889: A constitution for Japan is issued calling for a bicameral legislature but granting most powers to the Emperor.
February 12, 1889: The Jacobin, an opera by Antonín Dvorák (47) to words of Cervinkova-Riegrova, is performed for the first time, in the Prague National Theatre.
February 13, 1889: String Quintet in G by Carl Nielsen (23) is performed for the first time, privately in Copenhagen. See 28 April 1889.
February 14, 1889: Violin Sonata in D by Hubert Parry (40) is performed for the first time, in London.
February 16, 1889: Valse-Caprice no.2 op.38 for piano by Gabriel Fauré (43) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
February 21, 1889: Pierre Emmanuel Tirard replaces Charles Thomas Floquet as Prime Minister of France.
February 21, 1889: I Think of Thee, My God for chorus by Charles Ives (14) to words of Monsell is performed for the first time, in Brewster, New York.
February 22, 1889: Three songs by Hugo Wolf (28) are performed for the first time, in the Bösendorfersaal, Vienna: Der Musikant and Heimweh (first public) to words of Eichendorff, and Der Gärtner to words of Mörike.
March 1, 1889: Petite Suite for piano four hands by Claude Debussy (26) is performed for the first time, privately, in Paris. See 23 May 1894.
March 4, 1889: Benjamin Harrison replaces Grover Cleveland as President of the United States. As the Marine Band reaches the reviewing stand in the inaugural parade, it gives the first performance of Semper fidelis, a march by the band’s director, John Philip Sousa (34). The 51st Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. President Harrison’s Republican Party holds majorities in both houses.
March 5, 1889: Piano Concerto no.2 by Edward MacDowell (28) is performed for the first time, in New York. The critic HW Krehbiel will say that it deserves to be put “at the head of all works of its kind produced by either a native or an adopted citizen of America.”
March 5, 1889: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (28) to words of Goethe are performed for the first time, in Bösendorfersaal, Vienna: Frühling übers jahr, Komm, Liebchen, komm! (first public), and Trunken müssen wir alle sein.
March 6, 1889: King Milan I of Serbia abdicates in favor of his 13-year-old son Aleksandar I who rules under regency.
March 7, 1889: Sava Grujic replaces Kosta Protic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
March 7, 1889: Hans Bronsart, intendent in Weimar, concludes secret negotiations with Richard Strauss (24) to bring Strauss to the conducting position in Weimar.
March 7, 1889: Escenas sinfónicas for orchestra by Isaac Albéniz (28) is performed for the first time, in Teatro de la Comedia, Madrid.
March 9, 1889: Four songs by Hugo Wolf (28) are performed for the first time, in Bösendorfersaal, Vienna: Der Freund (first public) to words of Eichendorff, Kophtisches Lied I to words of Goethe, and Auf einer Wanderung and Jägerlied, both to words of Mörike.
March 10, 1889: Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia is killed in an attack on the Mahdists at Gallabat. The Ethiopian army is forced to flee.
March 14, 1889: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (55) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Vom Strande op.69/6, to anonymous words, and Das Mädchen op.95/1 to traditional words.
March 15, 1889: Upset over German involvement in the Samoan civil war, three American warships face German warships off Apia. Today, a great hurricane hits the islands, destroying six of seven ships on scene and killing 201 sailors. Unable to fight, a settlement ensues.
March 18, 1889: Ferruccio Busoni (22) attends a charity banquet in Helsinki. There he dines with a student and three young women, one of whom is Gerda Sjöstrand. Within a week, he will ask her to marry him. She will accept.
March 21, 1889: Valse-caprice op.4 by Amy Cheney Beach (21) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
March 22, 1889: Edvard Grieg (45) and his wife Nina attend a soiree at the residence of the French ambassador in London. It is attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales and other royals, several members of the diplomatic corps and notable society personalities. Grieg plays some of his music with the violinist Johannes Wolff and Nina sings three Grieg songs, to the great delight of all present. The Prince and Princess of Wales invite the Griegs to Marlborough House.
March 23, 1889: US President Benjamin Harrison signs a proclamation opening the Indian territory of Oklahoma to settlement by whites.
March 23, 1889: The following announcement appears in the French periodical La Lanterne Japonaise : M. Erik Satie, musical composer, received the following letter, which he has asked us to print: “Sir, For eight years I have suffered from a polyp in the nose, complicated by a liver disorder and rheumatic pains. On hearing your Ogives my condition showed a clear improvement. Four or five applications of your Gymnopédie no.3 cured me completely. I hereby authorize you, Monsieur Erik Satie, to make any use of this testimonial you may wish. In the meantime please accept the thanks of your grateful Femme Lengrenage, Day worker at Précigny-les-Balayettes. As for us, our opinion of M. Erik Satie, whom we do not have the honor of knowing personally, can be summed up in four words: he’s a hot rabbit!”
March 26, 1889: String Quartet op.13 by Carl Nielsen (23) is performed for the first time, in a private performance in Copenhagen.
March 27, 1889: Edvard (45) and Nina Grieg visit the Princess of Wales at Marlborough House. They perform some of Grieg’s music and meet the couple’s three daughters, Louise, Victoria, and Maud. Maud will one day become Queen of Norway. On the way out they meet the Prince once again and have a pleasant chat.
March 29, 1889: Two works for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (55) are performed for the first time, in Hamburg: Nachtwache op.104/2 to words of Rückert, and Im Herbst op.104/5 to words of Groth. See 3 April 1889.
March 30, 1889: A contract is agreed to to make Richard Strauss (24) Kapellmeister in Weimar. Officially he begins 1 August but is given leave to be part of the Bayreuth Festival.
March 31, 1889: The Eiffel Tower is completed. The designer, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, opens a French flag at the top.
March 31, 1889: Two works for chorus by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (48) are performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg: Legend to words of Pleshcheyev, and The Nightingale to words of the composer.
April 1, 1889: General Georges Boulanger flees Paris ahead of a warrant for his arrest for conspiracy and treason. He goes to Brussels.
April 2, 1889: Charles Martin Hall receives a US patent for the first practical process for producing aluminum.
April 2, 1889: Frederick Abel and James Dewar receive, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, a patent for cordite, a smokeless explosive.
April 3, 1889: The Five Songs op.104 for unaccompanied choir by Johannes Brahms (55) to words of Groth, Kalbeck, Rückert, and anonymous are performed completely for the first time, in Vienna. See 29 March 1889.
April 4, 1889: The French Parliament strips General Georges Boulanger of his immunity from prosecution. The general is presently in Belgium.
April 10, 1889: Lascar Catargiu replaces Teodor G. Rosetti as Prime Minister of Romania.
April 13, 1889: Suite for string trio by Jean Sibelius (23) is performed for the first time, in the Helsinki Music Institute.
April 13, 1889: Edward MacDowell (28) makes his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing his own Piano Concerto no.2 before an overflow crowd.
April 18, 1889: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (29) to words of Mörike, are performed for the first time, in the Minoritenkirche, Vienna: Gebet, Schlafenders Jesuskind, and Seufzer.
April 20, 1889: An Island Fantasy for orchestra by John Knowles Paine (50) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
April 21, 1889: Edgar, a dramma lirico by Giacomo Puccini (30) to words of Fontana after de Musset, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The critics are mixed and it receives only one more performance at La Scala.
April 22, 1889: 12:00 The Oklahoma land rush begins into 8,000 sq km of previously restricted land in Oklahoma. 50,000 people take part.
April 25, 1889: Isaac Albéniz (28) gives a concert devoted to his own music in the Salle Erard, Paris.
April 27, 1889: Japanese bacteriologist Shibasaburo Kitasato announces to a congress of the German Surgical Association that he has isolated the tetanus bacillus.
April 27, 1889: La procession for solo voice and orchestra by César Franck (66) to words of Brizeux is performed for the first time, in the Salle Pleyel, Paris.
April 28, 1889: String Quintet in G by Carl Nielsen (23) is performed publicly for the first time, in Copenhagen. See 13 February 1889.
April 30, 1889: The first George Washington Bridge opens, linking New York City with New Jersey.
May 1, 1889: Bayer Company of Germany introduces aspirin to the market. It is available in powder form.
May 1, 1889: The completion of a bridge over the Hawkesbury River provides a direct rail link from Farina, South Australia to Charleville, Queensland through Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.
May 2, 1889: By the Treaty of Ucciali between Italy and Abyssinia, Italy is granted an extension of Eritrea into the Abyssinian highlands. The Italian text implies a protectorate over the entire country but the Amharic text does not.
May 4, 1889: Edward Elgar (31) departs his home in Worcester for London. He is getting married and making his way in his profession.
May 5, 1889: The first and third movements of a Quintet for piano and strings in g minor by Jean Sibelius (23) are performed for the first time, at the Helsinki Music Institute.
May 6, 1889: A Universal Exhibition to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution, featuring the newly completed Eiffel Tower, opens in Paris.
May 7, 1889: Giacomo Puccini (30) writes to his publisher, Ricordi, asking that he secure the rights to the play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, now on a successful tour of Europe. Sardou will refuse.
May 7, 1889: Dawn op.46/6 for two voices and piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to words of Surikov is performed for the first time, in Salle Erard, Paris, on the composer’s 49th birthday.
May 8, 1889: Edward Elgar (31) marries Caroline Alice Roberts, daughter of a Major-General, at Brompton Oratory, London. Her family, upper-crust Anglicans, do not approve of a union with a working-class Catholic. The ceremony is Catholic. The couple will honeymoon on the Isle of Wight.
May 15, 1889: Esclarmonde, an opéra romanesque by Jules Massenet (47) to words of Blau and de Gramant, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, with President Cardot in attendance. The work is generally successful. Massenet dedicates the work to his new star, the American Sybil Sanderson.
May 19, 1889: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opens at the Paris Exposition for a run of seven months.
May 21, 1889: Charles Ives (14) begins his first organ lessons, with JR Hall in Danbury, Connecticut.
May 23, 1889: The Threat for male chorus by Leos Janácek (34) to traditional Moravian words is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno).
May 23, 1889: Symphony no.3 “English” by Hubert Parry (41) is performed for the first time, in London, directed by the composer.
May 25, 1889: Carl Nielsen (23) conducts a revised version of his Little Suite op.1. Next year, this will be his first composition to be published.
May 27, 1889: Pietro Mascagni (24) sends off the newly completed score of Cavalleria rusticana to Milan where it is to be entered in a composition contest sponsored by the publisher Sonzogno.
May 28, 1889: Edward (31) and Alice Elgar return to London from their honeymoon on the Isle of Wight to their first home at 3 Marloes Road.
May 29, 1889: String Quartet in a minor by Jean Sibelius (23) is performed for the first time, in a student concert at the Helsinki Music Institute.
May 30, 1889: Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his party sail up the Christiania (Oslo) fjord to tumultuous adulation after having made the first crossing of Greenland.
May 30, 1889: The Finnish press announces travel awards from the Senate of the Grand Duchy, including 2,000 marks for music student Jean Sibelius (23).
May 31, 1889: A dam on the Connemaugh River bursts causing the inundation of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and the deaths of 2,200 people.
May 31, 1889: Ist der Himmel darum im Lenz so blau? op.2/2, a song for voice and piano by Hans Pfitzner (20) to words of Leander, is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
June 2, 1889: A recital by students of Emile Decombes at the Salle Erard, Paris sees the earliest known performance by Maurice Ravel (14). He plays an excerpt from Moscheles’ Third Piano Concerto.
June 6, 1889: Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria decrees for Johannes Brahms (56) the Komturkreuz of the Order of Leopold.
June 6, 1889: A fire in Seattle, Washington Territory destroys 25 blocks.
June 8, 1889: WS Gilbert reads his sketches for the plot to The Gondoliers to Arthur Sullivan (47) at Sullivan’s London home. The composer is pleased.
June 8, 1889: Gerard Manley Hopkins dies in Dublin at the age of 44.
June 11, 1889: Arthur Farwell (17) learns of his acceptance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
June 14, 1889: The General Act of Berlin on Samoa is signed by representatives of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States, thus ending the decade-long dispute. King Malietoa is restored to power. A joint condominium of the three countries is created over Samoa.
June 15, 1889: The Washington Post, a march by John Philip Sousa (34), is performed for the first time, at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
June 22, 1889: The German government establishes old-age pensions and disability insurance, to take effect 1 January 1891.
June 25, 1889: Germany strongly protests the incursion of Cecil Rhodes’ forces towards the southern end of Lake Tanganyika.
June 26, 1889: La tempête, a ballet fantastique by Ambroise Thomas (77) to a scenario by Barbier and Hansen after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
July 7, 1889: Giovanni Bottesini dies in Parma at the age of 67.
July 7, 1889: A fire in Bakersfield, California destroys 15 blocks, which constitutes most of the city.
July 8, 1889: The last bare-knuckle championship boxing match takes place in Jackson, Mississippi. John L. Sullivan defeats Jake Kilrain in 75 rounds.
July 8, 1889: In New York, The Customers’ Afternoon Letter is transformed into The Wall Street Journal.
July 12, 1889: Emil Stang replaces Johan Sverdrup as Prime Minister of Norway.
July 14, 1889: On the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, the first congress of the Second International meets in Paris. Labor leaders from 20 countries take part.
July 14, 1889: After two years of study at the Paris Conservatoire, Enrique Granados (21) returns to Barcelona.
July 16, 1889: A Sonata for violin and piano by Jean Sibelius (23) is performed for the first time, by the composer in Loviisa, northeast of Helsinki.
July 19, 1889: The first congress of the Second International concludes in Paris. They declare 1 May to be International Workers Day. The date is chosen to memorialize the events in Chicago in May, 1886.
July 21, 1889: Mark Twain dates the preface to his A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court in Hartford.
July 27, 1889: Work is completed on new accomodations, including a new concert hall, for the Imperial Kapella in St. Petersburg. The plan comes to fruition largely through the work of Assistant Director Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (45).
July 30, 1889: 150 armed Americans occupy the royal palace in Honolulu. Royal troops suppress the rebellion. Seven people are killed, 12 wounded.
August 1, 1889: Austria’s national health insurance system, adopted last year, goes into effect.
August 1, 1889: France grants autonomy to the Riviéres du Sud (Guinea) territory.
August 3, 1889: British forces defeat the Sudanese at Toski.
August 3, 1889: Italy proclaims a protectorate over the Benadir Coast (northeast Somalia), although there are no European settlements there.
August 6, 1889: The Savoy Hotel, built by Richard D'Oyly Carte, opens in London. It is the first hotel to have private bathrooms. One of the shareholders and directors is Arthur Sullivan (47).
August 10, 1889: A meteor is photographed for the first time, at Harvard University.
August 10, 1889: The Imperial Natural History Museum is opened in Vienna by Emperor Franz Joseph.
August 13, 1889: William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut receives a patent for a coin-operated pay phone. It is first installed this year in the Hartford Bank.
August 14, 1889: Workers in the West India Dock, London go on strike over wages.
August 19, 1889: Tempo di valse (Lulu Waltz) for cello and piano by Jean Sibelius (23) is performed for the first time, in Loviisa.
August 27, 1889: George Eastman begins marketing a transparent film based on celluloid.
August 29, 1889: Edvard Grieg (46) signs a contract with CF Peters Musikverlag (dated 22 August). He gives them world publishing rights to all his future works.
September 1, 1889: Carl Nielsen (24) is appointed as second violinist in the Royal Chapel, Copenhagen.
September 9, 1889: Fest-und Gedenksprüche op.109 for unaccompanied choir by Johannes Brahms (56) to words of the Bible, are performed for the first time, as part of celebrations of the Hamburg Exhibition of Trade and Industry.
September 10, 1889: Prince Charles III of Monaco dies at Château de Marchais, near Sissone, and is succeeded by his son Albert.
September 13, 1889: Antonín Dvorák (48) turns down the post of professor at the Prague Conservatory.
September 16, 1889: After a month on strike, London dockers return to work having won their demands. Their success provides inspiration to unskilled laborers that collective action can win better conditions. Union membership begins to skyrocket.
September 22, 1889: Richard Strauss (25) conducts his first performance at the Weimar Hoftheater. He will conduct 201 operatic performances there over the next five years.
September 23, 1889: Fusajiro Yamauchi founds Nintendo Koppai in Kyoto to make Hanafuda playing cards.
September 25, 1889: Great Britain establishes a protectorate over the Makololo (southern Malawi).
September 27, 1889: Lo schiavo, an opera seria by Carlos Gomes (53) to words of Paravicini, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Lírico, Rio de Janeiro. It is very successful.
September 28, 1889: The issue of this date of the Boy’s Own Paper announces prize winners in a musical composition competition. The sixth in order of merit of the 29 prizes in the junior division is Gustav Holst (15).
October 6, 1889: A second round of voting in the French general election results in most seats going to center-left parties, especially the Republicans and Radicals.
October 6, 1889: Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler open a new cabaret in the 18th arrondissement called the Moulin Rouge.
October 6, 1889: At his workshop in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison screens his first motion picture. It is accompanied by a synchronized phonograph recording.
October 6, 1889: Edvard Grieg (46) writes to the poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, suggesting a reconciliation 14 years after their estrangement over Olav Trygvason. Grieg has revived the music he wrote for the text in 1875 and wants Bjørnson to be present for the premiere. See 13 October 1889.
October 11, 1889: Ode on St. Cecilia's Day for soprano, bass, chorus, and orchestra by Hubert Parry (41) to words of Pope is performed for the first time, in Leeds. It is a resounding success. Also premiered is The Voyage of Maeldune op.34, a ballad for solo voices, chorus and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (37) to words of Tennyson.
October 12, 1889: Baron Johan Gustaf Nils Samuel Åkerhielm af Margretelund replaces Didrik Anders Gillis Bildt as Prime Minister of Sweden.
October 13, 1889: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson replies to Edvard Grieg’s (46) letter of 6 October, gladly agreeing to reconcile. “You have the greatest lyric power of any musician living today.” He agrees to be present at the premiere of Grieg’s Olav Trygvason music.
October 18, 1889: Giuseppe Verdi (76) buys land near Porta Garibaldi in Milan. This will be the site of the Casa di Riposa per Musicisti.
October 18, 1889: US Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Tracy orders the director of the Marine Band, John Philip Sousa (34), to collect the "National and Patriotic airs of all Nations" for use on official occasions.
October 19, 1889: King Luís I of Portugal dies in Cascais and is succeeded by his son Carlos I.
October 19, 1889: Edvard Grieg’s (46) incidental music to Olav Trygvason to words of Bjørnson is performed for the first time, in a concert setting, in Christiania (Oslo), conducted by the composer. See 26 October 1889.
October 20, 1889: Charles Ives plays his first regular church service as organist at the Baptist Church in Danbury, Connecticut. It is his fifteenth birthday.
October 21, 1889: Kaiser-Walzer op.437 by Johann Strauss (63) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
October 22, 1889: Charles Ives (15) begins organ lessons with his second teacher, Alexander Gibson, in Danbury, Connecticut.
October 26, 1889: Anton Chekhov inscribes the dedication to his collection of short stories, Gloomy People. It is in honor of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49).
October 26, 1889: Edvard Grieg (46) conducts a second performance of his Olav Trygvason music in Christiania (Oslo), this time with the poet present. After five or six curtain calls, the composer shouts, “To this I have just one thing to say: Long live Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.” To which the poet replies from the audience that he is proud to be a Norwegian, when we have a man who can write music like that. “Long live Edvard Grieg.” Also premiered are Grieg’s songs One Day, O Heart of Mine op.48/2 to words of Geibel, A Dream op.48/6 to words of Bodenstedt, Tell Me Now, Did You See the Lad op.49/1 to words of Drachmann, and Kind Greetings, Fair Ladies op.49/3 to words of Drachmann, the composer at the keyboard. See 19 October 1889.
October 29, 1889: Queen Victoria signs the charter of the British South Africa Company granting rights for 25 years to govern and exploit an undefined area north of Bechuanaland.
October 29, 1889: Two songs by Edvard Grieg (46) are performed for the first time, in Brødrene Hals’ Koncertsal, Christiania (Oslo): Greeting op.48/1 to words of Geibel, and The Time of Roses op.48/5 to words of Goethe.
November 2, 1889: North Dakota and South Dakota become the 39th and 40th states of the United States.
November 3, 1889: Menelik II is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia on Mount Entoto.
November 3, 1889: The first four of the Poetic Tone Pictures op.85 for piano by Antonín Dvorák (48) are performed for the first time, in Tábor.
November 8, 1889: Montana becomes the 41st state of the United States.
November 8, 1889: Arthur Sullivan (47) completes composition of The Gondoliers. Tomorrow he begins the orchestration.
November 9, 1889: Verschwiegene Liebe, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (29) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna.
November 11, 1889: Salut d’amour for orchestra by Edward Elgar (32) is performed for the first time, in the Crystal Palace, London.
November 11, 1889: Washington becomes the 42nd state of the United States.
November 11, 1889: Don Juan, a symphonic poem by Richard Strauss (25), is performed for the first time, in Weimar, conducted by the composer. More than any other, this work establishes his fame.
November 13, 1889: Two songs for voice and piano by Gustav Mahler (29) are performed for the first time, in Budapest: Erinnerung, to words of Leander, and Scheiden und Meiden to words of Brentano and von Arnim.
November 15, 1889: Surrounded in his palace by elements of the army, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil abdicates his throne and the United States of Brazil is proclaimed as a republic. Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca heads a provisional government.
November 17, 1889: Direct rail service between Chicago and the Pacific coast of the United States is inaugurated.
November 17, 1889: Emperor Pedro II sails from Brazil for exile in France.
November 18, 1889: Representatives of 17 nations meet in Brussels to create international standards for eliminating the slave trade.
November 18, 1889: Cello Sonata no.2 op.39 by Charles Villiers Stanford (37) is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London, the composer at the piano.
November 20, 1889: Symphony no.1 by Gustav Mahler (29) is performed for the first time, in Budapest, the composer conducting. The audience response is tepid at best. Critics range from praise to condemnation.
November 20, 1889: The Poetic Tone Pictures op.85/6, 11, 12, 13 for piano by Antonín Dvorák (48) are performed for the first time, in Prague.
November 22, 1889: Suite no.2 for string orchestra op.21 by Arthur Foote (36) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
November 23, 1889: Two inventors, Louis Glass and William Arnold, install a coin-operated cylinder phonograph in the Palais Royale Saloon, San Francisco. It is, essentially, the first jukebox and proves to be very popular.
November 25, 1889: On and around this date, a swarm of locusts covering 5,180 sq km crosses the Red Sea.
November 25, 1889: The definitive version of String Quintet op.77 by Antonín Dvorák (48) is performed for the first time, in Boston. See 18 March 1876.
November 25, 1889: Piano Trio no.1 op.35 by Charles Villiers Stanford (37) is performed for the first time, at the University Musical Union, Oxford.
November 26, 1889: British Prime Minister William Gladstone announces that if Charles Stewart Parnell is retained as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, the next election will be lost, along with Irish Home Rule. Parnell is involved in a long standing affair with another man’s wife.
November 28, 1889: Der Genesene an die Hoffnung, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (29) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna.
November 29, 1889: A week of concerts and celebrations begin in St. Petersburg to mark the 60th birthday of Anton Rubinstein (59) and the 50th anniversary of his Moscow debut.
November 30, 1889: Die Meere op.20/3 for soprano, alto, and piano by Johannes Brahms (56) to traditional Italian words translated by Müller is performed for the first time, in Munich.
November 30, 1889: A Greeting to Anton Rubinstein for his Golden Jubilee as an Artist for unaccompanied chorus by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49) to words of Polonsky is performed for the first time, in the Hall of the Court Assembly, St. Petersburg. Also premiered is Tchaikovsky’s Impromptu in A flat for solo piano, performed by the composer.
December 2, 1889: Sonata for violin and piano op.20 by Arthur Foote (36) is performed for the first time, in Boston, the composer at the keyboard.
December 3, 1889: Goryusha by Anton Rubinstein (60) to words of Averkiyev, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
December 6, 1889: After six days of debate in London, a majority of the Irish Parliamentary Party (those opposed to Parnell) bolt to form the Irish National Federation. Those remaining form the Irish National League.
December 7, 1889: The first of the Fantasy Pieces for oboe and piano op.2 by Carl Nielsen (24) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen. See 16 March 1891.
December 7, 1889: The Gondoliers, or the King of Barataria, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (47) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, in the Savoy Theatre, London. The work enjoys a magnificent success and goes on to 554 performances. It is their last triumph together.
December 9, 1889: The Chicago Auditorium, designed by Louis Sullivan, opens.
December 10, 1889: Lovely Rosabelle for chorus by George Whitefield Chadwick (35) is performed for the first time, in Association Hall, Boston with the composer directing the Boston Orchestral Club.
December 12, 1889: Robert Browning dies in Venice at the age of 77.
December 13, 1889: The Belgian government enacts a law forbidding the employment of children under twelve, and regulating the employment of males under 16 and females under 21.
December 14, 1889: Scherzquartett for male chorus by Richard Strauss (25) is performed for the first time, in Weimar.
December 16, 1889: Buschiri bin Salim is executed by the Germans, effectively ending the Arab uprising in east Africa begun in September 1888.
December 16, 1889: Two works for orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (26) are performed for the first time, at the Palazzo di Città, Cerignola: Danza Boema and Marcia Militare.
December 17, 1889: Incidental music to Haraucourt’s (after Shakespeare) play Shylock by Gabriel Fauré (44) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre de l’Odéon, Paris, conducted by the composer. The play is successful but critics are not impressed by the music.
December 24, 1889: Prince Aritomo Yamagata replaces Count Kiyotaka Kuroda as Prime Minister of Japan.
December 24, 1889: Captain William O’Shea, MP files for divorce from his wife Katherine, naming Charles Stewart Parnell, MP as a co-respondent. It is widely known that Parnell has had a liaison with Mrs. O’Shea and that he is the father of her three children.