June 2, 1857 - Composer Edward Elgar was born in Broadheath, a small village in Worcestershire, England. He was knighted by King Edward VII in 1904 and became Knight Commander of the Victorian Order in 1928.
June 3 - Composer Georges Bizet died in Bougival near Paris, France. Undoubtedly, Bizet's greatest work is his opera Carmen which was based on a story by French author Prosper Mérimée. Also on this day in 1953, composer Florence Beatrice Price died in Chicago. She wrote more than 300 musical works. In 1932, she won four awards during the Wanamaker Competition.
June 4, 1998 - Singer/pianist Ray Charles reunited with his touring band in Chicago for his 50th year in showbiz. In 1979, the state of Georgia approved his recording of "Georgia On My Mind" as its official song.
June 5, 1826 - Composer Carl Maria von Weber died in London, England due to tuberculosis. He became music director in various theaters, most notably at the Prague Opera in 1813. In 1816, he was appointed Kappelmeister in Dresden.
June 6, 1991 - Saxophone player Stan Getz died in Malibu, California due to cancer. With his quartet, he recorded "The Girl From Ipanema" which topped the charts in 1964. He did a lot of recording during the 80s and it is said that he recorded more than 300 pieces until the time of his death.
June 8 - On this day in 1810, composer Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau, Germany. Many of his compositions are autobiographical and revolved around the theme of "childhood." Also on this day in 1821, Carl Maria von Weber's most famous work, the opera Der Freischütz (The Free Shooter), opened in Berlin. And on this day in 1979, guitarist Derek Trucks was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
June 9, 1865 - Composer Carl Nielsen was born in Sortelung, near Norre Lyndelse, Denmark. He taught at the Royal Conservatory where he eventually became music director in 1931.
June 10 - Composer Frederick Delius died in Grez-sur-Loing, (near Fontainebleau) France due to complications of syphilis. Also on this day in 2004, Ray Charles passed away due to complications of liver disease. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
June 11, 1864 - Composer Richard Strauss was born in Munich, Germany. Among his famous works are: his symphonic poems "Macbeth" and "Don Quixote;" and his operas "Salome" and "Elektra."
June 12 - On this day in 1917, pianist/composer Teresa Carreño died in New York City. She influenced a crop of young pianists and composers during her time including Edward MacDowell and Amy Beach. Also on this day in 2006, composer Gyorgy Ligeti died in Vienna, Austria. Some of Ligeti's works were featured in several films, most notably in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick.
June 13 - On this day in 1899, composer Carlos Chavez was born in Popotla, Mexico City, Mexico. He was a charter member of El Colegio Nacional and in 1969, became the Secretariat of Public Education. Also on this day in 1986, bandleader/clarinetist Benny Goodman died in New York. In 1935 their performances at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles attracted hordes of fans, thus earning him the title "King of Swing."
June 14, 1994 - Composer Henry Mancini died in Beverly Hills, California due to pancreatic cancer. ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) named an award after him in 1995; it is given each year for outstanding achievements and contributions in film and television music.
June 15 - On this day in 1843, composer Edvard Grieg was born in Bergen in Norway. The villa Grieg had built in 1884 called Troldhaugen is now a museum where tourists flock to immerse themselves in Grieg's works. Also on this day in 1869, bandleader Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore organized the National Peace Jubilee concert series. And on this day in 1996, "The First Lady of Song" Ella Fitzgerald died in Beverly Hills, California. In 1938, her recording of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" climbed on top of the pop charts and the album sold 1 million copies propelling her to fame.
Special Celebrations in June
Black Music Month - whole month of June (check out Famous Black Musicians)
International Surf Music Month - whole month of June (check out What is Surf Music?)
National Accordion Awareness Month - whole month of June
Flag Day - June 14 (check out Flag Day)
Happy Birthday to You Day - June 27 (check out History of the "Happy Birthday to You" Song)