January 1, 1891: Germany begins operating its old age pension system.
January 1, 1891: Germany creates the German East Africa Colony ending rule by the German East Africa Company.
January 1, 1891: Having driven back the Toucouleurs, French troops enter Nioro (in present Mali).
January 9, 1891: Jean Sibelius (25) auditions to be a violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic. He is encumbered by stage fright and does not receive the position.
January 15, 1891: Träumen und Wachen for tenor and male chorus by Anton Bruckner (66) to words of Grillparzer is performed for the first time, in Vienna conducted by the composer during celebrations at the University of Vienna to mark the centennial of the poet. On the same day, he receives official notification from the Vienna Conservatory of his resignation and thanks for his 22 years of service. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde also informs him that it has elected him an honorary member.
January 16, 1891: Clément Philibert Léo Delibes dies in Paris, Republic of France, aged 54 years, ten months, and 26 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Cemetery of Montmartre.
January 20, 1891: A treaty between Great Britain and the Netherlands defines boundaries in Borneo.
January 21, 1891: Sonata for cello and piano op.1 by Hans Pfitzner (21) is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
January 22, 1891: A setting of Tantum ergo op.55 for tenor, chorus, harp, and organ by Gabriel Fauré (45) is performed for the first time, in St. Gervais.
January 22, 1891: Following the death of his father, Arnold Schoenberg (16) leaves the Realschule Vienna before completing his studies.
January 23, 1891: The Symphonic Prologue “Francesca da Rimini” op.24 by Arthur Foote (37) is performed for the first time, in Boston conducted by the composer.
January 27, 1891: A massive explosion rips through the HC Frick Coke Company coal mine at Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. All 109 men and boys in the mine at the time are killed.
January 30, 1891: King Kalakaua of Hawaii dies in San Francisco and is succeeded by his sister, Liliuokalani.
January 31, 1891: A republican insurrection in the Porto barracks is suppressed by Portuguese authorities.
January 31, 1891: Ivanhoe, a romantic opera by Arthur Sullivan (48) to words of Sturgis after Scott, is performed for the first time, for the opening of the Royal English Opera House. Present are the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. The work receives great initial success but the production will eventually lose money and D’Oyly Carte will have to sell the theatre.
January 31, 1891: Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen is performed for the first time, in the Residenztheater, Munich.
January 31, 1891: Chant d’amour, number 3 of Rêves for piano by Isaac Albéniz (30), is performed for the first time, in London by the composer.
February 7, 1891: O praise the Lord, all ye nations for chorus and organ by Amy Cheney Beach (23) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
February 9, 1891: Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia expresses his opinion that the treaty his country has with Italy does not give Italy a protectorate over Ethiopia.
February 9, 1891: Antonio Di Rudini, Marquis of Starabba replaces Francesco Crispi as Prime Minister of Italy.
February 9, 1891: Chanson triste op.40/2 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
February 16, 1891: Piano Quartet op.23 by Arthur Foote (37) is performed for the first time, in Boston, the composer at the keyboard.
February 21, 1891: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, in the Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
February 21, 1891: Condor, an opera by Carlos Gomes (54) to words of Canti, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
February 21, 1891: A coal dust fire sweeps through a mine at Springhill, Nova Scotia killing 125 men and boys.
February 23, 1891: Nikola Pasic replaces Sava Grujic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
February 24, 1891: The first republican constitution of Brazil is adopted.
March 2, 1891: At a social gathering in Paris, Carl Nielsen (25) first meets the sculptor Anne Marie Brodersen. They are both in Paris for study purposes. She has heard of him before. The two begin a whirlwind courtship. See 10 May 1891.
March 3, 1891: The International Copyright Act is passed by the US Congress. For the first time, it protects the holders of foreign copyrights from certain countries.
March 4, 1891: Geleit op.41/3 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (57) to words of Lemcke is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
March 5, 1891: Ion Emanuil Florescu replaces Lascar Catargiu as Prime Minister of Romania.
March 5, 1891: Voters in Canada elect the Seventh Parliament. Liberals continue to gain seats, some at the expense of Conservatives, but Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s Conservatives continue to hold a majority.
March 7, 1891: Danza esotica for orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (27) is performed for the first time, in Teatro Mercadente, Cerignola.
March 8, 1891: Sergey Rakhmaninov (17) makes his conducting debut at a student concert at the Moscow Conservatory. He conducts his own Deus meus motet for chorus. Two string quartet movements by Rakhmaninov are premiered, arranged for string orchestra, a Romance in g minor and a Scherzo in D major.
March 9, 1891: Beginning today and continuing for four days, a massive blizzard strikes the south coast of England, particularly Cornwall and Devon. About 200 people and 6,000 animals are killed. Some snow drifts reach 4.5 meters.
March 10, 1891: Almon B. Strowger, an undertaker from Kansas City, Missouri, receives a US patent for an automated telephone exchange. It will first be put into commercial use in November, 1892.
March 13, 1891: Ghosts, a play by Henrik Ibsen dealing with venereal disease, opens in London to adverse criticism.
March 14, 1891: After writing to his fiancee from Berlin that he has had an operation to remove a kidney stone, Jean Sibelius (25) reveals to his friend Robert Kajanus that he is suffering from venereal disease.
March 14, 1891: As a result of a personality dispute with the new director of the Budapest Opera, Count Zichy, Gustav Mahler (30) resigns, receiving 25,000 florins for the breaking of his contract.
March 14, 1891: A mob of 6,000-8,000 people invade the New Orleans city jail and lynch eleven alleged members of the Sicilian mafia who are awaiting trial for murdering the city’s police chief. The incident will cause strained relations between the US and Italy. No one will ever be prosecuted for the crime.
March 14, 1891: Serenata española op.181 for piano by Isaac Albéniz (30) is performed probably for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London by the composer.
March 15, 1891: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (31) are performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna: Das Ständchen and Der Schreckenberger to words of Eichendorff, and Wenn du zu den Blumen gehst to anonymous words (tr. Heyse).
March 16, 1891: Le mage, an opéra by Jules Massenet (48) to words of Richepin, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. It is not very successful.
March 16, 1891: Fantasy Pieces op.2 for oboe and piano by Carl Nielsen (25) are performed completely and publicly for the first time, in Copenhagen.
March 16, 1891: Act III of Mlada, an opera by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, is performed for the first time, in the Club of the Nobility, St. Petersburg, two days before the composer’s 47th birthday. See 1 November 1892.
March 16, 1891: A production of Lohengrin at the Budapest Opera, prepared by the recently departed Gustav Mahler (30) but conducted by Sándor Erkel, is repeatedly interrupted with calls for the return of Mahler. Police move in to restore order.
March 17, 1891: Tsar Alyeksandr III decrees that a railway be constructed across Siberia.
March 17, 1891: Antonín Dvorák (49) is awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague.
March 17, 1891: The British passenger ship SS Utopia strikes the battleship HMS Anson at Gibraltar. Utopia goes down in 20 minutes taking over 550 of the 880 passengers and crew with her.
March 18, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) departs St. Petersburg for his trip to the United States.
March 18, 1891: The first telephone link from London to Paris is officially opened. It will be opened to the public in two weeks.
March 20, 1891: Great Britain extends an informal protectorate over Muscat and Oman.
March 20, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) arrives in Berlin on his way to the United States. He hears his own music performed. “It was wonderful to listen to my own music unrecognized, with perfect strangers all around.”
March 22, 1891: Ode à la musique for soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Emanuel Chabrier (50) to words of Rostand is performed publicly for the first time, at the Paris Conservatoire.
March 24, 1891: Great Britain and Italy reach agreement in Rome on colonial borders in Somaliland. The negotiations will be completed on 15 April.
March 24, 1891: The first two movements of the Sonata for violin and piano op.1 by Max Reger (18) are performed for the first time, at Wiesbaden Conservatory, the composer at the keyboard. See 21 November 1891.
March 25, 1891: Prime Minister Alfred, Count von Fabrice of Saxony dies in Dresden and is replaced by Karl Friedrich Wilhelm von Gerber.
March 28, 1891: Néron, a pantomime by Edouard Lalo (68) to a story by Milliet, is performed for the first time, at the Hippodrome, Paris. It is based almost entirely on earlier works by Lalo.
March 29, 1891: Georges Seurat dies in Paris at the age of 31.
March 31, 1891: Dissatisfied with the progress of justice in the case of the 14 March lynchings, the Italian government recalls its minister from Washington. A new one will not be sent for at least a year.
April 1, 1891: The London to Paris telephone link is opened to the public.
April 1, 1891: William Wrigley founds a company in Chicago to sell soap and baking powder.
April 2, 1891: The Pilgrims for chorus and orchestra by George Whitefield Chadwick (36) is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall Boston, conducted by the composer.
April 5, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) conducts a wildly successful program of his own works in Paris. It includes the presumed premiere of his song Tears op.46/3 to words of Tyutchev.
April 9, 1891: Now the Powers of Heaven for chorus by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
April 9, 1891: Christnacht for solo voice, chorus, and orchestra by Hugo Wolf (31) to words of August Graf von Platen-Hallermünde, is performed for the first time, in the Großherzogliches Hof- und Nationaltheater, Mannheim.
April 10, 1891: Prelude op.21/1 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) is performed for the first time, in Tiflis (Tbilisi).
April 11, 1891: Trio for piano and strings “Dumky” op.90 by Antonín Dvorák (49) is performed for the first time, in Prague, the composer at the keyboard.
April 13, 1891: Three settings of Goethe's poem Harfenspieler for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (31) are performed publicly for the first time, in Ehrbarsaal, Vienna.
April 15, 1891: By a treaty between Great Britain and Italy signed today in Rome, the two countries settle spheres of influence in the horn of Africa.
April 15, 1891: The Katanga Company is founded under the direction of King Leopold of Belgium to exploit copper deposits in the Congo.
April 16, 1891: In Paris, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) learns of the death of his sister Alyeksandra Ilyinichna Davidova by reading it in a newspaper.
April 18, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) departs Le Havre aboard Le Grand Bretagne making for New York.
April 18, 1891: Symphony in B flat by Ernest Chausson (36) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris conducted by the composer.
April 22, 1891: Two songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (31) are performed for the first time, in the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal, Vienna: Mignon to words of Goethe, and Lied vom Winde to words of Mörike.
April 23, 1891: Grand Prince Sergey Alyeksandrovich ends the rights of Jewish artisans to live in Moscow. They are given up to a year to dispose of their property.
April 23, 1891: 17:00 Sergey Sergeyevich Prokofiev is born in Sontsovka (Krasnoye Selo), Yekaterinoslav District, Ukraine, Russian Empire, the third and only surviving child of Sergey Alexeyevich Prokofiev, an agricultural engineer, and Maria Gregoryevna Zhitkov, from a family of former serfs.
April 24, 1891: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is published in book form in London. It is an expansion on what was published last June.
April 28, 1891: The Empress of India docks in Vancouver, British Columbia having traveled from Liverpool through the Suez Canal with over 100 first class passengers, on one of the first world cruises.
April 28, 1891: Scène de ballet for orchestra by Jean Sibelius (25) was performed for the first time, in Helsinki.
April 30, 1891: The French Equatorial Africa Protectorate is renamed the French Congo.
April 30, 1891: Harold Harfager op.26 for chorus and orchestra by Horatio Parker (27) is performed for the first time, in Chickering Hall, New York.
May 1, 1891: During the first celebration of International Workers’ Day, French troops fire on demonstrating industrial workers in Fourmies, killing nine and injuring 35.
May 5, 1891: Three Choruses for unaccompanied voices by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) to words of Tsyganov and Pushkin are performed for the first time, in the Hall of the City Council, St. Petersburg.
May 5, 1891: Carnegie Hall opens in New York with a gala concert. The most illustrious person present is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (50) who conducts his own Coronation March. “Excitement. My turn. Was loudly received. The March went by very well. Great success.” He will conduct several performances over the next week.
May 6, 1891: Prince Masayoshi Matsukata replaces Prince Aritomo Yamagata as Prime Minister of Japan.
May 6, 1891: The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy is renewed.
May 6, 1891: Gunlöd, an opera by Peter Cornelius (†16) to his own words, finished by Hoffbauer, is performed for the first time, in the Hoftheater, Weimar.
May 7, 1891: The Kobolds op.21, a cantata by Horatio Parker (27) to words of Bates, is performed for the first time, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
May 7, 1891: A fanfare for Wilhelm Iffland’s play Der Jäger by Richard Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Weimar Court Theatre.
May 7, 1891: On his 51st birthday, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducts his Orchestral Suite no.3 at a matinee in New York.
May 8, 1891: Variations on America for organ by Charles Ives (16) is performed for the first time, in the Baptist Church of Danbury, Connecticut, by the composer. It is programmed as National Airs for Violin and Organ and is performed with a violinist.
May 9, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) conducts his Piano Concerto no.1 in New York with Adèle Aus der Ohe as soloist.
May 10, 1891: Carl Nielsen (25) marries the sculptor Anne Marie Brodersen in the English Church of St. Mark in Florence.
May 10, 1891: The first setting of Dem Vaterland for male voices and orchestra by Hugo Wolf (31) to words of Reinick, is performed for the first time, in the Festsaal der Liederhalle, Stuttgart.
May 10, 1891: Groß-Wien op.440, a waltz for male chorus and orchestra by Johann Strauss (63), is performed for the first time, in the Sängerhalle im Prater, Vienna. It comes at the end of a massive program honoring Strauss by musicians from all over Austria-Hungary. Finally, a large wreath is brought on stage by two regimental bandmasters. One of them is Franz Lehár (21). It is the only time that Strauss and Lehár will stand face to face.
May 11, 1891: While on an official visit to Japan, in Otsu, Russian crown prince Nikolay Alyeksandrovich is attacked with a saber by Tsuda Sanzo, a member of his Japanese security detail. Those accompanying the prince, who receives one cut on his forehead, manage to fight off Sanzo and he is shortly captured. Sanzo will be sentenced to life in prison but will die of natural causes in September.
May 11, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) travels from New York to Buffalo to visit Niagara Falls.
May 12, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) visits Niagara Falls, both the US and Canadian sides. He also takes the tour under the falls.
May 14, 1891: Naum Izrailevich Lur’ya (Arthur Vincent Lourié) is born in Propoysk, Mogilev Province of Russia (Slavgorod, Belarus), the son of Izrail Khatzkelevich Lur’ya, a wood industrialist, and Anna Yakovlevna Levitin, an amateur pianist. (Lourié’s birth is shrouded in mystery. There is no contemporary record of it, and he himself gave different dates and places at different times during his life. This date and place should be viewed with caution.)
May 15, 1891: Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum novarum which makes improving the lives of workers a moral issue.
May 15, 1891: Gerard Philips, funded by his father Frederik, founds the Philips Company in Eindhoven to make various electrical consumer products.
May 15, 1891: Great Britain creates the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate (Malawi).
May 15, 1891: Fanfares for four trumpets and timpani by Antonín Dvorák (49) are performed for the first time, for the opening of the Regional Jubilee Exhibition in Prague.
May 15, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) conducts his Piano Concerto no.1 with Adèle Aus der Ohe as soloist, and the Serenade for Strings, in the Lyceum Theatre, Baltimore.
May 16, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) travels to Washington where he enjoys a musical evening with members of the staff of the Russian embassy and other diplomats.
May 17, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) takes a tour of Washington, including the Capitol Building and the “renowned obelisk”, the Washington Monument, which he calls “the greatest structure in the world after the Eiffel Tower.”
May 18, 1891: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) travels from Washington to Philadelphia where he makes his last appearance in the United States. He conducts his Piano Concerto no.1 with Adèle Aus der Ohe as soloist. One of the instrumental soloists is the cellist Victor Herbert (32). After the concert, Tchaikovsky departs for New York.
May 20, 1891: Thomas Edison gives the first public demonstration of his kinetoscope to members of the National Convention of Women’s Clubs at his laboratory.
May 20, 1891: A farewell performance for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) is given at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. He hears several selections of his own music.
May 21, 1891: After a very successful month of concertizing in the United States, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) departs New York for home.
May 24, 1891: At Vladivostok, the Tsarevich, Grand Duke Nikolay, announces an Imperial edict which authorizes the building of a trans-Siberian railway.
May 27, 1891: (Claude) Joseph-Arthur-Adonaï Champagne is born in Montreal, Québec, in the Dominion of Canada, the son of Arthur Champagne and Mélina Normandin.
May 29, 1891: Prime Minister John A. Macdonald of Canada suffers a stroke in Ottawa leaving him unable to speak.
May 31, 1891: At Vladivostok, the Tsarevich, Grand Duke Nikolay, empties a whellbarrow full of dirt, symbolically beginning work on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
June 5, 1891: Sergey Rakhmaninov (18) passes his piano examination with honors at Moscow Conservatory, a year early.
June 5, 1891: Mrs. Jeanette M. Thurber, wife of a New York millionaire, sends the following cable from Paris to Antonín Dvorák (49) in Prague: WOULD YOU ACCEPT DIRECTOR NATIONAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC NEW YORK OCTOBER 1892 ALSO LEAD SIX CONCERTS OF YOUR WORKS.
June 6, 1891: Prime Minister John A. Macdonald of Canada dies at his Ottawa home, a week after suffering a stroke, at the age of 76.
June 9, 1891: Paul Gauguin arrives on Tahiti from Marseille.
June 15, 1891: Les béatitudes op.53, an oratorio by César Franck (†0) to words of the Bible adapted by Colomb, is performed for the first time with orchestral accompaniment, in Dijon. See 27 June 1878, 20 February 1879, 21 November 1880, and 30 January 1887.
June 16, 1891: John Joseph Caldwell Abbott replaces John Alexander Macdonald as Prime Minister of Canada.
June 19, 1891: The first commercial alternating current power station goes into operation. Built by LL Nunn near Ophir, Colorado, it uses Nikola Tesla’s patents to send electricity to the Gold King Mine over four kilometers away.
June 20, 1891: Edward Elgar (34) and his family move into Forli, their new house at 37 Alexandra Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire, the house they will occupy for eight years.
June 20, 1891: Edvard Grieg (48) is elected a corresponding member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts.
June 20, 1891: Representatives of Great Britain and the Netherlands sign a convention in London defining their mutual borders in Borneo.
June 23, 1891: Nikola Tesla receives a US patent for a “System of Electric Lighting” commonly known as a Tesla Coil. It will be used in wireless telegraphy into the 1920s. A Serb born in Austria-Hungary, next month Tesla will become a US citizen.
June 28, 1891: Eton, an ode for chorus and orchestra by Hubert Parry (43) to words of Swinburne, is performed for the first time, at Eton College to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the college.
June 30, 1891: The Nautch Girl opens at the Savoy Theatre in London. It is the first production at the Savoy that was not written by Gilbert and Sullivan (49) since it opened in 1881.
July 1, 1891: The International Copyright law goes into effect. It is now illegal to pirate the works of foreign authors.
July 4, 1891: The Graphic begins serialization of Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy.
July 8, 1891: Maurice Ravel (16) wins first prize in the piano competition at the Paris Conservatoire.
July 10, 1891: Louise-Constance Massenet, wife of Jules Massenet (49) buys a house known as Le Vieux Manoir at Point-de-l’Arche, 20 km south of Rouen. The composer will summer here and compose.
July 10, 1891: Erik Gustaf Boström replaces Baron Johan Gustaf Nils Samuel Åkerhielm af Margretelund as Prime Minister of Sweden.
July 20, 1891: The Battle of the Baltic op.41, a ballad for chorus and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (38) to words of Campbell, is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London.
July 23, 1891: A French squadron visits the Russian naval base at Kronstadt, thus strengthening relations between France and Russia.
July 24, 1891: Rákos Rákoczy, a folk ballet by Leos Janácek (37) to a scenario by Herben, is performed for the first time, in the National Theatre, Prague.
August 1, 1891: The Riviéres du Sud (Guinea) territory is created a colony by France.
August 1, 1891: Émile Levassor arrives at his summer home at Etreatat, having driven from Paris in the second Panhard-Levassor model automobile, a distance of 225 km in 23 hours and 15 minutes.
August 5, 1891: The Public Health (London) Act receives royal assent from Queen Victoria. It institutes several reforms to improve the health of London citizens.
August 12, 1891: James Russell Lowell dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of 72.
August 17, 1891: War begins between Germany and the Wahehe in central German East Africa. A column of German colonial troops sent to attack the Wahehe is overwhelmed near Lugalo and its German commander killed.
August 18, 1891: A category three hurricane strikes Martinique, flattening the island and causing around 700 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.
August 21, 1891: Cijsbert van Tienhoven replaces Aeneas, Baron Mackay as chief minister of the Netherlands.
August 24, 1891: Thomas Edison applies for a US patent for his motion picture camera.
August 28, 1891: Chilean revolutionary forces defeat those loyal to dictator José Manuel Balmaceda Fernández at Placilla near Valparaiso. Some Balmacedists seek protection in the US legation and receive it, thus straining relations between the two countries.
September 1, 1891: Felipe Pedrell (50) publishes Por nuestra Música, a manifesto in favor of national Spanish music.
September 10, 1891: De profundis for soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Hubert Parry (43) is performed for the first time, in Hereford.
September 14, 1891: The first penalty kick in football is awarded to Joseph “Billy” Heath of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Accrington FC. Heath is successful.
September 16, 1891: Lohengrin by Richard Wagner (†8) is successfully staged at the Paris Opéra. Unlike the production of 1887, the nationalistic demonstrations outside are crushed by the police, even though the crowds are much larger. After this, Wagner becomes the most performed composer at the capital of French musical culture. See 3 May 1887.
September 18, 1891: After losing power to revolutionary forces, President Balmaceda of Chile, while taking refuge in the Argentine legation in Santiago, puts a bullet through his right temple.
September 22, 1891: The US government opens 395,086 hectares of Indian land to white settlement in Oklahoma.
September 24, 1891: Der Gefangene, a dramatic cantata for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Victor Herbert (32) to words of Baumbach, is performed for the first time, in Worcester, Massachusetts.
September 24, 1891: The First Orchestral Suite of Edward MacDowell (30) is performed for the first time, in Worcester, Massachusetts.
September 28, 1891: The Worcester Choral Society creates an orchestral branch and elects Edward Elgar (34) as its conductor.
September 28, 1891: Herman Melville dies in New York City at the age of 72.
September 30, 1891: Having lived the last two years in exile, mostly in Jersey, General Georges Boulanger shoots himself in the head in Ixelles Cemetery, in Brussels. He dies on the grave of his mistress, where he soon will be buried.
October 1, 1891: Stanford University opens its doors in Palo Alto, California to 555 men and women.
October 6, 1891: Charles Stewart Parnell dies in Brighton at the age of 45.
October 6, 1891: King Karl of Württemberg dies in Stuttgart and is succeeded by his nephew Wilhelm II.
October 7, 1891: Eden op.40, an oratorio for six solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (39) to words of Bridges, is performed for the first time, in Birmingham. Press reaction is mixed.
October 9, 1891: Requiem op.89 for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Antonín Dvorák (50) is performed for the first time, in Birmingham, conducted by the composer.
October 10, 1891: Paa Vidderne (On the Mountains), a symphonic poem by Fritz (Frederick) Delius (29), is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo).
October 12, 1891: WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (49) meet for two hours at Sullivan’s London home. A reconciliation is effected.
October 14, 1891: O Praise the Lord, All Ye Nations op.7 for chorus by Amy Beach (24) is performed for the first time, in Trinity Church, Boston, for the installation of Phillips Brooks as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Rev. Brooks performed the composer’s wedding ceremony.
October 16, 1891: In response to US intervention in the Chilean civil war, Chileans attack US sailors on shore leave from the USS Baltimore in Valparaiso. Two sailors are killed, 17 injured.
October 19, 1891: Three songs for voice and piano by Jean Sibelius (25) are performed for the first time, in Helsinki: The Heart’s Morning op.13/3 and The Dream op.13/5 to words of Runeberg, and Enticement op.17/3 to words of Tavaststjerna.
October 25, 1891: Africa op.89, a fantasy for piano and orchestra by Camille Saint-Saëns (56) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
October 28, 1891: 06:38 One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history takes place, centered in Mino and Owari provinces, Japan. Official records put the death toll at 7,273, with 17,175 injuries. 140,000 homes are destroyed.
October 29, 1891: Russian Rhapsody for two pianos by Sergey Rakhmaninov (18) is performed for the first time, at Moscow Conservatory, the composer at one keyboard.
October 31, 1891: L’amico Fritz, a commedia lirica by Pietro Mascagni (27) to words of Suardon after Erckmann and Chatrian, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Costanzi, Rome. It is a triumph, receiving over 30 curtain calls.
November 1, 1891: At a contentious meeting of the Student Society in Christiania (Oslo), Edvard Grieg (48) advocates the removal of a symbol of the union with Sweden from the Norwegian flag. “I think the time has come to ask where our love really lies.”
November 1, 1891: Old Norwegian Melody with Variations op.51 for piano four hands by Edvard Grieg (48) is performed for the first time, in Brødrene Hals’ Koncertsal, Christiania (Oslo). Grieg also premieres his Lyric Pieces op.54/1, 2, 4, and 5. See 21 February 1904.
November 3, 1891: Cherubic Hymn in C for chorus by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
November 3, 1891: President Deodoro da Fonseca of Brazil sends troops to dissolve the Congress in Rio de Janeiro.
November 4, 1891: After the premiere of Paa Vidderne, Fritz (Frederick) Delius (29) departs Norway for Paris.
November 5, 1891: Die Sarazenen and Die schöne Aldâ, two fragments after The Song of Roland by Edward MacDowell (30) for orchestra, are performed for the first time, in Boston.
November 6, 1891: Giuseppe Verdi (78) writes to his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, “Thank you for the score of [Mascagni’s (28) L’Amico] Fritz which you sent me. In my life I have read many, many, very many bad librettos, but I have never read a libretto as idiotic as this...”
November 7, 1891: The University of Vienna presents an honorary Doctor of Philosophy to Anton Bruckner (67). In conferring the degree, the rector states, “I--the Rector magnificus of the University--bow before the former assistant school teacher of Windhaag.” At Bruckner’s request, the citation refers to him as a “symphonist.”
November 10, 1891: Arthur Rimbaud dies in hospital in Marseille at the age of 37.
November 11, 1891: The first documented public performance of Gustav Holst (17) takes place when he and his father play some of Brahms’ (58) Hungarian Dances at the Montpellier Rotunda, Cheltenham.
November 12, 1891: In the Second Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Elizabeth Penn Sprague of Chicago marries Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge of Boston. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge will go on to be one of the most important patrons of music of the twentieth century.
November 14, 1891: The Peer Gynt Suite no.2 for orchestra by Edvard Grieg (48) is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo), to celebrate 25 years since Grieg’s first appearance as a pianist in the city.
November 16, 1891: Otto Lilienthal gives a talk at the Society for Promoting Aviation in Berlin. He shows photographs of his flights earlier this year in his glider. They are the first human directed flights in a fixed-wing aircraft. (the exact dates of the flights are unknown)
November 18, 1891: Voyevoda, a symphonic ballad by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (51), is performed for the first time, in Moscow conducted by the composer. Despite the composer’s misgivings, the work finds a favorable response with public and press.
November 20, 1891: Les veillées d l’Ukraine, a suite for orchestra, violin, and harp by Charles Martin Loeffler (30), is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Boston, the composer as soloist. It is extremely successful.
November 21, 1891: Incidental music to Ibsen’s (tr. by Klingenfeld) play Das Fest auf Solhaug by Hugo Wolf (31) is performed for the first time, in the Hofburgtheater, Vienna.
November 21, 1891: Sonata for violin and piano op.1 by Max Reger (18) is performed completely for the first time, in Wiesbaden the composer at the keyboard. See 24 March 1891.
November 23, 1891: The first president of Brazil, Deodoro da Fonseca, is driven from office in a naval revolt.
November 24, 1891: Floriano Vieira de Araújo Peixoto replaces Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca as President of Brazil.
November 27, 1891: Liebe und Frühling op.3/2, a song by Johannes Brahms (58) to words of von Fallersleben, is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 37 years after it was composed.
November 29, 1891: During this week, Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy is published in London.
December 5, 1891: Former Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro, dies in the Bedford Hotel, Paris.
December 7, 1891: Ferruccio Busoni (25) makes his first performance in New York, at the Fortnightly Club.
December 7, 1891: The 52nd Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. A poor economy has helped the opposition Democratic Party regain control of the House of Representatives by a wide margin. Republicans still control the Senate.
December 12, 1891: Two chamber works including clarinet by Johannes Brahms (58) are performed for the first time, in the Saal der Singakademie, Berlin: Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano op.114 and Quintet for clarinet and strings op.115. The composer performs the piano part in the trio. The response is overwhelmingly positive.
December 12, 1891: Antonín Dvorák (50) gives formal approval to Mrs. Thurber’s terms. See 5 June 1891.
December 12, 1891: Sheridan's Ride for band by John Philip Sousa (37) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.
December 13, 1891: The Deutsches Volksblatt of Vienna publishes what it says is the “formal address by August Göllerich not delivered at the Bruckner celebration.” Göllerich was invited to speak at a student gathering at the University of Vienna to celebrate the conferral of an honorary degree on Anton Bruckner (67). The university then withdrew its invitation because of Göllerich’s outspoken anti-semitism.
December 13, 1891: The “Vienna” version of the Symphony no.1 by Anton Bruckner (67) is performed for the first time, in Vienna. It receives “a completely decisive success.” It is dedicated to the University of Vienna in gratitude for the honorary doctorate he received last month. See 9 May 1868.
December 17, 1891: Wie die Wolke nach Sonne op.6/5, a song by Johannes Brahms (58) to words of von Fallersleben, is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 38 years after it was composed.
December 19, 1891: Intermezzo for flute, clarinet and strings by Gustav Holst (17) is performed for the first time, in Montpelier Rotunda, Cheltenham.
December 21, 1891: Canadian James Naismith nails two peach baskets to balconies at the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. He throws up a soccer ball between eighteen students and they begin the first basketball game, the rules of which he invented.
December 23, 1891: Prime Minister Karl Friedrich Wilhelm von Gerber of Saxony dies in Dresden and is replaced by Heinrich Rudolf Schurig.
December 23, 1891: Antonín Dvorák (50) signs a two-year contract to direct the National Conservatory of Music in New York.
December 29, 1891: Lascar Catargiu replaces Ion Emanuil Florescu as Prime Minister of Romania.