January 1, 1896: Turkish government massacres of Armenians continue with an attack on Birecik.
January 2, 1896: Adventurers under Leander Starr Jameson surrender to Boers at Doornkop after failing to foment rebellion against the Boers in the Transvaal.
January 2, 1896: Kaiser Wilhelm II sends a letter of congratulations to Boer President Kruger for capturing Leander Starr Jameson, causing an explosion of anti-German sentiment in Great Britain.
January 4, 1896: The Wiener Presse becomes the first mainstream newspaper to publish details of X-rays, newly discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.
January 4, 1896: The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performs for the first time under that name, in Prague. It has been an opera orchestra heretofore. Antonín Dvorák (54) conducts the first performance of five of his Biblical Songs op.99.
January 4, 1896: Utah becomes the 45th state of the United States. The state constitution goes into effect including voting rights for women.
January 4, 1896: Liebe und Ehe op.465, a polka mazur by Johann Strauss (70), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
January 5, 1896: Pepita Jiménez, a lyric comedy by Isaac Albéniz (35) to words of Money-Coutts after Valera, is performed for the first time, in the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona. The public is enthusiastic, the critics are disappointed.
January 6, 1896: After a committee of the Cape Assembly reports that Cecil Rhodes engineered the Jameson raid, Rhodes resigns as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
January 8, 1896: Paul Verlaine dies in Paris at the age of 51.
January 10, 1896: Sonatina for violin and piano op.100 by Antonín Dvorák (54) is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno).
January 10, 1896: Johannes Brahms (62) conducts his two piano concertos in Berlin. It is the last time he will conduct.
January 13, 1896: Wilhelm Röntgen demonstrates X-rays to Kaiser Wilhelm II in Berlin.
January 13, 1896: “Legend”, the first of Two Episodes op.2 for orchestra by Henry F. Gilbert (27), is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston. It is the first public performance of an orchestral work by Gilbert. See 3 December 1896.
January 15, 1896: Representatives of France and Great Britain agree in London that Siam will remain independent as a buffer between British Burma and French Indochina.
January 15, 1896: Alyeksandr Skryabin (24) makes his European debut at the Salle Erard, Paris. He plays the premiere of his Deux Impromptus à la Mazur, Prelude op.16/5, Prelude op.17/5, Allegro de concert op.18, and nos. 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, and 14 of the 24 Preludes op.11.
January 15, 1896: Violin Sonata no.1 op.9 by Carl Nielsen (30) is performed for the first time, in the Koncertpalæet, Copenhagen. Critics find it too avant-garde.
January 18, 1896: In Great Britain’s fourth war against the Ashanti, British forces capture Kumasi and imprison King Prempeh.
January 20, 1896: X-rays are used in a clinical setting for the first time, in both Hanover, New Hampshire and Berlin, Germany.
January 20, 1896: Nachtzauber, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (35) to words of Eichendorff, is performed for the first time, in Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin.
January 22, 1896: Cuban rebel forces enter Mantua at the western end of the island. This puts them in effective control of most of Cuba.
January 23, 1896: Suite no.2 “Indian” for orchestra by Edward MacDowell (35) is performed for the first time, in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. The composer also appears as soloist in his Piano Concerto in d minor. In the audience are President Seth Low, Professor John W. Burgess, and Bishop Henry Potter, all of Columbia University. They have just received a grant of $150,000 to be used for music instruction. After speaking with MacDowell, the three decide that the money will be used for a professorship and that MacDowell should be that professor.
January 30, 1896: In Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin, the Hugo Wolf (35) Verein, formed by Paul Müller to spread knowledge of Wolf’s music, gives its inaugural concert. Two songs are performed for the first time: Gleich und Gleich to words of Goethe, and Das verlassene Mägdlein to words of Mörike.
February 1, 1896: La bohème, an opera by Giacomo Puccini (37) to words of Illica and Giacosa after Murger, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Regio, Turin. The audience, which includes members of the royal family, Arrigo Boito (53), and Pietro Mascagni (32), is appreciative but not wildly enthusiastic. Reviews are poor. The composer is disappointed.
February 2, 1896: Boris, the infant son of Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria is baptized into the Orthodox faith, thus securing recognition of Bulgaria by Russia.
February 4, 1896: Sommerabend op.85/1, a song by Johannes Brahms (62) to words of Heine, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
February 4, 1896: Thaddeus Cahill applies for a US patent on a machine that will produce “electrical music.” His intention is to create a device that will send live music to various locations simultaneously. This will be called the Telharmonium. In the patent application, Cahill first uses the word “synthesizing” to describe the machine’s creation of complex electronic sounds.
February 9, 1896: The first world championships of figure skating are held in St. Petersburg. There are four contestants.
February 10, 1896: Klipp-Klapp op.466, a galopp by Johann Strauss (70), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 11, 1896: Salomé by Oscar Wilde premieres in Paris. The author is currently in prison in England.
February 12, 1896: Armenian rebels in Zeitoun and the Ottoman government reach an agreement, brokered by the European powers. The Sultan agrees to reforms suggested by the powers, which include the appointment of a Christian governor over the region. In the insurrection, lasting three and a half months, about 1,500 Armenians, armed mostly with flintlocks, have held off 24 battalions of the Sultan’s army and about 30,000 Kurdish, Turkish, and Circassian irregulars, inflicting heavy losses on them in the process.
February 12, 1896: Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas dies in Paris, Republic of France, aged 84 years, six months, and seven days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Cimitière de Montmartre, Paris.
February 14, 1896: Theodor Herzl publishes Der Judenstaat in Vienna.
February 17, 1896: Symphony no.5 by Alyeksandr Glazunov (30) is performed for the first time, in the Hall of the Nobility, St. Petersburg.
February 20, 1896: Andante and Finale for piano and orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (†2) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. The work was left unfinished at the composer’s death and was completed by Taneyev.
February 26, 1896: Paul de Smet de Nayer replaces Jules Philippe Marie de Burlet as head of government for Belgium.
February 27, 1896: Hochzeits-Präludium op.469 by Johann Strauss (70) is performed for the first time, in the Kirche des Deutschen Ordens.
February 28, 1896: The United States Senate resolves to recognize Cuban independence.
March 1, 1896: Recent bad weather has interrupted Henri Becquerel’s experiments on the effect of sunlight on uranium. On February 26 he put some uranium down on a photographic plate in a desk drawer. When he develops the plate today, he finds that the uranium has left an image, thus indicating it contains an invisible energy: radioactivity.
March 1, 1896: A Shropshire Lad by AE Housman is published in London.
March 1, 1896: Ethiopian forces smash invading Italians at Adowa (Adwa), capturing two generals along with 2,000 men. 6,000 men are killed or wounded. The defeat is a crushing blow to Italy, causing the resignation of the government and peace with Ethiopia. It is one of the few examples of a non-white people successfully turning back colonization.
March 2, 1896: The heir to the throne having been duly converted to Orthodoxy, Russia recognizes Ferdinand I as Prince of Bulgaria.
March 2, 1896: In what is probably the first public performance of any music by Arnold Schoenberg (21), Alexander von Zemlinsky conducts his Notturno in Vienna.
March 2, 1896: Zanetto, an opera by Pietro Mascagni (32) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti and Menasci after Coppée, is performed for the first time, at the Liceo Rossini, Pesaro, the composer conducting. It is well received in Pesaro but will not do as well in Milan when Mascagni takes it there in two weeks.
March 2, 1896: Shamus O’Brien, a romantic comic opera by Charles Villiers Stanford (43) to words of Jessop after Le Fanu, is performed for the first time, in the Opera Comique Theatre, London. It is a smashing success and will enjoy 82 performances.
March 6, 1896: Suite in d minor for orchestra op.36 by Arthur Foote (43) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
March 7, 1896: The Storm, an overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (†2), is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg, 32 years after it was composed.
March 7, 1896: The Grand Duke, or The Statutory Duel, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (53) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, in the Savoy Theatre, London. The first-night audience is appreciative, the critics are fairly positive, but the work will ultimately fail, with only 123 performances. It is the last collaboration of Gilbert and Sullivan.
March 10, 1896: Antonio Di Rudini, Marquis of Starabba replaces Francesco Crispi as Prime Minister of Italy. Crispi’s government fell following the military debacle in Ethiopia.
March 10, 1896: Chatterton, a dramma lirico by Ruggero Leoncavallo (39) to his own words after de Vigny, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Argentina, Rome. This is a revision of an unperformed opera composed 20 years ago. It is moderately successful.
March 12, 1896: Lord Kitchener receives orders from London to invade Sudan.
March 15, 1896: Es war so wunderschön op.467, a march by Johann Strauss (70), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
March 16, 1896: The orchestral setting of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, a cycle for voice and orchestra by Gustav Mahler (35) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
March 17, 1896: Transvaal and the Orange Free State conclude an alliance.
March 18, 1896: British and Egyptian forces enter Sudan from Egypt.
March 19, 1896: Concerto for cello and orchestra op.104 by Antonín Dvorák (54) is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London, conducted by the composer on his last trip to that city.
March 20, 1896: The Matabele begin an uprising to kill or force out all the white settlers in Rhodesia.
March 20, 1896: At El Rubí, Cuban rebels force Spanish troops to retreat.
March 20, 1896: Regenlied op.59/3, a song by Johannes Brahms (62) to words of Groth, is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 26 years after it was composed.
March 20, 1896: Four songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) to words of Goethe are performed publicly for the first time, in Saal B des Archtektenhauses, Berlin: Phänomen, Ritter Kurts Brautfahrt, So lang man nüchtern ist, and Spottlied aus "Wilhelm Meister". Performed for the first time anywhere are the song Nixe Binsefuß to words of Mörike, and Wiegenlied im Sommer to words of Reinick, for female voices.
March 28, 1896: King Umberto I of Italy awards to Ruggero Leoncavallo (39) the Commendatore nell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia.
March 28, 1896: Andrea Chénier, a dramma istorico by Umberto Giordano (28) to words of Illica, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan. It is extremely successful and secures his fame.
March 29, 1896: Anton Bruckner (71) makes his last public appearance, at a Palm Sunday concert in Vienna.
March 29, 1896: Stabat mater dolorosa for male voices by Alphons Diepenbrock (32) to words of Jacopone da Todi, is performed for the first time, in Mozes en Aäron Kerk, Amsterdam.
April 3, 1896: Stabat mater dolorosa for chorus by Alphons Diepenbrock (32) to words of Jacopone da Todi, is performed for the first time, in Nieuwe Lutherse Kerk, Amsterdam.
April 6, 1896: The First Olympic Games of the Modern Era open in Athens.
April 6, 1896: Ghiselle, a drame lyrique by César Franck (†5) to words of Thierry, is performed for the first time, in Monte Carlo.
April 7, 1896: Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen reach a farthest north of 86° 13.6’ near Franz Josef Land.
April 8, 1896: Pierre, Baron de Coubertin replaces Domenikos Vikelas as President of the International Olympic Committee.
April 13, 1896: The Lemminkäinen Suite by Jean Sibelius (30) is performed for the first time, in Helsinki the composer conducting. The work includes four distinct sections: Lemminkäinen and the Maidens, Lemminkäinen in Tuonela, The Swan of Tuonela and The Return of Lemminkäinen. The public loves it. Critics are mixed.
April 13, 1896: El Capitan, an operetta by John Philip Sousa (41) to words of Klein, is performed for the first time, in the Tremont Theatre, Boston.
April 14, 1896: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan receives a US patent for “flaked cereals and the process of preparing same.”
April 15, 1896: The First Olympic Games of the Modern Era close in Athens. In ten days of competition, 241 athletes from 14 countries took part.
April 19, 1896: Lord Have Mercy Upon Us for solo quartet and double choir by Leos Janácek (41) is performed for the first time, in Brünn (Brno) conducted by the composer.
April 21, 1896: From the Bavarian Highlands, six choral songs with piano or orchestra by Edward Elgar (38), is performed for the first time, in Worcester conducted by the composer.
April 23, 1896: The first moving pictures in a theatre before a paying audience are exhibited at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall, 34th Street, New York. The inventor, Thomas Edison, is present to see films shown on his Vitascope by Thomas Armat. Scenes include ballet, burlesque, a boxing match, and waves upon the shore.
April 28, 1896: Cow-call and Peasant Dance op.63/2 for string orchestra by Edvard Grieg (52) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen, directed by the composer.
April 29, 1896: Félix Jules Méline replaces Léon Bourgeois as Prime Minister of France.
April 30, 1896: Numbers three and six of the Rondels op.1 for voice and piano by Charles Koechlin (28) are performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris, along with L’air op.8/5. See 20 January 1897.
May 1, 1896: Charles Tupper replaces Mackenzie Bowell as Prime Minister of Canada.
May 1, 1896: Pleurs d’or for two solo voices and piano op.72 by Gabriel Fauré (50) to words of Semain is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London.
May 1, 1896: Shah Nasr-ed-Din of Persia is murdered in Teheran by a member of the Babi faction.
May 2, 1896: The first subway on the European continent opens in Budapest.
May 2, 1896: About 35 US marines and sailors go ashore and secure US interests in Corinto, Nicaragua during local unrest.
May 2, 1896: Two piano works by Gabriel Fauré (50) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Valse-caprice no.4 op.62 and Barcarolle no.5 op.66.
May 4, 1896: The first issue of the London Daily Mail goes on sale. It is the first halfpenny newspaper and will be the first to sell more than 1,000,000 copies.
May 4, 1896: United States forces end their occupation of Corinto, Nicaragua.
May 5, 1896: Fantasy Sonata no.2 op.19 for piano by Alyeksandr Skryabin (24) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Erard, Paris by the composer. He also premieres the fifth of the 24 Preludes op.11.
May 5, 1896: The trustees of Columbia University offer Edward MacDowell (35) the post of Professor of Music. He will accept.
May 7, 1896: Lochinvar for baritone and orchestra by George Whitefield Chadwick (41) to words of Scott is performed for the first time, in Springfield, Massachusetts, conducted by the composer.
May 7, 1896: Herman Webster Mudgett, a.k.a. Dr. H.H. Holmes, is executed by hanging in Philadelphia. He murdered at least 20 people, but some estimates reach over 100.
May 8, 1896: Berceuse op.105 for piano four hands by Camille Saint-Saëns (60) is performed for the first time, at the Milan Conservatory of Music by the composer in an organ transcription.
May 12, 1896: The music critic Willy (Henri Gauthier-Villars) writes in Echo de Paris, “The paradoxical Doret will conduct, at the Exposition of Geneva, certain Gymnopédies by Erik Satie (29), who has taken care beforehand to have them orchestrated by Claude Debussy (33). That’s fine, but it’s not enough. To make performable the music of that mystical sausage-brain, it does not suffice to have it orchestrated by a composer of talent; someone else would also have to rewrite the melody. And even that would be worthless...”
May 15, 1896: Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Joseph von Eichendorff op.9 for voice and piano by Hans Pfitzner (27) are performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
May 18, 1896: During coronation festivities for Tsar Nikolay II, 500,000 people gather on Khodynka Field, near Moscow, for the traditional distribution of gifts. Through police stupidity, the crowd stampedes and 1,300 people are killed. In the evening, the Tsar and Tsarina attend a gala ball in the French embassy. An investigation will result in the dismissal of one policeman.
May 18, 1896: Cretans surround 1,600 Turkish troops at Vamos. The Turks retaliate by killing Greeks at Hania.
May 18, 1896: In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court rules that governments and others may separate accommodations along racial lines as long as those accommodations are equal.
May 20, 1896: Afternoon. Clara Wieck Schumann dies at Myliusstraße 32 in Frankfurt, German Empire, following two strokes, aged 76 years, eight months, and seven days.
May 22, 1896: Valse Mignonne op.104 for piano by Camille Saint-Saëns (60) is performed for the first time, in Paris by the composer. Also premiered is the original piano-four hands version of Berceuse op.105. See 8 May 1896.
May 25, 1896: 25.V.1896 op.21 for male chorus by Jean Sibelius (30) to words of Gustafsson is performed for the first time, in Helsinki at the unveiling of a memorial to Josef A.J. Pippingsköld, conducted by the composer.
May 26, 1896: Greetings from Christiania’s Singers EG 173 for baritone, double vocal quartet, and male chorus by Edvard Grieg (52) to words of Lie is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo).
May 27, 1896: A tornado touches down in St. Louis, Missouri, travels through the city, crosses the Mississippi River and hits East Saint Louis, Illinois. At least 250 people are killed with estimates as high as 400. Over 1,000 people are injured.
June 1, 1896: Edward (35) and Marian MacDowell move into their new summer home in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
June 2, 1896: Guglielmo Marconi receives the first patent for a wireless communication device, from Great Britain.
June 2, 1896: At a concert in Salle Pleyel, Paris celebrating 50 years of professional music making by Camille Saint-Saëns (60), his Concerto for piano and orchestra no.5 op.103 is heard for the first time, the composer at the keyboard. Also premiered by the composer is his Sonata no.2 op.102 for violin and piano.
June 3, 1896: A treaty signed in Moscow by representatives of Russia and China provides for the building of the Trans-Siberian railway through Manchuria, and the Russian economic domination of north China.
June 3, 1896: Three symphonic poems by Antonín Dvorák (54) are performed for the first time, privately, in the Rudolfinum, Prague: The Golden Spinning Wheel op.109, The Water Goblin, and The Noon Witch. See 26 October 1896, 14 November 1896, and 21 November 1896.
June 4, 1896: Henry Ford completes his first automobile in his workshop in Detroit. He calls it a Quadricycle.
June 7, 1896: 9,500 British and Egyptian troops surprise 4,000 Mahdists at Ferkeh in the Sudan completely routing them.
June 7, 1896: Der Corregidor, an opera by Hugo Wolf (36) to words of Mayreder after Alarcon, is performed for the first time, in the Großherzogliches Hof- und Nationaltheater, Mannheim to great success.
June 15, 1896: An earthquake and tsunami centered off Sanriku, Japan kills 27,120 people.
June 15, 1896: Germany creates a Crown Land of North-West Africa (Cameroon).
June 15, 1896: A mob of Turks, including military police, runs amok in the Armenian district of Van. Armenians organize unexpectedly stiff resistance during the nine days of battle.
June 15, 1896: Seven songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) are performed for the first time, in the Konzertsaal der Liederhalle, Stuttgart: Schon streckt' ich aus im Bett die müden Glieder, Sterb' ich, so hüllt in Blumen meine Glieder, Und steht Ihr früh am Morgen auf, and Wie viele Zeit verlor ich, all to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), Königlich Gebet to words of Goethe, Dereinst, dereinst Gedanke mein to words of Casillego (tr. Geibel), and Um Mitternacht to words of Mörike.
June 18, 1896: The secret treaty of 18 June 1887 between Germany and Russia is made public by the Hamburger Nachrichten, probably by Bismarck. The revelation embarrasses the German government and astonishes and angers Austria-Hungary.
June 23, 1896: Armenian resistance at Van ends with a peace brokered by the British Consul. The Turks agree to allow them safe passage if the fighters leave Ottoman territory. About 1,000 fighters leave Van, heading for Iran, but are set upon by Turkish troops at Karahisar mountain. Only 35 survive. Although only 400 Armenians were killed in the nine days of fighting in Van, surrounding villages have been destroyed by the Turks. Armenian dead are estimated at around 20,000.
June 23, 1896: Voters in Canada elect the Eighth Parliament. The Liberal Party of Wilfrid Laurier gains almost 20 seats and a majority.
June 29, 1896: A new electoral law in the Netherlands broadens the electorate but does not reach universal suffrage. This causes great criticism from the proletariat.
July 1, 1896: Four Malay states under British protection, Perak, Selangor, Pahang, and Negri Sembilan, are joined together by treaty as the Straits Settlements governed by a Chief Secretary.
July 1, 1896: Harriet Beecher Stowe dies in Hartford, Connecticut at the age of 85.
July 2, 1896: Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamit II grants an amnesty to all Cretans involved in the recent uprising and agrees to reforms.
July 5, 1896: Whites defeat Matabele at the Mambo Hills, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). However the Matabele incur significant losses on the whites.
July 6, 1896: The protecting powers (France-Great Britain-Russia) demand that the flow of arms, money, and volunteers to Crete be halted immediately.
July 9, 1896: Speaking to the national convention of the Democratic Party in Chicago, William Jennings Bryan makes the famous “Cross of Gold” speech, fighting the Republican desire to impose a gold standard. Jennings will be nominated for president.
July 11, 1896: Wilfred Laurier replaces Charles Tupper as Prime Minister of Canada.
July 18, 1896: Leos Janácek (42) crosses from Austrian to Russian territory for visits to St. Petersburg, Nizhny-Novgorod, and Moscow. He calls Russia “the mother of all the Slavs.”
July 18, 1896: Love Song for string orchestra and harp by Franz Schreker (18) is performed for the first time, in London. It is the first public performance of any music by Schreker.
July 23, 1896: The Serenade op.20 by Edward Elgar (39) is performed completely for the first time in public, in Antwerp.
July 28, 1896: The Anatolian Railway is opened as far as Konya.
July 28, 1896: Miami, Florida is incorporated as a city.
July 29, 1896: Leos Janácek (42) spends a day in Nizhny-Novgorod during his two-week visit to Russia.
July 30, 1896: The new head of French Intelligence, Lt.Col. Georges Picquart, examines the Dreyfus file in light of new intercepts of classified material. He realizes that Dreyfus is innocent and the real traitor is Major Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy.
August 6, 1896: The Kingdom of Imerina (Madagascar) is made a protectorate of France.
August 13, 1896: Returning to civilization at Vardø, Norway on the Barents Sea, Fridtjof Nansen reports that he has achieved the furthest north: 86° 13.6’.
August 16, 1896: Great Britain extends a protectorate over Ashanti territory in west Africa (Ghana).
August 17, 1896: George Washington Carmack, Skookum Jim Mason, and Tagish Charlie discover gold on Rabbit Creek (Bonanza Creek) in the Klondike region of the Yukon. Within a year, 30,000 people will flood the area.
August 21, 1896: Cecil Rhodes travels into the Matopas, south of Bulawayo, to begin peace negotiations with the Matabele.
August 23, 1896: The leaders of the secret independence movement Katipunan meet in Kalookan and declare a revolution against Spanish rule in the Philippines, simultaneously creating a revolutionary government.
August 23, 1896: The poet Giuseppe Giacosa writes to the publisher Ricordi about a libretto for Sardou’s play Tosca. He says the more he thinks about it the more convinced he is “of its absolute inadaptability to the musical stage.”
August 25, 1896: After months of social unrest, the Ottoman government announces a reform plan for Crete. It includes a Christian governor appointed by the protecting powers, two-thirds of all offices for Christians, a biennial legislature, and foreign commissions to recommend judicial and police reforms.
August 26, 1896: In an attempt to persuade the western powers to force Turkey to implement promised reforms and end the massacres, armed Armenian radicals enter and take control of the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople. They take many hostages.
August 27, 1896: Russia and China agree to terms of the building of a railroad in eastern China.
August 27, 1896: British ships bombard the palace of the Sultan of Zanzibar for about 40 minutes killing and injuring about 500 people. A sultan more favorable to British interests takes power.
August 27, 1896: 03:30 After lengthy negotiations with European embassies, Armenian radicals occupying the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople are conveyed to safety in France. This is used as a pretext for three days of mayhem and murder by Moslems in the Armenian Quarter of the city. 6,000 people are killed.
August 27, 1896: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) is born at 50 Nicolayevska Street, apt.4 in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, the first of two children born to Sergey Emilyevich Termen, a lawyer, and Yevgenia Antonova Orzhinskaya, of noble birth.
August 28, 1896: Further pogroms against Constantinople’s Armenian residents take place.
August 28, 1896: Due to recent actions by revolutionaries, Spanish Governor General Ramón Blanco y Erenas, marqués de Peña Plata places eight provinces of the Philippines under martial law.
September 3, 1896: At Karlsbad, Johannes Brahms (63) is diagnosed with liver cancer. The doctor does not tell his patient because Brahms has instructed him not to reveal any bad news to him.
September 8, 1896: The Light of Life, an oratorio by Edward Elgar (39) to words of Capel-Cure after the Bible, is performed for the first time, in Worcester Cathedral, the composer conducting. The press, for the first time including the London critics, is enthusiastic.
September 9, 1896: Deutschmeister-Jubiläums-Marsch op.470 by Johann Strauss (70) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
September 14, 1896: The French periodical L’Eclair publishes the secret file which helped convict Alfred Dreyfus in 1894. It was supposedly shown only to the judges. The reprinting has been embellished to help the case against Dreyfus.
September 15, 1896: A massacre of Armenians takes place in Egin (Agn), chosen by the Turkish authorities because it is the home village of the leader of the raid on the Ottoman Bank on 26 August. 2,000 Armenians are killed. Three-quarters of the Armenian homes are destroyed.
September 18, 1896: Prince Masayoshi Matsukata replaces Marquis Hirobumi Ito as Prime Minister of Japan.
September 18, 1896: Lucie Dreyfus petitions the French Chamber of Deputies for a mistrial since a secret document from her husband’s trial has been made public.
September 20, 1896: The first recorded motorcycle race takes place over the 132 km between Paris and Nantes and back. Eight contestants take part.
September 21, 1896: British forces under Lord Kitchener capture Dongola in the Sudan, 450 km north of Khartoum.
September 21, 1896: The Gold Bug, a “musical blend” by Victor Herbert (37) to words of MacDonough, is performed for the first time, at the Casino, New York. It will not last one week.
September 22, 1896: A hurricane strikes the Lesser Antilles and goes on to hit Cuba, Florida and up the United States coastline as far as Pennsylvania over the next week. About 130 deaths are attributed to this storm.
September 23, 1896: Der vierjährige Posten D.190, a singspiel by Franz Schubert (†67) to words of Körner, is performed for the first time, in Dresden 81 years after it was composed.
September 25, 1896: Robert (Roberto) Gerhard i Ottenwaelder is born in Valls, Tarragona, Kingdom of Spain, the first of three children born to Robert Gerhard, a Swiss wine exporter and Maria Ottenwaelder from Alsace.
September 28, 1896: France and Italy agree on spheres of influence in Tunis.
October 1, 1896: Auf eine Christblume II, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
October 8, 1896: Charles H. Dow begins reporting the average of stock prices for twelve leading US industries in the Wall Street Journal.
October 9, 1896: String Quartet no.13 by Antonín Dvorák (55) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
October 9, 1896: Percy Grainger (14) participates in a concert at the Hoch Conservatorium in Frankfurt, playing a Mozart (†104) piano concerto with his teacher, James Kwast, playing the orchestral reduction.
October 9, 1896: Phaudrig Crohoore op.62, a ballad for chorus and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (44) to words of Le Fanu, is performed for the first time, in Norwich.
October 11, 1896: 15:00 Joseph Anton Bruckner dies of heart disease in his home, the custodian’s house of the Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire, aged 72 years, one month, and seven days.
October 14, 1896: A funeral in memory of Anton Bruckner takes place in the Karlskirche, Vienna. Hugo Wolf (36) is denied entry as he has no ticket. Johannes Brahms (63) arrives late, stands at the door and mumbles what is perceived to be “Never mind-soon my coffin” and leaves. The remains are taken to the train station for transportation to St. Florian.
October 15, 1896: The Schola Cantorum opens on the rue Stanislas in Paris.
October 15, 1896: Anton Bruckner’s earthly remains are laid to rest in a crypt beneath the great organ of St. Florian near Linz, as was his wish.
October 17, 1896: The second movement of Suite for Grand Orchestra by Arthur Farwell (24) is performed for the first time, in Auburn, New York, under the title Andante from a New Suite.
October 18, 1896: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov premieres in St. Petersburg.
October 18, 1896: Six songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) are performed for the first time, in the Saal der Sing-Akademie, Berlin: Ich hab' in Penna einen Liebsten wohnen, Nein junger Herr (first public), and Verschling' der Abgrund meines Liebsten Hütte, all to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), Der Soldat to words of Eichendorff, and Im Frühling and Zum neuen Jahr, both to words of Mörike.
October 20, 1896: String Quartet no.14 by Antonín Dvorák (55) is performed for the first time, in Prague.
October 22, 1896: After successive peace negotiations, the Matabele uprising in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) is officially over.
October 26, 1896: Italy and Ethiopia sign a treaty in Addis Ababa recognizing the independence of Ethiopia.
October 26, 1896: The Golden Spinning Wheel op.109, a symphonic poem by Antonín Dvorák (55), is performed publicly for the first time, in London. See 3 June 1896.
October 27, 1896: Lt.Col. Georges Picquart, who has been trying to convince the French army general staff that Alfred Dreyfus is innocent, is transferred from his Paris post in Intelligence.
October 28, 1896: Howard Harold Hanson is born at 12th and Linden Streets in Wahoo, Nebraska, USA the second (and only surviving) child born to Hans Hanson, owner of a hardware store, and Hilma Christina Ekstrom, an amateur musician. Both parents are Swedish immigrants.
October 30, 1896: Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, a cantata by Edward Elgar (39) to words of Longfellow and Acworth, is performed for the first time, in Hanley conducted by the composer. The work is a critical and popular triumph.
October 30, 1896: Symphony “Gaelic” op.32 by Amy Cheney Beach (29) is performed for the first time, in an open rehearsal in Boston. The official premiere takes place tomorrow. The audience and critics are ecstatic.
October 31, 1896: With evidence starting to grow that Alfred Dreyfus has been wrongly convicted, Major Hubert Henry produces a letter from the Italian to the German embassies in Paris naming Dreyfus as their secret source. It is a forgery.
October 31, 1896: One day after the premiere of her Gaelic Symphony in Boston, George Whitefield Chadwick (41) writes to Amy Cheney Beach (29) praising her work. The symphony, said Chadwick, is good enough to make her “one of the boys”, referring to the artistic members of the Tavern Club. Beach is excluded from the club because of her sex.
November 1, 1896: Maurice Ravel (21) attends a concert in Paris with his friend Ricardo Viñes. During the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, Viñes will record, “…he who looks so cold and cynical, Ravel the super-eccentric decadent, was trembling convulsively and crying like a child, really deeply too because every now and then I hear him sobbing.” (Nichols, Ravel, 24)
November 2, 1896: Alfredo Casella (13) is examined for entrance to the Paris Conservatoire. He is accepted.
November 2, 1896: Cantata for the Coronation of Nicholas II for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Jean Sibelius (30) to words of Cajander is performed for the first time, at Helsinki University. The Tsar and Tsarina, unable to attend their coronation as King and Queen of Finland, are represented by plaster figures.
November 2, 1896: David Blakely, John Philip Sousa’s (41) business partner, dies suddenly in New York. Sousa is currently in Italy on vacation.
November 3, 1896: Voting in the United States ensures the election of William McKinley, former Governor of Ohio, as President over former Representative William Jennings Bryan. His Republican Party loses almost 50 seats in the House of Representatives, but their majority was so large they retain control.
November 6, 1896: Une erreur judiciaire, a pamphlet by Bernard-Lazare outlining errors in the Dreyfus case, is published in Brussels.
November 7, 1896: The Maiden in the Tower, an opera by Jean Sibelius (30) to words of Hertzberg, is performed for the first time, in Helsinki.
November 8, 1896: Sérénade à Watteau for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Gustave Charpentier (36) to words of Verlaine is performed for the first time, in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris.
November 9, 1896: The second movement of Symphony no.3 by Gustav Mahler (36) is performed for the first time, in Berlin. It is an unexpected success, with the public and the press. See 9 June 1902 and 9 March 1907.
November 9, 1896: Vier ernste Gesänge op.121 for voice and piano by Johannes Brahms (63) to words from the Bible, are performed publicly for the first time, in Bösendorfersaal, Vienna.
November 12, 1896: Great Britain agrees to US urgings for arbitration of its boundary dispute with Venezuela.
November 14, 1896: The Water Goblin op.107, a symphonic poem by Antonín Dvorák (55) is performed publicly for the first time, in London. See 3 June 1896.
November 15, 1896: A switch is thrown at Niagara Falls, New York and the first power produced by the Falls over long distance is sent to Buffalo. The powerhouse was designed by Nicola Tesla.
November 18, 1896: Unberto Giordano (29) marries Olga Spatz-Wurms in the Palazzo Marino, Milan. She is the daughter of a hotel owner.
November 21, 1896: The Noon Witch op.108, a symphonic poem by Antonín Dvorák (55) is performed publicly for the first time, in London. See 3 June 1896.
November 25, 1896: John Philip Sousa (42) and his wife arrive in New York from Europe aboard the SS Teutonic. He has cut his vacation short to deal with the death of his partner David Blakely. During his return trip, Sousa conceived of The Stars and Stripes Forever. "Throughout the whole tense voyage, that imaginary band continued to unfold the same themes, echoing and re-echoing the most distinct melody. I did not transfer a note of that music to paper while I was on the staemer, but when we reached shore, I set down the measures that my rain-band had been playing for me, and not a note of it has ever been changed." (Tick, Beaudoin, 284)
November 25, 1896: Virgil Garnett Thomson is born in an apartment on East Tenth Street and Virginia Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, third of three children born to Quincy Alfred Thomson, a cable-car conductor, and Clara May Gaines, daughter of a real estate investor.
November 26, 1896: As part of his application for a permanent teaching position at Helsinki University, Jean Sibelius (30) delivers a lecture on folk music in art music.
November 27, 1896: Kukuschka, an opera by Franz Lehár (26) to words of Falzari, is performed for the first time, in the Stadttheater, Leipzig.
November 27, 1896: Also sprach Zarathustra, a tone poem by Richard Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main the composer conducting. “Zarathustra is glorious--by far the most important of all my pieces, the most perfect in form, the richest in content and the most individual in character...” Critical and popular response is highly positive.
November 30, 1896: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) are performed for the first time, in Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin: Ganymed and Grenzen der Menschheit (first public), both to words of Goethe, and Wer tat deinem Füßlein weh? to anonymous words (tr. Geibel).
December 2, 1896: Petre S. Aurelian replaces Dimitrie Alexandru Sturdza as Prime Minister of Romania.
December 3, 1896: Hermann Hollerith incorporates the Tabulating Machine Company. It will eventually become IBM.
December 3, 1896: Javotte, a ballet by Camille Saint-Saëns (61) to a scenario by Croze, is performed for the first time, in Lyon, the composer conducting.
December 3, 1896: Two Episodes op.2 for orchestra by Henry F. Gilbert (27) is performed completely for the first time, in Chickering Hall, New York. See 13 January 1896.
December 4, 1896: Voting for the New Zealand Parliament returns the Liberal government to power.
December 6, 1896: Gesang der Apollopriesterin for voice and orchestra by Richard Strauss (32) to words of von Bodmann, is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels.
December 7, 1896: General Antonio Maceo, leader of the Cuban insurrection, is killed in action by Spanish troops, at Punta Brava.
December 8, 1896: The Clown’s Songs op.65, a cycle for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (44) to words of Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, in London.
December 10, 1896: Thème et variations for piano op.73 by Gabriel Fauré (51) is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London.
December 10, 1896: Ubu Roi, a play by Alfred Jarry, opens in Paris. It causes a riot and outbreaks of fighting in the audience. Closing the same day, it will not be produced again for ten years.
December 10, 1896: Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist, engineer, and inventor of dynamite, dies at San Remo, Italy. His will establishes the Nobel Prize which will be awarded first in 1901 and annually on 10 December.
December 12, 1896: A Song for Lemminkäinen for male chorus and orchestra by Jean Sibelius (30) to words of Veijola is performed for the first time, in Helsinki, directed by the composer.
December 14, 1896: The third subway system in the world opens in Glasgow.
December 14, 1896: Trio for piano, violin, and cello op.8 by Hans Pfitzner (27) is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
December 15, 1896: A concert is given in Queen’s Hall, London of seven young British composers, organized by one of them, Granville Bantock (28). It is an attempt to further the cause of contemporary British music. It is not successful.
December 21, 1896: Gustav Mahler (36) mails his letter of application for the position of conductor of the Vienna Court Opera.
December 21, 1896: String Quartet no.4 by George Whitefield Chadwick (42) is performed for the first time, in Association Hall, Boston.
December 25, 1896: John Philip Sousa (42) completes the piano score to The Stars and Stripes Forever in New York.
December 26, 1896: Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart, the whistle-blower in French Intelligence in the Dreyfus affair, is sent on a dangerous assignment in Tunisia.
December 27, 1896: Djordje Simic replaces Stojan Novakovic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
December 27, 1896: Poème op.25 for violin and orchestra by Ernest Chausson (41) is performed for the first time, in Nancy.
December 28, 1896: Roger Huntington Sessions is born at 417 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, USA, second of four children (three surviving) born to Archibald Lowery Sessions, a lawyer, and Ruth Gregson Huntington, the daughter of an Episcopal bishop. (The name on the birth certificate is Roger Pitkin Sessions but was changed at the baptism. It will not be until 1924 that Sessions learns his legal name.)
December 30, 1896: Spanish authorities in Manila execute the Philippine nationalist leader José Rizal by firing squad.