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Modern Period


John F. Kennedy becomes 35th President of the USA • US-supported invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles at the ‘Bay of Pigs’ fails • South Africa becomes a republic • East Germans build the Berlin Wall • UN troops occupy breakaway Congo province of Katanga, and its secession ends • Tanganyika and Sierra Leone become independent • 
Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) formed • The USSR sends the first man (Yuri Gagarin) into space in the spaceship Vostock; the USA follows with Alan B. Shepard • Alberto Giacometti (Switz) sculpts The Walking Man I • Joseph Heller (US): Catch-22 • Muriel Spark (Scot): The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago become independent • Uganda becomes independent • The USA establishes a military command in South Vietnam • Cuban Missile Crisis: US announces that the Russians have built missile bases in Cuba; US warships blockade Cuba; USSR agrees to dismantle its bases • US agrees to supply Britain with 
Polaris atomic missiles • Ferhat Abbas becomes president of the newly-independent Algeria • The USA puts three astronauts into orbit around the Earth • Andy Warhol (US) paints Marilyn Diptych following the death of Marilyn Monroe • Doris Lessing (UK): The Golden Notebook • Ken Kesey (US): One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Federation of Malaya is formed • Martial law in South Vietnam follows the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem • US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated; he is succeeded by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as 36th President of the USA • Fighting breaks out between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus; British troops establish a neutral
zone between the factions • Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes first woman in space • Pope John XXIII dies; succeeded by Paul VI • Andy Warhol (US) paints Eight Elvises • A ‘Pop Art’ exhibition is held at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City; includes work by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol

Greeks and Turks renew fighting in Cyprus • Guerrilla warfare by Communist Vietcong movement in South Vietnam intensifies; US aircraft attack bases in North Vietnam • In the USSR; Leonid Brezhnev succeeds deposed Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the Communist Party • Harold Wilson (Labour) becomes Prime Minister of Britain • Northern Rhodesia becomes the independent Republic of Zambia • Drilling for oil and natural gas begins in the North Sea • The Beatles (Eng) pop group becomes a global phenomenon • Roald Dahl (UK): Charlie and the Chocolate Factory • Philip Larkin (Eng): poems The Whitsun Weddings 
• Jean Paul Satre (Fr): Les Mots

US involvement in the Vietnam War increases; regular bombing raids on North Vietnam; the first US marines arrive in South Vietnam • Singapore secedes from the Federation of Malaya • Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith issues a Unilateral Declaration of Independence; Britain declares the new regime illegal and imposes trade restrictions • India and Pakistan fight the Second Kashmir War • The death penalty is abolished in Britain • Soviet and American astronauts float and ‘walk’ in space • France launches its first satellite, Asterix-1 • Film: Doctor Zhivago • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints The Seated Man (Self Portrait) • Bob Dylan (US): song Like a Rolling Stone


Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines.



24 April
Witold Lutostawski fails to meet his deadline for the premiere of his part-aleatory Venetian Games—performed incomplete at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice. Lutostawski will increasingly avoid committing to deadlines.


I. Movement I
II. Movement II
III. Movement III
IV. Movement IV

Witold Rowicki, Conductor - Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic Warsaw

6 September
Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto, for harpsichord, piano and two chamber orchestras, is first performed in New York.

Elliott Carter - Double Concerto
for piano, harpsichord and 2 chamber orchestras
Paolo Michele Bordignon - cravo
Steven Beck - Piano
New Juilliard Ensemble - dir Steven Beck
Gravação ao vivo no Alice Tully Hall de Nova Iorque, quarta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 1998, concerto em homenagem aos 90 anos de Elliott Carter, na presença do compositor.

20 May
Hans Werner Henze’s opera Elegy for Young Lovers opens in Schwetzingen, Germany.

Elegy for Young Lovers (Elegie für junge Liebende) is an opera in three acts by Hans Werner Henze to an English libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman.


Gregor Mittenhofer - Davide Damiani
Dr. Wilhelm Reischmann  - Roberto Abbondanza
Tony Reischmann - John Bellemer
Elisabeth Zimmer - Ruth Rosique
Carolina Gräfin Von Kirchstetten - Elizabeth Laurence
Hilda Mack - Isolde Siebert
Josef Mauer - Matteo Carlomagno
Direttore Lothar Koenigs
Regia, Scene, Costumi Pier Luigi Pizzi
Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana

31 May
Krzysztof Penderecki
's Threnody: To the Victims of Hiroshima (1960) is given a broadcast premiere by Warsaw Radio. The composers most famous creation draws tone-clusters, micro tonal glissandi and strident percussive sounds from 52 strings in a formidable textural depiction of suffering.

Penderecki: Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Antoni Wit, Conductor.

15 October 
Dmitri Shostakovich
celebrates the October Revolution in his Symphony No. 12 (The Year 1917), introduced in Moscow.

Dmitri Shostakovich : Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 "Year 1917" 
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Kirill Kondrashin

I. Revolutionary Petrograd: Moderato. Allegro
II. Razliv: Allegro
III. Aurora: Allegro
IV. Dawn of Humanity: Allegro. Allegretto

22 October
György Ligeti continues his exploration of orchestral clusters in Atmospheres, introduced at the Donaueschingen Festival. The work gains an encore and consolidates the composers international reputation.

Luciano Berio
’s Epifanie for mezzo soprano and orchestra is premiered at the same concert.

György Ligeti - Atmospheres
Conductor, Sir Simon Rattle
Orquesta Filarmónica de Berlín

Luciano Berio: Epifanie,
per voce e orchestra su testi di Proust, Machado, Joyce, Sanguineti, Simon, Brecht.

Cathy Berberian, voce
Orchestra della RAI di Roma diretta da Luciano Berio.

Registrazione dal vivo, Roma, 15 Marzo 1969.

3 July
Malcolm Arnold conducts the Halle Orchestra in the first performance of his Symphony No. 5, in Cheltenham.

Malcolm Arnold : Symphony No. 5 Op. 74
Performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Malcolm Arnold.



György Ligeti creates a musical language of exaggeration and gesticulation in his semi-theatrical Aventures, scored for three singers and seven instrumentalists.

György Ligeti - Aventures 
Direttore: Andrea Cappelleri
Azione scenica per 3 voci e sette strumenti

Soprano: Chiara Ersilia Trapani
Contralto: Rebecca Fanari
Baritono: Giovanni Santangelo

Ensemble di Musica Contemporanea del Conservatorio "J. Tomadini" di Udine in collaborazione con il Conservatorio "L. Perosi" di Campobasso

Vocal coaching: Alda Caiello

Direzione e concertazione: Andrea Cappelleri

2016, Aula Magna dell'Università degli Studi

Francis Poulenc composes his popular Clarinet Sonata for Benny Goodman.

Poulenc - Sonata pour clarinette et piano op. 184

00:00 1.Allegro tristamente (Allegretto - Très calme - Tempo allegretto)
05:14 2. Romanza (Très calme)
09:28 3. Allegro con fuoco (Très animé)

Lors de cette création, le 10 avril 1963, les interprètes étaient Benny Goodman et Leonard Bernstein.
Elle est dédiée à la mémoire de son vieil ami Arthur Honegger, condisciple du Groupe des Six.

Duo Berk-Seiz : Wilfried Berk, clar -  Elisabeth Berk-Seiz, piano 

29 May
Michael Tippett's King Priam opens with a blaze of trumpets at the Coventry Festival, itself organised for the consecration of the rebuilt Cathedral.

Based on Homers Iliad, Tippett's second opera examines the emotional and moral conflicts inherent in war.

Michael Tippett - King Priam, opera in thee acts 

Norman Bailey (Priam)
Heather Harper (Hecuba)
Thomas Allen (Hector)
Felicity Palmer (Andromache)
Philip Langridge (Paris)
Yvonne Minton (Helen)
Robert Tear (Achilles)

London Sinfonietta cond. David Atherton (1981)

00:00 Act I
43:43 Act II
1:08:40 Act III


30 May
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem premieres in the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral. Interspersing the text of the Latin Requiem Mass with poetry by Wilfred Owen, the work proclaims the futility of war. An apposite British-German-Russian line-up with the soloists Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Galina Vishnevskaya is unfortunately confounded as the Soviet government refuses the soprano permission to take part. Heather Harper takes her place and the premiere proves one of Britten’s major triumphs.

War Requiem - Benjamin Britten

Anna Netrebko, soprano
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Thomas Hampson, barítono

23 September
Aaron Copland turns to serial methods of composition in the orchestral work Connotations, first performed under Bernstein at the inauguration of the Lincoln Centers Philharmonic Hall, New York.

Aaron Copland: Connotations, for orchestra 

The Juilliard Orchestra diretta da Sixten Ehrling.

24 September
Samuel Barber's dramatic and demanding Piano Concerto is first played by John Browning at the Lincoln Center, New York. The work wins the composer his second Pulitzer Prize.

Samuel Barber - Piano concerto Op.38

John Browning Piano
Cleveland Orchestra - George Szell Conductor

18 December
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, scored for bass soloist, chorus and orchestra, premieres in Moscow. Soviet authorities promptly ban the work for its inclusion of Yevgeny Yevtushenko s poem Babi Yar, which criticises Soviet anti-semitism. Yevtushenko is forced to rewrite his text, and the revised symphony is reintroduced two months later.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, Op. 113 ("Babi Yar")
Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Male Chorus of the Mendelssohn Club, Philadelphia
Tom Krause, baritone
, 1970

1. Babi Yar
2. Humor (at 17:03)
3. At the Store (at 25:45)
4. Fears (at 36:50)
5. A Career (at 48:50)

The transliteration of the Russian text, and its translation, is by Igor Buketoff.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 13 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 113 "Babi-Yar"
Arthur Eisen
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Kirill Kondrashin

I. Babi-Yar: Adagio           00:00
II. Humour: Allegretto      13:39
III. In the Store: Adagio    21:42
IV. Fears: Largo                31:53
V. A Career: Allegretto     42:24



30 January
Composer Francis Poulenc dies from a heart attack in Paris, aged 64.


3 March
NBC-TV broadcasts Gian Carlo ​Menotti’s television opera Labyrinth

MENOTTI: "The Labyrinth" (world premiere, 1963)
Judith Raskin as The Bride
John Reardon as The Groom
Elaine Bonazzi as The Spy
Robert White as The Old Man
Beverly Wolff as The Executive Director
Leon Lishner as The Desk Clerk
Nikiforos Naneris as The Bellboy
Frank Porretta as The Astronaut
Leon Lishner as Death
John West as Death's Assistant
Eugene Green as The Italian Opera Singer
Bob Rickner as The Executive Director's Secretary

28 August
Michael Tippett’s Concerto for Orchestra, dedicated to Britten, is introduced in Edinburgh.

Michael Tippett: Concerto per orchestra  (1/3)
London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Colin Davis 

I. Allegro - più mosso

Michael Tippett: Concerto per orchestra  (2/3)
London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Colin Davis 

II. Largo

Michael Tippett: Concerto per orchestra  (3/3)
London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Colin Davis 

III. Allegro molto - subito pochissimo meno mosso

8 March
William Walton
conducts the first performance of his Variations on a Theme of Hindemith in London.

William Walton - Variations on a Theme by Hindemith

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir William Walton - 
London, March 1963

9 May
Witold Lutoslawski
demonstrates 'aleatory counterpoint’ in Trois poetries d’Henri Michaux, premiered in Zagreb. Expansive in atonal textures, the three-movement work demands two conductors to direct the chorus and orchestra separately.


I. Pensées (00:00:00 - 07:03)
II. Le Grand Combat (07:06)
III.Repos dans le Malheur (13:48)

9 September
John Cage leads a performance of Erik Satie's Vexations (1894) at the Pocket Theatre, New York. Probably a world premiere, nine other pianists participate to render the required 840 repetitions of the piece, which lasts 18 hours 40 minutes. Purists point out that the work was meant for one performer only.

Erik Satie:Vexations

30 October
Olivier Messiaen, recently returned from a trip to Japan, presents his Sept Haikai (Seven Haiku, 1962) for piano, percussion, winds and violins, in Paris.

Olivier Messiaen - Sept haïkaï
Netherlands Wind Ensemble - Reinbert De Leeuw
pianoforte, Peter Donohoe

16 May
Bernstein conducts the first performance of Hans Werner ​Henze’s Fifth Symphony, in New York. Henze’s Fourth Symphony also receives its premiere this year, in Berlin.

Hans Werner Henze - Symphony No. 5  for Large Orchestra 

10 December
Leonard Bernstein
introduces his Kaddish Symphony (No. 3) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy, the work is scored for female narrator, soprano, boys’ chorus, mixed chorus and orchestra.

Leonard Bernstein - Symphony m. 3 - Kaddish
Live-streamed on Monday, 23 March 2015 from The Henry Crown Hall, Jerusalem
A memorial concert in honor of David Azrieli
Second half of the concert was dedicated to Bernstein's Kadish.
Conductor - Steven Mercurio
Soprano - Sharon Azrieli
Anchor  - Richard Dreyfuss

The Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir
Kate Belshé, conductor

The Ankor Choir of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance - Dafna Ben Yohanan, conductor

The Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir - Leonti Wolf, conductor

Shahar Choir, Rehovot - Gila Brill, conductor

28 December
Composer Paul Hindemith dies in Frankfurt from acute pancreatitis, aged 68.



10 Janyary
Pierre Boulez
introduces his Figures-Doubles-Prismes for orchestra (an expansion of his Doubles, 1958) in Basel.

Pierre Boulez - Figures, Doubles, Prismes, for large orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conductor

12 August
Andrzej ​Panufnik’s Sinfonia Sacre (Symphony No. 3) is first performed in Monte Carlo. The work commemorates 1,000 years of Polish Christianity.

Andrzej Panufnik: Sinfonia Sacra (Symphony No. 3
UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico City conducted by Zhouang Chen

I. Three Visions / Tres visiones (0:00)
II. Hymnus (10:30)

12 March
Rostropovich is the soloist in Benjamin Britten's Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, premiered under the composers direction in Moscow.

Benjamin Britten - Symphony for Cello and Orchestra

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
English Chamber Orchestra
Benjamin Britten, conductor

12 June
Inspired by Japanese noh theatre, the first of Benjamin Britten’s ‘church parables’, Curlew River, is performed at Orford Church in Suffolk.

Benjamin Britten - Curlew River 
A Parable for Church Performance - Benjamin Britten - Christian - Loss, Grief, healing and consolation. Grieving, Mystery Play, Juro Motomasa,  Sumidagawa, miracle, miracles,miraculous, Miracle play. 

20 November
Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartets Nos. 9 and 10 are introduced in Moscow.

Dmitri Shostakovich - String quartet n°9 op.117

Borodin Quartet (Rostislav Dubinsky - Yaroslav Alexandrov - Dmitri Shebalin - Valentin Berlinsky)

Dmitri Shostakovich - String quartet n°10 

Borodin Quartet

9 December
Karlheinz Stockhausen presents his Mikrophonie I in Brussels. The work demands six participants, four to create sounds on a single tam-tam, two more to manipulate the sound electronically. The composer’s wife, Doris, is surprised to discover her missing kitchen items amongst the implements used to strike the gong.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Mikrophonie I, for tam-tam, 2 microphones, 2 filters with potentiometers.

Aloys Kontarsky & Alfred Alings, tam-tam
Johannes G. Fritsch & Bernhard Kontarsky, microphones
Karlheinz Stockhausen, filter operator and potentiometer controller 1
Jaap Spek, filter operator 2
Hugh Davies, potentiometer controller 2, aiding Spek.



27 January
Steve Reich presents the first performance of his tape piece Its gonna rain at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The work introduces the composers phasing technique, using two tape machines (positioned left and right) playing loops of identical spoken phrases, one running slightly faster than the other to gradually shift the parts out of, then back in to, synchronisation.

Steve Reich - It's Gonna Rain

17 April
Igor Stravinsky’s Variations for Orchestra, composed in memory of Aldous Huxley, is first performed in Chicago.

Igor Stravinsky - Variations, Aldous Huxley in memoriam

12 March
Witold Lutostawski
’s String Quartet, commissioned by Swedish Radio, is first performed in Stockholm.

Witold Lutoslawki - String Quartet
New Budapest String Quartet

26 April
Charles Ives
’s Fourth Symphony (completed around 1925), considering the metaphysical questions of 'What’ and 'Why’, has its first full (posthumous) performance in New York. Stokowski has to be assisted by two extra conductors to manage the vast forces involved— including spatially separated choral and percussive groups—and to cope with complex combinations of multiple rhythms.

Charles Ives Symphony No. 4
BBC Symphony Orchestra
David Robertson, cond.
Ralph van Raat, piano

14 March
György Ligeti
’s Requiem for soprano, mezzo, chorus and orchestra, is premiered to wide critical acclaim in Stockholm. Unearthly sonic tapestries meet zany vocal histrionics in a thoroughly alternative response to death and the afterlife.

György Ligeti - Requiem
- for soprano, mezzo-soprano, 2 choruses & orchestra

Performed by Barbara Hannigan (soprano), Virpi Räisänen-Midth (mezzo-soprano), Philharmonique de Radio France, Choeur de Radio France, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

00:00 - I. Introitus
07:50 - II. Kyrie 
15:31 - III. De die judicii sequentia
24:22 - IV. Lacrimosa

15 July
Leonard Bernstein introduces his Chichester Psalms in New York. Variously rousing and serene, the choral work has been commissioned by Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral (England), and receives its British premiere on 31 July.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN - Chichester Psalms CONDUCT - L.Bernstein
Boys and Men's Choir of the Poznan Philharmonic
"The Poznan Nightingales"

26 March
Celebrating his 40th birthday, Pierre Boulez conducts the first performance of his Eclat for 15 instruments in Los Angeles.

Pierre Boulez: Eclat-Multiples (1965-1970)
I Eclat, pour quinze instruments

II Multiples, pour vingt-cinq instruments

Ensemble Intercontemporain

Dir : Pierre Boulez

6 November
Edgard Varese, French composer of 'organised sound’, dies in New York, aged 81.



10 December
Composer Henry Cowell dies in New York, aged 68.


Andy Warhol - Marilyn Diptych

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