Classical Music Timeline: 1940s

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.

1940
Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987) completed The Comedians, op. 26

June 11 – Divertimento for string orchestra, Sz. 113 BB 118 by Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was first performed in Basel, Switzerland

July 1The Sea Hawk, with film score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957), was released

November 9Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar and orchestra, by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was first performed in Barcelona, Spain

November 16 – Violin Concerto in D minor by Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

December 3 – Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940) died in Moscow, Russia

December 9 – Sextet for Piano and Winds (1939 revision), FP 100 by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) was first performed in Paris, France

December 26 – Symphony No. 4, “Folk Song Symphony”, by Roy Harris (1898-1979) was first performed in Cleveland, Ohio

1941
January 3 – Symphonic Dances, op. 45 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was first performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

January 10 – Frank Bridge (1879-1941) died in Eastbourne, England

February 7 – Violin Concerto, op. 14 by Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was first performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 17 – Adolphus Hailstork (1941-) was born in Rochester, New York

June 21Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

June 26Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell (1904-1977) premiered in the film Dangerous Moonlight

1942
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) completed Song of the Brave, for tenor and piano, op. 89, no. 2

March 5 – Symphony No. 7, “Leningrad”, by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Leningrad at the time)

April 16 – Second Essay for Orchestra, op. 17 by Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was first performed in New York, New York

June 11 – Geoffrey Toye (1889-1942) died in London, England

June 18 – Paul McCartney (1942-) was born in Liverpool, England

December 4A Ceremony of Carols, op. 28 by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was first performed (in its final form) in London, England

December 9Gayane, ballet by Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) was first performed in Perm, Russia

1943
March 12Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was first performed in Cincinnati, Ohio

March 28 – Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) died in Beverly Hills, California

June 24 – Symphony No. 5 in D major by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was first performed in London, England

1944
Percy Grainger (1882-1961) completed the orchestration of La Vallée des cloches (”Valley of the Bells”) from Miroirs by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

January 28 – Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah”, by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was first performed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

April 16Concierto de estío, for violin and orchestra, by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was first performed in Lisbon, Portugal

May 7Our Town, music from the film score, by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

May 8 – Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) died in Woking, England

June 7Gran Marcha de los Subsecretarios (“Grand March of the Subsecretaries”), for piano four hands, by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was first performed in Madrid, Spain

August – Kaljo Raid (1921-2005) completed Symphony No. 1

October 30Appalachian Spring, ballet by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was first performed in Washington, D.C.

October 31Sebastian, ballet by Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007) was first performed in New York, New York

December 1 – Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 123 by Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

December 27 – Amy Beach (1867-1944) died in New York, New York

December 30 – Piano Sonata No. 8 in B♭ major, op. 84 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

1945
Suite from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was arranged by Artur Rodziński (1892-1958)

January 13 – Symphony No. 5 in B♭ major, op. 100 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

April 9Girl No. 217, with film score by Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978), was released

August 2 – Emil von Reznicek (1860-1945) died in Berlin, Germany

September 15 – Anton Webern (1883-1945) died in Mittersill, Austria

September 24 – John Rutter (1945-) was born in London, England

September 26 – Béla Bartók (1881-1945) died in New York, New York

October 12 – Symphony No. 3, H. 299 by Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

November 3 – Symphony No. 9 in E♭ major, op. 70 by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

November 21Cinderella, ballet, op. 87 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

November 30 – Symphony No. 4, H. 305 by Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) was first performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

December 17À l’ombre de Torre Bermeja (“In the Shadow of the Crimson Tower”) by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was first performed in Madrid, Spain

December 17A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, for male chorus, brass, and drums, op. 15 by Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was first performed in New York, New York

1946
Twenty-Four Preludes, op. 38 by Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

February 8 – Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major, Sz. 119, BB 127 by Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was first performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

October 16 – Granville Bantock (1868-1946) died in London, England

October 18 – Symphony No. 3 by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

October 23 – Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, op. 80 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

November 14 – Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) died in Alta Gracia, Argentina

November 27Cinco piezas infantiles (“Five children’s pieces”), for orchestra, by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was first performed in Madrid, Spain

December 6 – Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946) died in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1947
January 8 – Piano Concerto, op. 44 by Richard Arnell (1917-2009) was first performed in New York, New York

February 15 – Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was first performed in St. Louis, Missouri

February 15 – John Adams (1947-) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts

March 5 – Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) died in Rome, Italy

June 14 – Michael Mauldin (1947-) was born in Port Arthur, Texas

August 20 – Concerto for Bassoon and Strings with Percussion by Gordon Jacob (1895-1984) was first performed in London, England

October 23Starlight Roof Waltz by George Melachrino (1909-1965) was first performed in London, England

November 12Flourish, Mighty Land, cantata for chorus and orchestra, op. 114 by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

November 29The Legend of Ohrid, ballet by Stevan Hristić (1885-1958) was first performed in Belgrade, Serbia

1948
William Grant Still (1895-1978) completed Miniatures, for flute, oboe, and piano

January 21 – Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) died in Venice, Italy

May 4Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

June 27 – George Templeton Strong (1856-1948) died in Geneva, Switzerland

October 29 – Violin Concerto in C major, op. 48 by Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

October 30The Red Pony, suite from the film score, by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was first performed in Houston, Texas

1949
Clive Richardson (1909-1998) completed Beachcomber

Robert Farnon (1917-2005) completed How Beautiful is Night

January 14 – Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) died in Madrid, Spain

September 8 – Richard Strauss (1864-1949) died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

September 11 – Henri Rabaud (1873-1949) died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

December 2Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was first performed in Boston, Massachusetts

1930s

1950s→

Classical Music Timeline: 1880s

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.

1880
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Two Elegiac Melodies, op. 34

January 20 – Two Rhapsodies, op. 79 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Krefeld, Germany

April 20 – In the Steppes of Central Asia, in A minor, by Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

July 24 – Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) was born in Geneva, Switzerland

December 26 – Tragic Overture, in D minor, op. 81 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1881
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Norwegian Dances, op. 35

February 12 – Symphony No. 2 in C minor, op. 17, “Little Russian” (2nd and final version) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

February 20 – Symphony No. 4 in E♭ major, WAB 104, “Romantic” by Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

March 25 – Béla Bartók (1881-1945) was born in Sânnicolau Mare, Romania

March 25 – Symphony No. 6 in D major, op. 60, B112 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

March 28 – Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) died in Saint Petersburg, Russia

April 17 – Carmen Fantasy, op. 25 for violin and orchestra (on themes from Bizet’s Carmen), by Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) was first performed in Madrid, Spain

August 19 – George Enescu (1881-1955) was born in Liveni, Romania

October 30 – Romance in G major for violin and orchestra, op. 26 by Johan Svendsen (1840-1911) was first performed in Oslo, Norway

November 9 – Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major, op. 83 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Budapest, Hungary

December 4 – Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1882
February 10 – The Snow Maiden, opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

June 17 – Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was born in Lomonosov, Russia

July 8 – Percy Grainger (1882-1961) was born in Melbourne, Australia

July 26 – Parsifal, opera by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was first performed in Bayreuth, Germany

October 6 – Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) was born in Tymoshivka, Ukraine

November 5 – Má vlast, six symphonic poems by Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) was first performed in its entirety in Prague, Czech Republic

November 27 – Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments in E♭ major, op. 7 by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was first performed in Dresden, Germany

December 9 – Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) was born in Seville, Spain

December 16 – Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was born in Kecskemét, Hungary

1883
February 13 – Richard Wagner (1813-1883) died in Venice, Italy

March 19 – Tamara, symphonic poem in B minor by Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

May 16 – Scherzo capriccioso in D♭ major, op. 66, B131 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

July 4 – Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946) was born in Vilnius, Lithuania

July 25 – Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) was born in Turin, Italy

July 27 – Franz Doppler (1821-1883) died in Baden bei Wien, Austria

October 14 – Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 53, B108 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

December – Elégie, for cello and piano, op. 24 by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was first performed in Paris, France

December 2 – Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 90 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

December 3 – Anton Webern (1883-1945) was born in Vienna, Austria

December 6 – Sonata in F major for cello and piano, op. 6 by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was first performed in Nuremberg, Germany

1884
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed From Holberg’s Time: Suite in Olden Style, op. 40

May 12 – Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) died in Prague, Czech Republic

September 17 – Charles Griffes (1884-1920) was born in Elmira, New York

December 30 – Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107, by Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

1885
Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894) completed Habanera

April 22 – Symphony No. 7 in D minor, op. 70, B141 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in London, England

June 19 – Stevan Hristić (1885-1958) was born in Belgrade, Serbia

July 7 – Ernest Farrar (1885-1918) was born in London, England

September 28 – Ballade in D minor, for violin and piano, op. 15, B139 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

October 25 – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Meiningen, Germany

November 23 – Stenka Razin, in B minor, op. 13, symphonic poem by Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1886
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Lyric Pieces, Book III, op. 43

January 10 – Aita Donostia (1886-1956) was born in San Sebastián, Spain

May 1 – Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture (3rd and final version), TH 42, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Tbilisi, Georgia

May 19 – Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78, with organ, by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was first performed in London, England

July 31 – Franz Liszt (1811-1886) died in Bayreuth, Germany

October 15 – Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) and orchestrated by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

November 24 – Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, op. 99 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

December 16 – Violin Sonata in A major, CFF 123, by César Franck (1822-1890) was first performed in Brussels, Belgium

1887
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) completed Pavane in F♯ minor, op. 50, for SATB choir and piano

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) completed Elegy in D♭ major, op. 17 (In memory of Franz Liszt) for cello and piano

January – Miniatures, for two violins and viola, op. 75a, B149 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

January 22 – Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, op. 45 by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was first performed in Paris, France

February 27 – Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) died in Saint Petersburg, Russia

March 5 – Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

March 7 – Heino Eller (1887-1970) was born in Tartu, Estonia

March 30 – Romantic Pieces, for violin and piano, op. 75, B150 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

October 18 – Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra in A minor, op. 102 “Double Concerto” by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Cologne, Germany

October 31 – Capriccio espagnol, op. 34 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

November 15 – Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, op. 45

December 12 – Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974) was born in Gothenburg, Sweden

1888
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) completed Nächtens (At night), in D minor, from Six Quartets, op. 112, no. 2

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Lyric Pieces, Book IV, op. 47

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) completed Scheherazade, in E major, op. 35

Florida Suite by Frederick Delius (1862-1934) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

January 6Cypresses, for string quartet, B152 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed (Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 9) in Prague, Czech Republic

January 6 – Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, op. 81, B155 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

November 17 – Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

December 15 – Russian Easter Festival Overture, op. 36 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

December 21 – Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, op. 108, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Budapest, Hungary

December 30 – Ilse Fromm-Michaels (1888-1986) was born in Hamburg, Germany

1889
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) completed the orchestration of the unfinished Symphony No. 3 in A minor by Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)

February 17 – Symphony in D minor, CFF 130, by César Franck (1822-1890) was first performed in Paris, France

February 17 – Geoffrey Toye (1889-1942) was born in Winchester, England

October – Ralph Greaves (1889-1966) was born in Lymington, Hampshire, England

November 11 – Don Juan, tone poem in E major, op. 20 by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was first performed in Weimar, Germany

November 20 – Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was first performed in Budapest, Hungary

1870s

1890s