Classical Music Timeline: 1920s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1920
FebruaryLe Tombeau de Couperin (orchestral version) by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was first performed in Paris, France

March 25The Hymn of Jesus, op. 37 by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was first performed in London, England

April 8 – Charles Griffes (1884-1920) died in New York, New York

May 23Short Festival Te Deum, H. 145 by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was first performed in London, England

June 20Three Tone-Pictures, op. 5 by Charles Griffes (1884-1920) was first performed in Greenwich, Connecticut

October 2 – Max Bruch (1838-1920) died in Berlin, Germany

1921
January 23The Three Miracles of Saint Cecilia, incidental music to the play by Henri Ghéon, by Aita Donostia (1886-1956) was first performed in Paris, France

January 30The Fog is Lifting, for flute and harp, op. 41, no. 2, by Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) was first performed in Copenhagen, Denmark

February 20 – Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) was born in Bexhill-on-Sea, England

March 4 – Kaljo Raid (1921-2005) was born in Tallinn, Estonia

September 27 – Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) died in Neustrelitz, Germany

October 9Taras Bulba by Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) was first performed in Brno, Czech Republic

October 21 – Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) was born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

December 16 – Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) died in Algiers, Algeria

December 16 – Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Chicago, Illinois

1922
January 16 – Symphony No. 3, “Pastoral”, by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was first performed in London, England

January 30 – Percy Grainger (1882-1961) completed Spoon River (AFMS No. 2) [elastic scoring]

February 25Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was first performed in Paris, France

March 10 – Hans Sitt (1860-1922) died in Leipzig, Germany

May 20Daisies, in F major, op. 38, no. 3 (piano-only version) by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was first performed in London, England

October 19Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) as orchestrated by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), was first performed in Paris, France

1923
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) completed the Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite II

Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957) completed Baïlèro, Chants d’Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2

May 14The Perfect Fool by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was first performed in London, England

May 28 – György Ligeti (1923-2006) was born in Târnăveni, Romania

September 30Hassan, incidental music, by Frederick Delius (1862-1934) was first performed in London, England

October 18 – Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Paris, France

1924
February 12Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin (1898-1937) was first performed in New York, New York

February 27 – Trevor Duncan (1924-2005) was born in London, England

May 8 – The revised version of Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 16 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Paris, France

July 27 – Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) died in Berlin, Germany

September 14Ruralia hungarica, Five pieces for orchestra, op. 32b, by Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960) was first performed in Pécs, Hungary

September 28 – Rudolf Barshai (1924-2010) was born in Labinsk, Russia

November 4 – Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) died in Paris, France

December 14The Pines of Rome, tone poem by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was first performed in Rome, Italy

1925
Enrique Fernández Arbós (1863-1939) completed his orchestrations of five of the twelve piano pieces, Iberia, by Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)

May 29 – Concerto Grosso No. 1 for String Orchestra with Piano Obbligato by Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) was first performed in Cleveland, Ohio

August 31Mississippi Suite by Ferde Grofé (1892-1972) was first performed in New York, New York

November 20 – Clytus Gottwald (1925-2023) was born in Szczawno-Zdrój, Poland

November 29 – The Love for Three Oranges, Suite, op. 33bis by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Paris, France

December 3 – Piano Concerto in F major by George Gershwin (1898-1937) was first performed in New York, New York

1926
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) completed Seven Part-Songs, op. 44

Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) completed Zarabanda lejana (Distant Sarabande)

May 2 – Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano, FP 43 by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) was first performed in Paris, France

May 12 – Symphony No. 1 in F minor, op. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

June 26 – Sinfonietta by Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

October – Peter Warlock (1894-1930) completed Capriol Suite

October 31 – Symphony No. 5 in F♯ minor, “Dance Symphony”, by Emil von Reznicek (1860-1945) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

November 1The Profound Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, incidental music to the play by Henri Ghéon, by Aita Donostia (1886-1956) was first performed in Paris, France

December 26Tapiola, tone poem in B minor, op. 112 by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was first performed in New York, New York

1927
Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) completed Gypsy Caprice

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) completed Three Botticelli Pictures

March 24Háry János Suite, op. 35a by Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was first performed in Barcelona, Spain

June 7Le pas d’acier (“The Steel Step”), ballet, op. 41 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Paris, France

June 14The Red Poppy, ballet, op. 70 by Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

October 27 – Dominick Argento (1927-2019) was born in York, Pennsylvania

1928
Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) completed Schluck und Jau, incidental music

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) completed Brazilian Impressions

Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) completed the two-piano transcription of his orchestral piece, Cinco piezas infantiles (Five children’s pieces)

February 12Egdon Heath, tone poem, op. 47 by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was first performed in New York, New York

June 12Gli uccelli (“The Birds”) by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was first performed in São Paulo, Brazil

August 12 – Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) died in Ostrava, Czech Republic

September 11 – String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”, by Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) was first performed in Brno, Czech Republic

October 9 – Einojuhani Rautavaara (1929-2016) was born in Helsinki, Finland

December 13An American in Paris by George Gershwin (1898-1937) was first performed in New York, New York

1929
January 11 – Stabat Mater, op. 53 by Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) was first performed in Warsaw, Poland

February 10 – Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004) was born in Los Angeles, California

February 21Roman Festivals, tone poem by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was first performed in New York, New York

May 21L’enfant prodigue (“The Prodigal Son”), ballet, op. 46 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Paris, France

November 7 – Suite-Divertissement, for violin, viola, cello, and piano, by Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986) was first performed in Brussels, Belgium

1910s

1930s→

Classical Music Timeline: 1860s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1860
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Franz Doppler (1821-1883) completed the orchestral version of Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3 in D♭ major (S. 359, No. 3)

February 10 – Serenade No. 2 in A major, op. 16 (original version), by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

March 3 – Serenade No. 1 in D major, op. 11, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hanover, Germany

May 4 – Emil von Reznicek (1860-1945) was born in Vienna, Austria

May 29 – Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) was born in Camprodon, Catelonia, Spain

July 7 – Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was born in Kaliště, Czech Republic

October 20 – String Sextet No. 1 in B♭ major, op. 18, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hanover, Germany

December 18 – Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) was born in New York, New York

1861
January 15 – The Harp Rings Out, in C major, op. 17, no. 1 (SSA women’s chorus, horn, and harp), by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

The Death of Trenar, in C minor, op. 17, no. 4 (SSA women’s chorus, two horns, and harp), by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

Love Song, in E major, op. 44, no. 1 (SSAA women’s chorus & piano), by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

November 16 – Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, op. 25, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

1862
January 29 – Frederick Delius (1862-1934) was born in Bradford, England

February 17 – Edward German (1862-1936) was born in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England

August 22 – Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France

September 25 – Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897) was born in Ensisheim, France

1863
December 24 – Enrique Fernández Arbós (1863-1939) was born in Madrid, Spain

1864
March 15 – Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) was born in Drammen, Norway

June 11 – Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was born in Munich, Germany

1865
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed In Autumn, concert overture for orchestra, op. 11

June 9 – Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) was born in Sortelung, Denmark

June 10Tristan and Isolde, opera by Richard Wagner (1813-1883), was first performed in Munich, Germany

August 10 – Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia

October 1 – Paul Dukas (1865-1935) was born in Paris, France

October 13 – Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, op. 38, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Gdańsk, Poland

November 28 – Horn Trio in E♭ major, op. 40, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Zürich, Switzerland

December 8 – Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was born in Hämeenlinna, Finland

December 17 – Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 “Unfinished” by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1866
April 1 – Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) was born in Empoli, Italy

June 22 – Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

October 11 – String Sextet No. 2 in G major, op. 36, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

1867
February 15 – The Blue Danube, op. 314, by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

September 5 – Amy Beach (1867-1944) was born in Henniker, New Hampshire

1868
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) completed Péchés de vieillesse (“Sins of Old Age”)

January 5 – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26, by Max Bruch (1838-1920) was first performed (in its present form) in Bremen, Germany

August 7 – Granville Bantock (1868-1946) was born in London, England

November 13 – Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) died in Passy, France

November 15 – Waltz in A♭ major, op. 39, no. 15, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Hamburg, Germany

1869
January 16 – Symphony No. 1 in E♭ major by Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

February 18 – A German Requiem, op. 45, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

March – Symphony No. 2, Antar (1st version) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

March 8 – Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) died in Paris, France

April 3 – Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 16, by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was first performed in Copenhagen, Denmark

1850s

1870s