On January 17 1912, Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team reached the South Pole, becoming the second team to do so after Roald Amundsen’s expedition a month before. Our Conquering the Antarctic concert tour commemorates a hundred years since Captain Scott’s adventure, celebrating the incredible human endurance and scientific achievement of the Antarctic mission of 1910-1912.
But what else happened in that eventful year?
The Republic of China is formally established on mainland China, following the Xinhai Revolution. The Republic replaced the Qing Dynasty and ended over two thousand years of imperial rule in China.
Captain Scott and his team reach the South Pole.
Chinese boy emperor P’ui-I abdicates but is permitted to live in the Forbidden City, where he remains until 1924.
Edgar Evans is the first of Scott’s team to die.
From her exile in France, Christabel Pankhurst decides the Women’s Social and Political Union needs to intensify its window-breaking campaign. A group of suffragettes takes action in London’s West End and storms government offices in Whitehall. 200 suffragettes are arrested.
Lawrence Oates, aware that he is holding up the team’s progress, leaves the tent, saying ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’
The ‘unsinkable’ ship Titanic, one of the biggest and most luxurious ships ever built, strikes an iceberg in the northern Atlantic Ocean. She sinks the following day with the loss of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
The 1912 Olympic Games open in Stockholm, the only full Games ever to have taken place in Sweden. During the games, the Portuguese marathon runner Francisco Lázaro died from a heart attack, the first athlete in the modern Olympics to die during the competition. The games also featured the world’s longest wrestling match: a Greco-Roman Wrestling bout between Martin Klein and Alfred Asikainen that lasted 11 hours and forty minutes.
Paramount Pictures, the oldest American motion picture studio still in operation, is founded by Hungarian-born Adolph Zukor in Hollywood, California.
Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She dies in an aviation accident on July 1st.
Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, dies aged 65.
Kathleen Ferrier, contralto, is born.
Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer (with his brother Orville), dies aged 45.
Gustav Mahler‘s Symphony No. 9 is premiered in Vienna by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Bruno Walter.
The United States occupies Nicaragua with the aim of preventing any other nation from building the Nicaraguan canal. 13 AUGUST:
Death of Jules Massenet, composer, aged 60.
Gene Kelly, actor, singer and dancer, is born.
Death of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer, aged 37.
John Cage, American composer, is born. 8 OCTOBER:
The Balkan League (Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, which had all achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire) attacks Turkey to free parts of their populations from Ottoman rule. The first Balkan War begins. 16 OCTOBER:
Pierrot-Lunaire by Schoenberg is premièred at the Berlin Choralion-Saal with Albertine Zehme as the vocalist. The work is atonal but does not use the twelve-tone technique that Schoenberg would devise eight years later.
A search party led by Lt.-Surgeon Edward Atkinson discovers the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers inside their tent. They recover Scott’s diary and other documents and perform a burial service. The expedition offically ends.
Piltdown Man, thought to be the fossilized skull of a hitherto unknown form of early human, is presented to the Geological Society of London. It was exposed in 1953 as a forgery consisting of the lower jawbone of an orang-utan that had been deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human.
A celebration in music, words and imagesStephen Layton, conductor
Robert Murray, tenor
Hugh Bonneville, narrator 3-8 February and 3 March 2012