October Music Premières

Classical Academy | On This Day...


The month of October has seen the premières of some legendary classical pieces. Prokofiev's Symphony number 7 was well received when it was first shared with the public in 1952, the year before the composer's death. Premiered as part of a radio programme for children, it is often known as the Children's Symphony and represents a turning away from the more dissonant aspects of his music.


Dvorak's Violin Concerto in A minor premiered in 1883 in Prague, Vienna and London with great Czech violinist František Ond?í?ek at the helm. It remains an important piece in any violinists' repertoire and was in fact composed for Joseph Joachim, the acclaimed Hungarian violinist and close collaborator of Brahms'.


Not many composers make it to to their 10th symphony, but Gustav Mahler did! Written in the summer of 1910 it was his final composition and, as such, he never quite completed the full orchestration.


Debussy completed writing La Mer on the coast of the English Channel in Eastbourne. The premiere was given by the Lamoureux Orchestra under the direction of Camille Chevillard on 15 October in Paris. Initially not well received, it was at first disliked in part becuase of Debussy left his first wife for his lover Emma Bardac.


Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra was commisioned for an educational documentary film but has become the cornerstone of any child's musical education. It is, in fact, Variations and a Fugue on a theme by Purcell.


The Concerto in C Minor for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra (Symphony no. 1) by Shostakovich premiered in 1933 with the composer himself at the piano, accompanied by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. Despite the title, it is a true piano concerto, with the trumpet making sardonic interjections amidst the humour and wit of the piano sections.