Classical Music Time Line Click to listen to "Pathétique" by Beethoven.
Early Music: The First Thirteen Centuries
400St Augustine writes his spiritual autobiography, The Confessions.
590 Gregory the Great, eventually linked to Gregorian chant, becomes Pope.
800 Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne "Holy Roman Emperor"
900 Earliest surviving chant books with music notation.
1003 Leif Erikson voyages to North America
1095 Pope Urban II proclaims the First Crusade.
1206 Temujin is enthroned as Genghis Khan.
1214 Oxford University founded
1298 Marco Polo writes his Book of Travels to Tartary and China
The 14th Century to the Renaissance
1348-49Black Plague kills one third of Europe's population
1387 Geoffrey Chaucer writes The Canterbury Tales.
1440 Josquin des Pres was born in France.
1453Fall of the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople becomes Istanbul
1492 Christopher Columbus reaches the New World. (the Bahamas)
1495 Music theorist Johannes Tinctoris writes his Dictionary of Musical Terms.
1503 Leonardo Da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa.
1505 Thomas Tallis was born in England.
1521 Josquin des Pres dies.
1525Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is born in Italy.
1527Martin Luther nails his "95 Theses" to the door of his Wittenberg church.
1528 Elizabeth Tutor becomes queen of the British Isles
1542 Orlandus Lessus was born in Mons (now part of Belgium).
1543William Byrd was born in England.
1545Council of Trent reforms the Catholic Church.
1549Thomas Luis de Victoria was born.
1554Giovanni Gabrieli was born in Germany.
1563John Dowland was born in England.
1567Claudio Monteverdi was born in Gcremona, Italy.
1571Michael Practorius was born.
1584Sir Walter Raleigh discovers and annexes Virginia.
1585 Thomas Tallis was born.
1587 Claudio Monterverdi wrote the First Book of Madrigals.
1590Claudio Monterverdi wrote the Second Book of Mardrigals.
1594Orlandus Lessus dies.
Giovanni Pierluigida Palestrina dies.
1597 John Dowland publishes his First Booke of Songes.
1600-1601 William Shakespeare writes Hamlet.
1603 John Dowland wrote Third and Last Book of Songs or Aires.
King James I of Scots became King of the British Isles.
1607 Claudio Monteverdi wrote the opera Orfeo.
1608 Dutchman Johann Lippershey invents the telescope.
1611Tomas Luis de Victoria dies.
1611Peter Paul Rubens paints the Descent From the Cross.
1612 Giovanni Gabrieli dies.
1618Thirty Years' War begins between the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire and France, England, Sweden, ect
1621 Michael Praetorius dies.
1623 William Byrd dies.
1626John Dowland dies.
1637First public opera house opens in Venice.
1642 Claudio Monterverdi wrote the opera L'Incoronazione di Poppea.
1643Claudio Monteverdi dies.
Beginning of long reign (to 1715) of Louis XIV in France.
1653Johann Pachelbel born
Arcangelo Corellia is born in Italy.
1659Henry Purcell born in England.
1660Beginning of the English Reformation.
1668 Rrancois Couperio born in France.
1671Tomaso Albinoni born in Venice.
1678Antonio Vivaldi born on March 4, 1678, Venezia (Italy).
1681Georg Philipp Telemann born in Magdeburg, Germany.
1683Jean-Philippe Rameau born in France.
1685Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21in Eisenach, a small town in Germany.
George Handelborn in Germany.
Domenico Scarlattiborn in Italy.
1695Henry Purcell dies.
1706Johann Pachelbel dies.
1708Bach writes Toccatas and Fugues in D Minor.
1709 Bartolomeo Cristofori invents the hammer action pianoforte
1711On April 1st 1761 Hayden became second conductor of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy (1711-1762).
1713Arcangelo Corelli dies.
1714Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, J. S, Bach's second oldest son, born.
Christoph Willibals von Gluckborn on July 2.
1717George Handle wrote Water Music.
1722Telemann appointed Cantor of St. Thomas in Leipzig but Hamburg will not release him.
1723 J.S. Bach accepts Leipzig position offered to Telemann.
1725 Opus 8 - Vivaldi's The Four Seasons were published in Amsterdam.
1727Bach writes St Matthew Passion.
1732Joseph Haydn born on March 31 in Rohrau in Burgenland.
1733Francois Couperin dies.
Bach writes the Magnificat in D Major.
1737 Antonio Stradivari instrument maker extraordinaire, dies.
1741Antonio Vivaldi dies July 27, 1741, Wien (Austria).
1742Bach writes his Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fugue.
Handel's Messiah was first performed.
Frederick the Great opens the Berlin Opera House.
1748 Discovery of the ruined city of Pompei.
1750Johann Sebastian Bach dies July 28.
1751 Denis Diderot finishes editing his Encyclopedie in 17 volumes.
The Classical Era
1754 Anglo-French War in North America.
1756Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born.
1757First public concert in Philadelphia given by John Palma.
1759 George Handel dies.
Voltaire publishes Candide; British Museum opened to the public.
1762 Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice was staged in Vienna in 1762.
Leopold Mozart took his six year old son, Wolfgang and his daughter on their first performing tour.
1764 Jean-Philippe Rameau dies.
1768 Jean-Jacques Rousseau publishes his Dictionnarie de musique.
1770 December 17 Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn.
1772First Encyclopedia Britannica issued in Scotland.
1775 James Watt perfects the steam engine.
1776 American Declaration of Independence signed.
1782 Nucciki Paganini born Genoa in Italy.
1783Great Britain formally recognizes American independence.
1784 Haydn and Mozart may have meet in Vienna.
Haydn composed the Paris Symphonies (Nos. 82-87).
1785 Mozart dedicated to his friend, Joseph Haydn, six string quartets.
1786Mozart's Marriage of Figaro first performed.
When Beethoven was sixteen, he played for Mozart, who reportedly said, "Keep your eyes on him; someday he will give the world something to talk about."
1787Mozart's Don Giovanni was first performed.
Christoph Willibald von Gluckdies.
1788Carl Philip Emanuel Bach dies.
Mozart composed Symphony No. 40 in G minor and Symphony No. 41 Jupiter.
The Bridge from Classical to Romantic
1789French Revolution takes place.
George Washington (1789-1797)
1790 Immanuel Kant publishes his Critique of Judgement
Mozart's The Magic Flute was performed.
1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies.
1791-1795 Hadyn composed the London Symphonies, which include the No. 92 the Oxford, No. 94 the Surprise, and No. 101 the Clock.
1792 France declared a Republic.
Thirteen years old Beethoven traveled to Vienna where he studied with Joseph Haydn for a year.
1793 First national art gallery in Europe, the Louvre, opens.
1797Gaetano Donizetti born in Bergamo, Italy.
1798Haydn's great oratorio The Creation was performed.
Lyrical Balladsof William Wordsworth appears. First music periodical appears in Leipzig.
1799 Napoleon Bonaparte nominated First Consul of France. Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt.
1801 Vincenzo Bellini born in Catania, Sicily.
1803 Hector Berlioz born in a small town near Grenoble, France.
In the summer of this year, Beethoven begins work on the Symphony No. 3" (The Eroica).
1804 Mikhail Glinka born in Smolensk.
1808Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies were completed by the summer of 1808.
1809Joseph Haydn dies.
Felix Mendelssohnborn in Hamburg.
Beethoven's Op. 73, Piano Concerto no. 5 ('Emperor') in E-flat, composed.
1810Fredric Chopin born.
1811November 28, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat Major Op. 73 "Emperor" first performance in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
Franz Lisztborn in Raiding, Hungary.
1813Richard Wagner born in Leipzig on May 22.
Giuseppe Verdiborn in Parma, Italy.
Critic E.T.A. Hoffmann declares that instrumental music "is the most romantic of all the arts."
1814-15 Congress of Vienna attempts to restore a pre-Revolutionary Europe.
1815Napoleon loses Battle of Waterloo.
1816 Rossini composed The Barber of Seville.
1818By the year 1818 Beethoven was totally deaf.
1819Clara Wiek Shuman born.
1822Schubert writes Eighth Symphony ('Unfinished').
1823Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Choral) was completed in 1823.
Edouard Laloborn in France.
1824Anton Bruckner born in Ansfelden, Austria.
Bedrich Smetanaborn in Litomysl, Bohemia.
1825 Johann Strauss II born.
Mendelssohn composed the Octet in E flat
1826 Bellini composed Bianca e Gernando
Mendelssohn wrote A Midsummer's Night Dream.
1827 On March 26 Beethoven dies.
Schubert visits a dying Beethoven.
Bellini composes Il Pirata.
1828Franz Schubert dies.
1829-1830Berlioz wrote his Symphonie Fantastique, which he finished during the revolution of 1830.
Berlioz wrote the Symphonie fantastique (fantastic Symphony
Chopin composed the Concerto No. 1 in E Minor for Piano Op.11
1831the premieres of two of Bellini's most famous operas, La Sonnambula and his masterpiece, Norma, brought him international fame.
1833Johannes Brahms born Hamburg.
Alexander Borodinborn in Russa.
1835Lucia di Lammermoot was written by Donizetti.
Camille Saint-Saensborn in Paris.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) born.
1836Leo Delibes born in France.
1837Victoria succeeds William IV to the English throne.
Shumann founded his journal Die Neue Zeitschrifi fir Music (New Musical Journal)
1838 Regular Atlantic steamship service begins.
Georges Bizetborn in Paris.
Max Burchborn Germany
1839Hector Berlioz wrote Romeo and Juliet and The Damnation of Faust.
Modest Mussorgsky born in Russia.
1840Peter Tchaikovsky born.
1841Antonin Dvork born near Prague.
1842Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman first performed.
1843Edvard Grieg born in Bergen, Norway.
1844Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov born in Tikhvin, Russia.
1845Gabriel Faure born in France.
1846Berlioz's Damnation of Faust performed.
Mendelssohn's Elijah was performed.
1847Felix Mendelssohn dies.
1848Gaetano Donizeti dies.
1849Fredric Chopin dies.
Gold discovered in California and Australia
Dickens wrote David Copperfield 1849-1850.
1851 Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick
Verdi composes his opera Rigoletto.
1853Liszt composes Piano Sonata in B Minor.
Brahms ment Liszt in Weimar. Later he became friends with Robert and Clara Schumann.
1854Leos Janacek born in Moravia (later Czechoslovakia).
1855Ernest Chausson born.
1856Robert Schumann dies.
Wagner composes Die Walküre
1857Mikhail Glinka dies.
Edward Elgarborn in England.
Ruggero Leoncavalloborn in Naples.
1858Giacomo Puccini born.
First Atlantic cable laid.
1859 Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species.
1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi occupies Naples and precipitates the unification of Italy.
Gustav Mahlerborn Kalist, Bohemia.
Hugo Wolfborn in Austria.
Issac Albenizborn in Catalnoia.
1861Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
1861-5Civil War ravages the United States.
1862 Claude Debussy born in St. Germainen-Laye.
Frederick Deliusbornin France.
1863 Pietro Mascagni born.
1864Richard Strauss born.
Geneva Convention establishes Red Cross
1865Carl Nielsen born.
Jean Sibeliusborn in Finland.
Leo Tolstoy publishes War and Peace.
Union Pacific Railway completed in U.S.
1866 Erik Satie born.
Ferruccio Busoniborn in Italy.
1867 Mussorgsky finished Night on a Bare Mountian.
1868Grieg finished the Piano Concerto in A minor.
Gioacchino Rossini dies.
1869Hector Berlioz dies
1870Leo Delibes composed Coppelia.
1870-1 Franco-Prussian War erupts.
1871Verdi composes his opera Aida.
1872Ralph Vaughan Williams born.
Alexander Scriabinborn in Moscow.
Saint-Saens writes the Concerto No. 1 in A Minor for Cello, Op. 33.
1873Sergei Rachmanioff born.
Lalo composed Symphonie espagnole.
1874Arnold Schoenburg born.
Charles Ives bornin Danbury, Connecticut.
Verdi composes his opera Requiem.
1875Bizet's opera Carmen premiere.
Tchaikovsky completes Swan Lake.
Maurice Ravelborn 7 March 1875, Ciboure (France)
1876Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.
Brahms completed his Symphony No. 1 in C Minor.
Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt performed on the 24th February 1876.
In 1876 the premiere performance of the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen took place.
Manuel de Fallaborn in Spain.
1879Smetana finished Ma Vlast (My Fatherland).
Ottorino Respighiborn in Bologna in Itlay.
1878-81Brahms writes Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 83
1878Tchaikovsky wrote Eugene Onegin, the Fourth Symphony, and the Violin Concerto.
1881.Modest Mossorgsky dies.
Bela Bartokborn Romania..
Saint-Saens wrote his Concerto No. 3 in B Minor for Violin, Op. 61.
Percy Graingerborn in Melbourne.
1882Igor Stravinsky born in Oranienbaum in Russia..
Zan Kodalyborn in Hungary.
1883Brahms composes Symphony No. 3 in F Major
1884Bedrich Smetana dies.
1885Richard Wagner dies.
Albania Bergwas born in Vienna.
1886Franz Liszt dies.
1887Alexander Borden dies.
Heater Villa-Lobosborn in Brazil.
Brahms wrote the Double Concerto.
Anton Bracken's Symphony No. 8 in C minor premieres.
Rimsky-Korsakov writes Russian Easter Overture, Op. 36 and Scheherazade, Op. 35 and the Ccapriccio espagnol.
Hugo Wolf wrote the Italian Serenade for string quartet.
1888Mahler finished his First Symphon in D.
Eric Satie composed his Gymnopedies.
1888-89Tchaikovsky toured as a conductor during these years. He meet Brahms, Dvorak, and Grieg. He completed his Fifth Symphony and The Sleeping Beauty.
1891Dvorak becomes the Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York which he kept for the next three years. This is when he wrote the Symphony N0. 9, "From the New World".
1891-92Tchaikovsky composes the Nutcracker Suite.
Edouard Lalo dies.
Sergei Prokofievborn in Sontsovka.
1892Debussy composes Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun).
Arthur Honegger born in France of Swiss parents, and he kept his Swiss citizenship all his life.
Rachmaninoff composed Prelude in C sharp minor.
1893Peter Tchaikovsky dies.
Before Tchaikovsky dies he completes the Pathetique Symphony.
1894Emmanuel Chabrier dies.
1895Mahler's Second Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" first performed.
Paul Hindemithborn near Frankfurt.
1896Clara Wreck Shumann dies.
Puccini's opera La Boheme was first produced in Turin.
Hugo Wolf's opera Der Corregidor was first performed. In the same year he also wrote Italienisches Liederbuch.
Virgil Thompsonwas born in Kansas City, Missouri.
1897. Johannes Brahms dies.
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
1897-1898Richard Strauss writes Don Quizote.
1898George Gershwin born.
1899Johann Strauss II dies.
Francis Poulencborn in France.
Schoenberg produced his first major work, the tone poem Transfigured Night.
1900Aaron Copland born.
Puccini's opera Tosca was first produced in Rome.
Kurt Weillborn in Germany.
Early 20th Century
1901Giuseppe Verdi dies.
Joaquin Rodrigoborn in Sagunto on November 22.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
Elgar composes Pomp and Circumstance.
1902William Walton born in Oldham, Lancashire.
1903Hugo Wolf dies.
Sibelius composed his Violin Concerto.
1904 Antonin Dvork dies.
Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly was first produced.
Alexander Scriabin composed La Poeme de Pestase (Poem of Ecstasy).
1905Michael Tippett born in London.
1906Dmitri Shostakovich born in St. Petersburg.
1906-09Issac Albeniz spent these years composing Iberia.
1907Edvard Grieg dies.
Stravinsky first composed the Petrushka, buy revised it in 1947.
1908Olivier Messiaen born in Avignon.
Maurice Ravel composes Daphnis et Chloe.
Elliott Carter born in New York.
Rachmaninoff conducted the first performance of the Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Or.27.
1909Auguste Rodin sculpts his Head of Mahler.
1910 Vaughan Williams composed Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
Samuel Barber born in Pennsylvania.
Stravinsky's The Firebird premiered.
1911Gustav Mahler dies.
1912Maurice Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe premeired.
Schoenberg composed one of his most influential works, Pierrot Lunaire
John Cageborn in Los Angeles.
1913Benjamin Britten born in England.
Witold Lutoslawskiborn in Warsaw.
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring previewed in Paris.
1914Charles Ives composed Three Places in new England.
1914-1918World War I.
During WWI Sibelius composed his Symphony No. 5.
1915 Alexander Scriabin dies.
Falla composed El amor brujo (Love the Magician).
1916 Claude Monet begins his series of waterlily paintings.
Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 Op. 29, "Inextinguishable" was first performed.
1916-17 Prokofiev's Classical Symphony (No. 1), in D major was published.
1917Russian Revolution led by Vldimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
Ottorino Respighi's The Fountains of Rome was first performed.
1918 Claude Debussy dies.
Leonard Bernsteinborn in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Gustav Holst introduced his composition, The Planets.
1919 Ruggero Leoncavallo dies.
1920Babe Ruth debuts with the "Bronx Bombers," New York's beloved Yankees.
Vaughan Williams composed The Lark Ascending.
1921 Prokofiev's Concerto No.3 in C for Piano, Op.26 premiered.
Robert Simpson born in Leamington Spa.
1922 Carl Nielsen composed Symphony No. 5.
Iannis Xenakisborn in Romania.
James Joyce publishes Ulysses.
1924 Giacomo Puccini dies.
George Gershwin composed Rhapsody in Blue.
Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome first performed.
1925Erik Satie dies.
Pierre Boulezborn in Paris.
Luciano Berioborn in Oneglia.
George Gershwin composed Piano Concerto in F.
1926Leos Janacek wrote Sinfonietta.
Hans Werner Henze born in Germany.
Maurice Ravel's Bolero premiered as a concert piece.
1928 Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
George Gershwin composed American in Paris.
Schoenberg wrote Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31.
1929 U.S. stock market collapses.
Ottorino Respighi's Roman Festivals first performed.
1930Virgil Thompson composed The Plow That Broke the Plains.
1931Carl Nielsen dies.
1934Frederick Delius dies.
Peter Maxwell Daviesborn in Manchester.
William Walton's Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Minor first performed in 1934.
1935Alban Berg composed Violin Concerto. He dies later that year.
1936Ottorino Respighi dies.
1937George Gershwin dies.
Shostakovich composed Symphony No. 5, Op.47.
1938Barber wrote Adagio for Strings.
1939-1945 World War II.
During this period Arthur Honegger composed Symphony No. 2
During this period Bela Bartok composed his Concerto for Orchestra, the Sixth String Quartet, and the Third Piano Concerto.
1939-41Tippett composed Child of Our Time.
1941Christian Sinding dies.
Messiaen's Quatuor pour le fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) was written while he was imprisoned during WWII and premiered in 1941.
1942Copland composed Rodeo.
1943Sergei Rachmaninoff dies.
1944Copland composed Appalachian Spring.
Late 20th Century
1945Pietro Mascagni dies.
1946Manuel de Falla dies.
1948P. Goldsmith invents the long-playing record in the U.S.
1949 Richard Strauss dies.
1950Kurt Weill dies..
1951Arnold Schoenburg dies.
JD Slinger publishes The Catcher in the Rye.
1953Sergei Prokofiev dies.
Stostakovich introduced Symphony No. 10, in E Minor, Op. 93.
1954Charles Ives dies.
1955Arthur Honegger dies.
1957Jean Sibelius dies.
1958Ralph Vaughan Williams dies.
1959Heitor Villa-Lobos dies.
1961Percy Grainger dies.
1963John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
1966 The new Metropolitan Opera House opens in New York.
1967 Zoltan Kodaly dies.
1968Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1969 Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
1971 Igor Stravinsky dies.
1975 Dmitri Shostakovich dies.
1976 Benjamin Britten dies.
1980Lutoslawski completed his Third Symphony.
1981The first space shuttle, Columbia, makes its maiden flight.
1983 William Walton dies.
1989Virgil Thomposon dies.
1990Aaron Copland dies.
1992John Cage dies.
1994Witold Lutoslawske died.
Classical Music: An Introduction to Classical Music Through the Great Composers and Their Masterworks by John Stanley
Building a Classical Music Library by Bill Parker