Alex James's Date Night - 26 July 2014

Alex James continues his new series, taking a look at all the significant dates and anniversaries in the classical music world over the week ahead.

This week sees the anniversary of the funeral of Antonio Vivaldi. The great composer was buried on 28th July 1741 and, remarkably, his status at the time afforded him only a pauper's burial. Alex James explains why.

Alex then goes on to celebrate the birthday of Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, born on 28 July 1941, and tells the tale of why Mendelssohn found himself at Holyrood House in Edinburgh on 30th July 1829. 

Alex also reports on Saint-Saens' very first public piano recital on 1st August 1840 – aged just four.

And what was the reason behind Paganini getting into hot water with his mistress? Alex has the answer.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast