Whose Birthday is Today?


See performers and composers from Carnegie Hall’s performance history who were born on this day. Click on each name to view information on that person from our online Performance History Search, and view matching items in Wikidata.

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Birth Year Name with PHS Link Birth Place Matching Wikidata Item
1609 Paul Fleming born in Hartenstein Wikidata Item
1760 Martin Joseph Prandstetter born in Vienna Wikidata Item
1813 Ernst Haberbier born in Königsberg Wikidata Item
1858 Alfred E. Marling born in Toronto Wikidata Item
1873 Lucien Mérignac born in Paris Wikidata Item
1876 Jean Longuet born in London Wikidata Item
1879 John Erskine born in New York City Wikidata Item
1879 Joe Grey born in Salt Lake City No Wikidata Item
1881 J. Tim Brymn born in Kinston Wikidata Item
1883 Charles Maduro born in Curaçao No Wikidata Item
1884 Hal Dyson born in Sydney No Wikidata Item
1892 Willis A. Diekema born in Holland No Wikidata Item
1893 Horace Johnson born in Waltham No Wikidata Item
1895 Walter Bedell Smith born in Indianapolis Wikidata Item
1897 Vincent Sorey born in Turin No Wikidata Item
1898 Murray Mencher born in Boston Wikidata Item
1908 Joshua Logan III born in Texarkana Wikidata Item
1910 Fred Norman born in Leesburg Wikidata Item
1915 George Lynn born in Edwardsville Wikidata Item
1925 Herbert Kretzmer born in Kroonstad Wikidata Item
1927 John Downey born in Chicago Wikidata Item
1929 Simon Streatfeild born in Windsor Wikidata Item
1929 Sidney Harth born in Cleveland Wikidata Item
1930 Seán Potts born in Dublin Wikidata Item
1930 Arlene Saunders born in Cleveland Wikidata Item
1931 Freddy Cole born in Chicago Wikidata Item
1931 Ismael Rivera born in Santurce Wikidata Item
1932 Ron Miller born in Chicago Wikidata Item
1950 Benjamin Nagari born in Tel Aviv No Wikidata Item
1952 Harold Faltermeyer born in Munich Wikidata Item
1952 Gordon Stout born in Wichita Wikidata Item
1954 Wayne Watson born in Wisner Wikidata Item
1955 Ernst Ottensamer born in Wallern an der Trattnach Wikidata Item
1957 Clifton Anderson born in Harlem Wikidata Item
1958 Jonathon Welch born in Ripponlea Wikidata Item
1958 Neil deGrasse Tyson born in New York City Wikidata Item
1962 Ken Noda born in New York City Wikidata Item
1970 Brandon Jovanovich born in Billings Wikidata Item
1974 Heather Headley born in Barataria Wikidata Item
1975 Kate Winslet born in Reading Wikidata Item
1976 Douglas Gibson born in Phoenix No Wikidata Item
1978 James Valentine born in Lincoln Wikidata Item
1980 Ali Ewoldt born in Chicago Wikidata Item
1988 Kevin Olusola born in Owensboro Wikidata Item

lab report


List: Whose Birthday is Today?


See which composers and performers from Carnegie Hall’s performance history were born on this day, with their birth year, birthplace, and a link to their corresponding Wikidata item.

The scope is limited to those people for whom we have birthdate and birthplace information.


We created a SPARQL query using data.carnegiehall.org, which finds people from Carnegie Hall's performance history (e.g. performers, and/or creators like composers, arrangers, lyricists, etc.) born on today's date. Since birthdates have been stored as ISO-8601 dates assigned datatypes like xsd:date (YYYY-MM-DD), xsd:gYearMonth (YYYY-MM), or xsd:gYear (YYYY), we can use SPARQL's FILTER to find only those people born on today's month and day. Birthplaces are identified using GeoNames URIs (when the birth city is not known, birth country will be used; people with no birthplace recorded will not appear in the query). The query will also return the Wikidata item ID for anyone whose Carnegie Hall ID has been aligned with Wikidata using the skos:exactMatch property.

              PREFIX rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#>
              PREFIX schema: <http://schema.org/##>
              PREFIX foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/##>
              PREFIX geo-pos: <http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos##>
              PREFIX skos: <http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core##>
              SELECT ?personName ?birthPlace ?birthPlaceLabel ?lat ?long ?opasID ?wikidataLink (YEAR(?date) as ?year)
                            (STR(ENCODE_FOR_URI(?personName))))) AS ?perfLink)
                            (STR(ENCODE_FOR_URI(?personName))))) AS ?compLink)
                  BIND(MONTH(NOW()) AS ?nowMonth)
                  BIND(DAY(NOW()) AS ?nowDay)

                  ?personID schema:birthDate ?date ;
                          foaf:name ?personName ;
                          schema:birthPlace ?birthPlace .
                  ?birthPlace rdfs:label ?birthPlaceLabel ;
                              geo-pos:lat ?lat ;
                              geo-pos:long ?long .
                  OPTIONAL { ?personID skos:exactMatch ?wikidataLink .
                      filter contains(str(?wikidataLink), "wikidata")}
                  BIND(REPLACE(str(?personID), "http://data.carnegiehall.org/names/", "") as ?opasID)
                  FILTER (MONTH(?date) = ?nowMonth && DAY(?date) = ?nowDay)

              ORDER BY ?year
              LIMIT 100

In order to provide an easily human-readable version of each person’s history at the hall, we also use SPARQL to create a link to Performance History Search, an HTML presentation of essentially the same dataset that we published first in 2013 (and predates our experiments with LOD). (In the query, this is found right after the SELECT statement, where you'll see (IRI(CONCAT( etc.)


what we learned

You might be asking why we need to formulate different versions of the PHS link. The HTML version launched in 2013, well prior to our release of the same data as RDF in 2017; although the source database is the same, the process that translates the data for display is a bit different and was developed separately. This creates a few challenges when attempting to create links to PHS search filters:

  • Our source database for CH’s performance history data, a proprietary SQL-based product designed for concert planning, stores performers and composers in separate tables. When the data is surfaced in the HTML Performance History Search (PHS), that separation between composers and performers remains. Query filters are constructed from a search index based on the name string of the composer or performer.
  • Our RDF version of the data solves this problem of (potential) dual IDs by creating a single ID for each named entity, with statements defining their role according to associations with creative works (as a composer, arranger, lyricist, etc.) and/or events (as a performer).
  • In order to construct the PHS link, a URL-safe version of the Wikidata item label (i.e. the name of the composer or performer, with URL-encoded characters replacing spaces and other reserved characters) must be concatenated with a base URL, e.g. https://www.carnegiehall.org/About/History/Performance-History-Search?q=&dex=prod_PHS&pf=Juan%20Tizol.

further investigation

Eventually our goal is to bring all online historical content — our performance history and digital collections — into a single, unified user experience using our LOD as the metadata "backbone". The Carnegie Hall Data Lab is a first step in that direction, where we can begin experimenting with user-friendly ways to surface our performance history data.

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