Who are we celebrating in 2021?

Who are we celebrating in 2021?


norman lebrecht

December 31, 2020

Josquin des Pres, 500 years since his death
Camille Saint-Saens, Engelbert Humperdinck: 100 years
Igor Stravinsky, 50 years
Alexander Zemlinsky, born 1871
Malcolm Arnold, born 1921
Likewise Aastor Piazolla


Mario Lanza, born 1921
Enrico Caruso, died 1921


Anna Netrebko, Evgeny Kissin, born 50 years ago


  • Petros Linardos says:

    Josquin, Saint-Saens, Humperdinck and Zemlinsky: arguably not overperformed.

    Stravinsky’s anniversary should hopefully provide opportunities to hear music other than the three famous ballets.

    Kissin’s career is solid enough to withstand the slump in media attention: too old to be the latest young hot talent (he was in the 80s and early 90s), too young to be a musical elder statesman (give him another 2-3 decades).

  • buxtehude says:

    Jacqueline Du Pre, 1945

  • Nojabrina says:

    Martha Argerich turns 80…

  • J Barcelo says:

    Malcolm Arnold (1921 – 2006) Let’s put away Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky for a year and play Arnold’s wonderful music.
    Aida was composed in 1871 – let’s have some 150th anniversary performances.

  • Ari Bocian says:

    The 230th anniversary of Mozart’s death, the 40th anniversary of Samuel Barber’s death, and the 130th anniversary of Prokofiev’s birth.

  • E. L. says:

    Malcolm Arnold, born in 1921.

  • Patricia Kleinman says:

    Pauline Viardot, bicentennial!! 1821-1910 Singer, composer, vocal pedagogue

    • Ed says:

      You´re right. Admired by Chopin, Liszt, Clara and Robert Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, George Sand, Anselm Feuerbach, Ivan Turguenev … Great singer, pianist, composer and vocal pedagogue!

  • Concertgoer says:

    It makes NO sense to commemorate years of death. Never did. Never will. Detracts from the important anniversaries, which is partly why Beethoven 250 got little notice.

  • Joseph Lihm says:

    Bruno Maderna (21 April 1920 – 13 November 1973) 

    Born 100 yrs ago:
    Hilde Rössel-Majdan
    Mario Lanza 
    Astor Piazzolla 
    Arthur Grumiaux 
    Franco Corelli 
    Sieglinde Wagner
    Marga Höffgen
    Dennis Brain 
    Walter Barylli
    Giuseppe di Stefano
    Lola Bobesco 
    Agnes Giebel
    Sena Jurinac 
    Georges Cziffra 
    Géza Anda

  • Colin says:

    Malcolm Arnold, born 1921.

  • Edgar Self says:

    To mark 50 years since Stravinsky died, my vote is for “The ERake’s Progress”, “Oedipus Rex”, the Octet, and Four Norwegian Moods with a good horn section.

    We sometimes hear Humperdinck without realizing it: he wrote the concert ending for Siegfried’s Rhine Journey used in separate performances and recordings of it. I’d love to hear “Koenigskinder”. He helped recover and assemble the parts and score of Wagner’s early four-movement symphony and delivered them to him in Venice, where Wagner conducted for the last time rehearsing it.

  • BP says:

    2021-2022 should be a Xenakis season. Born 1922, died in 2001.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    A few additional anniversaries:

    25 years since the deaths of Toru Takemitsu, Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Vagn Holmboe

    50 years since the deaths of Marcel Dupre, Alan Rawsthorne and Carl Ruggles

    75 years since the births of Colin Matthews and Howard Shore, and the death of Manuel de Falla

    100 years since the birth of Malcolm Arnold

    125 years since the births of Howard Hanson, Virgil Thomson and Roger Sessions, and the deaths of Clara Schumann and Anton Bruckner

    200 years since the birth of Pauline Viardot

    400 years since the deaths of Michael Praetorius and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

    500 years since the death of Robert Fayrfax

  • Patricia says:

    Odd choices. No Handel, Bach, Haydn or Mozart?

  • mel says:

    Dennis Brain 100

    • Tony Catterick says:

      Thank you adding Dennis Brain. He was born on May 17th 1921. The greatest horn player who has ever lived and always will be.

  • mel says:

    Oh, to add to Dennis Brian 100:

    Malcolm Arnold 100
    Joonas Kokkonen 100
    Dimitri Mitropoulos 125
    Howard Hanson 125
    Virgil Thompson 125
    Wilfred Pelletier 125

  • just saying says:

    What about Beethoven???

    • John Borstlap says:

      Indeed. It is exactly a year since the music world tried to begin to commemorate his 150th birth year.

  • sabrinensis says:

    We can always use more Zemlinsky!

  • Leo Samama says:

    Bruno Maderna was born in 1920! Died in 1973!
    Alphons Diepenbrock, the foremost Dutch composer around 1900 died in 1921. So, another 100 years there.

  • Dennis Davis says:

    Thank you but I think you’ll find Bruno Maderna was born in 1920

  • Novagerio says:

    Giuseppe di Stefano 100

  • luciano tanto says:

    Piazzolla. Doubles…

  • Ms.Melody says:

    How did overhyped, overrated, mediocre singer like Anna Netrebko get into this illustrious company?!

  • hmmb says:

    If you count 25, 75, 125 years etc there are more well known musicians to be added but can I also mention

    Louis Armstrong 50 (death)
    Carl Tausig 150 (death)
    Yves Montand 100 (born)
    Jan Sweelinck 400 (death)

  • David K. Nelson says:

    2021 is also the 300th birthday of the Lady Blunt Stradivarius violin. One of the best preserved of all Strads.

  • Let us not forget Jaromír Weinberger on the 125th anniversary of his birth (08.January.1896)!!!

  • David says:

    It is also the 400th anniversary of the death of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck