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

January 1, 1928 – December 31, 1928

Event icon
January 1, 1928: The New Years honors list includes a KCVO for Edward Elgar (70).
Event icon
January 2, 1928: The Third Race Betterment Conference meets in Battle Creek, Michigan. During the weeklong meeting Greek physician George Papanicolau will present his paper “New Cancer Diagnosis” wherein he describes a process using smears of vaginal cells to diagnose cancer in women. It is met with skepticism, but when it becomes common practice in the 1950s, it will be known simply as the Pap Test.
Event icon
January 2, 1928: Vladimir Horowitz meets Sergey Rakhmaninov (54) for the first time, in the basement of Steinway’s in New York, where the pianos are stored. Horowitz, who will give his American debut in ten days, plays through Rakhmaninov’s Third Concerto while the composer plays a reduction of the orchestral part. Rakhmaninov is impressed and makes some suggestions.
Event icon
January 2, 1928: Nadia Boulanger (40) writes a letter of recommendation for Marc Blitzstein (22), her student for the past several months. “I could not praise too highly his gifts--Born musician, he is especially bright minded--and gives the greatest reasons to believe he is to become a true great artist.”
Event icon
January 4, 1928: Maurice Ravel (52) arrives in New York for a four month tour of North America. Stops on the tour include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Denver, Omaha, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Houston, Arizona, Buffalo, and Montreal.
Performance icon
January 5, 1928: Sinfonia concertante for orchestra and piano obbligato by William Walton (25) is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London. The work is very successful.
Event icon
January 7, 1928: A sudden thaw causes the Thames to flood in London and downriver. 14 people are killed.
Event icon
January 7, 1928: While on a visit to Prague, Gustav Holst (53) has dinner with Leos Janácek (71) and Alois Hába (34).
Performance icon
January 8, 1928: Kammermusik no.7 op.46/2, a concerto for organ and chamber orchestra by Paul Hindemith (32), is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
Performance icon
January 9, 1928: Il canto del lavoro for chorus and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (64) to words of Bovio and Rossoni is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Carlo, Naples.
Event icon
January 10, 1928: An anonymous article appears in the Warsaw Voice of Truth, questioning the appointment of Karol Szymanowski (45) as director of the Warsaw Conservatory a year ago and pointing out what it considers to be his dictatorial practices.
Performance icon
January 10, 1928: Theatre Overture by Zoltán Kodály (45) is performed for the first time, in Budapest.
Performance icon
January 10, 1928: Rosalie, a musical comedy with a book by Bolton and McGuire, lyrics by Wodehouse and Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (29) opens in New York, at the New Amsterdam Theatre. It includes the song How Long Has This Been Going On. The play will see 335 performances. See 8 December 1927.
Death icon
January 11, 1928: Thomas Hardy dies in Dorchester, Dorset at the age of 87.
Performance icon
January 11, 1928: Horace victorieux, a ballet by Arthur Honegger (35) to a story by Fauconnet after Livius, is staged for the first time, in the Essen Stadttheater. See 31 October 1921.
Event icon
January 11, 1928: A recording is made of Kurt Weill’s (27) Tango Angèle to be used in his opera Der Zar lässt sich photographieren. It is the first recording of any music by Kurt Weill and will be released to the public next month.
Event icon
January 12, 1928: Benjamin Britten (14) begins composition lessons with Frank Bridge (48) at Bridge’s home in London. Britten tells his diary, “Had an absolutely wonderful lesson.” (Powell, 25)
Event icon
January 12, 1928: In an article published today and two more on 29 January and 1 February, Karol Szymanowski (45) defends himself in detail against the accusations made on 10 January.
Performance icon
January 12, 1928: Serenade for three horns and string orchestra by Otto Luening (27) is performed for the first time, in Rochester, New York.
Performance icon
January 12, 1928: Maurice Ravel (52) conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Sanders Theatre of Harvard University, his American conducting debut.
Event icon
January 13, 1928: Pursuant to the Treaty of Neuilly, Allied military control of Bulgaria ends.
Event icon
January 13, 1928: The British War Office ceases the use of the lance as a weapon of war.
Event icon
January 16, 1928: Trotsky is banished from Moscow. He is put on a train and sent to Alma Ata.
Performance icon
January 16, 1928: Panathenäenzug for piano-left hand and orchestra by Richard Strauss (63) is performed for the first time, in Berlin by Paul Wittgenstein.
Performance icon
January 16, 1928: Anton Webern’s (44) String Trio op.20 is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
Event icon
January 20, 1928: Christopher Andersen Hornsrud replaces Ivar Lykke as Prime Minister of Norway and becomes the first Norwegian head of government from the Labor Party.
Event icon
January 21, 1928: Peteris Jurasevskis replaces Margers Skujenieks as Prime Minister of Latvia.
Performance icon
January 24, 1928: In a private demonstration in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel, New York, organized by Walter Damrosch, Edsel Ford, Fritz Kreisler, and others, Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) performs upon his new electronic musical instrument before invited guests including Sergey Rakhmaninov (54), Arturo Toscanini, and Joseph Szigeti.
Event icon
January 26, 1928: After two days of aerial bombardment, US Marines capture a Sandinista stronghold at the summit of El Chipote, Nicaragua. After achieving their objective, the Marines find it defended by straw-filled dummies.
Performance icon
January 31, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a debut recital on his Thereminovox entitled “Music from the Ether” at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. It is well received.
Performance icon
February 1, 1928: Incidental music to Sundukian’s play Khatabala by Aram Khachaturian (24) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
Event icon
February 1, 1928: British physicist Paul Dirac publishes the article “The Quantum Theory of the Electron” in Proceedings of the Royal Society. In it, he predicts the existence of antimatter (although he does not use that term).
Event icon
February 2, 1928: Fire breaks out in Fall River, Massachusetts and will burn for two more days. Five blocks in the heart of the business district are destroyed.
Event icon
February 2, 1928: An informal meeting of Edgard Varèse (44), Carlos Chávez (28), Henry Cowell (30), and four others takes place in Birchard Hall, New York to plan a new Pan-American Association of Composers.
Performance icon
February 3, 1928: The Third Symphony op.27 “The Song of the Night” for tenor, chorus, and orchestra of Karol Szymanowski (45), to words of Rumi (tr. Micinski), is performed for the first time in its original form, in Lvov (Lviv). See 26 November 1921 and 11 April 1924.
Event icon
February 5, 1928: Amy Beach (60) meets Béla Bartók (46) in New York. She finds his Violin Sonata “hideous.”
Performance icon
February 6, 1928: In Berlin, Bruno Walter conducts the first performance of the Symphony no.1 by Dmitri Shostakovich (21) outside of the Soviet Union. It is an immediate success and marks the beginning of the composer’s international fame.
Event icon
February 9, 1928: Alois Hába (34) marries Emilie Rolencová.
Event icon
February 10, 1928: A lunch takes place in Warsaw attended by Karol Szymanowski (45), his supporters and critics, in an attempt to settle differences recently played out in the press. It turns into a verbal brawl with everyone’s feelings more hurt than soothed.
Event icon
February 11, 1928: The Second Winter Olympic Games open in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Performance icon
February 11, 1928: The Revolt, a ballet by Bohuslav Martinu (37) to his own story, is performed for the first time, in the National Theatre, Brno.
Performance icon
February 11, 1928: Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin for flute, oboe, and piano by Ethel Smyth (69) is performed for the first time, in Wigmore Hall, London.
Performance icon
February 12, 1928: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.1 op.14 by Alyeksandr Vasilyevich Mosolov (27) is performed for the first time, in Leningrad, the composer at the keyboard.
Event icon
February 12, 1928: William Grant Still (32) is presented the Second Award of the William E. Harmon Award for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes in Music. He receives $100 and a bronze medal.
Performance icon
February 12, 1928: A Piano Sonata by Marc Blitzstein (22) is performed for the first time, at a League of Composers concert in the Guild Theatre, New York by the composer.
Performance icon
February 12, 1928: Gustav Holst’s (53) orchestral work Egdon Heath, Homage to Hardy, is performed for the first time, in Mecca Auditorium, New York. The dedicatee died only a few weeks ago.
Event icon
February 15, 1928: Johan Ludwig Mowinckel replaces Christopher Andersen Hornsrud as Prime Minister of Norway.
Performance icon
February 15, 1928: Chanson d’amour op.5/3 for voice and piano by Charles Koechlin (60) to words of Bouilhet is performed for the first time, in Salle des agriculteurs, Paris, 35 years after it was composed.
Performance icon
February 15, 1928: Gods for mezzo-soprano, cello, and strings by Marc Blitzstein (22) to words of Whitman is performed for the first time, in the Pennsylvania Athletic Club Ballroom, Philadelphia.
Performance icon
February 16, 1928: Four Songs for voice and orchestra op.13 by Anton Webern (44) to various authors, is performed for the first time, in Winterthur.
Performance icon
February 16, 1928: The first version of Modest Musorgsky’s (†46) opera Boris Godunov, to his own words after Pushkin and Karamazin, is performed for the first time, in Leningrad.
Performance icon
February 17, 1928: Lift Up Your Eyes, all Christian Men! for tenor, baritone, and organ by Carl Nielsen (62) is performed for the first time, in the Eliaskirken, Copenhagen.
Performance icon
February 18, 1928: Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, an opera by Kurt Weill (27) to words of Kaiser, is performed for the first time, at the Neues Theater, Leipzig. It is well received and will be widely successful.
Event icon
February 19, 1928: The Second Winter Olympic Games close in St. Moritz Switzerland. In nine days of competition, 464 athletes from 25 countries participated.
Performance icon
February 19, 1928: Intermezzo (Clowns) for jazz band by Charles Martin Loeffler (67) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
Event icon
February 20, 1928: Voting for the Japanese Diet takes place. For the first time, all men over age 25 are allowed to vote. A hung Parliament results with the Seiyukai and Minsei parties being almost equally divided.
Event icon
February 20, 1928: Transjordan is granted internal autonomy by the British.
Performance icon
February 23, 1928: Igor Stravinsky’s (45) opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex, to words of Cocteau after Sophocles, is staged for the first time, in the Vienna Staatsoper. See 30 May 1927.
Event icon
February 26, 1928: Italy adopts the gold standard.
Performance icon
February 28, 1928: The newly renovated Teatro Costanzi in Rome is opened as a national opera house with the first Rome performance of Nerone by Arrigo Boito (†9).
Event icon
February 28, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) receives a US patent for his electronic musical invention, the Thereminovox, in Washington.
Performance icon
February 29, 1928: The Toronto Conservatory of Music choir gives its first performance, under its founder, Ernest MacMillan (34). With the conservatory orchestra they perform the Requiem of Mozart (†136). It is the first time that the work is heard in Toronto.
Performance icon
March 2, 1928: Capriccio for piano-left hand, flute, two trumpets, three trombones, and tuba by Leos Janácek (73) is performed for the first time, in Smetana Hall, Prague.
Performance icon
March 3, 1928: Sections of Francis Poulenc’s (29) Airs chantés for voice and piano are performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier, Paris along with the premiere of Poulenc’s Vocalise. See 10 June 1928 and 7 May 1927.
Performance icon
March 3, 1928: Prières journalières à l’usage des juifs du Comtat Venaissin op.96 for voice and piano by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, in Paris the composer at the piano.
Birth icon
March 4, 1928: Samuel Hans Adler is born Hedwigs Clinic in Mannheim, Germany, the first of two children born to Hugo Chaim Adler, a cantor and composer of music for Jewish liturgy, and Selma Rothschild, a singer and pianist. The clinic stands on the site of the Weber house, the home of Constanza Weber, where Mozart (†136) stayed while visiting the family in 1778.
Performance icon
March 5, 1928: The Emerson movement from the Sonata for Piano no.2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” by Charles Ives (53) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the Sorbonne Station of the Radio Institute of Paris.
Event icon
March 7, 1928: At a party celebrating the 53rd birthday of Maurice Ravel in the New York home of Eva Gauthier, George Gershwin (29) meets the French composer for the first time. When Ms. Gauthier asked Ravel if there was anything he wanted he replied, “to meet George Gershwin.” Gershwin asks to study with Ravel, but the Frenchman politely declines. He doesn’t want Gershwin to end up writing “bad Ravel.”
Performance icon
March 8, 1928: Il finto Arlecchino, an opera by Gian Francesco Malipiero (45) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Mainz Stadttheater.
Event icon
March 8, 1928: Maurice Ravel (53), in New York, writes to Nadia Boulanger (40) in Paris. “There is a musician here endowed with the most brilliant, most enchanting, and perhaps the most profound talent: George Gershwin (29). His worldwide success no longer satisfies him, for he is aiming higher. He knows that he lacks the technical means to achieve his goal. In teaching him those means, one might ruin his talent.  Would you have the courage, which I wouldn't dare have, to undertake this awesome responsibility?"  She will politely decline.
Event icon
March 11, 1928: George Gershwin (29), his sister Frances, brother Ira, and Ira’s wife Leonore set sail from New York for London and the continent.
Event icon
March 11, 1928: A week of voting in the Polish general election concludes. The Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government, formed to support the coup of Józef Pilsudski, wins the most seats in the Sejm but nowhere near a majority.
Event icon
March 12, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) demonstrates his musical device in the Stevens Hotel, Chicago. Afterwards, he gives a lesson to Frederick Stock, conductor of the Chicago Symphony.
Event icon
March 12, 1928: The St. Francis Dam, about 65 km northwest of Los Angeles, collapses. The resulting flood kills up to 600 people.
Performance icon
March 13, 1928: Two of the Walt Whitman Songs for voice and piano by Marc Blitzstein (22), O Hymen, O Hymenee! and As Adam, are performed for the first time, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.
Performance icon
March 14, 1928: Manuel de Falla (51) is invested with the Legion of Honor in the Hotel de la Fondation S. de Rothschild in Paris. Three works by Joaquín Rodrigo (26) are performed for the first time at the occasion, the composer at the piano: Preludio al gallo mañanero and Zarabanda lejana, both for piano, and Cantiga “Muy graciosa es la doncella” for voice and piano to words of Vicente.
Event icon
March 15, 1928: Frightened by the relative success of leftists in the first universal male suffrage election last month, the Japanese government arrests over 1,600 socialists and communists.
Performance icon
March 15, 1928: A Trio for piano, viola, and heckelphone or tenor saxophone op.47 by Paul Hindemith (32), is performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden, the composer as violist.
Event icon
March 16, 1928: Mustafa an-Nahas Pasha replaces Abdul Khaliq Sarwat Pasha as Prime Minister of Egypt.
Performance icon
March 16, 1928: Nocturne for orchestra by Henry F. Gilbert (59) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia. Reviews range from mixed to very positive.
Event icon
March 20, 1928: Japanese troops are reintroduced into the Shantung (Shandong) Peninusla of China at Tsinan (Jinan).
Performance icon
March 21, 1928: At the Budapest premiere of Ernst Krenek’s (27) Jonny spielt auf, a stink bomb is thrown.
Performance icon
March 21, 1928: Filomela e l’infatuato, a dramma musicale by Gian Francesco Malipiero (46) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Deutsches Theater, Prague.
Performance icon
March 21, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a concert on his Thereminovox in Orchestra Hall, Detroit. Tomorrow, the front page of the Detroit Free Press will be devoted entirely to the event.
Performance icon
March 23, 1928: Symphonic Piece for orchestra by Walter Piston (34) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
Performance icon
March 25, 1928: Log Cabin Ballads for chamber orchestra by William Grant Still (32) is performed for the first time, in Booth Theatre, New York.
Event icon
March 27, 1928: In Paris, Armand Givelet demonstrates an instrument similar to the Thereminovox but with more accurate intonation.
Event icon
March 29, 1928: The British House of Commons passes a bill making 21 the voting age for women, the same as men. After passing the House of Lords it will become law on 2 July.
Performance icon
March 29, 1928: Kammermusik no.6 op.46/1 for viola d’amore and chamber orchestra by Paul Hindemith (32) is performed for the first time, in Cologne, the composer as soloist.
Event icon
March 30, 1928: The Philharmonic Society of New York merges with the New York Symphony Society to form the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society.
Event icon
March 31, 1928: An earthquake off the coast of Izmir, Turkey kills 170 people.
Event icon
April 2, 1928: Prime Minister István, Count Bethlen of Hungary meets Benito Mussolini for a second time, in Milan. They informally agree to support fascist and anti-Yugoslav causes.
Performance icon
April 2, 1928: Ode à la France for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Claude Debussy (†10) to words of Laloy, and finished by Marius François Gaillard, is performed for the first time, in the Salle Pleyel, Paris along with the premiere of Debussy’s Printemps for female chorus and orchestra to words of the comte de Ségur, and Invocation for male chorus and orchestra, both composed in 1882.
Performance icon
April 6, 1928: California for orchestra by Frederick S. Converse (57) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
Performance icon
April 8, 1928: Incidental music to Lania’s play Konjunktur by Kurt Weill (28) to words of Gasbarra, is performed for the first time, in the Lessing Theater, Berlin.
Event icon
April 9, 1928: Islam is removed as the state religion of Turkey.
Event icon
April 12, 1928: A bomb explodes in Piazza Giulio Cesare, Milan ten minutes before the expected arrival of King Vittorio Emanuele III to open an industrial fair. 18 people are killed, 40 injured. Tonight, authorities arrest thousands throughout the country.
Performance icon
April 12, 1928: Six Symphonic Epigrams by Willem Pijper (33) are performed for the first time, in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Event icon
April 13, 1928: The German aircraft Bremen lands on Greenly Island in the Strait of Belle Isle, between Quebec and Newfoundland, thus completing the first crossing of the Atlantic by air from east to west. The three men aboard are German Captain Herman Köhl, the navigator, Irishman Major James Fitzmaurice, and the owner of the plane, Ehrenfried Günther, Freiherr von Hünefeld. The flight took about 36 hours from Ireland.
Event icon
April 14, 1928: An earthquake destroys a large part of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Over 100 people are killed.
Performance icon
April 14, 1928: Preludio e Presto op.52 for violin by Carl Nielsen (62) is performed for the first time, in Borups Højskole, Copenhagen. Also premiered are the first two of the Nielsen’s Three Piano Pieces op.59. See 6 March 1930.
Performance icon
April 14, 1928: The Front Page, a play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, is performed for the first time, in New York.
Performance icon
April 15, 1928: Trois caprices de Paganini op.97 for violin and piano by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, in Brussels.
Performance icon
April 16, 1928: Incidental music to Paronian’s play The Eastern Dentist by Aram Khachaturian (24) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
Performance icon
April 16, 1928: George Gershwin (29) and members of his family attend a ballet based on his Rhapsody in Blue done by the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
Event icon
April 19, 1928: José Vicente de Freitas replaces António Oscar Fragoso Carmona as Prime Minister of Portugal.
Performance icon
April 19, 1928: Sonatina for piano by John Ireland (48) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating at BBC Studios, London by the composer. Also premiered are Ireland’s songs Love and Friendship, to words of Emily Brontë, Friendship in Misfortune to anonymous words, We’ll to the Woods No More, and In Boyhood, both to words of Housman, the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
April 20, 1928: Two “minute operas” by Darius Milhaud (35) to words of Hoppenot are performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden: La Déliverance de Thésée and L’Abandon d’Ariane.
Performance icon
April 21, 1928: Le bardit des francs for male chorus, brass, and percussion by Albert Roussel (59) to words of Chateaubriand is performed for the first time, in Strasbourg.
Event icon
April 21, 1928: Maurice Ravel (53) boards the liner SS Paris in New York after a four month performing tour of North America and sails for France.
Performance icon
April 21, 1928: Berceuse d'automne for piano by Joaquín Rodrigo (26) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Erard, Paris.
Performance icon
April 22, 1928: The first of the Copland-Sessions concerts of Contemporary Music takes place at the Edyth Totten Theatre, New York, featuring premieres of works by Carlos Chávez (28) and Virgil Thomson (31) including Piano Sonata no.3, Sonatina for violin and piano, Sonatina for cello and piano, and the Piano Sonatina by Chávez, the composer at the keyboard, and Thomson’s Five Phrases from the Song of Solomon for soprano and percussion (first public performance). In Thomson’s work, Aaron Copland (27) plays percussion. Thomson is presently in Paris. Roger Sessions (31) is in Northampton, Massachusetts finishing the Piano Sonata that was intended for this concert. See 2 July 1926.
Event icon
April 24, 1928: George (29) and Ira Gershwin meet Kurt Weill (28) for the first time, in Berlin, at an informal meeting to acquaint European composers with American music publishing. It is possible that Arnold Schoenberg (53) is also in attendance.
Performance icon
April 25, 1928: Incidental music to Bronnen’s play Katalaunische Schlacht by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, at the Staatliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin.
Event icon
April 25, 1928: George Gershwin (29) has lunch with Franz Léhar (57) in Berlin.
Event icon
April 27, 1928: When he demands and receives complete control over all expenditures of the Portuguese government, Professor António Oliveira Salazar accepts the post of Finance Minister.
Event icon
April 27, 1928: Maurice Ravel (53) arrives in Le Havre after a four-month tour of North America.
Performance icon
April 27, 1928: Igor Stravinsky’s (45) ballet Apollon musagète is performed for the first time, at the Library of Congress, Washington. It is the first time that a ballet by a major international composer is premiered in the United States.
Performance icon
April 28, 1928: A String Quartet by John Alden Carpenter (52) is performed for the first time, at the Library of Congress in Washington. Reviews are generally positive.
Performance icon
April 28, 1928: Henry Cowell’s (31) Sinfonietta (originally Marked Passages) for chamber orchestra, is performed for the first time, in Jordan Hall, Boston. Also premiered is Henry F. Gilbert’s (59) Suite for chamber orchestra.
Event icon
April 29, 1928: A second round of voting in the French general election results in continued victory for the left and center left, although the right wing Democratic and Republican Union is the second largest party in the Chamber of Deputies.
Event icon
April 30, 1928: Kuomintang troops occupy Tsinan (Jinan). Within the city are 500 Japanese troops protecting their nationals.
Event icon
May 1, 1928: Pitcairn Aviation begins operations, flying mail from New York to Atlanta. The company will eventually become Eastern Airlines.
Performance icon
May 1, 1928: Song Cycle on Words of Whitman for women’s voices and two pianos by Roy Harris (30) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York City. One piano is played by Carlos Chávez (28).
Event icon
May 3, 1928: Fighting begins between Kuomintang and Japanese troops in Tsinan (Jinan).
Event icon
May 3, 1928: Maurice Martenot demonstrates his new instrument, the Ondes musicales, at the Paris Opéra
Performance icon
May 5, 1928: The Soldier and the Dancer, an opera by Bohuslav Martinu (37) to words of Budin after Plautus, is performed for the first time, in the National Theatre, Brno.
Event icon
May 5, 1928: George Gershwin (29) and Alban Berg (43) meet for the first time, in Vienna.
Event icon
May 6, 1928: Chrysler introduces its new mid-priced line, the DeSoto.
Performance icon
May 6, 1928: Three stage compositions by Ernst Krenek (27) to his own words, are performed for the first time, in the Staatstheater, Wiesbaden: the tragic opera Der Diktator, a fairy tale opera, Das geheime Königreich, and the burlesque operetta Schwergewicht, oder Die Ehre der Nation.
Event icon
May 6, 1928: Franz Schubert’s (†99) singspiel Die Freunde von Salamanka, to words of Mayrhofer, is staged for the first time, in Halle, 113 years after it was composed.
Performance icon
May 6, 1928: In the second Copland-Sessions concert, Lento molto for string quartet by Aaron Copland (27) and two movements of the Piano Sonata no.1 by Roger Sessions (31) are performed for the first time, at the Edyth Totten Theatre, New York. Also premiered are four piano preludes by Ruth Crawford (26), and Three Paeans for piano by Dane Rudhyar (33). See 14 December 1928 and 3 March 1930.
Event icon
May 8, 1928: Roger Sessions (31) learns that he has won a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.
Performance icon
May 10, 1928: George Gershwin (29) accompanies his sister Frankie (Frances) at the gala opening night of Cole Parter's La Revue des Ambassadeurs in Paris.
Event icon
May 11, 1928: After a ferocious eight-day battle during which unspeakable atrocities are committed by both sides, reinforced Japanese troops drive the Kuomintang army out of Tsinan (Jinan).
Event icon
May 11, 1928: Radio station WGY in Schenectady, New York begins the first regular schedule of television broadcasts, three times per week.
Event icon
May 12, 1928: The Italian government of Benito Mussolini severely restricts suffrage, eliminating women and any man who pays less than 100 lire in syndicate taxes.
Performance icon
May 12, 1928: Three works for female chorus by Zoltán Kodály (45) are performed for the first time, in Budapest: God’s Blacksmith, The Deaf Boatman, and Gypsy Lament .
Performance icon
May 14, 1928: To A Nordic Princess for orchestra by Percy Grainger (45) is performed for the first time. Grainger composed this, thinking of his upcoming wedding to Swedish poet Ella Ström.
Event icon
May 15, 1928: An animated short film called Plane Crazy is shown to a test audience in Los Angeles. It is the first film appearance of Mickey Mouse. However, the film does not gain a distributor and will be rereleased next year as a sound film.
Event icon
May 17, 1928: The Games of the Ninth Olympiad of the Modern Era open in Amsterdam.
Event icon
May 17, 1928: A new electoral law in Italy provides for a single list of candidates from the Fascist Party which the electorate will approve or disapprove as one.
Performance icon
May 18, 1928: An orchestral suite from the incidental music to Imperatrice aux rochers by Arthur Honegger (36) is performed for the first time, in Paris. See 27 February 1927.
Event icon
May 19, 1928: A mine in Mather, Pennsylvania explodes, killing almost 200 people.
Death icon
May 19, 1928: 03:42 Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA of a cerebral hemorrhage, aged 59 years, seven months, and 23 days.
Event icon
May 20, 1928: Voting for the German Reichstag gives an increase of over 20 seats to the Social Democratic Party. The conservative German National Peoples Party loses 30 seats.
Event icon
May 20, 1928: Harry Partch (26) has the manuscript to his Exposition of Monophony notarized in San Francisco. This autumn, he will quit his job and begin following the fruit harvest across the United States. It is his first experience as a hobo.
Event icon
May 23, 1928: The electricity that Leos Janácek (73) is having installed in his cottage in Hukvaldy becomes operational today.
Event icon
May 23, 1928: Anarchists Severino di Giovanni, Alejandro Scarfó, and Paulino Scarfó explode a bomb the Italian consulate in Buenos Aires. Nine people are killed, 34 injured.
Event icon
May 25, 1928: Returning from the North Pole, the airship Italia, carrying an expedition of Umberto Nobile, crashes onto sea ice about 120 km northeast of Svalbard. Nine members survive, one is killed, while six are missing (and have never been found).
Event icon
May 25, 1928: Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard (†20) and Nina Grieg south of Bergen, is opened to the visiting public.
Performance icon
May 25, 1928: The Moravian Quartet give the first full performance of the String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (73) for the composer at his home in Brno. See 7 September 1928 and 11 September 1928.
Event icon
May 25, 1928: The New Teatro Colón opens in Buenos Aires.
Birth icon
May 27, 1928: Thea Musgrave is born at Barnton, Midlothian, Scotland, the only child of Joan and James Musgrave.
Performance icon
May 27, 1928: An orchestral suite from Sergey Prokofiev’s (37) ballet The Steel Step op.41a is performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 7 June 1927.
Event icon
May 28, 1928: Announcement is made of the merger of Dodge Brothers, Inc. with Chrysler Corporation. The new company becomes the third largest producer of automobiles.
Performance icon
May 28, 1928: Incidental music to Masefield’s play The Coming of Christ by Gustav Holst (53) for brass band is performed for the first time, in Canterbury Cathedral, conducted by the composer.
Event icon
May 30, 1928: After hearing the Concerto in F last night, Sergey Prokofiev (37) invites George Gershwin (29) to his Paris apartment. They spend the afternoon together, Gershwin doing most of the playing. Prokofiev likes Gershwin and most of his music, but not the Concerto. The Russian predicts great things for the American.
Performance icon
May 30, 1928: Capital Capitals for four male vocal soloists and piano by Virgil Thomson (31) to words of Stein, is performed for the first time, at the Nouvelle Salle d’orgue du Conservatoire, Paris. Present are Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Nadia Boulanger (40), Darius Milhaud (35), Roy Harris (30), and Jean Cocteau. Press reactions are mixed.
Event icon
May 31, 1928: Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, along with Americans James Warner and Harry Lyon take off from Oakland aboard the Southern Cross on the first air journey from North America to Australia.
Event icon
June 2, 1928: The warlord controlling Peking, Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin), leaves Peking under Japanese protection, to retire in Manchuria.
Performance icon
June 3, 1928: Roses de (en) métal, a ballet by Arthur Honegger (36) to a story by de Gramont, is performed for the first time, in Salle Oedenkoven, Paris.
Death icon
June 4, 1928: The train carrying warlord Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) is blown up and Chang is killed. The bomb was planted by Japanese officers wishing to draw Japan further into China.
Event icon
June 5, 1928: The first flight to find the crew of the Italia is made by a Norwegian pilot.
Performance icon
June 6, 1928: Impressioni brasiliane for orchestra by Ottorino Respighi (48) is performed for the first time, in São Paulo. Also premiered is Respighi’s Gli uccelli for chamber orchestra. The composer conducts both.
Performance icon
June 6, 1928: Die ägyptische Helena, an opera by Richard Strauss (63) to words of Hofmannsthal, is performed for the first time, in the Dresden Staatsoper. Performed during a week devoted to Strauss’ music, it is a rousing success with the public but the press is unimpressed.
Performance icon
June 7, 1928: Jazz-Suite for chamber orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu (37) is performed for the first time, in Baden.
Performance icon
June 7, 1928: Albert Roussel’s (59) Piano Concerto op.36 is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.
Event icon
June 8, 1928: The survivors of the Italia make radio contact with the Italian ship Città di Milano.
Event icon
June 9, 1928: After ten days, approximately 12,000 km and two stops (in Honolulu and Suva) out of Oakland, Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, along with Americans James Warner and Harry Lyon land in Brisbane aboard the Southern Cross, completing the first flight from North America to Australia. They are mobbed by 25,000 people.
Performance icon
June 9, 1928: The Chorus for the Stone-laying Ceremony at Masaryk University in Brno, by Leos Janácek (73) to words of Tryb, is performed for the first time, in Brno. President Tomás Masaryk lays the stone himself with Janácek “only five steps away from the President.” (Tyrrell II, 876)
Performance icon
June 10, 1928: Airs chantés for voice and piano by Francis Poulenc (29) to words of Moréas, is performed completely for the first time, in the Salle Chopin, Paris. The concert also includes the premiere of two Poulenc Novelettes and the Three Pieces for piano. See 3 March 1928.
Performance icon
June 12, 1928: Ballade vom Soldaten by Hanns Eisler (29) to words of Brecht, is performed for the first time, as part of Lion Feuchtwanger’s Calcutta, 4 May, in the Berlin Staatstheater.
Performance icon
June 13, 1928: Song for Danish Labor for voice and piano by Carl Nielsen (63) to words of Rørdam is performed for the first time, over radio airwaves in Copenhagen.
Performance icon
June 14, 1928: Act II of The Fiery Angel op.37, an opera by Sergey Prokofiev (37) after Bryusov, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting, in Paris. See 25 November 1954.
Performance icon
June 14, 1928: The anthem Man born to Toil for chorus and organ by Gustav Holst (53) to words of Bridges, is performed for the first time, in Wells Cathedral.
Event icon
June 15, 1928: Alyeksandr Glazunov (62) leaves Leningrad for Vienna as a delegate to the Schubert centennial. He will shortly take up residence in Boulogne-sur-Seine, near Paris, and never return to his native land.
Event icon
June 15, 1928: Marc Blitzstein (23) begins a six-week stay at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Here he will compose a cantata, A Word Out of the Sea and the miniature opera Triple-Sec.
Event icon
June 15, 1928: Amy Beach (60) is awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree by the University of New Hampshire.
Event icon
June 15, 1928: George Gershwin (29) returns to New York after three months in Europe.
Event icon
June 18, 1928: Roald Amundsen and five others depart Bergen, Norway to rescue survivors of the airship Italia. The plane is never heard from again.
Performance icon
June 19, 1928: Two works for two pianos by Arnold Bax (44) are performed for the first time, in Aeolian Hall, London: The Poisoned Fountain and The Devil That Tempted St. Anthony.
Event icon
June 20, 1928: Croatian leader Stjepan Radic is shot and wounded by Punisa Racic, a Montenegrin deputy, in the Parliament, Belgrade. Two other Croatian deputies are killed.
Event icon
June 20, 1928: An Italian plane finds the survivors of the Italia.
Event icon
June 22, 1928: Several milling companies in the Minneapolis area join together to form General Mills, Inc.
Event icon
June 22, 1928: Béla Bartók (48) completes his third volume of collected Slovak folk songs.
Event icon
June 23, 1928: Umberto Nobile is rescued by a Swedish plane.
Event icon
June 25, 1928: The French government devalues the Franc by 500% in an attempt to pay off the national debt and returns France to the gold standard.
Birth icon
June 26, 1928: Jacob Raphael Druckman is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the only child of Samuel Druckman, a garment manufacturer, and Miriam Golder.
Event icon
June 27, 1928: Kazimierz Bartel replaces Józef Klemens Pilsudski as Prime Minister of Poland.
Event icon
June 27, 1928: Mohammed Mahmud Pasha replaces Mustafa an-Nahas Pasha as Prime Minister of Egypt.
Event icon
June 28, 1928: Hermann Müller replaces Wilhelm Marx as Chancellor of Germany.
Event icon
June 28, 1928: The national convention of the Democratic Party in Houston nominates Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York to be its candidate in the upcoming presidential election. He is the first Roman Catholic to receive the presidential nomination of a major party in the United States.
Event icon
July 1, 1928: Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence is published privately this month in Florence.
Event icon
July 2, 1928: The Equal Franchise Act, reducing the voting age for women in the United Kingdom from 30 to 21, is given royal assent by King George V.
Event icon
July 2, 1928: The Federal Radio Commission of the United States grants its first license to broadcast television to the inventor Charles Frances Jenkins. Jenkins sets up operations in Washington.
Event icon
July 3, 1928: John Logie Baird gives the first demonstration of color television at the Long Acre laboratory in Covent Garden.
Event icon
July 4, 1928: Eleftherios Kiriakou Venizelos replaces Alexandros Thrasivoulou Zaimis as Prime Minister of Greece.
Performance icon
July 5, 1928: Albert Roussel’s (59) song Des fleurs font une broderie op.35/1 to words of Li-Ho, (tr. Roché, after Giles), is performed for the first time, at Fontainebleau.
Event icon
July 6, 1928: The Chilean Angamos sinks off Punta Morguillas. Of the 269 people on board, only seven are rescued.
Event icon
July 6, 1928: Lights of New York, the first all-talking movie, opens at the Strand Theatre, New York.
Event icon
July 7, 1928: King Aleksandar of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes offers independence to Croatia. Croatian leaders reject the offer, fearing domination by Italy and Hungary.
Event icon
July 7, 1928: The Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri produces the first commercially available wrapped packages of sliced bread.
Event icon
July 12, 1928: Seven of the Italia survivors are rescued by the Soviet ship Krasin.
Performance icon
July 14, 1928: Music to the film Actualités by Darius Milhaud (35) is performed for the first time, at Baden-Baden.
Performance icon
July 14, 1928: Vormittagsspuk for mechanical piano by Paul Hindemith (32) is performed for the first time, in Baden-Baden.
Event icon
July 15, 1928: Today’s issue of the French women’s magazine Minerva reports that readers have voted Nadia Boulanger (40) “Princesse de la Musique.” The author, Simone Ratel, compares her to a priest.
Death icon
July 17, 1928: While dining with friends in Mexico City to celebrate his recent election to the presidency, General Alvaro Obregón is shot to death by José de León Toral, a Catholic seminary student who holds Obregón responsible for religious persecutions.
Event icon
July 19, 1928: King Fuad of Egypt dissolves parliament, suspends the freedom of the press, and takes direct control of the country.
Performance icon
July 21, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31) gives a concert on his Thereminovox before 20,000 at Coney Island, New York, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra. It is a meeting of the Communist Party of the USA and Termen is hailed as a workers’ hero.
Performance icon
July 21, 1928: To commemorate the centennial of Schubert’s death Die Tageszeiten for male chorus and orchestra by Richard Strauss (64), to words of Eichendorff, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
Event icon
July 25, 1928: The United States recognizes the Nationalist government of the Republic of China.
Event icon
July 27, 1928: Katia Termen arrives in New York from France to join her husband Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (31).
Event icon
July 28, 1928: Antun Korosec replaces Velimir Vukicevic as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
Performance icon
July 29, 1928: Golden Jubilee, a march by John Philip Sousa (73), is performed for the first time, at the steel pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was written to mark the composer’s 50th year as a conductor.
Event icon
July 30, 1928: Leos Janácek (74) departs Brno to spend a few weeks at his cottage in Hukvaldy with his long time confidant Kamila Stösslová and her son. Her mother has recently died. As he leaves his wife she feels “this is the beginning of the end” of their marriage. In fact, they will never see each other again.
Event icon
August 1, 1928: Rebel leader Augusto Sandino issues a statement denouncing the upcoming Nicaraguan presidential election, claiming it is a tool of the United States.
Event icon
August 1, 1928: Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead is published in New York.
Event icon
August 2, 1928: A treaty of friendship is signed between Italy and Abyssinia.
Death icon
August 8, 1928: Croatian leader Stjepan Radic, wounded on 20 June, dies of his wounds.
Performance icon
August 9, 1928: At a concert in the Hollywood Bowl, Percy Grainger (46) conducts his To a Nordic Princess and the premiere of his Australian Up-Country Song.  At the intermission, he marries the Swedish poet and painter Ella Viola Ström before the 22,000 onlookers.
Event icon
August 10, 1928: Leos Janácek (74), suffering from pneumonia, is taken from his home in Hukvaldy to a hospital in the nearest large town, Moravská Ostrava.
Event icon
August 11, 1928: In a speech to accept the nomination of the Republican Party for US President, Herbert Hoover announces, “We in America today are nearer the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of the land.”
Event icon
August 12, 1928: The Games of the Ninth Olympiad of the Modern Era close in Amsterdam. In two months and 26 days of competition, 2,883 athletes from 46 countries participated.
Death icon
August 12, 1928: Kamila Stösslová, Leos Janácek’s (74) long time confidant, sends a telegram to his wife, Zdenka, in Brno: “Maestro seriously ill, come immediately, sanatorium Dr. Klein.”

10:00 Leos Janácek dies at the sanatorium of Dr. Leopold Klein in Moravská Ostrava of pneumonia, aged 74 years, one month, and nine days.

Zdenka receives another telegram with the news of his death. She persuades the singer Stanislav Tauber to accompany her to Moravská Ostrava. On the trip she recounts to him all the sordid details of their marriage.

Performance icon
August 15, 1928: A funeral for Leos Janácek is held in the Augustinian Church in Staré Brno attended by large crowds and important people. After the religious service, the coffin is brought to the theatre where the body lies in state in the lobby. The final scene from The Cunning Little Vixen is performed along with part of the Requiem by Antonín Dvorák (†24). The final remains are interred at the Brno Central Cemetery where there is a short religious service followed by the national anthem.
Event icon
August 17, 1928: The mortal remains of Leos Jánacek are disinterred from the Brno cemetery and moved to the family tomb, at the insistence of his wife.
Birth icon
August 17, 1928: Thomas Jefferson Anderson is born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, USA.
Event icon
August 19, 1928: Voting for the Greek Parliament returns the Liberal Party of Eleftherios Venizelos to power with well over half the seats.
Event icon
August 21, 1928: Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York gives a speech accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. As he speaks in Albany, he is televised by a system invented by EFW Alexanderson, the pictures broadcast by means of longwave and shortwave.
Birth icon
August 22, 1928: 03:00 Karlheinz Stockhausen is born in Burg Mödrath (which was the maternity home for the Bergheim District), near Cologne, eldest of three children born to Simon Stockhausen, an elementary school teacher, and Gertrud Stupp, daughter of well-to-do farmers.
Event icon
August 25, 1928: Carlos Chávez (29) writes to Aaron Copland (27) and formally invites him to come to Mexico City and perform his Piano Concerto during Chávez’ first season with the Orquesta Sinfónica de México. Copland’s appearance has already been advertised. See 7 September 1928.
Event icon
August 27, 1928: The Kellogg-Briand pact, designed to outlaw war as an instrument of foreign policy, is signed by 14 nations in Paris. Eventually, 64 countries will become party to it.
Performance icon
August 27, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (32) and three of his students perform upon four of the new electronic musical instruments with the New York Philharmonic in Lewisohn Stadium. Among the works on the program are the Vocalise of Sergey Rakhmaninov (55) and Hungarian Rhapsody no.1 by Franz Liszt (†42).
Event icon
August 30, 1928: At an all-party conference in Lucknow, the “Nehru Report” is adopted calling for dominion status and self-government for India.
Performance icon
August 31, 1928: The play with music Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill (28) to words of Brecht (after Gay), is performed for the first time, in the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin. To the astonishment of everyone involved with the production, it is a smash.
Event icon
September 1, 1928: Parliament proclaims Albania a democratic, parliamentary, and hereditary kingdom with Ahmed Zogu created King Zog I.
Event icon
September 2, 1928: Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates his television system in San Francisco. It is the first public demonstration of an all-electronic television system. He is 22 years old.
Performance icon
September 2, 1928: Carlos Chávez (29) directs the first performance of the Orquesta Sinfónica Mexicana in the Teatro Iris, Mexico City.
Event icon
September 5, 1928: Koco Kota becomes Prime Minister of Albania.
Performance icon
September 7, 1928: String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed for critics in Brno. See 25 May 1928 and 11 September 1928.
Event icon
September 7, 1928: Aaron Copland (27) writes to Carlos Chávez (29) from the MacDowell Colony that it will be impossible to go to Mexico City during the upcoming season but that he would like to in the future. See 25 August 1928.
Event icon
September 10, 1928: Argentina nationalizes all oil companies operating within its borders.
Performance icon
September 11, 1928: String Quartet no.2 “Intimate Letters” by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed publicly for the first time, in Brno. See 25 May 1928 and 7 September 1928.
Event icon
September 11, 1928: A one-act drama entitled The Queen’s Messenger becomes the first play to be televised when it is broadcast over the airwaves of WGY in Albany, New York. The apparatus was invented by EFW Alexanderson.
Event icon
September 12, 1928: A Category three hurricane hits the Leeward Islands, killing around 1,200 people on Guadeloupe.
Performance icon
September 12, 1928: Fantasy no.8 for quarter-tone piano op.29 by Alois Hába (35) is performed for the first time, in Siena.
Event icon
September 13, 1928: Now a Category five, the Guadeloupe hurricane hits Puerto Rico causing 312 deaths.
Performance icon
September 14, 1928: Carl Nielsen’s (63) Clarinet Concerto is performed for the first time, privately at the summer home of Carl Johan Michaelsen in Humlebaek. See 11 October 1928.
Event icon
September 15, 1928: While researching staphylococcus in his London laboratory, Alexander Fleming accidently discovers that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
Event icon
September 17, 1928: The hurricane that hit Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico makes landfall in Florida near West Palm Beach and causes 1,800-2,500 people to drown in the waters of Lake Okeechobee. Over 4,000 people died as a result of this storm.
Event icon
September 18, 1928: John Logie Baird successfully demonstrates his television system to the General Post Office, transmitting images over 500 meters.
Event icon
September 18, 1928: Juan de la Cierva becomes the first to fly an autogiro (helicopter) across the English Channel, from Croydon to Le Bourget.
Event icon
September 19, 1928: The marriage of John Ireland (49) to Dorothy Phillips, 30 years his junior, is officially dissolved after less than two years on grounds of non-consummation.
Event icon
September 19, 1928: The first “all-talking, all-singing” movie, The Singing Fool, is shown for the first time, in New York.
Event icon
September 20, 1928: Benjamin Britten (14) begins studies at Gresham’s School, Holt.
Event icon
September 21, 1928: Voting for the Swedish Riksdag concludes today with the largest party, the Social Democrats, losing 15 seats. Parties of the left and right make gains.
Performance icon
September 23, 1928: The Suite for Orchestra op.3 by Leos Janácek (†0) is performed for the first time, in Brno.
Performance icon
September 29, 1928: A Moorside Suite for brass band by Gustav Holst (54) is performed for the first time, in Crystal Palace, London.
Performance icon
September 30, 1928: The symphonic poem Komsomoliya by Nikolay Andreyevich Roslavets (47) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
Event icon
October 1, 1928: After Stalin abandoned the New Economic Policy, the first five-year plan for the Soviet economy goes into effect.
Event icon
October 1, 1928: Salomon Arvid Achates Lindman replaces Carl Gustaf Ekman as Prime Minister of Sweden.
Performance icon
October 4, 1928: Friederike, a Singspiel by Franz Lehár (58) to words of Herzer and Löhner, is performed for the first time, in the Metropol-Theater, Berlin.
Event icon
October 5, 1928: Roger Sessions (31) and his wife arrive in Rome for his fellowship at the American Academy.
Event icon
October 7, 1928: Former US Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall goes on trial in Washington for accepting a bribe in the Teapot Dome scandal.
Performance icon
October 7, 1928: Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (32) completes his performance year in the United States with a concert in Symphony Hall, Boston. It is not as well attended as earlier evenings, but the response is good.
Performance icon
October 8, 1928: Concerto for violin and orchestra by Alfredo Casella (45) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
Event icon
October 10, 1928: After winning the allegiance of the Manchurian warlord, thus apparently unifying China under Kuomintang control, the new government of the Republic of China is proclaimed, with Chiang Kai-shek as president.
Event icon
October 10, 1928: A young musician named Eric Fenby arrives at the home of Frederick Delius (66) at Grez-sur-Loing to serve as secretary to the composer, who is near paralysis. Together they will complete many of Delius’ unfinished works.
Event icon
October 10, 1928: Edgard Varèse (44) and his wife Louise board ship in New York making for Paris. He is returning to France temporarily, partly to work on a new electronic instrument.
Event icon
October 11, 1928: The Graf Zeppelin departs Friedrichshafen making for North America.
Performance icon
October 11, 1928: Carl Nielsen’s (63) Clarinet Concerto is performed publicly for the first time, in Odd Fellow Palæet, Copenhagen. It is not well received. See 14 September 1928.
Performance icon
October 12, 1928: The Piano Sonata D.566 by Franz Schubert (†99) is performed completely for the first time, in Munich, 111 years after it was composed. See 9 May 1907.
Event icon
October 12, 1928: At Children’s Hospital, Boston, an iron lung is first used in a hospital, on a young girl with polio-induced breathing failure. The prototype was built by Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw of Harvard University from two household vacuum cleaners and an iron tank. The second model is produced by Warren E. Collins, Inc. of Boston from a $7,000 grant to Harvard University from Consolidated Gas Company of New York.
Event icon
October 12, 1928: Juan Hipólito del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Yrigoyen Alem replaces Máximo Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear Pacheco as President of Argentina.
Event icon
October 15, 1928: The voting age for women in Britain is reduced from 30 to 21, the same as men.
Event icon
October 15, 1928: The Graf Zeppelin arrives in Lakehurst, New Jersey having crossed the Atlantic from Friedrichshafen in four days and 15 hours. It is the first transatlantic crossing by a zeppelin.
Performance icon
October 15, 1928: Berlin im Licht by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, as a march for military band, in the Wittenberg Platz, Berlin. See 16 October 1928.
Performance icon
October 15, 1928: Treasure Girl, a musical comedy with book by Lawrence and Thompson, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (30), is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia. See 8 November 1928.
Performance icon
October 15, 1928: A suite from Béla Bartók’s (47) pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin is performed for the first time, in Budapest. See 27 November 1926 and 1 April 1927.
Performance icon
October 16, 1928: Berlin im Licht, a song for voice and piano by Kurt Weill (28) to his own words, is performed for the first time in its original form, at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin. See 15 October 1928.
Event icon
October 17, 1928: The BBC decides not to engage in an experimental transmission of television through one of their stations.
Performance icon
October 18, 1928: The newly restored Salle Pleyel reopens in Paris.  Maurice Ravel (53) conducts his La Valse and Igor Stravinsky (46) conducts his Firebird Suite.
Performance icon
October 19, 1928: Mouvement symphonique no.2: Rugby, an orchestral work by Arthur Honegger (36), is performed for the first time, in Paris.
Performance icon
October 20, 1928: Suite canadienne for chorus and orchestra by Claude Champagne (37) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
Performance icon
October 22, 1928: The Guardian of the Bridge for male chorus by Jean Sibelius (62) to words of Sola is performed for the first time, in New York.
Event icon
October 23, 1928: Maurice Ravel (53) is awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.
Performance icon
October 25, 1928: Ritmos, an orchestral fantasy by Joaquín Turina (45), is performed for the first time, in Madrid conducted by the composer.
Event icon
October 29, 1928: Manuel de Falla (51) is made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy.
Performance icon
October 30, 1928: The Celestial Railroad for piano by Charles Ives (54) is performed for the first time, at the Institute of History and Art in Albany, New York.
Event icon
November 1, 1928: Turkey adopts a modified Roman alphabet to replace the Arabic alphabet. The law goes into effect next 1 January.
Event icon
November 1, 1928: The National Opera House opens in Tashkent.
Performance icon
November 1, 1928: A Bohemian-Danish Folksong set for string orchestra by Carl Nielsen (63) is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen, broadcast by Danish State Radio.
Performance icon
November 3, 1928: Kleine Symphonie by Ernst Krenek (28) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
Performance icon
November 4, 1928: El fuego nuevo-Ballet Azteca for female chorus and orchestra by Carlos Chávez (30) to his own scenario, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting.
Performance icon
November 5, 1928: Gesänge op.56, three songs for baritone and piano by Ernst Krenek (28), are performed for the first time, in the Künstlerhaus, Dresden.
Performance icon
November 5, 1928: Incidental music to Matthews’ play Beau Brummel by Edward Elgar (71) is performed for the first time, in the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, conducted by the composer. Little notice is paid to it.
Event icon
November 6, 1928: Voting in the United States ensures the election of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover as President over Al Smith, Governor of New York. Al Smith is the first Roman Catholic to gain the presidential nomination of a major party in the US. Hoover’s Republican Party gains 32 seats in the House of Representatives, eight seats in the Senate and increased majorities in both houses. The New York Times uses an electric display around its building for the first time, to announce the election returns.
Performance icon
November 6, 1928: An orchestration of the Seven Early Songs for voice and orchestra by Alban Berg (43) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 20 years and more after they were originally composed.
Performance icon
November 8, 1928: Treasure Girl, a musical comedy with book by Lawrence and Thompson, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin (30), opens in New York, in the Alvin Theatre. It is a failure, with only 68 performances. See 15 October 1928.
Event icon
November 10, 1928: Emperor Hirohito of Japan is enthroned in Kyoto.
Event icon
November 10, 1928: Iuliu Maniu replaces Vintila IC Bratianu as Prime Minister of Romania.
Event icon
November 10, 1928: The first installment of Im Westen Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) by Erich Maria Remarque is published in the Vossische Zeitung.
Event icon
November 12, 1928: The British SS Vestris, making from New York to Barbados, sinks off Norfolk, Virginia with the loss of over 100 passengers and crew.
Event icon
November 13, 1928: Joseph Schillinger (33) arrives in the United States from the Soviet Union.
Event icon
November 14, 1928: The New Zealand general election results in a surprising showing for the new United Party, achieving parity with the ruling Reform Party. United will form the next government.
Performance icon
November 14, 1928: Portraits for Violin Alone by Virgil Thomson (31) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Majestic, Paris.
Performance icon
November 16, 1928: The fourth of the Four Etudes for Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky (46) is performed for the first time, in Paris. See 7 November 1930.
Event icon
November 16, 1928: In Oak Park, Illinois, the Women’s Home Missionary Society cancels a lecture after learning that the guest speaker, Maude Royden, smokes cigarettes.
Performance icon
November 16, 1928: Sofila (Moscow State Philharmonic Society) gives its first performance, conducted by Nikolay Golovanov. It is the first full-time concert orchestra in Moscow.
Event icon
November 17, 1928: In the Australian general election, the Labor Party once again becomes the largest group in the House of Representatives, but the Nationalist/Country coalition continues to rule.
Event icon
November 18, 1928: The all-sound animated short Steamboat Willie is shown for the first time in New York. It is the first film to star Mickey Mouse which reaches general distribution.
Event icon
November 18, 1928: An article in Pravda criticizes the Moscow Conservatory claiming several of the leading professors are counter-revolutionary.
Performance icon
November 18, 1928: Dos esbozos for violin and piano by Joaquín Rodrigo (26) are performed for the first time, in Salle Gaveau, Paris.
Performance icon
November 19, 1928: The Second Rhapsody for violin and piano by Béla Bartók (47) is performed for the first time, in Amsterdam. See 22 November 1929.
Performance icon
November 22, 1928: Maurice Ravel’s (53) sensually stimulating ballet Boléro is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. Also premiered is Arthur Honegger’s (36) ballet Les noces d’amour et de psyché to a scenario by Rubinstein, and Darius Milhaud’s (36) ballet La bien-aimée. See 11 January 1930.
Performance icon
November 23, 1928: Pilgrim’s Progress, an oratorio by Granville Bantock (60), is performed for the first time, in London.
Performance icon
November 23, 1928: A Toccata for piano and orchestra by Ottorino Respighi (49) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York, the composer at the keyboard.
Performance icon
November 23, 1928: The festival overture Chanticleer by Daniel Gregory Mason (55) is performed for the first time, in Cincinnati.
Performance icon
November 23, 1928: The first known performance of orchestral music by Heitor Villa-Lobos (41) in the United States takes place when Leopold Stokowski directs the Philadelphia Orchestra in Danças características africanas in Philadelphia.
Performance icon
November 25, 1928: Three new orchestral works by Dmitri Shostakovich (22) are performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Hall of the Moscow Conservatory: A suite from his unperformed opera The Nose, Tahiti Trot, and a transcription of Youmans’ Tea for Two. The suite is extremely successful. See 16 June 1929.
Performance icon
November 27, 1928: The Fairy’s Kiss, a ballet by Igor Stravinsky (46) to his own scenario after Andersen, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
Performance icon
November 27, 1928: The First Violin Sonata of Charles Ives (54) is performed on a concert of the New Music Society in San Francisco, programmed by Henry Cowell (31).
Performance icon
November 28, 1928: Incidental music to Feuchtwanger’s play Petroleuminseln by Kurt Weill (28) is performed for the first time, in the Berlin Staatstheater.
Event icon
December 1, 1928: An earthquake centered in Curepto, Chile kills 279 people and leaves over 100,000 homeless.
Event icon
December 1, 1928: Hugo Celmins replaces Peteris Jurasevskis as Prime Minister of Latvia.
Event icon
December 1, 1928: Emilio Cándido Portes Gil replaces Plutarco Elías Calles as President of Mexico.
Event icon
December 1, 1928: In his Paris apartment, Sergey Prokofiev (37) plays through his ballet The Prodigal Son for Sergey Diaghilev. Diaghilev is generally pleased, but the evening is not without its differences.
Performance icon
December 1, 1928: Two of the Three Pieces for Small Orchestra by Arnold Bax (45) are performed for the first time, in Central Hall, Westminster.
Performance icon
December 2, 1928: The faculty of the San Antonio College of Music begin a chamber music series led by Silvestre Revueltas (28). The series intends to present lesser known music, both of modern and older masters. He sports a full beard, probably to cover scars recently received from a knife attack.
Performance icon
December 2, 1928: Variations for Orchestra op.31 by Arnold Schoenberg (54) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
Event icon
December 4, 1928: August Rei replaces Jaan Tönisson as Head of State of Estonia.
Performance icon
December 4, 1928: For the enthronement of Cosmo Gordon Lang as Archbishop of Canterbury, a setting of the Te Deum for chorus and organ by Ralph Vaughan Williams (56) is performed for the first time, in Canterbury Cathedral.
Event icon
December 5, 1928: A local Paraguayan commander and his troops, without orders, attack and capture the Bolivian outpost of Vanguardia.
Performance icon
December 9, 1928: Deux melodies op.20 for voice and orchestra by Albert Roussel (59) to words of Chalupt is performed for the first time, in Paris. See 27 December 1919.
Event icon
December 9, 1928: After the attack of 5 December, the Bolivian ambassador is recalled from Paraguay.
Performance icon
December 9, 1928: The Canticle of the Sun op.123 for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Amy Cheney Beach (61) to words of St. Francis of Assisi (tr. Arnold), is performed for the first time, in St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York. This occasion sees the chorus accompanied by organ. Also performed is the premiere of Beach’s Benedicite, omnia opera Domini op.121 for chorus and organ to words of the Bible. See 12 May 1930.
Event icon
December 10, 1928: Joseph Ward replaces Joseph Gordon Coates as Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Event icon
December 10, 1928: Wilhelm Miklas becomes President of Austria replacing Michael Hainisch.
Performance icon
December 10, 1928: Der singende Teufel, an opera by Franz Schreker (50) to his own words, is performed for the first time, at the Berlin Staatsoper. The audience seems to like it but critics will savage it. The opera is a failure.
Performance icon
December 10, 1928: I Sing the Birth, a carol for chorus by Edward Elgar (71) to words of Jonson, is performed for the first time, in Royal Albert Hall, London.
Performance icon
December 10, 1928: Two works by Samuel Barber (18) are performed for the first time, in Casimir Hall of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia: Prelude and Fugue for organ and the Violin Sonata, the latter by the composer at the piano.
Performance icon
December 11, 1928: Kleines Konzert for winds, harpsichord, and percussion by Carl Orff (33) is performed for the first time, in the Herkulessaal, Munich.
Event icon
December 11, 1928: Amy Beach (61) sails from New York aboard the SS Saturnia for her third European tour.
Event icon
December 12, 1928: In the first free parliamentary elections in Romania, Prime Minister Maniu’s National Peasant Party wins 349 of 387 seats.
Performance icon
December 12, 1928: Thoreau from the Piano Sonata no.2 by Charles Ives (54) is performed for the first time, in Hartford, Connecticut.
Performance icon
December 13, 1928: George Gershwin’s (30) tone poem An American in Paris is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York. Critics are widely mixed.
Event icon
December 14, 1928: Bolivian troops take the Paraguayan outposts of Boqueron and Mariscal Lopez in the Chaco.
Performance icon
December 14, 1928: La Symphonie by Bohuslav Martinu (38) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston. It was composed to commemorate the event in June 1918 when the first Czechoslovak flag was presented to the Czechoslovak regiment in Darney, France. On the same program is the premiere of Lento molto for string orchestra by Aaron Copland (28).
Event icon
December 15, 1928: Bolivia calls up its reserves for war with Paraguay. Bolivian planes attack Bahia Nega but none of the bombs dropped explode.
Performance icon
December 16, 1928: Abodah for violin and piano by Ernest Bloch (48) is performed for the first time, in Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. The soloist is the young Yehudi Menuhin.
Event icon
December 17, 1928: Paraguay mobilizes for war with Bolivia.
Performance icon
December 19, 1928: An orchestral suite from the incidental music to Phaedre by Arthur Honegger (36) is performed for the first time, in Utrecht, conducted by the composer.
Event icon
December 20, 1928: Great Britain recognizes the Nanking (Kuomintang) government of China.
Performance icon
December 20, 1928: Vocalise no.1 for voice and piano by Albert Roussel (59) is performed for the first time, in Paris, the composer at the keyboard.
Event icon
December 20, 1928: Pope Pius XI issues Divini Cultus Sanctitatem. These are laws governing the proper performance of the liturgy and other sacred music. The occasion is the 900th anniversary of the coming to Rome of Guido d’Arezzo.
Performance icon
December 20, 1928: America, an epic Rhapsody for chorus and orchestra by Ernest Bloch (48), the unanimous winner of a prize offered by Musical America for a symphonic work on an American subject, is given simultaneous premieres by the judges: Frederick Stock of the Chicago Symphony, Walter Damrosch of the New York Philharmonic, Leopold Stokowski of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky of the Boston Symphony, and Alfred Hertz of the San Francisco Symphony.
Event icon
December 22, 1928: Oskari Mantere replaces Joho Emil Sunila as Prime Minister of Finland.
Event icon
December 22, 1928: The new Romanian government abolishes censorship and martial law.
Event icon
December 24, 1928: Silvestre Revueltas (28) in San Antonio telegraphs Carlos Chávez (29) in Mexico City that he will be leaving to join him as soon as possible. Chávez asked Revueltas to teach violin at the new National Conservatory of Mexico and to direct the school’s orchestra.
Event icon
December 26, 1928: Arthur Honegger (36) and his wife depart Le Havre for a three-month visit to the United States.
Event icon
December 26, 1928: The Frank H. Fleer Corporation test markets bubble gum at a candy store in Philadelphia. This and further tests prove wildly successful. The actual recipe was hit upon by Walter Diemer, an accountant with the company. He also decided on pink coloring because that was the only one available to him.
Performance icon
December 30, 1928: Two songs for voice and piano by Marc Blitzstein (23) to words of Whitman are performed for the first time, in New York: I Am He and Ages and Ages.
Performance icon
December 30, 1928: String Quartet no.3 by Béla Bartók (47) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.
Event icon
December 31, 1928: Frigidaire scientist Thomas Midgley receives a US patent for a chlorofluorocarbon freezing agent called Freon.