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
1780 Wilhelm Gerhard born in Weimar Wikidata Item
1797 Gaetano Donizetti born in Bergamo Wikidata Item
1818 William Ellery Channing born in Boston Wikidata Item
1832 Louisa May Alcott born in Germantown Wikidata Item
1850 Sofia Scalchi born in Turin Wikidata Item
1852 Paul Joseph Guillaume Hillemacher born in Paris Wikidata Item
1853 Thomas F. Grady born in New York Wikidata Item
1861 Spyridon Samaras born in Corfu Wikidata Item
1862 Friedrich Klose born in Marktplatz Karlsruhe Wikidata Item
1866 Waldemar von Baussnern born in Berlin Wikidata Item
1879 Jacob Gade born in Vejle No Wikidata Item
1879 John Haynes Holmes born in Philadelphia Wikidata Item
1891 Richard Donovan born in New Haven Wikidata Item
1893 Rae Robertson born in Ardersier No Wikidata Item
1895 Larry Conley born in Keithsburg Wikidata Item
1895 Busby Berkeley born in Los Angeles Wikidata Item
1895 Lodovico Rocca born in Turin Wikidata Item
1897 Sydney King Russell born in New York Wikidata Item
1902 Danny Alvin born in New York Wikidata Item
1903 Franco Autori born in Naples Wikidata Item
1905 Mario Braggiotti born in Florence Wikidata Item
1908 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. born in New Haven Wikidata Item
1909 Hector Gagliardi born in Buenos Aires Wikidata Item
1911 Walter Kent born in New York Wikidata Item
1914 Hal McIntyre born in Cromwell Wikidata Item
1915 Billy Strayhorn born in Dayton Wikidata Item
1917 Isaco Abitbol born in Alvear Wikidata Item
1917 Merle Travis born in Rosewood Wikidata Item
1919 Pearl Primus born in Port of Spain Wikidata Item
1928 Logan English born in Henderson Wikidata Item
1932 Antoine Tisné born in Lourdes Wikidata Item
1932 John Gary born in Watertown Wikidata Item
1940 Denny Doherty born in Halifax Wikidata Item
1940 Billy Hart born in Washington, D.C. Wikidata Item
1940 Chuck Mangione born in Rochester Wikidata Item
1941 Lloyd Schwartz born in Brooklyn No Wikidata Item
1942 Felix Cavaliere born in Pelham Wikidata Item
1946 Silvio Rodríguez born in San Antonio de los Baños No Wikidata Item
1949 Stan Rogers born in Hamilton Wikidata Item
1949 Vladimir Mendelssohn born in Bucharest Wikidata Item
1951 Carl Finch born in Texarkana Wikidata Item
1952 Joachim Johow born in Berlin Wikidata Item
1954 Michael White born in New Orleans Wikidata Item
1954 Chirlane Irene McCray born in Springfield Wikidata Item
1955 Adam Nussbaum born in Norwalk Wikidata Item
1955 Robert Jeffress born in United States Wikidata Item
1955 Gary Fry born in Keswick No Wikidata Item
1962 Petra Lang born in Frankfurt am Main Wikidata Item
1967 Christopher Stevens born in Eugene Wikidata Item
1968 Jonathan Knight born in Boston Wikidata Item
1976 Julian Ovenden born in Sheffield Wikidata Item
1980 Janina Gavankar born in Joliet 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 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 ;
                          schema: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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