February 2, 1594 - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina died in Rome, Italy. He was an organist, singer, teacher, music director and known as one of the greatest composers of liturgical music. Among his compositions are at least 140 madrigals, 105 masses and 250 motets.
February 2, 1927 - Stan Getz was born in Philadelphia, USA. He earned the nickname "The Sound" due to his own unique, polished style. He is considered one of America's top tenor saxophone players.
February 3, 1809- Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, Germany. He was a prolific composer of the Romantic period. He was a piano and violin virtuoso, a maestro and conductor.
February 3, 1959 - On a cold, winter day in Clear Lake, Iowa, a small plane headed for Fargo, North Dakota never reached its destination. The plane crashed, not far from the airport, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson and the pilot; Roger Peterson. This day, which claimed the lives of three great performers, is now known as "the day the music died."
February 4, 1983 - Singer Karen Carpenter died in Downey, California due to cardiac arrest.
February 5, 1981 - Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was inducted into Canada's Juno Hall of Fame. Aside from being a musician and singer-songwriter, she is also an accomplished painter. In 2002, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
February 6, 1497 - Johannes Ockeghem died, probably in Tours, France. He was a singer, teacher and one of the most influential composers of the Early Renaissance. Some of his major works are 14 masses; 10 motets and 20 chansons.
February 7, 1994 - Witold Lutoslawski died in Warsaw. He was a major Polish composer of the 20th century particularly notable for his orchestral works. He attended the Warsaw Conservatory where he studied composition and music theory. Among his famous works are "The Symphonic Variations," "Variations on a Theme of Paganini" and "Funeral Music" which he dedicated to the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.
February 8, 1932 - John Williams was born in New York, USA. He is undeniably one of the most prolific and multi-awarded composers of our time. His works include over 75 film scores including the music for the "Star Wars Trilogy," "E.T.," "Superman," "Jurassic Park" and scores for three Harry Potter Films; "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".
February 8, 2000 - Ervin Litkei died in his Manhattan residence due to pulmonary embolism. He was a Hungarian composer who immigrated to the United States in 1948. He is most notable for his patriotic marches which he wrote for every U.S. President; the first of which was for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
February 9, 1885 - Alban Berg was born in Vienna, Austria. He was one of the students of Arnold Schoenberg who would later on become a well-known composer himself.
February 9, 1942 - Carole King was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is one of the artists who inspired and defined the role of a singer-songwriter. Her well-crafted lyrics, captivating melodies and her unique voice make her songs timeless. She is the artist behind hits like "So Far Away" and "It's Too Late" and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
February 10, 1971 - Singer-songwriter Carole King released her album Tapestry which features the hit songs "It's Too Late," "So Far Away" and "You've Got A Friend." The album earned her 4 Grammy's and was on the chart for almost 6 years.
February 11, 1957 - The song "Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline was released. Her other hits include "I Fall to Pieces," "Crazy" and "She's Got You."
February 12, 1924 - "Rhapsody In Blue" by George Gershwin was first performed at the Aeolian Hall in New York City.
February 13, 1883 - Richard Wagner died in Venice, Italy due to heart attack. He was a chorus master at the Würzburg theatre, a Dresden court joint Kapellmeister, a composer, opera conductor, writer, librettist, critic and skilled debater.
February 14, 1602 - Francesco Cavalli was born in Venice, Italy. He was one of the most influential Italian opera composers during the 17th century.
February 15, 1965 - Nat King Cole died due to lung cancer. He started out as a pianist and later became one of the world's most memorable vocalists.
Special Celebrations in February
The Day the Music Died - Feb. 3 (check out Related Article)
President's Day - 3rd Monday of February (check out Songs for Washington and Songs for Lincoln)
Black History Month - whole month of February (check out Famous Black Musicians)
National Weddings Month - whole month of February (check out Instrumental Wedding Ceremony Music)