May 2 - On this day in 1885, Wilhelm Schimmel started his company in Leipzig, Germany. Also on this day in 1864, composer Giacomo Meyerbeer died in Paris, France. And on this day in 1936, Sergey Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf debuted at the Moscow Children's Musical Theater.
May 3, 1933 - Songwriter, musician, vocalist and recording artist James Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina.
May 4, 1886 - The graphophone, a later version of the phonograph, was patented.
May 5, 1891 - Carnegie Hall, formerly called Music Hall, was dedicated in New York City.
May 6 - On this day in 1997, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also on this day in 2004, composer Elliott Carter attended the Documentary Concert at the Prada Store during the Tribeca Film Festival.
May 7 - On this day in 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany. He was a pianist, composer, conductor, music director and teacher. He was also a voracious reader; his collection of books are now stored at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Also on this day in 1840, composer Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia. And on this day in 1951, singer-songwriter Janis Ian was born in New York City.
May 8 - On this day in 1829, Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a composer and virtuoso pianist who pioneered the use of Creole and Latin American songs and dance themes in his compositions.
May 9 - On this day in 1707, Dietrich Buxtehude died in Lübeck. He was an organist and highly-regarded composer of church music who influenced other composers such as George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach. Also on this day in 1949, singer-songwriter Billy Joel was born in Bronx, New York.
May 10 - On this day in 1865, Edmond Dede's Quasimodo Symphony was performed at the Orleans Theater. Also on this day in 1916, music theorist, educator and composer Milton Byron Babbitt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And on this day in 1970, classical pianist Gabriela Montero was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
May 11, 1888 - Irving Berlin was born in Russia. He was a gifted songwriter who wrote over 1,000 songs in various genres; from ballads to dance tunes.
May 12 - On this day in 1845, Gabriel Fauré was born in Pamiers, France. He was an organist, teacher and one of the leading French composers of the 19th century. Also on this day in 1884, composer Bedrich Smetana died in Prague.
May 13, 1842 - Arthur Sullivan was born in London, England. He was a composer, conductor and teacher especially noted for his successful collaborations with librettist William Schwenk Gilbert.
May 14 - On this day in 1847, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel died in Berlin, Germany. She was a talented pianist, composer of lieder and chamber music. Also on this day in 1925, composer Tristram Cary was born in Oxford, England. He scored the music for The Ladykillers (1955) and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971).
May 15 - On this day in 1567, Claudio Monteverdi was born in Cremona, Italy. He was one of the great contributors to opera and is considered a transitional figure from the Renaissance to the Baroque era. Also on this day in 1948, the pioneer of ambient music, Brian Eno, was born in England.
Special Celebrations in May
National Dance Day - May 1
Tuba Day - first Friday of May (see Profile of the Tuba)
World Belly Dance Day - second Saturday of the month
The Stars and Stripes Forever Day - May 14 (see "The Stars and Stripes Forever")
Old-time Player Piano Day - May 25
International Jazz Day - May 26