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: 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 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

Classical Music Timeline: 1870s

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.

1870
January 5 – Liebeslieder Waltzes, op. 52, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

April 8 – Charles Auguste de Bériot (1802-1870) died in Brussels, Belgium

1871
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed The Bridal Procession Passes By, op. 19, no. 2 [later orchestrated by Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) as the Norwegian Bridal Procession]

1872
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed the incidental music for Sigurd Jorsalfar, op. 22

May 1 – Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) was born in Stockholm, Sweden

May 16 – Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940) was born in Lyubim, Russia

October 12 – Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England

November 10 – L’Arlésienne Suite No. 1, op. 23bis, incidental music by Georges Bizet (1837-1875) was first performed in Paris, France

1873
January 19 – Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 33, by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was first performed in Paris, France

April 1 – Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was born in Oneg, Novgorod, Russia

April 22 – Wiener Blut, op. 354, waltz by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

November 2 – Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, op. 56a, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

November 10 – Henri Rabaud (1873-1949) was born in Paris, France

December 11 – String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, op. 51, no. 1, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1874
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) completed Der Abend (The Evening) from Three Quartets, op. 64, no. 2

January 4 – Josef Suk (1874-1935) was born in Křečovice, Czech Republic

May 22Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was first performed in Milan, Italy

June 22 – Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) completed Pictures at an Exhibition, for piano

September 21 – Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

1875
January 11 – Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) was born in Kyiv, Ukraine

January 24 – Danse macabre, op. 40, by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was first performed in Paris, France

February 2 – Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was born in Vienna, Austria

March 3 – Carmen, opera by Georges Bizet (1837-1875) was first performed in Paris, France

March 7 – Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was born in Ciboure, France

May 8 – Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes, op. 65, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Karlsruhe, Germany

June 3 – Georges Bizet (1837-1875) died in Bougival, France

September 15 – Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) died in Paris, France

October 31 – Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, op. 44, by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was first performed in Paris, France

November 18 – Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, op. 60, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1876
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) completed Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song in G minor, op. 24, for piano

January 12 – Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) was born in Venice, Italy

January 28 – Sérénade mélancolique in B♭ minor for violin and orchestra, op. 26, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

February 24 – Peer Gynt, op. 23, incidental music by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was first performed in Oslo, Norway

November 4 – Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Karlsruhe, Germany

November 18 – Slavonic March in B♭ minor, op. 31, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

November 23 – Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) was born in Cádiz, Spain

December 10 – Serenade for Strings in E major, op. 22, B52 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

1877
March 4 – Swan Lake, op. 20, ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

March 9 – Francesca da Rimini: Symphonic Fantasy after Dante, op. 32, symphonic poem by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

July 27 – Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960) was born in Bratislava, Slovakia

November 21 – Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) was born in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany

December 2 – Symphonic Variations, op. 78, B70 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

December 9 – Cello Concerto in D minor by Édouard Lalo (1823-1892) was first performed in Paris, France

December 9 – Romance in F minor, for violin and orchestra, op. 11, B39 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

December 30 – Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 73, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1878
Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931) completed The Enchanted Forest (La forêt enchantée), op. 8

February 22 – Symphony No. 4 in F minor, op. 36, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

1879
L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2, incidental music by Georges Bizet (1837-1875) and compiled by Ernest Guiraud (1837-1892), was published

January 1 – Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

February 26 – Frank Bridge (1879-1941) was born in Brighton, England

March 4 – Symphony No. 2 in B minor (revised) by Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

March 29 – Eugene Onegin, op. 24, opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was first performed in Moscow, Russia

May 15 – Nocturne in B major, op. 40, B47 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed prior to this date in Nice, France

May 16 – Czech Suite in D major, op. 39, B93 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was first performed in Prague, Czech Republic

July 9 – Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was born in Bologna, Italy

October 19 – Symphony No. 5 in F minor for Organ, op. 42, no. 1, by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) was first performed in Paris, France

October 21 – Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957) was born in Annonay, France

October 29 – Eight Pieces for Piano, op. 76, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Berlin, Germany

November 8 – Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, op. 78, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was first performed in Bonn, Germany

1860s

1880s

Classical Music Timeline: 1830s

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.

1831
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in C minor, op. 10, no. 12, “Revolutionary”

1832
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Three Nocturnes, op. 9

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in E major, op. 10, no. 3, “Tristesse”

May 14 – Overture to The Hebrides, in B minor, op. 26, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in London, England

1833
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Four Mazurkas, op. 17

May 7 – Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born in Hamburg, Germany

November 12 – Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1834
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Fantasie Impromptu in C♯ minor, op. 66

November 23Harold in Italy, op. 16, H. 68, by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was first performed in Paris, France

1835
October 9 – Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was born in Paris, France

November 9 – Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 7, by Clara Schumann (1819-1896) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

1836
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed Fantasie in C major, op. 17

January 30 – Octet for Strings in E♭ major, op. 20, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

December 9A Life for the Tsar, opera, by Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1837
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in C minor, op. 25, no. 12, “Ocean”

January 2 – Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

June 23 – Ernest Guiraud (1837-1892) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana

1838
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in A minor, op. 28, no. 2

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in E minor, op. 28, no. 4

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed Scenes from Childhood, op. 15

January 6 – Max Bruch (1838-1920) was born in Cologne, Germany

October 25 – Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was born in Paris, France

1839
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in D♭ major, op. 28, no. 15, “Raindrop”

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in C minor, op. 28, no. 20

March 21 – Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944 “The Great” by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

March 21 – Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was born in Karevo, Russia

1820s

1840s

Pictures at an Exhibition

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

If you listen to much classical music, you are no doubt familiar with Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) in 1922. But have you heard Mussorgsky’s original version for piano, written in 1874? A fabulous recording by Russian-born American pianist Natasha Paremski was released just last year, and I highly recommend it. She also wrote the liner notes, which really adds to your understanding of the piece and her enthusiasm for it. Following Pictures is Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, by contemporary composer, Fred Hersch. I like the piece, which he wrote for Paremski. It is based on one of the beautiful melodies in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. I’m sure you will recognize it.

Modest Mussorgsky was a musical rebel and had his demons to contend with, including the alcoholism that ended his life at the young age of 42. Though his character and compositional talents have often been maligned, I think there is more to this man than the caricatures, even of his contemporaries, tell. Stripping away the orchestration provided by Ravel and others, and listening to this work in its raw pianistic form, you will find here a work of true genius, bold and viscerally beautiful.