January 1, 1890: Italy establishes the colony of Eritrea.
January 1, 1890: Nocturne op.19/1 for solo piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
January 4, 1890: In the issue of Punch dated today, a cartoon appears showing Gilbert and Sullivan (47) as the two gondoliers of their operetta. The caption reads: Monarchs of all they Savoy.
January 10, 1890: Lancelot und Elaine, a symphonic poem after Tennyson by Edward MacDowell (29), is performed for the first time, in Boston.
January 11, 1890: Great Britain sends an ultimatum to Portugal demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Portuguese presence in the Shiré River area (Malawi) and in the region of British allies the Makololos and Mashonas (Zimbabwe). The Portuguese will comply.
January 12, 1890: A decree from the government of Brazil abolishes the Conservatório de Musica and organizes the Instituto Nacional de Música.
January 14, 1890: António de Serpa Pimentel replaces José Luciano de Castro Pereira Corte-Real as Prime Minister of Portugal.
January 14, 1890: Tsar Alyeksandr III attends the dress rehearsal of Tchaikovsky’s (49) The Sleeping Beauty in St. Petersburg. He tells the composer, “Very nice.”
January 15, 1890: The Sleeping Beauty, a ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49) to a scenario by Petipa and Vsevolozhsky after Perrault, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. The audience is positive, but not wildly enthusiastic.
January 15, 1890: Incidental music to Munch’s play An Evening at Giske by Carl Nielsen (24) is performed for the first time, in the Dagmarteatret, Copenhagen.
January 15, 1890: The motet Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein op.110/3 by Johannes Brahms (56) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg. See 13 March 1890.
January 18, 1890: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (56) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Der Überläufer op.48/2, and Der Jäger op.95/4 to words of Halm.
January 18, 1890: The National American Women Suffrage Association is formed from the merger of various regional groups. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is elected president.
January 19, 1890: Prince Georg Albrecht of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt dies in Rudolstadt and is succeeded by his first cousin once removed Günther Viktor.
January 20, 1890: Rhapsodie orientale op.29 by Alyeksandr Glazunov (24) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg conducted by the composer. It is not well received.
January 21, 1890: Voting today for the Danish Folketing leaves the standing of the parties virtually unchanged and the Left Reform Party in control.
January 22, 1890: In the Münchener Allgemeine Zeitung, an article by Joseph Schalk appears entitled “Neue Lieder, neues Leben.” This will spread the name of Hugo Wolf (29) beyond Vienna for the first time and give him an international fame.
January 25, 1890: Elizabeth Cochrane, who writes for the New York World under the name of Nellie Bly, completes a round the world trip which took 72 days, six hours, and eleven minutes.
January 25, 1890: The United Mine Workers of America is founded in Columbus, Ohio.
January 26, 1890: Crisantemi for string quartet by Giacomo Puccini (31) is performed for the first time, at the Milan Conservatory. The audience is so delighted they require the repetition of the entire work.
January 28, 1890: In Berlin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49) buys a train ticket for Florence, simply to end his lack of ability to decide where to go next.
January 31, 1890: One day after his arrival in Florence, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (49) begins to compose The Queen of Spades.
February 2, 1890: Symphony no.8 by Antonín Dvorák (48) is performed for the first time, in the Rudolfinum, Prague, conducted by the composer.
February 10, 1890: 4,500,000 hectares of Sioux land are opened to white settlement.
February 10, 1890: Durch’s Telephon op.439, a polka by Johann Strauss (63), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 12, 1890: Rathhaus-Ball-Tänze op.438, a waltz by Johann Strauss (63), is performed for the first time, in the Neues Wiener Rathaus.
February 20, 1890: Elections for the ninth Reichstag of the German Empire take place. Liberals lose considerable ground and the Center Party vaults back into first place.
February 21, 1890: After nine months of waiting, Pietro Mascagni (25) receives a telegram informing him that his entry, Cavalleria rusticana, is a finalist in the composition competition sponsored by the publisher Sonzogno. He is summoned to Milan to present the opera to the jury. “Reading the telegram, I cried like a baby.”
February 28, 1890: The Royal Mail Ship RMS Quetta strikes ground near Albany Island at the northern extremity of Queensland, Australia. She goes down in five minutes along with 134 of the 292 people aboard.
March 1, 1890: Charles Stewart Parnell returns to Parliament after being exonerated of any part in the 1892 murders of Irish Chief Secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish and Under Secretary Thomas Henry Burke. MPs give him a standing ovation.
March 4, 1890: The Prince of Wales drives home a ceremonial gold plated rivet and opens the Forth Bridge in Scotland.
March 4, 1890: Richard Strauss’ (25) Concerto for violin and orchestra is performed with orchestra for the first time, in Cologne. See 5 December 1882.
March 7, 1890: Two songs for voice and piano by Hans Pfitzner (20) to anonymous words are performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main: Im tiefen Wald verborgen op.2/4, and Zweifelnde Liebe op.6/1.
March 9, 1890: Nine months after having completed the composition of Cavalleria rusticana, four days after being chosen as a finalist in the Sozogno competition and two months before its production, Pietro Mascagni (26) writes to Giovanni Verga, the original author, asking permission to use his work. He will agree, provided he receive all that he is allowed by law from subsequent productions.
March 11, 1890: Antonín Dvorák (48) conducts a program of his works in Moscow. Many in the audience leave during the performance. The critics are tepid.
March 13, 1890: Gyula, Count Szapáry de Szapár replaces Kálmán Tisza de Borosjenö et Szeged as Prime Minister of Hungary.
March 13, 1890: The first complete performance of the Three Motets op.110 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (56) to words of Eber, anonymous, and the Bible, takes place in Cologne.
March 15, 1890: The first international congress for the protection of workers opens in Berlin.
March 17, 1890: Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet replaces Pierre Emmanuel Tirard as Prime Minister of France.
March 20, 1890: Otto, Prince Bismarck-Schönhausen resigns as Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Prussia. He is replaced by Georg Leo von Caprivi.
March 21, 1890: Maternité Baudelocque is established in Paris by Adolphe Pinard. It is the first public health clinic.
March 21, 1890: Ascanio, an opéra by Camille Saint-Saëns (54) to words of Gallet after Meurice, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
March 22, 1890: Antonín Dvorák (48) conducts a program of his works in St. Petersburg. He is better prepared than in Moscow, and receives a better response.
March 24, 1890: Edward (32) and Alice Elgar move into their first permanent home, at Avonmore Road 51, Kensington.
March 27, 1890: The Spanish government restores universal suffrage.
March 27, 1890: The Wreck of the Hesperus op.17 for chorus and orchestra by Arthur Foote (37) to words of Longfellow is performed for the first time to orchestral accompaniment, in Boston. See 26 January 1888.
April 1, 1890: Mausfallen-Sprüchlein, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (30) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Stadttheater, Graz.
April 11, 1890: Joseph Cary Merrick, the Elephant Man, dies in London at the age of 27.
April 11, 1890: The second of the Fantasy Pieces op.2 for oboe and piano by Carl Nielsen (24) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen. See 16 March 1891.
April 12, 1890: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (30) are performed for the first time, in the Saal des Schiller-Vereins, Trieste: Gesang Weylas and Verborgenheit to words of Mörike, and Hätt' ich irgend wohl Bedenken (first public) to words of Goethe.
April 13, 1890: Jesu dulcis memoria for voice and organ or piano by Alphons Diepenbrock (27) to words of Bernard of Clairvaux, is performed for the first time, in Mozes en Aäronkerk, Amsterdam.
April 14, 1890: The Pan-American Union is founded.
April 19, 1890: String Quartet in D by César Franck (67) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris where it is well received.
April 20, 1890: Enrique Granados (22) makes his official debut at Barcelona’s Teatre Líric, premiering Arabesca, selections from Danzas españolas, and Serenata española. He also plays music of Saint-Saëns (54), Bizet (†14), Mendelssohn (†42), Chopin (†40), Beethoven (†63), Mozart (†98), and Schubert (†61). The critics are enthusiastic about his compositions and his playing.
April 21, 1890: When WS Gilbert receives the preliminary expense report for The Gondoliers he goes immediately to the office of Richard D’Oyly Carte where a blistering argument takes place. Gilbert essentially accuses Carte of padding his accounts with items like new carpets for the lobby and staircases.
April 21, 1890: The New York Times reports that the Panama Canal will never be completed by Ferdinand de Lesseps and his French company.
April 21, 1890: Incidental music to Haraucourt’s play La Passion by Gabriel Fauré (44) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique in the Salle Erard, Paris. The Fantaisie for piano and orchestra by Claude Debussy (27) is programmed for this concert but after the dress rehearsal, the conductor, Vincent d’Indy (39), believing the concert to be too long, plans to perform only one movement. Debussy does not agree to this, and, although he respects d’Indy, removes the orchestral parts from the stands.
April 22, 1890: Arthur Sullivan (47) receives a letter from WS Gilbert attempting to enlist Sullivan’s support against Carte in the “Carpet Quarrel.”
April 25, 1890: US President Benjamin Harrison signs a bill allowing Chicago to hold an exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus.
April 26, 1890: WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (47) meet to discuss the “Carpet Quarrel.” Sullivan is unable to entirely take Gilbert’s side but suggests a cooling off period followed by a meeting with Carte to calmly discuss the situation.
April 26, 1890: Serenade for orchestra by Ethel Smyth (32) is performed for the first time, at the Crystal Palace, London. It is her debut as a composer in her homeland. The press is generally positive.
April 27, 1890: Hymne for four voices and piano by César Franck (67) to words of Racine is performed for the first time, in Tournai. See 30 November 1890.
May 1, 1890: Socialists march in Vienna for the first time.
May 5, 1890: Richard D’Oyly Carte, after hearing again from Gilbert, writes to Arthur Sullivan (47) rejecting a meeting between the three of them. He believes that Gilbert is in the same frame of mind. Gilbert writes to Carte, revoking his license to perform Gilbert’s words as of Christmas 1890. Sending a copy to Sullivan, Gilbert suggests that “the time for putting an end to our collaboration has at last arrived.”
May 5, 1890: The first and third movements of a String Quintet by Jean Sibelius (24) are performed for the first time, in Helsinki. The second movement is cut due to a lack of rehearsal time. See 11 October 1890.
May 6, 1890: Upon receiving Gilbert’s letter of yesterday, Arthur Sullivan (47) records in his diary, “Nothing would induce me to write again with him. How I have stood him so long I can’t understand.”
May 8, 1890: Seven songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (30) are performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna: Die Bekehrte and Die Spröde to words of Goethe, Begegnung and Frage und Antwort to words of Mörike, Wer sein holdes Lieb verloren, to anonymous words (tr. Geibel), Und schläfst du, mein Mädchen, to words of Vicente (tr. Geibel), and Elfenlied to words of Shakespeare (tr. Schlegel).
May 13, 1890: The cornerstone of Carnegie Hall is laid in New York.
May 15, 1890: Richard D’Oyly Carte gives interviews to the press. The breakup of Gilbert and Sullivan (48) is now public.
May 16, 1890: Arthur Sullivan (48) receives two messages from Richard D’Oyly Carte informing him that WS Gilbert is trying to get members of the Savoy company to “secede.”
May 16, 1890: Hänsel und Gretel, a Liederspiel by Engelbert Humperdinck (35) to words of A. Wette (sister of the composer), is performed for the first time, privately, in the home of Dr. Hermann Wette in Cologne.
May 17, 1890: Cavalleria rusticana, a melodramma by Pietro Mascagni (26) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti and Menasci after Verga, is performed for the first time, at Teatro Costanzi, Rome. Although the house is only half-full, those in attendance go wild with approval. There are 60 curtain calls. The press is ecstatic. By noon tomorrow, the second performance will be sold out. Mascagni has become famous overnight.
May 19, 1890: Arrigo Boito (48) receives the royal appointment of honorary director of Parma Conservatory. He reluctantly accepts.
May 24, 1890: The Mackinnon Treaty is concluded between the Congo Free State and the British East Africa Company. The Congo’s right to land on the west bank of the Upper Nile is recognized in return for land near Lake Tanganyika.
May 31, 1890: Krafft, Baron Crailsheim replaces Johann, Baron von Lutz as President of the Council of Ministers of Bavaria.
June 2, 1890: This is the day of the 1890 census in the United States. It is the first census to employ the Herman Hollerith punch card system to tabulate the results.
June 7, 1890: España, six album leaves for piano by Isaac Albéniz (30) is performed for the first time, in Steinway Hall, London by the composer.
June 12, 1890: By order of Tsar Alyeksandr III, all postal, customs, and financial institutions in Finland are joined to the Russian Empire. All employees must be competent in Russian.
June 14, 1890: The Congo Free State extends a protectorate over the Sultanate of Bangassou in central Africa.
June 19, 1890: Two sacred works by Franz Schubert (†61) are performed for the first time, in the Stadttheater, Eisenach, 61 years after they were composed: Tantum ergo D.962 for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, and the Offertorium “Intende voci” D.963 for tenor, chorus, and orchestra.
June 20, 1890: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is published today in the July edition of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, in Philadelphia. It will be published in book form next year.
June 20, 1890: After a year in Weimar, Richard Strauss (26) is promoted to the rank of Hofkapellmeister by Grand Duke Carl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
June 21, 1890: Two works by Richard Strauss (26) are performed for the first time, in the Eisenach Stadttheater conducted by the composer: Burleske for piano and orchestra, and the tone poem Tod und Verklärung. The tone poem is a triumph.
June 24, 1890: The Russian Imperial government reduces the representation of peasants in local assemblies.
June 26, 1890: Isaac Albéniz (30) signs a contract with Henry Lowenfeld to place his “entire work and services as a composer and musician under the control of Lowenfeld...in consideration of Lowenfeld agreeing to advance money for his personal expenses and the promotion of his interests.”
July 1, 1890: The first general election takes place in Japan pursuant to the constitution adopted last year. Only one percent of the population is eligible to vote. Liberal parties win a majority.
July 1, 1890: A convention signed by Germany and Great Britain, the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty, resolves imperial conflicts in Africa. Great Britain cedes Helgoland to Germany. Germany gives up all claim to Buganda, Zanzibar, the Pemba Islands, Nyasaland, and disputed territory in west Africa. South West Africa is allowed to extend a strip 32 km wide to the Zambezi River. German Northwest Africa (Cameroon) is extended to Lake Chad. German East Africa is extended to Lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika, bordering the Congo.
July 2, 1890: The General Act of the Brussels Conference is signed by representatives of 17 nations. Its goal is to end the slave trade.
July 2, 1890: The Sherman Anti-Trust Act is approved by the US government. It is an attempt to curb the massive power of monopolist conspiracies.
July 3, 1890: Idaho becomes the 43rd state of the United States.
July 4, 1890: On the day that a quarterly distribution of the Savoy profits comes due, Richard D’Oyly Carte withholds payment saying that the resolution of the Carpet Quarrel should come first. See 31 July 1890.
July 4, 1890: This is the approximate date of an accident in Paris wherein César Franck (67) is struck on the right side by the carriage pole of a moving bus. He resumes his activities but within days is confined to his bed.
July 5, 1890: Antonio Cánovas del Castillo replaces Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta Escolar as Prime Minister of Spain.
July 10, 1890: At the conclusion of his first year at the Paris Conservatoire, Maurice Ravel (15) wins second prize in the piano competition.
July 10, 1890: Wyoming becomes the 44th state of the United States.
July 12, 1890: Anton Bruckner (65) is granted leave from his position at the Konservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde because of a “high degree of nervousness.”
July 17, 1890: Cecil Rhodes becomes Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
July 18, 1890: A museum dedicated to Camille Saint-Saëns (54) opens in Dieppe. The composer is present at the opening ceremony.
July 29, 1890: Vincent Van Gogh dies in Auvers-sur-Oise, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
July 30, 1890: The attorney for WS Gilbert writes to Richard D’Oyly Carte demanding payment of £2,000 as his share of the Savoy profits.
July 31, 1890: Anton Bruckner (65) performs at the wedding of Archduchess Marie Valerie, the daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph II, in Ischl.
August 5, 1890: A convention between Great Britain and France defines spheres of influence in Nigeria, grants a British protectorate in Zanzibar and Pemba, and a French protectorate over Madagascar.
August 6, 1890: After a revolt in Argentina, President Miguel Jerónimo del Corazón de Jesús Juárez Celman resigns and is replaced by Vice President Carlos Enrique José Pellegrini Bevans.
August 6, 1890: Convicted murderer William Kemmler is killed by the State of New York by means of electrocution, the first person to be so executed.
August 9, 1890: The Niger Districts Protectorate and the Niger River Delta Protectorate are joined to become the British Northern Nigeria Protectorate.
August 11, 1890: WS Gilbert’s attorney receives a check for £2,000 from Richard D’Oyly Carte. Unfortunately, Gilbert has already applied for a receiver.
August 20, 1890: The case of Gilbert v. Carte comes to court. Gilbert’s attorney asks for a week’s extension in order to add Arthur Sullivan (48) as a defendant. It is granted.
August 20, 1890: A convention between Great Britain and Portugal signed in London establishes spheres of influence in southern Africa.
August 23, 1890: Sunset op.4/1, a song for voice and piano by Carl Nielsen (25) to words of Jacobsen, is performed for the first time, in Odense.
August 27, 1890: Konzerstuck op.31a for piano and orchestra by Ferruccio Busoni (24) is performed for the first time, at St. Petersburg Conservatory, the composer at the keyboard.
September 3, 1890: An arrangement is reached in the famous Carpet Quarrel, wherein Arthur Sullivan (48) and Richard D’Oyly Carte are co-defendants in William S. Gilbert’s suit. Carte will send Gilbert £1,000 but Carte is not required to change his business practices. The four-an-one half months of bickering and personal attacks over carpets worth £140 has destroyed a relationship which, in the last eleven years, has produced £90,000 and several masterpieces of comic opera.
September 3, 1890: Carl Nielsen (25) begins a study tour of Germany, leaving from Copenhagen for Dresden.
September 10, 1890: The Froissart Overture op.19 by Edward Elgar (33) is performed for the first time, in Worcester Public Hall conducted by the composer.
September 12, 1890: The British South Africa Company founds Salisbury (Harare) in Mashonaland.
September 18, 1890: The Ottoman frigate Ertugrul founders in a typhoon and strikes ground off Kobe, Japan. Over 500 crew are lost, including Admiral Ali Osman Pasha. 69 survive.
September 20, 1890: Max Reger (17) enters Wiesbaden Conservatory studying piano and theory. He is made teacher for piano and organ in order to pay for his education.
September 22, 1890: The Fantasy Pieces op.2 for oboe and piano by Carl Nielsen (25) are performed completely for the first time, privately, in Dresden. See 16 March 1891.
September 23, 1890: This is the night that Wilford Woodruff, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says that Christ told him that church members should refrain from polygamy.
September 25, 1890: Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca becomes the first President of Brazil.
September 25, 1890: The divine revelation of 23 September, rewritten and modified by church leaders, is published in the Deseret Weekly, a publication of the Mormon Church.
September 27, 1890: Morning. Gerda Herminia Sjöstrand, daughter of a sculptor and a painter, arrives in Moscow to marry Ferruccio Busoni (24) who has been appointed professor at the Imperial Conservatory. She has traveled for three days with her father, sister, and Busoni’s dog Lesko. Busoni tells her that the Protestant minister engaged to marry them is leaving on holiday and haste is of the utmost. Without time to change into her wedding dress, she marries Busoni.
September 29, 1890: After a concert at the Helsinki Music Institute, Jean Sibelius asks for the hand of Aino Järnefelt in marriage. She accepts. She is the sister of his close friend Armas Järnefelt and the daughter of a general. They have known each other for three years.
October 1, 1890: The 1878 prohibition on socialist groups in Germany expires.
October 1, 1890: The US Congress creates the Weather Bureau within the Department of Agriculture.
October 2, 1890: 75% of Swiss voters approve of government health and accident insurance.
October 4, 1890: At Tiflis (Tbilisi), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) receives a letter from Mme von Meck announcing that she is bankrupt and will not be able to continue his allowance.
October 6, 1890: At a General Conference in Salt Lake City, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ceases to sanction polygamy.
October 9, 1890: French inventor Clément Ader pilots his steam-powered aircraft Eole for about 50 meters in Armainvilliers, near Paris. It makes a few bounces off the ground, achieving “flight.”
October 11, 1890: João Crisóstomo de Abreu e Sousa replaces António de Serpa Pimentel as Prime Minister of Portugal.
October 11, 1890: A String Quintet by Jean Sibelius (24) is performed completely for the first time, in Turku. See 5 May 1890.
October 11, 1890: Franz Lehár (20) conducts his first concert as bandmaster with the 25th Infantry Regiment in Losoncz, Hungary.
October 12, 1890: The first German socialist convention since their suppression by Bismarck in 1878 meets in Halle.
October 13, 1890: String Quartet op.4 by Jean Sibelius (24) is performed for the first time, in Helsinki.
October 13, 1890: Macbeth, a symphonic poem by Richard Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in the Weimar Hofkapelle conducted by the composer.
October 15, 1890: L’Allegro ed Il Pensieroso, a cantata for soprano, bass, chorus, and orchestra by Hubert Parry (42) to words of Milton, is performed for the first time, in Norwich.
October 17, 1890: Quartet for piano and strings op.87 by Antonín Dvorák (49) is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
October 18, 1890: César Franck (67) is confined to his home by illness stemming from an accident last 4 July. It soon becomes pneumonia.
October 18, 1890: Two Melodies for string orchestra op.53 by Edvard Grieg (47) is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo) directed by the composer.
October 18, 1890: Overture to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra for orchestra by Ethel Smyth (32) is performed for the first time, in Crystal Palace, London.
October 20, 1890: César Franck (67) musters enough strength to play the organ at the Church of Sainte-Clotilde. He will never be seen in public again.
October 21, 1890: The news having arrived three days ago that a constitution has been granted, responsible government is proclaimed in Perth, Western Australia.
October 21, 1890: The German Social Democratic Party is founded in Erfurt.
October 28, 1890: The German East Africa Company cedes its territorial rights to Germany.
October 31, 1890: The Landtag of Upper Austria votes Anton Bruckner (66) an annual gift of 400 florins.
November 1, 1890: The State of Mississippi begins enacting literacy requirements to bar blacks from voting.
November 4, 1890: The City & South London Railway opens its first station at Stockwell. This is the first deep level tube railway in London and the first electric underground railway.
November 7, 1890: César Franck (67), who has been in failing health since an accident last 4 July, suffers a relapse. He is administered the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
November 7, 1890: Theodoros Pangaiou Diligiannis replaces Charilaos Spiridonou Trikoupis as Prime Minister of Greece.
November 8, 1890: 05:00 César-August-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck dies of pleurisy in his home at 95 boulevard Saint Michel in the Fifth Arrondissement of Paris, Republic of France, aged 67 years, ten months, and 29 days.
November 10, 1890: After a memorial service in the Church of Sainte-Clotilde, the earthly remains of César Franck are laid to rest in the Cimitière de Montparnasse, Paris. The oration is made by Emanuel Chabrier (49). Édouard Lalo (67), Camille Saint-Saëns (55), Léo Delibes (54), Gabriel Fauré (45), and Charles-Marie Widor are also present but many other prominent musicians do not attend.
November 11, 1890: Quintet for strings no.2 op.111 by Johannes Brahms (57) is performed for the first time, in Bösendorfersaal, Vienna.
November 12, 1890: The Poems of Emily Dickinson is published in Boston. Four years after her death, it is the first time a collection of her poems appears in print, in this highly edited version.
November 13, 1890: My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land op.18/3 for chorus by Edward Elgar (33) to words of Lang is performed for the first time, in Tenbury.
November 14, 1890: By an agreement between Great Britain and Portugal, Britain is granted control over the lower Zambezi River and the right to colonize up to the Congo.
November 16, 1890: The great distress of Baring Brothers & Co. is made public. Due to the crisis and lack of confidence in Argentina, their loans to that country have become near worthless.
November 21, 1890: Jean Sibelius (24) witnesses a production of Tristan und Isolde in Vienna, “staged...in so brilliant a fashion I could not have believed it possible.”
November 21, 1890: Scherzino, number 2 of Rêves for piano by Isaac Albéniz (30), is performed for the first time, in London by the composer.
November 23, 1890: King Willem III of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg dies in Apeldoorn and is succeeded by his ten-year-old daughter Willemina under the regency of her mother. On the accession of Queen Willemina, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is separated from the Netherlands. Adolph, son of Duke Willem of Nassau, becomes Grand Duke.
November 25, 1890: Having been saved by the Bank of England, The British government, Lord Rothschild and several other investors, the old Baring partnership is dissolved and a new firm called Baring Bros. Ltd. is registered as a joint stock company. A worldwide financial crisis is averted.
November 29, 1890: The first Japanese Diet opens.
November 30, 1890: Scherzo op.87 for two pianos by Camille Saint-Saëns (55) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
November 30, 1890: Hymne for four voices and orchestra by César Franck (†0) to words of Racine is performed for the first time, in Liège. See 27 April 1890.
December 4, 1890: Emil Adolf von Behring and Shibasaburo Kitasato, bacteriologists from Germany and Japan respectively, jointly publish their work on immunization against tetanus.
December 5, 1890: Elections are held for the New Zealand Parliament. For the first time, candidates stand with party affiliations. The Liberal Party wins the most seats.
December 6, 1890: The first part of Les Troyens, a grand opéra by Hector Berlioz (†21) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Karlsruhe, 33 years after it was composed. See 6 August 1857, 29 August 1857, and 4 November 1863.
December 7, 1890: String Sextet “Souvenir de Florence” op.70 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, privately, in St. Petersburg. See 10 December 1890.
December 8, 1890: Bohuslav Jan Martinu is born in Policka, Kingdom of Bohemia, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the fifth of five children born to Ferdinand Martinu, a cobbler, and Karolina Klimes, daughter of a cabinet maker. Along with being a cobbler, Mr. Martinu is sexton of St. James’ Church and fire warden. It is in their lodging in the tower that his wife gives birth.
December 8, 1890: Symphony no.3 by Alyeksandr Glazunov (25) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. The work was created over the span of seven years.
December 10, 1890: String Sextet “Souvenir de Florence” op.70 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed publicly for the first time, in St. Petersburg. See 7 December 1890.
December 10, 1890: Count Robert of Paris, an overture by Horatio Parker (27), is performed for the first time, in New York.
December 10, 1890: Romance and Scherzo for cello and piano op.22 by Arthur Foote (37) is performed for the first time, in New York.
December 11, 1890: A week after his joint publication with Kitasato, Emil Adolf von Behring publishes his own work on his experiments with diphtheria. He uses the term “antitoxin” for the first time.
December 13, 1890: The Chariot Race from Ben Hur for band by John Philip Sousa (36) is performed for the first time, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.
December 15, 1890: Great Britain transfers Helgoland to Germany.
December 15, 1890: Fearful of the Ghost Dancers, Chief Sitting Bull is captured by Indian Police at his cabin on the Grand River, South Dakota. When his followers try to rescue him, six officers and eight Indians, including Sitting Bull, die in the fighting. Federal troops arrive to rescue the killers.
December 17, 1890: Natha-Waltz op.50/4 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, in Kiev.
December 18, 1890: John Grainger, father of Percy (8), returns to Adelaide from a trip to England. He will never live with his wife and child again.
December 18, 1890: The world’s first electric subway system, the City and South London Railway, opens to the public.
December 18, 1890: At a private event in honor of Joseph Joachim at the Hochschule für Ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin, String Quartet no.2 op.5 by Carl Nielsen (25) is performed for the first time. Joachim offers suggestions for improvements to the work. Nielsen politely declines to discuss them. See 8 April 1892.
December 19, 1890: The Queen of Spades, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) to words of the composer and his brother Modest after Pushkin, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. It is a triumph.
December 21, 1890: The third version of Symphony no.3 by Anton Bruckner (66) is performed for the first time, in Vienna. The composer is both booed and cheered by an audience which contains a greatly impressed Jean Sibelius (25). Outside the theatre, Sibelius gets into a fight with some Brahms (57) supporters and injures his foot. See 16 December 1887.
December 26, 1890: The British East Africa Company occupies Buganda. Frederick Lugard is named the military governor of the region.
December 26, 1890: Heinrich Schliemann dies in Naples at the age of 68.
December 28, 1890: En prière, a canticle for voice and organ by Gabriel Fauré (45) to words of Bordèse, is performed for the first time, in Paris.
December 28, 1890: In dem Schatten meiner Locken, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (30) to words of Arias perez (tr. Heyse), is performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna.
December 29, 1890: John Forrest takes office as the first constitutional head of a responsible government in Western Australia.
December 29, 1890: United States troops fire rifles and artillery into 350 Indian men, women, and children in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 153 are killed on the field, many more die later. Only 51 survivors are identified. 25 soldiers are killed, 39 wounded, mostly from friendly fire.